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Zimbabwe leader's reality: Only God can unseat me and I am always right

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: June 28, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: His mother told Robert Mugabe when he was a
child that he had been chosen by God to be a great leader. No wonder he
thinks only divine power - not elections, not foreign critics, not a
crumbling economy or a much younger opposition leader - can unseat him.

In the mind of Zimbabwe's leader of nearly three decades, reality is summed
up by a massive banner hanging in the entrance to the presidential offices:
Mugabe is Right.

Mugabe defied the world Friday to hold a one-man presidential runoff on the
heels of a campaign of torture and violence in which dozens of opposition
supporters have been killed and thousands injured and driven from their
homes.

Mugabe fought to liberate a nation of oppressed Africans from a brutal and
racist white rule and then built it into a much-hailed economic and social
success. What would drive him to preside over its decline and ruin?

Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe fed itself and became a major exporter of food as
well as of tobacco and minerals. Literacy and longevity rates shot up.
Today, a third of the population is starving and the country has the highest
mortality rate in the world - just 34 years for women.

Twenty-eight years after he freed the country from white rule, he depicts
himself as a liberator fighting to keep Zimbabwe from white imperialists. He
calls whites vermin and mongrels.

Heidi Holland, who recounts the anecdote about God's chosen one in her
recently published book, "Dinner with Mugabe", says Zimbabwe's leader is an
"emotionally weak man" who's never come to terms with some of life's earlier
disappointments.

He has never forgiven the father who abandoned him when he was 10 years old
to the women in the family - a heathen grandmother and an over-pious mother,
converted to Catholicism, who proudly gave her son into the care of Jesuit
priests at nearby Kutama mission. There, Mugabe found a surrogate father in
Anglo-Irish headmaster the Rev. Jerome O'Hea.

To this day Mugabe models himself on a British gentleman - dark suits, silk
ties and handkerchiefs, a fondness for tea and cricket.

Holland said Mugabe was likely humiliated in the past week when Queen
Elizabeth II stripped him of the honorary knighthood bestowed in 1994 when
he was an anti-colonial hero.

Yet it is Britain that Mugabe has chosen to demonize, accusing the former
colonizer of wanting his southern African nation back.

"When you hear Mugabe vilifying Britain, expressing hatred of Britain,
underlying that is a love of Britain," said Holland, a Zimbabwean journalist
living in South Africa who won a rare interview with Mugabe in November,
meeting with him for 2 1/2 hours.

She did not think he was crazy, but "lives in the world in a mad kind of
way. But I think it's deliberate, I think he's in denial, I think he can't
face what he's done in Zimbabwe because that isn't what he intended to do.
He did genuinely, I think, want be the savior of his people, the liberator
of an oppressed nation. What has happened is a source of deep pain to him, I
think."

Mugabe still is bitter, Holland says, that the white Rhodesian regime
refused to allow him out of jail, where he was a political prisoner for 11
years, to attend the funeral of his only son with his first wife, Ghanaian
fellow teacher Sally Hayfron.

Even as a child, Mugabe could not bear to be criticized, Holland said. He
was a loner with his head constantly stuck in a book and an astute scholar
who earned six degrees while he was in jail.

Mugabe would have been fine if he had remained a teacher, Holland said, but
"the problem is he has an army and police force to act out his anger."

And at 84, Mugabe has the strength and health of a 60-year-old, with no sign
that age is slowing him or his sharp brain.

Chenjerai Hove, a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist who fled Mugabe's
regime, says whenever Mugabe is challenged "he becomes a wounded lion and
goes on the attack."

Those who have failed to see that pattern chose "to look the other way while
the man was busy showing his dictatorial tendencies," says Hove, a writer in
residence at America's Brown University.

Back in 1976, when Mugabe fled Rhodesia to take control of the war for black
rule from Mozambique, "a lot of people were arrested and tortured for him to
be accepted as a leader, so his cruel past started at that time, and he has
always worked like that," Hove said.

When Mugabe's leadership was challenged after independence in 1980 by
military leaders of rival liberation leader Joshua Nkomo's movement, Mugabe
sent his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on a rampage against Nkomo's
minority Ndebele tribe. Some 20,000 people, most innocent civilians, were
killed. Thousands starved to death as Mugabe withheld international drought
relief from Ndebele civilians.

The international community looked the other way, still pleased that Mugabe
had urged reconciliation with the whites who had oppressed his people,
allowing former Rhodesian ruler Ian Smith to draw a government pension and
whites to continue living privileged lifestyles with domestic workers in
mansions with pools and tennis courts.

But then the white farmers started voting against him, infuriating Mugabe.
He again turned brutal after voters rejected a 1999 referendum that would
have strengthened his presidential powers and allowed his government to
seize white-owned farms, without compensation, for redistribution to black
farmers.

Few could argue with the logic of redistribution when some 5,000 white
commercial farmers owned two-thirds of the best arable land in a country of
millions of blacks. But Mugabe sent self-styled "war veterans" to violently
take over farms, which then were given to his Cabinet ministers and other
elite. Hundreds of thousands of black farm laborers lost their jobs, fertile
lands lay fallow and nearly a third of the population fled the economic
collapse and political oppression.

In 2005, after he had to rig elections to stay in power, Mugabe unleashed
bulldozers on street markets and shantytowns where residents had voted
overwhelmingly for the opposition.

This year, Mugabe unleashed his military and ruling party hooligans on his
people after Zimbabweans rejected him in the first round of presidential
elections in March, giving most votes to opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai. Dozens of opposition supporters have been killed, thousands have
been viciously beaten.

As the violence intensified, Tsvangirai, fearing more blood on his hands,
withdrew from a runoff election held Friday.

Mugabe has shrugged off a growing chorus of criticism, which this week
belatedly was joined by African leaders condemning him for pursuing his
violent re-election.

Holland believes there is "a sneaking admiration" among African leaders "who
love to see Mugabe exposing the West's hypocrisies."

Some say Mugabe has delusions of grandeur rooted in his view of himself as
an aristocratic leader of the Shona tribe. The Shona consider themselves a
superior people, descended from King Munhumutapa and the builders of Great
Zimbabwe - an immense 11th century city of carved stone boulders with no
mortar.

David Steel, the former British liberal leader, describes a bizarre scene
when he hitched a ride on an Air Zimbabwe aircraft commandeered by Mugabe to
reach a meeting in southern Africa. In the first class cabin, Steel saw
"seats had been taken out and these gilt and red plush thrones had been
installed and he (Mugabe) was sitting facing his wife."

Holland fears the violence won't end now. "This is a man who does not
forgive. ... I think it's about revenge. ... He now knows that his own
people don't want him."

And fear of what might happen should he lose his throne is spurring Mugabe
now.

"I'm told that he makes reference all the time to the Charles Taylor case,"
Holland said. Former Liberan leader Taylor is being tried for crimes against
humanity at the International Criminal Court.


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Tsvangirai says AU must lead Zimbabwe transition

Boston Globe

By MacDonald Dzirutwe
June 25, 2008
HARARE (Reuters) - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called on Wednesday
for the African Union, backed by the United Nations, to lead a transition in
Zimbabwe following disputed elections and a wave of political violence.

He spoke at his home shortly after leaving the Dutch embassy, where he took
refuge on Sunday when he pulled out of Friday's run-off poll against
President Robert Mugabe because of widespread attacks on his supporters.

"I am asking the AU and SADC (Southern African Development Community) to
lead an expanded initiative supported by the U.N. to manage what I will call
a transitional process," Tsvangirai told a press conference.

The opposition leader said the election would be a sham and would not be
accepted either by Zimbabweans or the world. He called on the African Union
to discuss the crisis next weekend at a summit in Egypt.

Tsvangirai spoke as pressure mounted on Mugabe, 84, from both inside and
outside Africa to call off Friday's vote, which follows presidential and
parliamentary elections on March 29 won by Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change.

Tsvangirai fell short of the absolute majority required for outright victory
in the first round.

Southern African leaders were holding an emergency meeting in Swaziland on
Wednesday and Kenya stepped up African pressure for intervention, saying the
country risked a Rwanda-style disaster.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, has presided over a slide into economic chaos
that has sent millions of refugees fleeing to neighboring states and pushed
inflation to an estimated 2 million percent.

TOUGHER SANCTIONS

In the first concrete step to punish Mugabe for a wave of violence that
resulted in Tsvangirai's withdrawal, former colonial power Britain said it
was preparing tougher sanctions against specific members of Zimbabwe's
government.

Tsvangirai said that while he was prepared to negotiate with Mugabe's
ZANU-PF before Friday, his Movement for Democratic Change would "not have
anything to do" with a government that emerged from the vote.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters: "Zimbabwe right now is a
disaster in the making," while Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula described
the crisis as a blot on Africa.

Odinga said Friday's election should be postponed.

"If the world does not act now, we will soon have a situation very similar
to what we saw in Rwanda," he said referring to the 1994 genocide in which
800,000 people died.

Tsvangirai earlier urged the United Nations to isolate Mugabe and called for
a peacekeeping force. He accused the former guerrilla leader of declaring
war.

Mugabe has refused to call off the vote, shrugging off mounting
international pressure including Monday's unprecedented U.N. Security
Council condemnation of violence. It said a free and fair run-off election
on Friday was impossible.

Members of a SADC security troika of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland met near
the Swaziland capital Mbabane to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis.

But the region's designated mediator, South African President Thabo Mbeki,
would not attend, his spokesman said.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Swaziland's King Mswati III and SADC
executive secretary Tomaz Augusto Salomao were at the meeting.

The South African president has been negotiating between Mugabe and
Zimbabwe's opposition since last year but has been widely criticized for
being ineffective and too soft on Mugabe.

Odinga said he had phoned the Tanzanian president ahead of the Swaziland
meeting and suggested former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo or
Botswana's former leader Ketumile Masire as possible mediators, replacing
Mbeki.

Tsvangirai's MDC said on Wednesday that armed police had cordoned off and
raided its office in the eastern city of Mutare. Nobody was arrested.

There has been wide international condemnation of the violence but SADC is
seen as the only body that can influence events in Zimbabwe.

Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu also called for peacekeepers to
be sent to Zimbabwe.

Mugabe "has mutated into something quite unbelievable. He has really turned
into a kind of Frankenstein for his people," Tutu told ABC television in
Australia.

(Additional reporting by Cris Chinaka, Marius Bosch and Gordon Bell in
Johannesburg, Duncan Miriri in Nairobi, Katherine Baldwin in London; Writing
by Barry Moody; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)


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African Observer: Zimbabweans Voted in Fear, Defaced Ballots

VOA

By Delia Robertson
Johannesburg
28 June 2008

The head of an African Observer Mission to Zimbabwe says voter turnout was
low in Friday's presidential runoff election and that many voted out of
fear. VOA'S Delia Robertson reports from our southern Africa bureau in
Johannesburg, the vote count is under way in the election in which the only
candidate was President Robert Mugabe.

Marwick Khumalo, the head of the Pan-African Parliament's observer mission,
says many Zimbabweans voted out of fear Friday, determined to get the
identifying indelible ink on their little fingers that showed they had
voted.

The Associated Press reports that Khumalo said there was a great deal of
intimidation for people to vote and that voters hoped the ink would protect
them from "the hooligans."

He said even though Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai
withdrew from the runoff, many people said they voted for him anyway.
Others, he said, defaced their ballot papers.

The state media reported a very high voter turnout. The Herald newspaper
said that a "massive" turnout was a slap in the face for critics of the
poll.

But Khumalo and other observers says the turnout was very low, such as one
polling station in the second city Bulawayo, where there were 22 votes for
Mr. Mugabe, 14 for Tsvangirai and 12 defaced papers.

In March, there were at least 300 votes cast in that polling station.
Similar reports have come even from areas, which up until the March
election, were considered traditional areas of support for Mr. Mugabe.

Late Friday the United Nations Security Council stopped short of calling the
election illegitimate at the insistence of South Africa. Instead the body
said conditions for free and fair elections did not exist and that it was a
matter of deep regret they had been held.

Speaking at a business dinner in Johannesburg, African National Congress
President Jacob Zuma argued that finding a political solution in Zimbabwe
was more important that criticizing events there.

"If countries ill treat their citizens, then their citizens would do a
number of things and it will impact on the neighbors and I don't think we
want that situation. That's why we are calling for a political arrangement
that must help solve the situation in Zimbabwe for the good of all of us,"
he said.

African Union Foreign Ministers meeting in Egypt ahead of Monday's summit,
said international leaders should push for Mr. Mugabe and Tsvangirai to talk
to each other.


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Iron Bars and Scalding Water

Newsweek

These are among the ruling party's weapons against opposition voters. Still,
the population clearly didn't cooperate in Friday's vote.

By Rod Nordland | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jun 28, 2008 | Updated: 1:25† p.m. ET Jun 28, 2008

Some details, such as timing and description of movements, in the following
are altered for the safety of NEWSWEEK's reporter.

There's an open question whether Zimbabwe's election Friday would be valid
even if it hadn't been marred by violence and intimidation, because it's
pretty clear that a fairly small percentage of people actually turned out to
vote. Some legal experts say that at least 50 percent of the registered
voters would have needed to cast their ballots. No results have been
released as yet officially (for what that's worth), but a sampling of a
dozen polling places in Harare and the nearby town of Chitungwiza is pretty
compelling.

At the Tamuka polling place for the 24th Ward in Chitungwiza, 1,212 voters
chose President Robert Mugabe, 513 chose opposition candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai, and 786 deliberately spoiled their ballot in an apparent
protest. And that of course doesn't begin to count those who heeded the
opposition's boycott and just didn't vote. That ward has 22,000 registered
voters, and only 12.7 percent participated meaningfully. In contrast, during
the first presidential race on March 29, voter turnouts were very high.

On Saturday a few shops and businesses opened but it was still
preternaturally quiet in the capital, Harare, as if people were collectively
holding their breath, waiting for the retribution that ZANU-PF enforcers had
promised for those who voted against them or stayed away from the polls.
Activists from the government party were searching bread lines outside
bakeries this morning, checking people's fingers. Those who didn't have the
telltale purple ink showing they had voted, were pulled out of line and told
they'd be allowed no bread.
It didn't take long for outright violence to break out, either. Ismail
Siyarun, the secretary of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
in the Chitungwiza district, wisely fled his house Friday night; at 1 a.m.
on Saturday, a gang of Green Bombers, Mugabe's youth militia, ransacked the
place, breaking all the windows and stealing whatever of his belongings
seemed worth taking, mostly clothing and household items. Siyarun was just
happy they didn't get his family or him; in the course of the election
campaigns of recent years, he's been arrested 32 times.

We dropped by a hospital in Harare to talk to some MDC victims, though all
of them had been attacked before the election, some as recently as Thursday.
We were immediately told that journalists have been banned from this
hospital (probably from all of them by now), but we presented ourselves as
friends of victims, and the nurses on reception just shrugged. The victims,
whom Siyarun had identified for us, were MDC activists from Chitungwiza and
we only had a chance to talk to three of them; many more are there as well.
They'd all been targeted separately by large gangs of ZANU-PF activists, and
savagely beaten with iron bars and clubs.

Jacob Muvavi, 38, a municipal policeman himself, was singled out for
particularly harsh treatment and taken to a ZANU-PF base, where he was
beaten for three hours and had scalding water thrown on his wounds. His
tormentors wanted him to confess where he was hiding his MDC T-shirt, so
they could make him publicly destroy it, but he refused. Eventually one of
his fellow policemen heard where he was and rescued him. "I will never give
up my T-shirt," Muvavi said.

Winfielder Musarrurwa, 21, a youth leader for the MDC, only survived because
her tormentors left her for dead. "I pretended to be dead and they left me,"
she said. They had found her at 1 a.m. on Thursday, hiding in her sister's
house, stripped off her clothing and beat her with sticks and iron bars on
her buttocks and privates. She readily dropped her dress to show the
evidence, which was horrifying-modesty surrendered in the sake of giving
testimony. They also poured scalding water on her wounds and pounded her
arms until they were black and blue. It hasn't dampened her spirit any. "I
will never stop supporting the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai, even if it costs
me my life," she said.

Scalding water seems to be a favorite weapon; it was also used on Georgie
Simango, 27, a party worker and a samosa street vendor, who was also burned
by hot ashes from a fireplace. But we didn't get much more into the details;
at that point the hospital's director came in and demanded to know who we
were. One of the nurses had ratted-probably only one, because most seemed
pretty happy to see us visit. We explained we were just interested parties,
certainly not accredited journalists. "Look, I want the world to know what
is happening here as much as anyone," the director said. "But I also want
these people to still be getting treatment here next week." It was a
reasonable position and a classic conundrum; we left after agreeing not to
divulge the name of the facility.

How much worse this will get before African countries manage to pressure
Mugabe into surrender, it's hard to say, though the initial indications are
worrisome. It probably helps the case against him that the low turnout will
make it even harder to try to peddle this as a legitimate victory, and at
this point, as the second highest vote-getter in the first round of
elections, Mugabe can hardly continue to claim to be the legitimate
president of Zimbabwe. Dictator, is the title he deserves now, or, at best,
self-proclaimed president.

Stopping by the business center of a major hotel to file this story, I was
warned off when we saw one of the computer bays occupied by one of Mugabe's
Men in Black-black suit, black shirt, natty yellow tie, an officer in the
Central Intelligence Office. In this case my guide actually recognized him
as a CIO man, he said, but since the CIO all wear pretty much the same
uniform, that's only a formality (at night they switch to black leather
jackets for the wet work). We eavesdropped on him from a nearby booth; he
was multi-tasking, checking his Yahoo e-mail account (I'm tempted to post
the address for all those good-intentioned hackers out there) and talking on
a cellphone. "I told those guys at the State House to release 400 liters of
fuel for the drivers and they didn't do it," he said. "What's their problem?
We have an operation tonight."
After a spell of shouting, he got up and went outside. There he exchanged
money and keys with the driver of a minibus parked in the lot, and gave him
and several Zimbabweans inside the vehicle instructions. Interestingly, the
bus had a sign on the side identifying it as "African Union Observers."
Since they never go out at night, the election observers probably have no
idea how their vehicles are being used in the dark.

There's no end to the dirty tricks the regime employed in stealing the
election. Thanks to the sullen protest of Zimbabwe's voters, it seems likely
Mugabe will end up like the burglar who finds he has gone to all that
trouble to rumble an empty house.


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After Brutality, Mugabe Offers an Olive Branch

New York Times
European Pressphoto Agency

The results of Zimbabwe’s runoff election, widely seen as a sham, were posted at a polling station in Harare. After a campaign of violence, the opposition party had withdrawn from the election.

Published: June 29, 2008

JOHANNESBURG — President Robert Mugabe once boasted he had a degree in violence, and he has surely added a doctorate in the savage presidential runoff season that is likely to stagger to a close this weekend with his proclaiming himself the Zimbabwean people’s choice despite an election denounced across the globe as a sham.

In the three months since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat him in the general election, Mr. Mugabe, 84, has accomplished much of what governing party insiders say he and his coterie of strongmen set out to do in the long delay they engineered before the runoff on Friday.

Soldiers, war veterans and unemployed youths mobilized by Mr. Mugabe’s ruling clique have decimated the ranks of the opposition, with the damage measured in shattered bones, battered and burned bodies and the corpses of assassinated organizers — a record that helped prompt President Bush on Saturday to announce that the United States would move forward with broader sanctions on the Zimbabwean government.

“Violence has left our structures scattered, tattered and seriously perforated,” acknowledged Nelson Chamisa, a member of Parliament and the spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Now that he will have officially won a runoff that Mr. Tsvangirai quit with only days to go because of the extreme violence, Mr. Mugabe, in power for 28 years, is ready for talks with the opposition. “We want our brothers in the M.D.C. to come to us to discuss our problems,” he said at a rally on Thursday, exhibiting magnanimity that earlier escaped him.

In that spirit, the opposition’s chief strategist, Tendai Biti, held for two weeks in one of the country’s filthiest jails on flimsy treason charges, was released last week. And doctors treating victims of Mr. Mugabe’s onslaught say torture camps in the Mashonaland provinces, the heartland of the gory campaign of terror, have been closed and the wounded are now straggling into Harare, the capital, for treatment.

The current moment has a familiar quality that has left some Zimbabweans wondering if Mr. Mugabe is up to old tricks.

In 1987, after conducting a murderous campaign to crush the forces of a rival liberation hero, Joshua Nkomo, Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo signed a unity accord that merged the two forces into a single party, ZANU-PF, that still rules Zimbabwe.

The historian Martin Meredith explains in his book “The Fate of Africa” that Mr. Mugabe’s objective was always to establish a one-party state. The question now is whether he can again succeed in bludgeoning an independent force into submission.

There is one major, imponderable difference now: the gruesome violence has been inflicted in the internet age. The photographic and video evidence of atrocities is online in real time: the women whose bottoms were beaten for so many hours they have turned deep purple, the men whose backs are pocked with burns from dribbled, burning plastic, the boys and girls with broken legs and black eyes.

These images, more than anything else, have created a worldwide revulsion to Mr. Mugabe and an avalanche of denunciations from Western leaders and some African heads of state on a continent where many have been silent during Mr. Mugabe’s pitiless decades in power.

But Mr. Mugabe is a cunning survivor. The chief mediator between him and Mr. Tsvangirai is South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, who has a complicated relationship with Mr. Mugabe that stretches from 1980. Mr. Mbeki has uttered nary a word directly criticizing Mr. Mugabe in the past three months and is now pushing hard for Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai to talk. Some senior members of Mr. Mbeki’s own party have said in recent interviews that they think Mr. Mugabe has for years outfoxed South Africa’s president.

Still, Mr. Mbeki is sticking with the policy of quiet diplomacy he has pursued with Mr. Mugabe for the past several years. South Africa has fought to keep Zimbabwe off the international agenda, and on Friday it opposed an effort led by the United States and Britain to have the United Nations Security Council pronounce the runoff illegitimate, saying it was not the Council’s role to do so. Instead, the Security Council issued a weaker statement regretting that the runoff wasn’t postponed.

South Africa also opposes sanctions against Zimbabwe.

President Bush said Saturday that the United States would press the United Nations for an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government officials. He also said he was instructing American officials to develop sanctions against Zimbabwe’s government. Currently, the United States sanctions apply only to some 140 members of Zimbabwe’s elite and businesses they own or control.

Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesman for South Africa’s Foreign Ministry, explained that while South Africa’s own liberation movement sought international sanctions against the apartheid regime, Zimbabwe’s opposition has not asked for them.

Mr. Mamoepa said it did not make sense to impose sanctions now when both sides were already willing to enter negotiations for a political settlement.

Zimbabwe’s opposition spokesman, Mr. Chamisa, asked if his party favored sanctions, would say only that it sought intensified international pressure.

It seems likely that the opposition is reluctant to demand sanctions for fear of playing into Mr. Mugabe’s hands. The state media incessantly, daily, in story after story, blames the limited sanctions imposed by the United States and Britain on the Zimbabwean elite for having led to the country’s economic ruin.

Mr. Mamoepa, the South African Foreign Ministry spokesman, said South Africa has not yet expressed any view on the validity of the election. .

“Our principal task is to bring the two belligerents to the table to talk about the future of the country,” he said.

South Africa’s studied neutrality has embittered many in the opposition. .

“If Mbeki endorses and legitimizes Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF,” said Mr. Chamisa, “instead of being part of the solution, he risks being part of the problem.”


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Zimbabwe future talks must be based on first round vote: EU

africasia

†BRUSSELS, June 28 (AFP)

Talks on a political solution in Zimbabwe must be based on the first round
election result, when opposition head Morgan Tsvangirai came out on top, not
the "sham" run-off vote, an EU official said Saturday.

The European Commission "condemns in the strongest terms the organization of
a run-off in Zimbabwe despite repeated appeals by African and international
authorities for a postponement," EU Commissioner for Development Louis
Michel said in a statement.

Counting was underway in Zimbabwe on Saturday with President Robert Mugabe
certain of victory after a one-man election marked by intimidation of voters
and branded a sham also by the opposition and the West in general.

Michel said Europe expected strong leadership from both the African Union
and the Southern African Development Community "to secure a negotiated
political resolution of the crisis and push for a transitional framework for
Zimbabwe, to prevent the country from plunging further into the abyss."

However any such mediation or negotiation "must be based on the results of
the first run of the elections, where the people of Zimbabwe were able to
express their will," he added.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Tsvangirai was the
winner of the first round vote on March 29, but refused to take part in
Friday's run-off after a wave of deadly attacks on his supporters.

"We consider that the systematic use of state-sponsored political violence
and intimidation which led to the withdrawal of MDC candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai has totally undermined the credibility of the process.

"The results of such a sham election cannot and will not be recognized as
legitimate," said Michel, echoing the tone of reaction Friday from EU
foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

"We will continue to closely follow the situation in Zimbabwe and we stand
ready to support efforts towards ensuring democracy, stability, respect for
human rights and economic recovery," said Michel in his statement.

The United States said Saturday it wants to introduce a UN resolution next
week to send a "strong message of deterrence" to Mugabe over his alleged
intimidation and violence.

On Friday Solana said: "Democracy has not been served by today's run-off
election. The people of Zimbabwe have been deprived of their right to vote
freely and thus deprived of their dignity."


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Victims of Organised Violence and Torture Continue to Flood the Health System

The Zimbabwean

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights
Saturday, 28 June 2008 10:42
26 June 2008

It is with the gravest concern that ZADHR reports that patients
injured in incidents of violence and torture around Zimbabwe have continued
to flood, and nearly overwhelm, the health care system throughout June.

ZADHR also remains concerned that many victims of current violence are
failing to access treatment due to several restricting factors including
limited freedom of movement, no access to transport and the inadequacy to
respond to their needs of poorly equipped institutions in outlying areas.

On many occasions it has been difficult or impossible to find beds for
those needing hospital admission, including space in 'Intensive Care' for
those requiring that level of support and monitoring. It has become
necessary to find ad hoc methods to import plaster of paris (for the
management of fractures) povidone iodine (betadine) and silver sulphadiazine
cream (a basic cheap and effective agent for the treatment of burns) because
hospitals have run out of supplies in the face of the extreme demand.

In addition the process of accurately recording, enumerating and
analysing the data has been hampered by the risk of harassment from
government agencies or those acting in the name of the government.
Consequently data for June is not complete to the date of this statement.
However the pattern continues of large numbers of soft tissue injuries
(nearly 200 documented as being "severe", i.e. resulting in haematoma or
abscess formation, and/or being very extensive), and of fractures (over 50
recorded so far), on a background of larger numbers of cases of medical
conditions exacerbated by displacement. There continue to be large numbers
of patients presenting with psycho-pathology relating to displacement, loss
of family members, and being witness to or victims of severe inflicted
trauma. However a remarkable finding is the resilience of the majority of
people who have suffered directly or indirectly from this epidemic of
violence.

ZADHR wishes to record again the startling brutality of the violence
used on increasing numbers of victims some of whom made the allegations
below:
.††A 57 year old widow living alone was blindfolded and beaten,
resulting in severe lacerations to her forehead, bilateral periorbital
oedema (swelling around both eyes), multiple linear bruises on her back,
buttocks and legs, fractures of her right tibia and fibula (the two bones in
the lower leg), with a probable sub-periosteal haematoma (collection of
blood under the lining of the bone) of the left tibia.
.††An 18 year old boy whose parents support the political party
not in favour with his assailants was forced to lie prone and was beaten. He
raised his head to protest and was hit in the face with the result that his
left eye subsequently required surgical removal.
.††A 37 year old woman whose husband was said by her assailants
to be campaigning for the political party they did not support was admitted
to hospital with a fractured base of her skull, bilateral fractures of the
transverse processes of her 6th cervical vertebra (broken neck), and
extensive soft tissue injury with haematoma formation on her back.
.††A 29 year old man on questioning replied that Yes he did
support a particular political party. On his refusal to be handcuffed he was
shot in the groin and presented later in hospital with the end of his penis
traumatically amputated and considerable extravasation (spreading of blood
out of the blood vessels) of blood into his scrotum and upper thigh.
.††A 46 year old man suffered fractured 6th and 7th ribs on the
right, fractures of his right ulna, left radius and ulna, left fibula, and a
comminuted fracture of his left tibia. The attached photograph of the xray
of the fracture in his left leg demonstrates the severity of the blow or
blows that caused the injury. A difficult surgical fixation with screws and
plate was required.
.††A 41 year old polling agent was beaten with logs on his back,
hands and under his feet resulting in fractures of four of the metatarsal
bones in his left foot. The attached photograph of the xray of his foot
again visually demonstrates the extreme violence required to cause this
injury. Again difficult surgical intervention was required with pins
inserted along the lines of the bones to maintain some degree of alignment
and stability.
This work can be overwhelming both in terms of volume and also in
terms of the shock and emotional distress caused by the repeated exposure to
the effects of extreme cruelty. These care-givers also require counselling
in order to avert secondary traumatic stress disorder which has already
manifested in some individuals.
ZADHR again wishes to commend the large numbers of health workers from
admissions officers to specialist surgeons to theatre assistants and all the
other cadres who have attended to these patients with consistent dedication
to high quality care. We pay this tribute to all working to relieve the
suffering and assist the recovery of torture victims on 26 June, UN
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

ZADHR welcomes the statement issued recently by the Zimbabwe Medical
Association (ZiMA) which "notes with great concern the many incidents of
violence that have occurred in different parts of the country and are
largely reported to be politically motivated. ZiMA ... would like to condemn
in the strongest of terms these acts of violence and urge those involved to
stop this brutality."
We underscore the responsibility resting with the Government of
Zimbabwe to protect its citizens from torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment. ZADHR calls on the authorities to fulfil
this obligation particularly in light of the fact that the Government has
the resources at its disposal to halt the violence and maintain peace and
order.
ZADHR reiterates its appeals to the UN, AU and SADC to engage with the
authorities to bring an end to brutal and systematic violence being carried
out on large numbers of Zimbabweans.


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Huge number of Spoilt Ballots

http://zimbabwemetro.com

By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 28, 2008 ⋅
Many Zimbabweans deliberately defaced their ballots in a presidential runoff
with President Robert Mugabe as the sole candidate, and voted only out of
fear, the head of a foreign observer mission said Saturday.

The Herald reported a ‘massive turnout’ in Friday’s presidential runoff, but
Marwick Khumalo, head of the Pan-African Parliament observer mission, said
the turnout was ‘very, very low’.

He also said many of those who did vote cast their ballots for opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who pulled out of the race after an onslaught of
state-sponsored violence against his Democratic Movement for Change.

Residents said they were forced to vote by threats of violence or arson from
Mugabe supporters who searched for anyone without an ink-stained finger _
the telltale sign that they had cast a ballot.

There was a lot of intimidation for people to vote’, said Khumalo, an MP
from Swaziland. ‘You can tell people just wanted to get the indelible ink to
protect themselves from the hooligans.’

Khumalo said he saw many ballot papers that had been defaced, some with
slogans saying,’We will not vote’ on them.

‘One can believe that it was the same scenario in other areas,’ he said.

Friday’s election, which will ensure Mugabe remains in power, was widely
condemned by African and other world leaders as a sham.

Khumalo said the election had been ‘marred’ by a high number of spoiled
ballots.
Tsvangirai’s name remained on the ballot because his withdrawal on Sunday
came too late to remove it, election officials said.

Khumalo said at one voting station in Gwanda, Matabeleland, 36 votes were
cast for Mugabe, 17 for Tsvangirai and 31 were spoiled.

In one Harare voting station, 107 votes were cast for Mugabe, 76 for
Tsvangirai and 30 were spoiled, he said.

Metro has established that ZEC may not announce the number of Spoilt ballots
in its final tally.

The MDC stronghold of Bulawayo reportedly recorded the lowest
turnout,probably only 7 000 people voted and mostly from Mpopoma which had a
parliamentary by-election on the same day.Bulawayo has an estimated
population of 785 000.


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Zanu-PF threatens reprisals on Sunday

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com

June 28, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - There was an unusually large number of spoilt papers in Friday's
one-man presidential election, electoral officials have said.

Zanu-PF militants immediately threatened reprisals, starting Sunday, against
those who did not vote through an operation code-named Operation Red Ink.

Returning officers counting ballot papers from Friday's sham presidential
poll, which President Robert Mugabe arrogantly conducted despite the
withdrawal of his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai and the condemnation of the
world, told The Zimbabwe Times last night there was an unusually high number
of spoilt ballots.

Returning officers at three polling stations in Harare, said of the total
number of ballots cast, one third were invalid papers, with most of them
containing abusive language condemning the fraudulent poll.

The message sent out to the electorate after by the MDC after Tsvangirai
pulled out of the poll was, "Don't vote but don't risk your life."

"Over and above the unusually high number of spoilt ballots, this was
probably the lowest turn out I ever seen since I started being a presiding
officer in the 2000 elections," said one official, requesting anonymity.

Zanu-PF analyst, former ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa blamed the low turnout
on a "culture of contentment" among Zimbabwean voters.

Mutsvangwa said non-voters were "lazy and apathetic" but political analysts
said low turnouts and a high number of spoilt ballots were largely caused by
a dangerous and depressing dislocation of the so-called democratic process.

"To turn out to spoil your ballot, sends a message," political analyst Dr
Lovemore Madhuku said. "It's a rejection of the political system and our
grossly inadequate, unrepresentative and inequitable electoral system.
People realized that it was a sham process void of legitimacy. How do you
have a one-man election?"

The MDC leader paid tribute to supporters for staying away from the polls.

"Zimbabweans know that there is nothing legitimate about this election and
they know that there will be nothing legitimate about the result," he said.

Political commentator Ronald Shumba said spoiling one's ballot was not as
meaningless as Mutsvangwa suggested.

"Spoilt ballots are counted," he said. "Imagine if Mugabe won with fewer
votes than the number of spoilt ballots."

Madhuku said by spoiling ballots, the electorate was sending a clear and
unequivocal message that, "until the authorities listen to us, give us real
democracy and reform their corrupt, evasive, unaccountable, money-grabbing,
expense-exploiting, contempt for us, their paymasters and employers, we want
none of them.

Meanwhile the Zanu-PF militia has warned that they will launch Operation Red
Finger Sunday to target voters who did not cast their ballot. Voters who
fail to display the red dye in which they dipped their finger at the polling
station will be dealt with. In cases of outright intimidation Zanu-PF
militia deployed at the polling stations in some areas recorded the serial
numbers of voters' ballot papers as well as the residential address of the
voters.


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Robert Mugabe could stay on as 'titular head' of Zimbabwe, says Morgan Tsvangirai

The Telegraph
Despite boycotting the election the MDC chief insists that a unity government is the only way forward and holds out an offer of 'ceremonial presidency' to the tyrant of Harare.

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said last night that Robert Mugabe might be allowed to stay on as titular head of a transitional government.

In a major concession, Mr Tsvangirai said it was "not inconceivable" that, with himself as executive prime minister, Mr Mugabe could remain as a ceremonial president.

His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would share power with Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in such a government.

"It's being considered within our structures," said Mr Tsvangirai, in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph - his first since Friday's election, which he decided to boycott.

"The broad principle is how can the two parties coexist, for a short duration, through a transition that will allow us to make a new constitution and a fresh election. I don't think it's inconceivable for such an arrangement to include him, depending, of course, on the details of what is being proposed and what are the arrangements."

The move could open the way to talks between the two sides when today, as expected, Mr Mugabe declares himself the victor in Friday's presidential election run-off.

Mr Tsvangirai withdrew from the contest following a campaign of murder and violence against his supporters.

As votes were tallied across Zimbabwe officials said that with results in from two thirds of polling stations, a "landslide victory" for Mr Mugabe was now anticipated.

Gangs of Zanu-PF members began to unleash punishment against those who had failed to vote, in a campaign known as Operation Red Finger - the colour of the ink used to mark the fingers of those who had voted.

President George W Bush said that the US would press for a UN arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban and financial penalties on regime officials. He declared Friday's election a "sham".

Mr Mugabe insisted there had been a record election turnout - though this was flatly denied by independent African observers, who said the numbers who voted were "very, very low". He said he would fly to Egypt for tomorrow's African Union summit but branded the growing chorus of doubts from Zimbabwe's neighbours and other African states as "stupidity".

Despite the onslaught from Mr Mugabe's thugs, and Mr Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the election, some polling stations said more people had voted for him than for Mr Mugabe.

"I find that very humbling," said Mr Tsvangirai. "There are people who said 'I cannot countenance voting for Mr Mugabe, so I will vote for Tsvangirai in spite of the fact that the vote is invalid because he pulled out'. Even in places where the intimidation has been intense, there has been real defiance."

Mr Tsvangirai, 56, was speaking from the Dutch embassy in Harare's eastern suburbs, where he has been since announcing he was boycotting the poll, but said he would not go into exile.

Mr Mugabe, he said, was "a man who in his imagination would like to die in office, like some of the nationalist leaders who were deputy to him.

"We have always said he needs to occupy higher moral ground that what he has degenerated into, because he is the founding president of the republic and as the founding father of the nation he must behave as such.

"Unfortunately he has behaved in a manner which has undermined that legacy. The problem is that he is resisting transfer of power. He is not disputing the fact that March 29 produced a certain result which reflected the will of the people, but he cannot accept transfer of power himself."

The opposition now hopes that international pressure will force Mr Mugabe to make concessions.

"The majority of the African states find the situation in Zimbabwe unacceptable," said Mr Tsvangirai. "I think there's a growing chorus about condemning what happened on Friday."

Reports in Zimbabwe have suggested that one Zanu-PF faction is seeking to bring in Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former security minister who oversaw the massacre of 20,000 people in Matabeleland in the 1980s, to succeed Mr Mugabe as head of state. Ahead of negotiations, Mr Tsvangirai said he could not rule out "any particular individual as unacceptable". Mr Mugabe launched a scathing attack on other African governments which have questioned the legitimacy of Friday's ­election.

"Even today we have voices [in the AU] saying we should stop our elections and violate our own laws," he said at a rally near Harare. "What stupidity is that? If there are proposals from the opposition in good spirit we will listen. But not being dictated to by outsiders, not even the AU."

And, referring to the dubious democratic record of many other African Union leaders, he added: "I want to see who will point that finger at me, and I want to see if it's clean." An attempt at the UN to issue an outright condemnation of Zimbabwe was blocked on Friday night by South Africa, resulting in a more anodyne declaration of "regret that the elections went ahead in these circumstances."

South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki has resisted attempts to put pressure on Mr Mugabe, whom he regards as a hero of the movement against colonialism.

But yesterday Jacob Zuma, the head of South Africa's African National Congress, said the situation in Zimbabwe was "extremely distressing".

"We reiterate that the situation is now out of control," he said in Johannesburg, in a rare direct criticism of Mr Mugabe from a South African leader. "Nothing short of a negotiated political arrangement will get Zimbabwe out of the conflict it has been plunged into."

President Bush denounced Mr Mugabe's government as "illegitimate", slammed the tyrant's "blatant disregard" for democracy and human rights and dismissed Friday's election as a "sham".

He instructed officials to develop American penalties against Zimbabwe's government and its supporters.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US plans to introduce a UN resolution seeking tough action against Zimbabwe to send "a strong message of deterrence" to the Mugabe government.

Western diplomats at the UN began moves for a major African figure, possibly Kofi Annan, to be appointed as an international envoy to Zimbabwe, potentially supplanting Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, who has been widely condemned for his ineffectiveness as official mediator on behalf of neighbouring countries.

One said: "We talk to the South Africans endlessly but we just hear rants about colonialism. They don't care that Mugabe is damaging the reputation of Africa - for them it's all about solidarity. They've done nothing. It's pathetic."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged Mr Mbeki not to recognise the re-election of Mr Mugabe as president and, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, said South Africa should blockade Zimbabwe to make Mr Mugabe step down.

"The country already is virtually on its knees, it would take very little pressure to make them see sense," he said.

"Clearly the election was not free and fair, and I just hope that every decent government will declare Mr Mugabe illegitimately elected and that his government is unacceptable," said the 76-year old cleric.

"I hope that every government will do that including our own. There is no way in which you could lend legitimacy to something that is a complete charade."

He said Mr Mugabe should be banned from the AU meeting and that South Africa should be taking far tougher measures.

"This is a landlocked country which relies almost exclusively on South Africa and if Air Zimbabwe is not allowed to overfly its neighbouring countries it's going to be virtually grounded," he said. "They won't survive a siege of that kind for very long."

Additional reporting by Stephen Bevan in Pretoria and Philip Sherwell in New York


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EU says it is not ruling out sanctions against those responsible for Zimbabwe crisis

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: June 28, 2008

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Union says it is not ruling out sanctions
against those responsible for Zimbabwe's political crisis.

The bloc is urging President Robert Mugabe to respect the results of the
first-round presidential election held in March and won by opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai.

It says in a statement released Saturday that the March 29 poll was the only
lawful ballot held in the country this year, and may serve as a basis for an
acceptable solution to crisis.

In the meantime it says Europe will not rule out sanctions against "those
responsible for the tragic events of recent months," and calls the power
held by Zimbabwe's current elected representatives "questionable."


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In Zimbabwe's political charade, state media plays a key role

http://www.mcclatchydc.com

By McClatchy Newsapers
HARARE, Zimbabwe - The bread lines were longer than the lines at polling
stations on election day here, with apparently few people eager to vote in a
blood-soaked race that only President Robert Mugabe was contesting.

But that's not what reporters for Zimbabwe's state-run media saw.

"Long and winding queues were the order of the day," intoned a bass-voiced
radio announcer on Spot FM on Saturday morning, a day after a presidential
runoff marred by a ruthless campaign of government-sponsored violence
against Mugabe opponents.

In Washington, President Bush ordered sanctions and called for a U.N. arms
embargo on Mugabe's regime, describing the election as "a sham ... that
ignored the will of the people of Zimbabwe" and condemning Mugabe's "blatant
disregard" for human rights.

It was a different story in the Herald, Zimbabwe's state-run daily
newspaper, which said that huge voter turnout was "a slap in the face for
detractors who claimed this was a 'Mugabe election' that did not have the
blessing of the generality of Zimbabweans."

As Mugabe prepared to claim a landslide victory - extending his 28-year rule
over a nation that has known no other leader since independence - state
media continued to play a starring role in Zimbabwe's political theater of
the absurd.

While international news organizations quoted voters who were force-marched
by government militias to polling stations and threatened with violence if
they didn't produce ink-stained fingers - proof they'd cast a ballot - a
news anchor on Zimbabwe Television on Saturday described the election
thusly: "It has been very peaceful. Everything has gone very well so far."

There's a distinctly through-the-looking-glass quality to the propaganda
campaign, but Zimbabwe under Mugabe has become one of the most tightly
controlled societies in the world. There is no independent broadcasting
station and only a couple of weekly independent newspapers, which are
rigorously monitored and forced to sell copies at a price several times
higher than the official papers.

Earlier this month the government slapped a heavy import tax on foreign
newspapers and magazines in a move to bar "hostile" publications. Web sites
aren't censored, but Internet use isn't widespread.

In this virtual news vacuum, state-owned newspapers, radio and television
serve as a mouthpiece for the regime, a catalog of government programs, the
source for dubious official statistics on the decimated economy and -
perhaps most reliably - a forum in which to bash Western countries, which
Mugabe says are determined to re-colonize Zimbabawe.

It's the last category in which the media often appear to take the most
pleasure - particularly the Herald, a drab English-language broadsheet that
favors screaming front-page headlines such as, "Leave us alone, West told"
(atop a story last week about a Mugabe campaign speech).

On election day, the Herald ran a story on Queen Elizabeth's decision to
withdraw Mugabe's knighthood because of the election crisis. Quoting
unidentified analysts, the paper wrote that the queen's decision "is
actually a blessing in disguise as it removes one of the last vestiges of
colonial titles on an African statesman and revolutionary."

In the days before Friday's vote, one television personality called Mugabe
the "perfect presidential candidate for Zimbabwe" and another asked a
government official whether backing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was
"the equivalent of selling your family into slavery."

Tsvangirai and his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, are portrayed
as weak, divided and manipulated by the West. After Tsvangirai pulled out of
the race - citing the murder of dozens of his supporters - the Herald's
cartoonist drew him running from his own shadow and cowering in fear of a
giant ballot box.


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Mugabe ready for talks: SADC observer chief

africasia

HARARE, June 28 (AFP)

The head of a regional team of monitors who oversaw Zimbabwe's one-man
election said President Robert Mugabe had given assurances Saturday he would
now enter into dialogue on the country's future.

"President Mugabe gave us guarantees that the next step is to bring together
Zimbabwean actors and go for negotiations," Angolan Sports Minister Jose
Marcos Barrica, head of a 400-strong team of observers from the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), told reporters.

"We understand the way to solve the problem in Zimbabwe is through
negotiations."

His comments, carried by Zimbabwean state television, came as a SADC
delegation met Mugabe at his Harare offices the day after he staged a
run-off ballot boycotted by opposition leader and first round winner Morgan
Tsvangirai.

SADC leaders had previously urged Mugabe to shelve the ballot, saying the
environment was not conducive to free and fair elections.

Mugabe has previously said that he was willing to talk with Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party but only after Friday's run-off
poll, the results of which are expected to be announced later Saturday.


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Mugabe Prepares for Swearing in Ceremony Before Results Released



SW Radio Africa (London)

28 June 2008
Posted to the web 28 June 2008

Lance Guma

Preparations for Robert Mugabe's swearing in ceremony Sunday were said to be
underway at State House on Saturday even before results from the 'one-man
election' were released.

Government sources who spoke to the AFP news agency confirmed that the
inauguration would be held at 10am on Sunday before Mugabe left the country
for the African Union summit in Cairo, Egypt. The source said tents were
already being set up for the ceremony in the clearest signal that Friday's
vote was a mere formality.

Mugabe vowed he was going to confront any African countries that will dare
to point a finger at Zimbabwe during the summit. This was interpreted to
mean he might try and hide behind the poor human rights records of other
countries like Sudan.

Analysts however say he is standing on his last legs after his own peers in
SADC rejected the poll as a sham. Other African countries outside SADC have
also branded the election an embarrassment, adding to Mugabe's legitimacy
woes.

As results trickled in from some of the polling stations a clear picture is
emerging of many people spoiling their ballot papers in protest. A polling
station in Highfields recorded 266 votes for Mugabe, 184 for Tsvangirai
while 150 votes were spoiled. The pattern repeated itself countrywide
especially in opposition strongholds.

Meanwhile the United States is planning to put forward a UN resolution on
Monday calling for tough action against Mugabe's regime. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the US and Britain will present the resolution. Rice
said, 'Its time for the international community to act. It's hard to imagine
that anybody could fail to act given what we're all watching on the ground
in Zimbabwe.'


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AU Divided On What to Do About Elections



SW Radio Africa (London)

28 June 2008
Posted to the web 28 June 2008

On Saturday the African Union executive council sidestepped any decision on
what to do about Zimbabwe. It's reported that they're waiting for Sunday's
meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council and the heads of state summit
the day after.

AU foreign ministers have been quarrelling behind closed doors about the
issue and have no doubt been hoping that the difficult issue of Zimbabwe
would just go away.

"The whole first closed doors session was devoted to Zimbabwe, and delegates
spoke very frankly on the seriousness of the situation," said Senegalese
Foreign Minister Sheikh Tidian Gadio.

Gadio told AFP: "There is every hope of reaching a solution and it is
possible that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, plays an important role
in his country -- executive prime minister for example, with guarantees."

A proposal on the lines of one that brought Kenya out of post-election
violence, received a very old reception from some AU members and was openly
scorned by representatives of civil groups in Africa.

The decision to not make a decision comes as preparations are reportedly
underway for Robert Mugabe to be sworn in as President on Sunday. Mugabe is
expected to fly out to summit in Egpyt shortly after the ceremony has
concluded.

The head of the African Defence of Human Rights, Alioune Tine from Senegal,
said: "Today, if you accept what is going on in Zimbabwe, you can say
'goodbye' to elections in Africa. It is a real challenge today for the AU
heads of state and government for them to say 'Stop,'" He called on the
election result not to be recognized and argued that a Kenya-style
compromise "removes all significance and content from elections. This
scenario is bad ... If we accept this experience today, tomorrow another
head of state is going to profit from it."

The pressure on the AU to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis has steadily
increased, with global agreement that African leaders will have the most
influence on Mugabe. Africa leaders have also been at the centre of wide
spread criticism for taking so long to condemn the violence in Zimbabwe.
Pressure groups and civic organizations have since said it is now time for
the AU to match its condemnation with deeds, to send Mugabe a strong
message.


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Names of 5 MDC Activists Murdered in Manicaland Released



SW Radio Africa (London)

28 June 2008
Posted to the web 28 June 2008

Violet Gonda

The MDC has released the names of the MDC supporters who were killed in
Manicaland province this week, in the run up to the controversial
presidential poll. The MDC said at least five people from the same area were
killed on the same day.

The MDC chairperson for Ward 34 in Headlands, Robert Ziyengwa and his wife
were beaten to death on Wednesday.

Also in Headlands Mr. Gumura of village 11 - Eagles' Nest, was beaten to
death. They also report that Mrs. Gumura was badly beaten and died Saturday
in Rusape Hospital.

In village 17 Mr. Sandros Mandizha was also beaten to death on Wednesday.

On Friday the MDC spokesman for Manicaland Pishai Muchauraya told us more
state sponsored violence had erupted in parts of Manicaland on the eve of
the election and it is feared more people have died in the run-up to the
election.

The police in Manicaland refused to comment.


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Lament for democracy in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Chicago Tribune
To a nation living on its knees, violence-plagued polls seem a death knell
| Chicago Tribune correspondent

JOHANNESBURG — Zimbabwe's shattered opposition released its roll call of dead last week.

The list, e-mailed to the international media, was clearly prepared in haste. It contains the kind of typographical errors that arise, one imagines, from taking fast dictation. The language is as flat and terse as a small-town police report. Still, for the first time, people who died in Zimbabwe's recent political agonies now have the decency of being named.

The chilling details of these largely invisible murders—in which all but four of the 85 victims were members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, while most of the alleged killers belong to President Robert Mugabe's youth militias—are as good an elegy as any for the death of a democracy.

Was abducted and later found dead. That is the most common description of execution on the list.

But the brief recountings of other political killings—a man assaulted while sitting down to eat dinner, others attacked while tending their shop, working in a flour mill, or puttering in a garden—hint at the strangely workaday, domestic quality of life in Zimbabwe even as it morphs into what now more resembles a bald-faced dictatorship.

The final blow to democratic hopes came Friday, when a widely condemned runoff election promised to reinstall Mugabe in power. Diplomats now predict that up to a million new refugees, hungry and desperate, may flood out of the free-falling wreck called Zimbabwe in the coming year. On the death list are some who won't get that chance.

("Edna Lunga ... they locked her in a room at the shopping centre and made a fire outside the door [then] they started burning her with plastic all over the body and in the mouth.")

Nobody knows what will happen next in moribund Zimbabwe.

Some analysts say that if Mugabe's record holds, the wily 84-year-old president may throw a bone to the opposition, perhaps by offering to share power or recognizing its gains in Parliament, as he has done in previous rigged elections. Then he'll quietly renege.

Fear and loathing
Whether such old tactics can work today, in the face of growing international outrage at Mugabe's brutality, remains to be seen.

"I think he'll try and hold on for a year, then handpick a successor inside ZANU-PF," said David Coltart, an opposition senator, using the acronym for Mugabe's ruling party. "He'll pretty much do anything to keep real power out of the hands of Morgan [Tsvangirai], whom he loathes."

Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who withdrew from Friday's runoff after thousands of his followers were beaten and hundreds of thousands more were driven from their homes, appears to be counting solely on foreign intervention to force a political dialogue. In an Election Day message to his demoralized supporters, most of whom sat out the voting, he was reduced to biblical exhortations: "Be not afraid, the Lord is with you."

"I don't know what we made our sacrifices for," said a bitter MDC activist, speaking by telephone from Zimbabwe's rural Masvingo province, where Tsvangirai's campaigners have been shot, burned and beaten to death. "It's all over here. Zimbabwe's finished."

He choked back tears of fury. Agents from the Central Intelligence Organization, Mugabe's feared secret police, were outside his business office, he said, stripping the inventory from his farm supply store in retaliation for his opposition sympathies.

("Owen Hativagone ... they tied and suspended a brick to his testicles for two days after which he passed out and died.")

Unfortunately for 12 million Zimbabweans — citizens of one of the prettiest nations in Africa, a place once known more for its safari lodges and thundering waterfalls than for corpses abandoned at roadsides — there is more than political terror to survive in the days ahead.

With erratic rains this year expected to shrink crop harvests by at least a third, humanitarian experts warn that the fertile country, which once fed the rest of the continent, faces mass starvation.

"As of August, we'll have a major food crisis," said Clever Maputseni, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian affairs office in Harare, the capital. "This country has a crop deficit of millions of metric tons of grain. Where are we going to get that food on short notice?"

Maputseni noted that 2 million to 4 million Zimbabweans depend on UN food aid, according to the seasons. More than 200,000 are HIV-positive, requiring supplemental food packets just to stay alive.

But no food is being distributed. Mugabe banned all foreign humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe two weeks ago, after accusing aid groups of meddling in politics.
Asking not to be named for fear of government retaliation, one aid worker in Harare said the ban would likely last for weeks, in order to prevent outsiders from witnessing an expected new wave of revenge attacks on communities that sat out Friday's elections.

("Temba Muronde ... taken to Magwada torture base where they gave him rat poison but he did not die, they then gave him pesticide (rogo) and when he did not die they then killed him with an axe.")

In the end, many experts believe it will be hunger and economic devastation that bring a defiant Mugabe to the negotiating table—not pressure from the West, the UN, or the African Union.

Zimbabwe's shelves are bare. With inflation now orbiting almost meaninglessly at over 2 million percent, the country has become a surreal land of 16-billion-Zimbabwe-dollar chicken legs. Whole chickens aren't available. And Mugabe exhausted his meager treasury by handing out a last few mini-buses and farming tools to sway his cowed and slat-ribbed electorate.

Staggering on

The United States has promised to lobby for yet more sanctions against Zimbabwe in the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday. How this will affect a country that cannot even issue passports to those who want to flee—there isn't any paper to print them on—is debatable.

"I guess that's one way of being positive," joked Marco Ndlovu, an orphanage manager in Zimbabwe's second-largest city of Bulawayo. "Things cannot stay this way. And they cannot possibly get worse. They absolutely cannot. So something must change."

Ndlovu's orphanage was shut down two weeks ago by a gang of ZANU-PF toughs, even though it was government funded. The militants targeted him, he said, for being a social worker. More than 230 children at his orphanage have lost their means of support, he said.

("Ratidzai Dzenga ... she was pregnant and was heavily assaulted by ZANU-PF youth she lost her baby during the attack, was detained and denied medical attention she bled to death.")

And so, only the skeleton of Zimbabwe staggers on.

The political death toll will likely grow, human-rights experts fear, as Mugabe attempts to consolidate his power and as vendettas are settled in the weeks ahead. Further violence is expected to burn hottest in the country's east — once a bastion of government support — that did not line up loyally behind Mugabe in March's first-round election.

"Our people are our hope," said Coltart, the opposition lawmaker. "There are no braver, or more patient, or finer people than Zimbabweans."

Such statements may sound pat coming from most politicians.

Yet they are frequently borne out in Zimbabwe, where empty-bellied bystanders—unemployed men, weary grandmothers and underweight children—have been known to start dancing on the dusty roadside when a passing car radio pumps out African music.

There is no recourse in hapless Zimbabwe. So its people dance.

(" Brighton Mambwera, 4 years, ... they set the hut on fire and Brighton was burnt to death.")

psalopek@tribune.com


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Bush Calls for More Penalties Against Zimbabwe

ABCnews

Bush says US developing additional penalties against Zimbabwe, calls
election a `sham'
By DEB RIECHMANN Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON June 28, 2008 (AP)
The Associated Press

President Bush said Saturday the U.S. was working on ways to further punish
Zimbabwe's longtime leader and his allies, saying Robert Mugabe leads an
"illegitimate government" that retained power only through a fraudulent
election.

Bush directed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson to develop new penalties against Mugabe's government in
response to the widely denounced runoff election Friday. The African
nation's president is accused of using violence to coerce people to vote for
him.

Earlier Saturday, Rice said the U.S. plans to introduce a U.N. resolution as
early as next week seeking tough measures against Zimbabwe.

"We will press for strong action by the United Nations, including an arms
embargo on Zimbabwe and travel ban on regime officials," Bush said. He
pledged to work closely with groups in Africa and world leaders to resolve
the crisis.

Bush said the U.S. is ready to support a legitimate government with
development aid, debt relief, and normalization with international financial
institutions. The United States will continue to provide food assistance to
more than 1 million people in Zimbabwe and AIDS treatment to more than
40,000 people.
"The Mugabe regime held a sham election that ignored the will of the people
of Zimbabwe," Bush said in a statement issued while he spent the weekend at
Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

"The international community has condemned the Mugabe regime's ruthless
campaign of politically motivated violence and intimidation with a strong
and unified voice that makes clear that yesterday's election was in no way
free and fair," he said.

Rice told reporters traveling with her to South Korea that the U.S. and
Britain could present a resolution to the Security Council as early as
Monday. Rice declined to specify what it might say, but said countries must
act to halt further intimidation and violence against the Zimbabwe people.

"We've heard of people being threatened that if they did not vote for
Mugabe, they'll be sought out for violence or for reprisal, and so there
needs to be a really strong message from the international community about
what has happened there," Rice said.

She said the U.S. "will use everything in our power in terms of sanctions -
appropriate sanctions." But, she added, "It's time for the international
community to act. ... It's hard to imagine that anybody could fail to act
given what we're all watching on the ground in Zimbabwe."

White House spokesman Emily Lawrimore said the Bush administration is
considering punishing the government of Zimbabwe as well as further
restricting the travel and financial activities of Mugabe supporters. The
U.S. has financial and travel penalties in place against more than 170
citizens and entities with ties to Mugabe, she said.

But, as State Department Sean McCormack said in April, "We have worked
closely with many in the international community to try to bring pressure on
the government in Zimbabwe to change its ways. That has not had much
effect."


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South Africa Deports Zimbabwean Refugees

CBSnews

Aid Group Says 450 Who Fled Election Violence Were Sent Back Across Border

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 28, 2008

(AP) South Africa deported some 450 Zimbabweans overnight from a border
detention center to a homeland beset by political violence and uncertainty,
an international aid group said Saturday.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said one of its teams visited the center on
Friday - the day a widely criticized presidential runoff was held in
Zimbabwe - and found more than 450 men, women and children there saying they
had crossed the border in recent days, "fleeing instability and political
violence."

When the aid team returned Saturday with supplies, it found the center empty
the agency said in a statement. It said South African authorities had
confirmed all the Zimbabweans were sent back.

"Hundreds of people have been sent back into the country from which they
fled, without any recognition of their right to seek asylum," said Rachel
Cohen, head of Medecins Sans Frontieres in South Africa. She said the
deportations were "unacceptable" and "in violation of international as well
as South African law, which guarantee the right to seek asylum."

Siobhan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home Affairs, told The
Associated Press on Saturday that foreigners caught at the border are
screened to determine their status.

"I don't know the particulars of this case, my assumption would be that they
would be in the country illegally and do not qualify for refugee status and
therefore were returned to Zimbabwe," McCarthy said.

As many as 3 million Zimbabweans are in South Africa. Some have been here
for years, and many come and go regularly. Some work in South Africa for
weeks or months between visits home, while others come on day trips to buy
goods scarce in their economically ravaged country.

South Africa views most Zimbabweans crossing its border as economic
migrants, not refugees. Few apply for asylum, in part because that could
make it difficult to return.

"Everybody who comes into the country is allowed to seek asylum, but the
majority of the people crossing the border from Zimbabwe into South Africa,
they do not qualify for refugee status and it is on that basis that many of
the applications for asylum have been turned down," McCarthy said.

But she said South Africa was reviewing its policy of sending economic
migrants home, mindful that powerful forces spur Zimbabweans and others to
come to the region's economic hub.

"The minister has said that these deportations are a fruitless exercise
because people are entering the country faster than we can deport them, and
by the time we deport some they just find their way back into the country
again."

Zimbabweans were targeted in recent xenophobic attacks by South Africans who
claim foreigners are stealing jobs and using scarce resources.

Human Rights Watch said this month that the high number of Zimbabweans in
South Africa underlines a "failure of foreign policy."

South African President Thabo Mbeki's attempts to mediate between Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition are increasingly seen
as failed. Mbeki has refused to publicly criticize Mugabe, who is accused of
trampling human rights and ruining the economy of what had been the region's
breadbasket.

In Zimbabwe on Friday, people said they were forced to vote in a
presidential runoff in which Mugabe was the only candidate. The opposition
candidate had withdrawn, citing an onslaught of state-sponsored attacks on
his supporters.

Mugabe was expected to claim victory. Opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai
won the first round but, according to the official results, not enough votes
to avoid a runoff.

Friday's election was widely condemned by African and other world leaders as
a sham that would only intensify Zimbabwe's political crisis and further
delay attempts to address its economic collapse.


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Amandla! Interviews Morgan Tsvangirai

http://www.amandlapublishers.co.za/content/view/801/1/

Morgan TsvangiraiAmandla interviewed Morgan Tsvangirai MDC president on the current impasse in Zimbabwe and on the future policies an MDC orientated government would like to see implemented.†

Tsvangirai sheds light on their current strategy of seeking a negotiated settlement with ZANU PF, their dependence on the SA government, on SADC and the AU to get Mugabe to play ball. In the interview he discusses, amongst other things:

-††The strategy of the election pull-out and what next;
-† Negotiations with Zanu PF;
-† Prospects for a negotiated settlement;
-† The role of SADC, AU and the UN;
-† The Role of civil society and the trade union movement;
-† The MDC as a post-liberation social movement;
-† Land reform and the land expropriated by the Mugabe regime;
-† Redistribution policies to deal with unemployment and poverty;
-† Repayment of Mugabe debts and relations with the IMF and World Bank;
-† Future economic policies;
-† Relations with Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki.
Leave your comments on what should be done to end the crisis in Zimbabwe. Is the MDC selling out the struggle for a free and democratic Zimbabwe by seeking a negotiated settlement with ZANU PF. Is there an alternative given current conditions?

click here to listen / download the full interview (Large mp3 file - 17MB).

Or listen to the interview by following the link under Amandla! Radio, appearing in the left column of this page.
Or Click below for a full transcript of the interview.

AMANDLA!† INTERVIEW WITH MORGAN TSVANGIRAI 25 JUNE 2008

BA: Let me start by asking you what was your response to the wave of xenophobic attacks and violence that shook South Africa. Do you see this as an outcome of the policies of the South African state in relation to the Mugabe regime?

MT: I think that xenophobic attacks on foreigners, especially Zimbabweans, you can easily connect it to the crisis in Zimbabwe in that in the first place the flooding of Zimbabweans in South Africa is as a result of economic and political mismanagement in Zimbabwe. And the limited resources that South Africans and Zimbabweans have to share, which are unplanned, so it’s a consequence of the crisis in this country.

BA: Now that you’ve pulled out of the elections, what is the future? What strategies will you be undertaking? Do you believe a negotiated settlement is both desirable and actually possible with a regime that has been responsible for an onslaught of violence against its people?

MT: Well, first of all, the crisis continues, the stalemate continues in spite of our pull out, because any outcome out of this election is illegitimate. Mugabe knows that, Zanu PF knows that. I am glad that the United Nations and SADC recently today has issued a statement that those elections must be postponed to a period where this crisis can settle down and people can have a really free and fair election. So as far as that’s concerned we support that resolution by SADC. But we also generally condemn the state sponsored violence that has been unleashed on Zimbabweans by this regime. It is genocidal and Zimbabweans don’t believe that their government can roll out a military plan against them when they are so vulnerable. So I think as far as reconvening another election - another election is supported. Secondly, the whole issue of a negotiated settlement – one of the realities that we have is that we have polarised positions. One is that we as a social movement believe in the freedoms and democratic ideas and democratic change; but the nationalist old guard, the militarised nationalist old guard believes in the rule by force and coercion. So I think that the only thing that is going to force these two opposite positions to be reconciled is when there’s a realisation that there is a need to put the country and the strategic international interests first. And I hope that that will be informed by that rally, because we have always been saying that the future of the country is based on inclusiveness and not exclusive monopoly style.

BA: If Zanu were to say to you: we agree, we’ll enter into negations, let’s form some sort of coalition government, wouldn’t that be a strike against the will of the people?

MT: Well, there are two fundamental principles that we have to put before you can arrive at that conclusion. One is that the results of democratic elections in March have to be respected and that the people’s mandate was bestowed on MDC and therefore should lead that inclusive government. But that is subject to negotiations. The second fundamental issue is that there has to be peace and stability and that this banditry and violence has to stop, and illegal detentions has to stop, and Zanu PF has to bend over backwards and arrest these kind of bandits who are just roaming the country and maiming people. So once we have got acceptance then it is easier to arrive at a coalition for the sake of the transitional process that will softland the crisis.

BA:In this scenario what happens to a presidential election, would that be indefinitely postponed?

MT: I think the challenge we have got is that an election is never a solution to our crisis because of the polarisation of the two political parties. So if its head you lose, tails you lose; and I think it’s more to do with the role President Mugabe will play if an elections is then held. That’s why the negotiations have to be about transition and not about an election.

BA: What is your leverage to enforce any deal that is made? If they turn around after various concessions and compromises have been made and sort of play hard ball like we saw Kabaki do in Kenya – what would your leverage be to enforce deals that have been made.

MT: Well, the challenge is to find AU SACD UN, [ployka - sounds like] or more than just one person; but it should include President Thabo Mbeki, but include some AU elder, which will act, this [ployka - sounds like] will act as a supervisory body on the agreement and whatever conflict may arise during the transition, they will be able to intervene using [this body/these bodies – unclear]. So that is the only insurance you can have. You cannot rely on a signature on a piece of paper with these guys who don’t believe in negotiated or a compromise, who believe in roughshod and force and coercion.

BA: It’s precisely why I ask you the question because you’ve brought things to the brink by withdrawing from the election. It’s unclear how this reduces the pressure on the people of Zimbabwe given what’s taking place now.

MT: I think it was a strategic decision. Taking into consideration that the real election which took place was in March. This 27th [June] run off is total war, and as I have said in my statement, we cannot be part of a war situation; when Mugabe says if I lose I will not accept the result, I will not accept to leave. He has declared war on the people – so why sacrifice people for a result which is already predetermined? I refuse, we refuse to go into any power based on dead bodies and women have been hacked by hacksaws and those kind of atrocities. So I think it was a strategic withdrawal. We believe we withdrew with on a high moral ground. Let Mugabe proceed on his illegitimate course and no one is going to bestow any legitimacy on them.

BA: And what then? If he proceeds with the election, what’s your strategy thereafter?

MT: Well, our strategy is that we follow what the SADC has recommended: negotiate. And we believe that there is a basis; Zanu PF says it wants to negotiate but it wants to negotiate after the 27th when they have stolen the election. We have said that what is important is we have a pact so that the election becomes an event in the long strategy of resolving the national crisis by [co-partnership/core partnership - unclear] and cooperation. And I think that is the way to go.

BA: Let’s look a little bit into the future now because it seems to me and it seems to many of us here, it’s just a matter of time before you have a meaningful roll, , in government. What is the MDC’s attitude is to the heritage of the anti-colonial anti-imperialist struggle in terms of the future policies of a MDC government. Mugabe makes loud noises that he represents the anti-imperialist option and you are simply a stooge of London and Washington. How do you see that?

MT: Well, I think that first of all from an analytical point, the MDC is a post-liberation formation based on the social movements – the trade union movement and the people’s social movements that [built/build - unclear] up the MDC. So rather than attack the MDC as a extension of colonial imperialist *11:29 [imaginations - unclear], it is actually a new movement that is a post-nationalist movement to take us from the ideas of the liberation struggle which were betrayed by these nationalists, and take it further and bestow the real values of freedom on the people. That’s why it is based on civil society, the trade union movement and all these other movements. So the MDC is actually a progression of the people’s project to free themselves from colonialism and from the nationalist elite who have betrayed the very same *12:08 [ideals/ideas - unclear] that we have fought for.

MT: Could you elaborate what your policies would be in relation to land and agrarian reform? Will you be returning land expropriated and redistributed by the Mugabe regime?

MT: No, no, far from it. I was telling somebody today, I said, ‘Look, there is a national consensus that the inequality of land distribution in the country is unsustainable and that we need a new paradigm to assess that land is an asset of empowerment of the poor. But what has happened in our case is that we have replaced an elite white class to own land with a black elite class to own land. So the actual revolution of equitable distribution of land has yet to happen because the changes that have taken place in Zimbabwe are just the asset changes and they are not about distribution of the very important asset like land. So there is no question about returning land to anybody. It is about resolution of the fundamental problem of land ownership in the country. And what Zanu PF has done needs to be re-looked at in terms of rationalisation and bringing more people on the Land Reform Programme than what has so far happened.

BA: This obviously then brings to centre stage future economic policies. What economic policie are needed to address the tremendous poverty and mass unemployment that currently exists in Zimbabwe?

MT: Well, we are a social democratic movement and we believe that you cannot distribute, we don’t believe that you can have a redistributive agenda without a proper strategy of increasing productivity and production assets in the country. So the reason why we are socially conscious is because we believe that the contribution to the productive capacity of the nation has to have a social conscience and it has to have a social responsibility to intervene in the poor, in housing, in education, in health, and the social well being of the majority of the people.

BA: The Mugabe regime is now essentially bankrupt economically.† The country has huge debts that are still outstanding to the IMF and the World Bank – will a MDC government be honouring these loans?

MT: Well, we have no obligation; there is an international law of inheritance. If we inherit all these debts we may have to find ourselves, how to negotiate ourselves out of that debt trap. But what is fundamental is that the MDC believes that we can implement an economic recovery programme based on fiscal monetary and other interventions that in the short-term will arrest the hyper-inflation conditions that we now experience, almost 2 000 000% inflation – it’s unprecedented. So one of the immediate tasks is to get our debt out of the way, arrest the hyper-inflation conditions and then create the necessary environment for productive sector to start creating jobs and food availability to the nation. But one of the critical challenges that we face immediately is the issue of humanitarian crisis. Four million Zimbabweans need food assistance. There’s no health delivery, there are no drugs in the hospitals. There’s no personnel in the hospitals. Our school system has collapsed. So that is an immediate humanitarian intervention that we may have to embark on.

BA: But it does mean that it puts you in a vulnerable position in relation to the international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank, and I’m thinking here of the situation that we faced post-’94 where many of the policies that a new South Africa implemented were authored by the World Bank, especially our land policy: willing seller, willing buyer and so on, which has proved pretty disastrous.

MT: Well, we have to accept that you have to deal with these multinational institutions. But you don’t have to take their advice; you have to find a way in which you can avert the so-called Bretton Woods Institution’s advice, by agreeing that your development has to be incremental, responding to the social needs of the pub(lic), but also increasing the productive state of the land, agricultural outputs, your basic industries. And that’s where I think in the long-term you may avoid these Bretton Woods prescriptions. But you cannot avoid in the short-term to deal with the *17:54 [Paris club - sounds like] and all these other institutions because of the debt trap that we have got. So, yes, South Africa had to abandon the RDP, I know at that time I was in the trade union movement and we were discussing the RDP very extensively. Because of the short-term social consensus that had to be built around the Bretton Woods Institution paradigm.

BA: But it does beg the question in terms of what role would you see for the state playing going forward? One of the things in the RDP was very much centred around a massive investment programme in housing and other things that would stimulate downstream industries. Is that’s foreclosed in the current situation in Zimbabwe.

MT: Well, there will be massive housing that will be needed. But, you see, you have to put the cart before the horse. We have to create the necessary instruments and wealth in order to have social intervention. If you start off by redistribution before creating the necessary productive sectors then you won’t go anywhere. I suppose that’s what South Africa did having realised the gaps between the intention and the realities on the ground. For us we face huge social problems and I think that it may be some time before those social problems can be tackled. And by the way, we do realise that over a period of time we have to move away from donor dependence or donor support, which I think in the initial stage would be the initial * 19:38 [infusion/inclusion - unclear] of the necessary resources to investment resourced capacity – your personnel, your manpower resources, your industry and those kind of investments.

BA: But wouldn’t what you’re saying just be another version of trickle-down economic policies that have been generally incapable of averting and addressing extreme poverty and unemployment?

MT: Unfortunately there is a stage where some form of trickle-down has to be expected. But the state itself cannot play in every area of social endeavour. But it can intervene socially in those basic services: health, education, housing as a way of providing the basic services and facilities for the poor. But if you are not doing anything it has its own limitations. But, yes, I think that it can give the guiding philosophy as to how the social democratic economic environment has to be created.

BA: Now South African business seems very eager to invest in a democratic Zimbabwe and have devised various recovery plans. Have you been party to any of these, and what role do you see for South African business in Zimbabwe?

MT: Well, South African business is welcome to Zimbabwe. I am sure that there will be a basis of partnerships; this is regional investment and it is attractive. It is important that [a – possible word] regional *21:25 is based not only on other aspects but also that business must be able to move within the region in a manner which then allows for all of us to develop. So South African business will obviously be welcome. And I think that between South Africa and Zimbabwe they realised the potential of the country in terms of human resources and other natural resources in the country. So they will be able to find a home to exploit business opportunities in Zimbabwe – so it will be welcome.

BA: Of course in South Africa there’s a sort of governmental transition taking place or shortly to take place with Jacob Zuma, the new president of the ANC likely to become the next president. Have you had much contact with him, and do you see a different role for South Africa under his leadership?

MT: I have not been able to *22:27 [distinction - unclear] between President Mbeki and President JZ – because I have a very good rapport with President JZ, I am in constant contact with him; we discussed a number of issues, including Zimbabwe crisis. So I can certainly say we agree what needs to be done. So on that basis at a personal level there is no problem and I don’t think that there will any problem between South Africa and Zimbabwe in the future.

BA: But there has been a grave problem between you and President Mbeki.

MT: Not at a personal level; it has been at policy level. It has been a policy difference when it comes to strategy on the question of mediation in Zimbabwe. And I have told him in the face that I don’t agree with your soft, soft approach in this – because the man you are dealing with is entrenched there. And for a very long time he’s pursued this policy of quiet diplomacy because he believes that Mugabe had to be persuaded. Now the problem is that the crisis has not *23:30 [ebbed - unclear], it’s just reached unprecedented crisis levels. So, but I have met him; we discussed. So it is actually a policy, a principle difference rather than a personal one.

BA: How do you account for his particular role around the Zimbabwe crisis? As an attachment to the Mugabe regime: support and protection rather than a real initiative to end this crisis?

MT: No, I think that his role was more of strategy failure. Because his approach was that he needed to marry the crisis rather than to resolve it. And furthermore, his strategy of managing it was based on persuasion of Robert Mugabe. And also the fact that stability was more important than democracy. And therefore all hose were policy failures strategically and tactically

BA: What role do you see for Britain and the USA now in the current phase and in a post-Mugabe phase?

MT: Well, our policy has always been that as we move in the new Zimbabwe era we don’t discriminate against anyone; we want to be in partnership with every country in the world. We don’t discriminate and we want to promote the commercial interests of the Zimbabwean nation rather than any other belligerent relationship with either East or West.

BA: Lastly,† how do you see the role of civil society in Zimbabwe’s recovery. How will you manage the demands of the trade union movement, of the jobs and wages and working conditions, on the one hand, and the need to control inflation on the other hand?

MT: Well, I’m sure that there will be -. First of all I believe in social consensus. I believe that the government has a responsibility in consulting labour, business. If you have to move forward there has to be social partnership – because I think that if we have to face this very hard decision you need a buy-in by these social movements. And I am banking on the *26:06 [present - unclear] movement helping us to plough through and navigate through these very serious decisions that have to be made. I also believe that the trade union movement has to be independent, autonomous. It must be a critical player in not only supporting but actually criticising whatever government is doing. The independence of the trade union movement is critical in becoming an oversight on some of the government policy.


[END OF INTERVIEW]


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Zimbabwe sanctions won't work, say African leaders

National Post, Canada

Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Johnston, Reuters† Published: Saturday, June 28,
2008

SHARM EL SHEIKH -- Sanctions on Zimbabwe will not work and the world should
focus instead on promoting the type of grand coalition that settled Kenya's
election dispute, African officials said on Saturday.
Zimbabwe held a single-candidate presidential election run-off on Friday
with only President Robert Mugabe on the ballot after opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, citing violence against his
supporters.

The election was condemned internationally and regional leaders had appealed
for it to be delayed, but the vote went ahead and Zimbabwe government
sources predicted a "landslide victory", saying Mr. Mugabe was expected to
be sworn-in on Sunday.

Many Western leaders urged the African Union to take action against Zimbabwe
at a summit in Egypt on Monday that was expected to focus on the crisis.

U.S. President George W. Bush called the election a sham and said he would
ask for new U.S. sanctions and U.N. action, including an arms embargo,
against what he called Zimbabwe's "illegitimate" government.

But African ministers, seen as having more sway with Mr. Mugabe than Western
leaders, expressed doubts that sanctions would have any impact.

"History has shown us that they don't work because the leadership just dig
in and dig in and feel persecuted," Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula
told reporters at a meeting of African foreign ministers ahead of the
summit, which Mugabe plans to attend.

"I think we need to engage Zimbabwe. The route of sanctions may not be the
helpful one ... the first and most important thing is for the people of
Zimbabwe and their leadership to sit down and talk to each other, instead of
talking at each other."

Libya's state minister for African affairs, Ali Treiki, whose country spent
years under international sanctions, told Reuters he believed sanctions
would "never help."

"Let us envisage that a government of coalition should be formed from both
the government and opposition to run the country," he said. "I think the
example we did in Kenya is a very good example."

AU mediation helped form a power-sharing government in Kenya to resolve a
post-election crisis earlier this year that killed about 1,500 people and
uprooted 300,000 more.

The death toll in Zimbabwe is smaller -- Mr. Tsvangirai says nearly 90 of
his supporters have been killed -- but the turmoil has worsened an economy
already in melt down. Four out of five Zimbabweans are unemployed.

Africa's top diplomat said there was no immediate solution, but was sure the
AU could sort it out in a "credible way."

"Please give us time to solve it with our heads of state," AU Commission
chairman Jean Ping told reporters on Friday at the meeting in the Egyptian
resort town of Sharm el Sheikh.

Mediation efforts by Zimbabwe's neighbours, led by South African President
Thabo Mbeki, have delivered little. Mr. Mbeki has been criticized for his
soft diplomatic approach to Mr. Mugabe.

Kenya's Wetangula said Nairobi had heard statements that both sides in
Zimbabwe were willing to talk, and Kenya was ready to help with ideas on
forming a workable coalition.

Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio said Kenya's example showed
that dialogue was the best way forward.

"I don't think we should go down the road of antagonism ... What I foresee
rather is the way of dialogue, of concessions and compromise from one side
and the other," he said in comments broadcast by Radio France International.

Angola's deputy minister of external affairs, Georges Chikoti, said the AU
wanted a solution that was acceptable to the Zimbabwean people and the
pan-African body.

"We have to listen to everyone," he said. "We have got to take the time
necessary so that we do things well."


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Release of CSOs Sharm El Sheikh Declaration Today

The Zimbabwean

Saturday, 28 June 2008 10:39

Sharm El Sheikh, Addis Ababa June 27- African Civil Society expressed
their positions on the Key issues of the 11th African Union Summit Agenda,
in Sharm El Sheikh.

†During a press conference today CSOs' representative launched a
declaration with forty-three recommendations covering all pressing issues of
Africa.

Talking about the situation in Zimbabwe, Mr. Allioune Tine, Secretary
General of RADDHO said, "The election situation in Zimbabwe is unacceptable.
What is the point of having elections in Africa, if it will always end up by
power a sharing system? The Kenyan example should not be a model for
†Africa."

" We are calling the African Union for an immediate prioritization and
action on the audit recommendations." said Ms. Yemisrach Kebede, Director of
the CCP-AU. "We urge our leaders to speed up the process of free movement
for African Citizens. This is a fundamental prerequisite to making the union
government a reality", she added.

On the issue of food crisis in Africa, CSOs urge that African member
states put in place strong short-term measures to mitigate the impact of
rising food prices and the global crisis ensuing from it.

In her recommendation regarding the merging the African Court of
Justice and Human Rights, Mrs. Osai Ojigho, Programme Officer for Alliances
for African Secretariat-CEAC said, " It is not acceptable that the new
merged court isn't open to the actual victims of human right abuse. We urge
our leaders to open up access to the court to citizens and CSOs.

Contacts available for interview

Mr. Allioune Tine, Secretary General of RADDHO (French and English):
Tel: +201 6997 02 73
Ms. Yemisrach Kebede, Director of CCP-AU (French and English):
Tel: +201 63416487
Mrs. Osai Ojigho, Programme Officer for Alliances for African
Secretariat CEAC
Tel: +234 8033949983


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Sikhanyiso Ndlovu defeated in Mpopoma

http://www.thezimbabwetimes.com

June 28, 2008

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of Morgan Tsvangirai on
Friday increased its majority in the House of Assembly after Minister of
Information Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the Zanu-PF candidate, suffered a decisive
defeat in a by-election.

Ndlovu was pitted against MDC candidate Samuel Sandla Khumalo in the
Mpopoma-Pelandaba constituency in Bulawayo, an MDC stronghold. Khumalo
secured 3 795 to Ndlovu's 1 354 votes to become the mainstream MDC's 100th
Member of Parliament.

Dumani Gwetu representing the Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC received
only 296 votes. The Mpopoma-Pelandaba seat was previously held by Milford
Gwetu of the Mutambara faction, who died just before the March 29 elections,
giving rise to the yesterday's by-election.

Gwetu was originally elected to Parliament on a mainstream MDC ticket but
defected to the Mutambara faction at the launch of that faction by
Tsvangirai's former secretary general, Professor Welshman Ncube, in 2005.
Ncube and his entire executive, including Mutambara himself, were wiped out
on March 29.

The losing Mpopoma-Pelandaba candidate, Ndlovu was a respected educationist
and businessmen before he turned to politics. Ndlovu owns the Zimbabwe
Distance Education College (Zideco), which created opportunities for many
youngsters during Zimbabwe's post independence boom in education. He,
however, alienated himself from the electorate - he suffered defeat in the
2005 election as well - through association with a party that is generally
unpopular in the Matabeleland region of the country.

He further undermined his own political credentials by his rabid support for
President Robert Mugabe at a time when the latter's image and popularity
were in steep decline. One of Ndlovu's greatest weaknesses is a love for
publicity. A regular guest speaker at the Bulawayo Press Club, where he
became patron in return for lavish funding, Ndlovu occasionally made
outrageous statements.

Expected by many to restore a level of professionalism to the ministry of
information and government's colossal media empire after the disastrous
performance of the mercurial Professor Jonathan Moyo, followed by that of
the inept Dr Tichaona Jokonya, now late, Ndlovu, in the words of one
newspaper columnist, instead took "government propaganda to new depths of
denial, deception and self-delusion.

"While as Zimbabwe's trailblazing propaganda warrior," wrote the columnist,
Mary Revesai, "Jonathan Moyo, relied on distortion and exaggeration in his
bid to defend the indefensible, Ndlovu has chosen to resort to an outright
refusal to acknowledge objective realities."

On Friday, June 27, Ndlovu paid the price. While Mugabe, the man whose
failures he presented as successes, endured the humiliation of going through
a single-candidate presidential election, Ndlovu was walloped by a
little-known rival.

The results of two other by-elections held yesterday remain unknown. They
were held in the constituencies of Redcliff and Gwanda South. The two
original candidates, both representing the Mutambara faction of the MDC,
also died in between nomination and the March 29 parliamentary election.

On that date Zanu-PF was dislodged from its supremacy in the House over a
period of 28 years. The MDC now holds 100 parliamentary seats, while Zanu-PF
has 97. The Mutambara faction of the MDC holds ten seats while one
independent MDP, Professor Jonathan Moyo holds a seat.


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Zimbabweans braced for post-vote violence

CNN

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has
denounced Friday's presidential runoff election as an "exercise in mass
intimidation" amid claims that many Zimbabweans had been forced into voting
amid fears of violent reprisals.

Many voters expressed fear of government retaliation if they did not take
part in the vote to extend President Robert Mugabe's rule. Still, relatively
low turnout was reported.

Some voters told CNN they were required to write down the serial numbers on
their ballots and report those numbers to Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

"What is happening today is not an election. It is an exercise in mass
intimidation with people all over the country being forced to vote," said
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a news conference in Harare.

Some reporters took part by phone, since Zimbabwe has not allowed many news
agencies, including CNN, to enter the country. South Africa's E.TV reported
that two journalists working for the network were arrested by Zimbabwean
police Friday.

The vote has attracted international condemnation with the U.S. State
Department branding it a "sham. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, said the U.N. Security Council had unanimously "agreed that
the conditions for free and fair elections did not exist and it was a matter
of deep regret that elections went ahead in these circumstances."

Tsvangirai said authorities were "threatening anyone that doesn't vote or
who votes for the MDC with death. ... The militia are warning that tomorrow
they will launch Operation Red Finger that will target anyone who has not
voted."

Each voter was required to dip a finger in red ink -- a tactic used in some
nations to ensure there is no repeat voting.

Mugabe wanted a high turnout to create a sense of legitimacy for his
expected victory. Tsvangirai had dropped out of the race last weekend,
saying the run-off election would not be legitimate. But government
authorities said it was too late to remove his name from the ballots.

Tsvangirai had been staying at the Dutch Embassy since Sunday, citing
concerns for his safety. He spoke to reporters after he left the embassy for
his home Friday.

He said anyone recognizing the vote as legitimate was "denying the will of
the Zimbabwean people."

But George Charamba, a Mugabe spokesman, told CNN the vote had been "free
and fair."

He added, "I don't think we should put accent on what a politician who is
facing a bleak defeat claims is happening to him... Obviously, it has become
very apparent that Morgan Tsvangirai was not going to repeat the fluke
victory that he managed in March."

The first secretary at the South African Embassy in Harare, Willem
Geerlings, told CNN people fleeing political violence had camped outside the
embassy, and armed Zimbabwean police sealed off all roads leading to the
embassy and set up check points.

Kubvoruno Choga, with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Tsvangirai's party, told CNN his party was receiving reports of ZANU-PF
agents forcing people to vote. He said in some areas, village chiefs took
people's ID cards Thursday night and were giving them back along with ballot
papers Friday.

The MDC had distributed fliers across the country encouraging people not to
vote.

In a phone interview with CNN Friday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe had denied his
country the solutions to its worst problems that new leadership could bring.

"We are faced with 2 million percent inflation, massive starvation, people
who are seriously underprivileged," he said. "Mugabe can celebrate that he
has won, but it's a Pyrrhic victory as far as we are concerned."

U.S. President George Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have
said the elections are a "sham."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey echoed that Friday, calling the
elections "an absolutely vacant process." He said they had "no standing" for
the United States, the U.N. Security Council, or the G8.

But Charamba, speaking with CNN by telephone, denied the reports of
pressure. Asked about images from Zimbabwe showing what is reported to be
violence against members of the opposition, he responded, "I thought we are
long past the age where we could consider pictures as not lying. It's very,
very easy for anyone to stage-manage a demonstration and a violent one at
that."

Asked about images of burned bodies, he responded, "We have not burned
bodies. We have dead bodies of war veterans." The Zimbabwean war veterans
are a group loyal to Mugabe.

Charamba said the election was "free and fair to the extent that the
oppositional candidate decided to participate in the same vote, albeit from
a very odd angle." He added, referring to Tsvangirai, "ultimately he is a
participant."

Official results are expected by Sunday.


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Pastor Nhari of the Seventh Day Adventist Church abducted by soldiers in Chiredzi



Over the last one week, Pastor Nhari, a devout and committed pastor of the
Seventh Day Adventist Church, has been abducted in Chiredzi by a group of
ZANU-PF militia and soldiers.

Pastor Nhari is a much loved SDA pastor who is always there to visit victims
of violence, offering prayers and strengthening faith in God as he preaches
non-violence and love, often prefacing or concluding his sermons with his
two favourite songs: "Be happy, be kind, be loving, be true, I will meet you
in heaven and live next-door to you"; and one where he calls, "Glory be to
God, peace and love towards men".

The Seventh Day Adventist Church does great work in the communities in
Chiredzi, and is well respected, thanks to the efforts of pastors like
Nhari, who has been active in supporting families, the poor, and the needy
in all the churches that he has presided over in the past, including in
Gokwe.

Through efforts such as the Adventist Relief Services, the SDA Church
dutifully tends to the sick, homeless, and the hungry. The Zimbabwe Union
Conference, which falls under the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of
the worldwide SDA Church, is an important pillar of the Adventist world-wide
mission. Within it, many pastors and lay people have expressed deep respect
and affection for Pastor Nhari, who with his wife are down-to-earth people
that have provided dedicated ministry to each church that they have been
posted to.

Church members have reported that Pastor Nhari's crime was to refuse war
veterans permission to block a service on a Saturday, and have congregants
forcibly attend a 'pungwe' indoctrination session of Mr Mugabe's party.


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Zimbabwean tennis star disturbed about plight of homeland

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: June 28, 2008

WIMBLEDON, England: In the serene surroundings of Wimbledon, Zimbabwean Cara
Black breaks away from her pursuit of a fourth doubles title to reflect on
the disturbing situation in her African homeland.

A stream of Black's rivals have been approaching the six-time Grand Slam
doubles champion at the All England Club to express their sympathies about
Zimbabwe's turmoil.

"It's all over the news so I think everybody is aware what's going on and
players do ask me," she told The Associated Press in an interview at
Wimbledon. "But every Zimbabwean is in the same situation so it's
frustrating, but you've just got to get on with things and hope things will
be fine."

Black said she fears the consequences of speaking out.

"It's not safe for me," she said as counting continued in Zimbabwe's widely
denounced presidential runoff, which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
withdrew from, blaming intimidation and physical dangers.

It explains why the 29-year-old Black is reticent to discuss her encounters
with longtime leader Robert Mugabe, who has presided over Zimbabwe's
economic slump and single-party dominance.

But she is relieved that the international community has finally launched a
concerted effort to unseat Mugabe and alleviate the burden of her
compatriots.

"It's disturbing for every Zimbabwean. It's just hopefully not for much
longer and things will be fine," Black said. "You've just got to keep
waiting. It's getting better, it's on the way forward now. We've just got to
bide a little more time.

"The world seems to be caring more."

On the latest of her twice-yearly visits back to her home in the capital
Harare in April, Black witnessed and experienced the shortage of basic
staples like bread and milk.

"You notice the food shortages, you've got to look around for your
shopping," she said. "Everybody struggles and is effected by it. Things are
tough, nothing's simple.

"You can't just go to the shop and buy some bread or go to the petrol
station and get some fuel, but they learn to deal with it. They do deal with
it well and they are strong, tough people and survivors."

Black hopes her performances at Wimbledon and the Beijing Olympics in August
will provide relief for the troubled nation.

Black and American partner Liezel Huber are the top-seeded pair in the
women's doubles, and they advanced to the fourth round Saturday by beating
Vania King and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 6-3. Black is also entered in the
mixed doubles with Paul Hanley.

"Sport's always a good thing - it's healthy and it takes your mind off other
things," Black said. "It definitely gives everyone a good boost."

While Zimbabwean tennis struggles with a lack of investment, she accepts
that sport is not the most pressing issue.

"There's not enough money involved in the sports and things like that, but a
little more interest in equipment and funding could really change that
around," she said. "Sport isn't the priority at the moment, tough, I think
food would be."

Black believes that there should be a clear division between sport and
politics and has urged the International Cricket Council not to expel
Zimbabwe next week at an executive meeting in Dubai.

"It's not fair that the athletes suffer, but what you can do, it's happened
a lot now," she said. "They've just got to wait and I'm sure things will pan
out OK."

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