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Mugabe's peers to meet amid calls for harder line


Sat 12 Apr 2008, 0:00 GMT

By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, April 12 (Reuters) - Southern African leaders meet on Saturday in an
attempt to break the political impasse over Zimbabwe's disputed elections
and prevent the crisis from turning violent.

But hopes the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Lusaka
will lead to a breakthrough appear slim in the face of Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe's absence and the group's many failures to persuade his
government to reform.

Mugabe, still seen as a liberation hero in much of Africa, bristles at
criticism and dismisses most detractors as puppets of former colonial power
Britain and the United States.

Although the 84-year-old leader is more deferential to his African
neighbours, he has shown no sign of giving in to those urging him to respect
the results of the March 29 elections.

The presidential election result has still not been published. The
opposition Movement for Democratic Change won the parliamentary election and
says it won the presidential poll. It has gone to court to force officials
to release those results.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he could not understand why it was
taking so long to announce the results and that the "international
community's patience with the regime is wearing thin".

"The Zimbabwean people have demonstrated their commitment to democracy,"
Brown said in a statement. "We, and the leaders of the region, strongly
share this commitment."

The political statemate in Zimbabwe prompted Zambian President Levy
Mwanawasa to call the summit, earning a rebuke from Mugabe, who decided not
to attend. It is unclear whether MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be there.


A senior Zimbabwean official reinforced the government's hostility to the

"We believe this meeting really is not necessary because Zimbabwe has made
it quite clear that they are going to announce the results," Joey Bimha,
Zimbabwe's foreign affairs permanent secretary, was quoted as saying by
Zimbabwean state television.

The summit appears the best chance to dissuade Mugabe from launching another
crackdown on the opposition. Dozens of MDC activists and supporters were
beaten by police last year in an aborted anti-government protest in the
capital Harare.

Fears of a repeat of the violence have risen in the past two weeks whilethe
MDC and Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF accuse each other of preparing for street

Zimbabwean police have banned all political rallies, including one planned
by the MDC for Sunday. The opposition has called for an indefinite general
strike to begin next Tuesday in the economically devastated nation.

An estimated one-quarter of Zimbabwe's population have fled the crisis,
which is highlighted by inflation of more than 100,000 percent and 80
percent unemployment.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Friday that
Zimbabwe "now stands on the brink".

"SADC must insist that a peaceful and just solution be found to resolve the
political crisis in Zimbabwe," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed concern that the crisis in
Zimbabwe would get worse without prompt action, a U.N. spokeswoman said.

There are nagging doubts, if not outright pessimism, that SADC will be able
to get tough on Mugabe.

The 14-nation group has long been seen as toothless in its response to
Zimbabwe's political and economic problems.

SADC last year delegated South African President Thabo Mbeki to oversee
negotiations between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and the MDC in an effort to
reach a political agreement that would ensure a fair and free election.

The talks failed, prompting a wave of criticism of SADC and Mbeki's "quiet
diplomacy" tactics. (Additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Stella
Mapenzauswa, Cris Chinaka and Muchena Zigomo; writing by Paul Simao; Editing
by Giles Elgood)

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Mugabe always has a plan. What’s it this time?


Yesterday we heard reports of army jets flying over Harare and this morning
there were large groups of army soldiers marching through the centre of

The threat is ever present.

I doubt that these open displays of intimidation are as effective against
the people as they were seven years ago. The soldiers voted with us and they
know we won and we know we won. The ironic thing about this is that we march
together but the old man just will not accept it.

There is not much talk anymore of whether the results will be announced or
not. The process seems pointless (albeit necessary) when the answer is clear
for all to see. The only talk now is of the way forward and the SADC

I lay awake last night wondering how the SADC meeting will unfold.

Historically, mugabe arrives and makes as much of a grand entrance is as
allowed. He struts about shaking hands and kissing cheeks. The world sees
this act of camaraderie. Usually he has his ‘rent a crowd’ of supports to
applaud him. Again, another attempt to pull the wool over. We know his
tactics as we see it time and time again and I am trying to visualize this
all before it happens.

I am relieved because I now hear he isn’t going to be at the SADC. I’m glad
we’ll be spared that hurt at least.

But I wonder if SADC could be so strong as to make a decision without him
present? My dread now is it will just be a stalemate.

Mugabe always has a plan. What’s it this time?

Our only hope is to pray’ my priest tells me this morning. My prayer is that
the members of SADC will do the right thing for the people of Zimbabwe.

That democracy and human rights take priority over those loyalties African
leaders seem to have for mugabe, even as he destroys us and our country, and
that we will finally be free from the grip of the dictator.

I pray for a return to the rule of law under our elected President.

This entry was written by Noktula on Saturday, April 12th, 2008 at 2:00 am.

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Mugabe opponent seeks support

Moneyweb, SA

Tsvangirai hopes regional leaders will assist cause.

Sarah Childress, Wall Street Journal
12 Apr 2008 03:57

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- As Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe hunkers
down in the aftermath of last month's inconclusive presidential election,
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is seeking support from Zimbabwe's
African neighbors in a last-ditch effort to pressure the beleaguered
president to step aside.

Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change wrested control of the
country's parliament in elections late last month, according to official
results. Independent polling and the opposition's own count also showed him
beating Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe, often with an iron fist, for 28

But official results for the presidential race haven't been released, and
Mr. Mugabe has shown signs he will fight to hold onto power. His government
has arrested journalists accused of reporting without accreditation and
election workers accused of stealing votes from Mr. Mugabe's party. On
Friday, the government banned political rallies, and the MDC reported the
arrest of its lawyer, Innocent Chagonda.

In a telephone interview Friday, Mr. Tsvangirai -- who was in South Africa
for talks with government officials -- laid out his options for displacing
Mr. Mugabe. He said his party can agree to a run-off, if official results
show that neither side won a majority of votes, or rely on international
pressure to convince Mr. Mugabe to concede.

Earlier this past week, Mr. Tsvangirai's party had ruled out the first
option, saying they already had won the election outright. That leaves
international pressure, Mr. Tsvangirai said.

His best hope now is an emergency meeting Saturday in Zambia of heads of
state from southern African nations called the Southern African Development
Community. "There has to be a consensus within SADC to say that Mugabe
cannot be a referee and a player at the same time," he said.

To gather support for his cause, Mr. Tsvangirai, the son of a bricklayer and
a carpenter, spent this week meeting with regional leaders, including the
newly installed president of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete, who also is chairman of the African Union; South
African President Thabo Mbeki; and that country's ruling-party president,
Jacob Zuma.

As Zimbabwe has slipped into economic decline, with sky-high inflation and
starving citizens, the opposition previously has looked to SADC to pressure
Mr. Mugabe, who is openly hostile and dismissive of Western pronouncements
on his regime.

But SADC has been reluctant to condemn Mr. Mugabe, in part because of his
status as a revolutionary leader who liberated Zimbabwe from white rule in
1980. He was cheered at a SADC meeting just last August.

Instead, regional powerhouse South Africa has pursued a "quiet diplomacy"
approach to its crumbling neighbor. President Mbeki attempted to broker
talks between the opposition and the ruling party to establish election
reforms that would have at least allowed the opposition a fighting chance
this time. Those discussions were largely unsuccessful.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who called Saturday's meeting, last year
denounced Zimbabwe as "a sinking Titantic" and called for his neighbors to
take a new approach to dealing with its 84-year-old leader.

Mr. Tsvangirai said he hopes this time SADC leaders will rally behind the
Zambian view of Mr. Mugabe, after being embarrassed by him in the past and
in light of his increasingly menacing post-election behavior.

It is unclear how much influence SADC really holds over Mr. Mugabe, even if
it were to publicly call for him to release election results or step down.
Mr. Mugabe appears to have firm control of his military and police forces.

But Mr. Tsvangirai, echoing the view of other prominent Zimbabweans, said he
believes that just as Mr. Mugabe felt enabled by SADC's silence to do as he
pleased, he would also be shamed by their condemnation.

"The collective will of SADC will prevail over the individual state," Mr.
Tsvangirai said. "If SADC spoke with one voice, it will be just like in
March, when there was violence against opposition leaders. He listened," he
said, referring to a bloody crackdown in 2007 that spurred SADC to begin
mediating talks.

Mr. Tsvangirai grew up as the eldest of nine children, with little time or
money for a conventional education. At 22, he went to work in a nickel mine,
where he spent a decade, establishing himself as a champion for workers'
rights. In 1988, Mr. Tsvangirai was elected secretary-general of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the country's umbrella trade
organization. He pushed it to break its alliance with the ruling party.

In 1999 he formed the Movement for Democratic Change, which opposed
everything that Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front
had come to stand for -- right down to the open hand the opposition adopted
as a symbol: Zanu-PF touts a closed fist.

As the focal point of the government's heavy-handed tactics, Mr. Tsvangirai
has endured several arrests and beatings. He has survived four assassination
attempts, according to the opposition, including one in which several men
rushed into his office and tried to hurl him from a 10th-floor window. Last
year, he was arrested and beaten in police custody, so severely that his
face was left purple and swollen, with a huge gash in his head.

Wall Street Journal

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Why all Africa needs Mugabe to go

Globe and Mail, Canada

If power does not change in Zimbabwe, the continent's turn toward good
governance will falter

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

April 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM EDT

In the chaotic days after Zimbabwe's national elections on March 29, I stole
an hour to go and visit a friend who lives in a scrappy, struggling slum of
Harare. I made my way up the dirt path to her two-room cement brick house,
stuck my head around the half-open door and called, "Hello?" There was no
answer, so I stepped inside and opened my mouth to call again. But the words
died: My friend Prisca was lying on the battered old sofa. I could barely
recognize her. She had lost 40 pounds since I had last seen her, a bit more
than a year earlier. She'd lost her hair. There were oozing lesions on her
raw, exposed scalp. And as she struggled to stand and greet me, I realized
she could no longer walk.

Like one in five people in Zimbabwe, Prisca has HIV. She paid an almost
unimaginable cost for her infection, losing nearly all her family and living
with years of shame and ostracism. She fought back, and pioneered a new
openness and acceptance for people with the virus. She is an activist of
legendary reputation. A year ago, she terrified me as much as she impressed
me, so steely was her will.

Now, she crumpled into sobs at the sight of me. Prisca has progressed to
having AIDS. Because of Zimbabwe's political and economic implosion, she can
no longer reliably obtain the anti-retroviral medication that kept her
healthy. The AIDS support centre where she was a counsellor stopped paying
salaries some time ago, when the Zimbabwe dollar passed the point of about
five million to one, and it has since folded altogether. She has no money to
feed the two AIDS orphans she is raising, no money to send them to school,
no money for her drugs. She will not live long, like this.

But two weeks ago, Prisca used two canes and a couple of friends to get to
the polling station, voting for Zimbabwe's opposition for the fourth time.
Like many of her fellow citizens, she has vivid memories of the brutality of
the war of liberation, and they are determined to stick to a peaceful path.
For the past eight years, they have tried to improve their lives and bring
change to the country through the ballot box.

Prisca is the primary reason why Zimbabwe matters — she and the 12 million
people trapped along with her in the nightmare that is life under Robert
Mugabe. But this country is important for other practical, geopolitical
reasons as well — it has disproportionate significance for a southern
African state with a few deposits of copper and platinum, and some
once-lovely tourist destinations.

Mr. Mugabe, about to enter the 29th year of his rule, is not only sucking
the life from his country — "the vampire," they call him, in the
neighbourhood where Prisca lives — but also holding back an entire

In his constant railing about colonialism ("We have to keep the country out
of the hands of Gordon Brown," I heard Mr. Mugabe say, at campaign rallies
before the vote — as if the British Prime Minister were hunched over a map
at 10 Downing St., plotting to get his hands on the charred remains of
Zimbabwe), he keeps the country and the continent looking backward. Of
course, many of Africa's problems can still be traced directly to
colonialism, but today, most people would like simply to look forward. "I
don't think there's anyone in Zimbabwe or the continent that would deny that
we are a product of colonialism, the good and the bad," said Godfrey
Chanetsa, once Mr. Mugabe's spokesman, now campaign manager for the
independent presidential challenger Simba Makoni. "But I think there's also
recognition that much now depends on us and what we are able to do for
ourselves. People are looking for a way to move on."

Mr. Mugabe, larger and louder than life, is the chief obstacle.

He is one of the last leaders of a liberation struggle to hold power in
Africa, and he regularly invokes those credentials, appearing on the
state-owned broadcaster in his fatigues even though it has been nearly three
decades since his movement put down its guns, and in any case, Mr. Mugabe
never carried one himself. With his incessant reminders to his people of how
much he sacrificed for them, he insists on a now outdated reverence for his


Yet more than half of the population of sub-Saharan Africa was born after
the last of the independence wars; that language is lost on them, their
priorities are entirely different. South Africa's Nelson Mandela knew it,
and left office after one term, nearly a decade ago. Mr. Mugabe's rhetoric
no longer resonates with anyone — except the powerbrokers who stalk the
corridors of the African Union in their bespoke suits.

He can seem like a caricature, but he does a superb job of illuminating
Western hypocrisy. A few years ago, Britain moved to strip him of his
knighthood after his land redistribution campaign violently forced a
thousand or so white farmers off their land. But there was no outcry from
the West when he presided over a campaign of execution against some 300,000
perceived political opponents in Matebeleland — they, of course, were black.

Mr. Mugabe's use of postcolonial rhetoric is genuinely brilliant. His words
may sound outdated in the rest of the world, but there is frustration in
much of Africa over unfair global trade deals, foreign aid that strips out
as much as it provides, crippling repayments demanded by donor governments
for odious debts racked up by ousted dictators. There is genuine and logical
resentment of Western imperialism here — and Mr. Mugabe feeds craftily on
that sentiment. That, combined with the respect still accorded to him as an
84-year-old and a veteran who supported other leaders in their countries'
fights (Zimbabwe was a key front-line state in the war against apartheid),
means that he steadily undermines the ability of organizations such as the
African Union to stand up for any of the principles of governance they
theoretically hold dear.

The AU has taken some good steps in the past few years — denying its
presidency to dictatorial Sudan, sending a peacekeeping force to Darfur,
and, just last month, invading the Comoros to oust a tinpot colonel from
power. But the organization freezes in the face of Mr. Mugabe's bluster, and
until it can cope with Zimbabwe, it will not be taken seriously. "The
precedent is extremely worrisome," said Sisonke Msimang, program director
for the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. "Now, when, say, Angola
holds an election and refuses to release the presidential results, there is
a regional precedent for the Angolans to point to." Mr. Mugabe's worst
amendments to the constitution in recent years — restricting media and
civil-society groups such as hers, broadening his presidential powers and
undermining parliament — have emboldened other leaders who are reluctant
democrats, she said, calling it "a copycat effect."
Mr. Mugabe is, of course, also the primary argument held up by all of those
in the West who insist that it is useless and wasteful to give more aid to
Africa, that the continent as a whole is a basket case, that it is absurd to
think there could be transparent government or an end to corruption here.
U.S. President George W. Bush, for example, cited Mr. Mugabe as his first
reason for his refusal to sign on to the G8 plan for more aid in 2003.


Countries from Mozambique to Senegal have had free and democratic elections
in the past few years, dictators in Togo and Liberia have been ousted, but
the scale of disaster in Zimbabwe (where the currency hit 64 million to one
U.S. dollar yesterday) eclipses any progress. Mr. Mugabe's reign of terror,
with its skilled use of the props of political theatre such as farm
invasions, youth militias and mass home demolitions, obscures the genuine
progress made in other places. Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho and a dozen other
struggling democracies pay a "Zimbabwe tax" in their relations in the West,
and it will remain as long as Mr. Mugabe holds power.

My once fierce friend Prisca, and the majority of Zimbabweans who, we now
know, voted with her for change, continue to be denied by their state and
let down by the rest of the continent, the rest of the world. The dearth of
meaningful intervention by the West (just some half-hearted bank account
freezes and travel restrictions on Mr. Mugabe and his cronies) puts a lie to
any claims about intervention to support democracy and preserve human

Meanwhile, the silence from Africa is agonizing.

"Zimbabweans' peaceful pursuit of democratic change forces the continent to
hold up a mirror to itself and ask how committed it is to democracy," a
long-time campaigner for change told me in Harare last week. "The longer
they wait to act on Zimbabwe, the more ugliness there is in that mirror."

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Mugabe faces isolation after snubbing SADC

By Our Correspondent

HARARE, April 12, 2008 ( - Zimbabwe faces the prospect
of regional isolation after President Robert Mugabe refused to attend an
extra-ordinary meeting of SADC leaders in Zambia today, Saturday.

The 13 SADC heads of state meeting in the Zambian capital Lusaka for a
special summit called specifically to pressure Mugabe to issue results from
the March 29 vote are expected to have harsh words for the Zimbabwe regime.
Diplomatic sources said SADC leaders had become increasingly frustrated that
since the 14-nation body called for regional mediation in March last year
following a State-sanctioned opposition crackdown, there had been no sign
that Mugabe was reforming. Mugabe’s decision not to attend the summit was a
direct snub to Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, the SADC chairperson who
called the meeting.
Mugabe’s main rival, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, claims he has won the
presidential vote by 50,3 percent. Mugabe has refused to concede defeat
while withholding the presidential results. Meanwhile, the so
-called war veterans have re-launched the campaign to forcibly evict the
country’s commercial farmers and seize their land in a populist re-election
drive ahead of an expected presidential election re-run.

The land grab, which has gathered pace since Mugabe’s officials repeatedly
hinted at a presidential run-off- this despite officials results being
unknown - has courted international criticism.
In a further sign of perceived defiance, Mugabe made a last-minute decision
to snub the extra-ordinary summit Friday, whose invitation to the Lusaka
meeting he had previously accepted.
“I think it reinforces the fact that he’s indifferent to the views of SADC
and that’s relevant in our considerations,” a senior SADC diplomat in Harare
told The Zimbabwe Times.
The meeting will, however, go ahead as planned, and SADC officials said that
the prospect of tougher action - perhaps a full suspension of Zimbabwe’s
membership - was on the table.
All the delegations were careful, however, to insist that no decisions had
been taken in advance of the meeting, which will examine the situation in
Zimbabwe and the potential threat to regional stability.

The Zimbabwe Times heard that Mugabe, livid over the last-minute
confirmation of       Tsvangirai’s attendance at the meeting, had pulled out
and decided to send a low key delegation that flew to Lusaka Friday night.

MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said: “Morgan has been formally invited to
the SADC meeting and he will definitely be there.”

The Zanu-PF delegation will be headed by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa, who lost his parliamentary seat,
Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, his permanent secretary
ambassador Joey Bimha and Zanu (PF) legal affairs secretary Emmerson
Mnangwagwa. Bimha is a cousin of the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

On the eve of the extra-ordinary summit, civic group, Zimbabwe Human Rights
NGO Forum issued a joint statement to the SADC leaders together with the
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the National Association of NGO’s (NANGO)
warning against the imminent danger of violence and the need for urgent
action if results continued to be withheld.

The human rights groups said there was a pervasive atmosphere of fear that
bloody violence would occur on a large scale during the period ahead. The
civic groups appealed for calm and restraint and urged SADC leaders to
intervene urgently in appropriate ways to persuade all parties, particularly
Zanu-PF not to use violence in the coming period.

In Harare, officials were unrepentant, and claimed that SADC’s invitation to
Mugabe had been an inappropriate message to a head of state.
Bimha, derided the meeting as “a monumental waste of time  and unnecessary."
But Mwanawasa was quoted in Zambian press saying: “It was a perfectly normal
and formal and courteous invitation.”

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ANC splits on Zimbabwe policy

Zimbabwe Metro

By Staff ⋅ April 11, 2008
President Thabo Mbeki’s policy of “quiet diplomacy” on Zimbabwe has been
rejected by the new leadership of his own party.

The split between the Union Buildings and Luthuli House on the issue became
painfully apparent this week when Movement for Democratic Change leader
Morgan Tsvangirai chose to meet African National Congress (ANC) president
Jacob Zuma and secretary general Gwede Mantashe at ANC headquarters in

After the meeting Zuma said from his homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal,
that it was wrong for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to keep the world in
suspense about the outcome of the election.

In its last meeting in March, the ANC’s national executive committee debated
the quiet diplomacy policy and concluded that it had been ineffective in
dealing with the Zimbabwean crisis.

The ANC has told its MPs who took part in the observer mission for the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to brief the party on its

Previously the group was only accountable to Parliament, where the official
report of the 2005 elections was never debated.

ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa told a gathering of business people in
Somerset West outside Cape Town that quiet diplomacy did not work and
“Mugabe was using us”.

Mantashe told the M&G this week that the withholding of the election results
by the ZEC is tantamount to a “coup”.

“To me the proposals on putting together a government of national unity make
sense. This is what we as the ANC would like to see happening.”

This is a significant departure from the wait-and-see approach adopted by
Mbeki. On Sunday, he told a group of ambassadors and businesspeople in
London that the situation in Zimbabwe was “manageable” and that people
should be prepared to “wait” for the outcome.

A source in the Presidency said, however, that behind the scenes Mbeki is
“mulling over this thing”.

“He sat around waiting for results from Zimbabwe all of last week, which
actually made him late for his meetings in London. It has been 12 days now
[since the votes were counted]; we are all worried, we don’t know why they
are waiting [to release them].”

The source said Mbeki is constrained because “he is dealing with the
president of a country”.

“As mediator you can’t talk too loud, you’re running the risk of upsetting
the people involved. You don’t have as many limits when you are the
president of a political party. You have more room to manoeuvre and

Mantashe said there were no plans to harmonise the policies of the president
and the ANC and tackle the Zimbabwe issue jointly. “The president must do
his thing as president of the country and play a role as government; we must
have party-to-party relationships. ”

The ANC released a statement on Friday calling for the urgent release of the
election results, while the government said the ZEC should explain the

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad appealed to all parties to
remain calm, because “when you lose patience you go to war”.

The ANC has started to feel pressure from its alliance partners, the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African
Communist Party, about the party’s lack of decisive action on South Africa’s
northern neighbour.

Cosatu, which met the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) in
Johannesburg this week, lambasted Mbeki for his comments on in London about
the election.

It said that his “wait and see” approach was sending a message to Mugabe “to
sit and do whatever to the results”.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the trade-union federation welcomed
the shift in the ANC’s perspective. “It is one of the best features of the
post-Polokwane outcome. There is an openness, a willingness to discuss
things and a willingness to look at different points of view,” he said.

Craven said quiet diplomacy had a role to play, but that “because it was
quiet, we never knew what was being negotiated”. Cosatu viewed as
unfortunate government statements that “the situation is not as serious as
it is being made out to be”.

He added: “We hope we played some part in influencing the ANC, but the
reality of Zimbabwe on the ground probably went further in convincing them
that all is not well there. They know now there is reason to doubt that
these elections are going to lead to a democratic solution and that the
election may well have been stolen.”


O: SADC and AU and UN and US and Britain

There is one thing that Mugabe has never told SADC and AU and UN and US and
Britain. There were 69022 of us freedom fighters in ZANLA and ZIPRA when we
returned from the war in 1979. Our register today stands at 53347. This is
due to deaths in the wars in Matebeleland and Midlands, Somalia, Mozambique,
DRC, and illness. Of the 53347, only 2470 belong to Mugabe, and they are the
ones causing all the havoc in Zimbabwe today. The rest of us (50877) and the
tormented Zimbabwean population have been watching and waiting. The MDC (M
• We do not support Mugabe at all. NO.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population are watching.
• They have already killed 3 of our men.
• They have destroyed 11 homesteads
• They are clinging to power illegally.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will hunt down each one of the
200 army officers deployed countrywide and kill them and their 5 colleagues
each. That will be about 1000 men dead.
• Mugabe will then send the Presidential Guard to avenge those killings, and
each dead soldier and thug killed by our people will be avenged by not less
than 15 lives. This will mean at least 15000 deaths.
• This will infuriate us and we will swiftly revenge this on ZANU PF
supporters around us. We will kill as many as we can catch, we will burn as
many homes as we can. We will destroy as much of their property as we can.
• Mugabe’s army will revenge further and kill our men, women and children
nation-wide. At least 500 in each constituency. That will mean 100000
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will go all out and blow up
Kariba Dam (that will kill thousands in the Zambezi Valley, but it will
cripple the regime)
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will destroy all electrical
power installations nationwide.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will destroy as much of the
rail system as we can.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will blow up as many government
buildings as we can. We have tonnes of dynamite and ammonium nitrate to do
this efficiently.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will render every road
unusable. We will blow up anything seen crossing into or out of Zimbabwe
unless we are convinced they are UN Peacekeepers.
• We and the tormented Zimbabwean population will blow up and shoot down all
aircraft flying in Zimbabwean air-space unless we are convinced they are UN
• Then Zimbabwe will be free, at a cost, because SADC and AU and UN and US
and Britain will not drive sense into Mugabe and his regime that has
brutalized us and urinated onto our faces.

I’m sure this is the only route that is left for us to take for all
stakeholders to jump onboard. Nobody seems to understand our situation until
bayoneted bodies, bullet-riddled bodies, burnt bodies, mutilated bodies
litter the bushes, the villages, and the streets of Zimbabwe.
We fought a bush war for 7 years. We can be so peaceful, as everyone now
knows, but we can be very violent. We can fight MAD!

Posted by Tendai Magorira | April 11, 2008, 4.39am


Patience and waiting will not pay, its time to defend your vote. Get Ready,
after Lusaka Summit, make sure Mugabe does not return home. Its time for
action, its time to free Zimbabwe. 84 Year Old, My Foot!! Simudzai Mureza
Wezimbabwe, Freedom is Coming Tomorrow! Its Time UP ZANU PF and MUgabe!! Its
time to declare war!

Posted by Simbarashe | April 11, 2008, 5:37 am


President George Bush please do to the out going president of Zimbabwe that
which U did to late Hussein,before it is too late in that country.Posted by
okeke francis | April 11, 2008, 8:06 a

Posted by okeke francis | April 11, 2008, 8:13 am


May God heal our land, Zimbabwe in the name of your son Jesus Christ, who
died for us all. As you have said;Because of the crying of the
oppressed,because of the suffering of the poor;You will come on your own and
raise them and put them on the high and strong places which they yearn to
May your Holy Spirit be in each one of us and build peace amongst all of us.
For what profit will it do to us to spill our own blood for things which
Christ Jesus has already died for. Vegeance is in Thy hands. I pursue and
pray for peace and justice to come from on high. So help us, Jehova, to hold
back our anger and stop bloodshed. Give us your Holy Spirit, to tell the
devil to get away from us.Guid us, be with us in these turbulant and trying
times. In the name of Jesus Christ - AMEN

Posted by ishmaelbu | April 11, 2008, 8:22 am
This is interesting:

Ballot boxes to be reopened 11 April - without required notification to

Is there any reasonable suspicion that votes were stolen from Mr Mugabe?

Zimbabwe has an Electoral Commission [ZEC] still appointed entirely by
Robert Mugabe, from a shortlist picked predominantly by his party.

Zimbabwe Police have started arresting ZEC election officials countrywide,
alleging they fraudulently deprived Mr Mugabe of votes during vote counting
or compiling in the recent Harmonised Elections.

If so, they robbed Mugabe in front of police & numerous other witnesses –
without it being detected for a week.

Whatever red herrings people may try to draw now across the trail,
all the counting was done in front of numerous witnesses including the
police and ZANU-Pf’s polling agents at every polling station and completed
by lunchtime on Sunday 30th March 2008;

And over the next couple of days, all the compiling was done in front of
numerous witnesses including the police and ZANU-Pf’s polling agents at in
every ward and every constituency and the result there in each of the 4
elections was recorded and put up outside.

And no complaints were publicly made, until last Friday when ZANU-Pf had to
explain to Robert Mugabe – on the basis ostensibly only of their OWN polling
agents returns, as the official ones are still officially secret – why he
lost, and even did so much worse than his party candidates in many areas.

The counting was done at each polling station.
Present at every count were:
11 ZEC officials,
Accredited observers [all approved by a government minister first]
Agents for each candidate [with a ZANU Pf agent, inside & out] –
Police - as Mugabe had personally changed the electoral law just before the
election to put his police inside the stations.
Other agents, observers, public etc watched from a short distance outside.
No-body was allowed in or out during the count.

Then 6 copies were made of every result, from each of the 4 ballot boxes in
turn [Presidential, senate, House of assembly, Local Authority.]
They were signed not just by ZEC officials, but by party agents – including
One signed copy of each return was then put up publicly outside.
All 5 others were sent on to the ward centre, then the constituency centre,
then the command centre.
How could any theft from him have happened so publicly, and been undetected,
unreported for so long?

Single ZEC officials are being arrested by police from around the country
for unlawfully robbing Robert Mugabe of votes, before any official result is

1. Everything was done at every level with many other people watching - the
counting of the ballot papers and the collating. For any theft or fraud to
have occurred at any stage, many other people would have needed to be
accomplices, including ZANU-Pf party agents and police. Why have they not
ALL been arrested?

2. Every result was recorded in multiple copies, and signed by Z-Pf agents.
Every polling station result was put up publicly. 5 copies were kept for
Can anyone hope to defraud Robert Mugabe in quintuplicate?

3. The number of copies made of every Constituency return is unknown, but
can be easily discovered. One was put up outside for the public for each
election. Winners were announced. The time when all this happened at the
constituency level can also be proved. Most, if not all, were finished by
Sunday or Monday.

4. Long after each local announcement of the Parliamentary seats, ZEC also
announced the results at its National Command Centre. It said its delay was
while it checked each one. ZEC is well staffed and has computers. If a local
official cheated or perhaps made a mistake in entering or adding any
returns - undetected by all those others watching him - ZEC would have
discovered this before it made its own public announcement for that seat.
Yet it is ZEC’s public announcements that are being disputed now by ZANU-Pf.
If there was any fraud or error in any tally by some official, it was an
error ZEC also made; yet no-one from its National Command Centre has been

5. While every Constituency result has been broadcast, all ZEC presidential
results remain secret. Like ZANU-Pf, the police should not have any official
records of that vote yet. Can they explain on what evidence therefore are
they now arresting any ZEC official for theft of votes or defrauding Robert
Mugabe? Are they too relying on the results reported by ZANU-Pfs own agents?
Has ZEC laid a complaint against some officials, rather than merely
rectifying any errors?

With so public a process, there surely can be no reasonable suspicion that
Robert Mugabe has been robbed by anyone. Why now open the ballot boxes?
There seems to be no credible grounds to do so, but there is every reason to
fear that the real reason for doing this is to suddenly “find” more votes
for Mugabe inside, in boxes kept guarded only by his officials, sealed with
only their seals.

Before ZEC does that, it must inform every accredited observer, and let them
also attend. It must show these observers all the polling station returns,
and let them take copies of that, and explain why it thinks there are any
grounds to reopen and recount, when ZANU-Pf was present at the time and made
no complaint for so long.

Or it must tell observers it received complaints within the allowed time of
48 hours, but ignored them and announced the results anyway; and explain why
neither it nor ZANU-Pf told observers that they had any complaints.

Regardless of any recount, every winner announced at the constituency centre
remains the winner unless and until that result is set aside by the
Electoral Court after petition & trial. ZEC cannot change it. A recount
cannot change it.
Section 66(4) of the Electoral Act specifies that.


Zim ballot box reopening & recounts to begin 11 April - without required
notification to observers

You observed the polling and other aspects of Zimbabwe’s harmonised
elections as an accredited observer, after approval to do this from a
Government Minister. Observer groups who had been critical in the past were
rejected. International approval was sought from the remainder.

You were invited to observe as part of efforts to give the government
legitimacy. However it seems ZEC is now ignoring the law and international
protocols and planning recounts in your absence.

We draw your attention to:
- 2 known ballot box recounts planned for tomorrow
- Your right to be informed in advance by ZEC of any recount
- Your right to be present
- Your right to be told why it considers this justified.

ZEC has told the winning MPs that ballot box recounts will be done tomorrow
in Mutare West and Chimanimani West. It may also be planning these

We request you to urgently advise us if you have been informed of this at

Section 67A of the Electoral Act allows a recount only if a complaint is
made by a losing candidate or party within 48 hours [no credible indication
of that] or on ZEC’s own initiative.
In either case there must be reasonable grounds to believe there was a
The arrests of isolated officials do not justify that, as any error or fraud
here would have needed to have a lot of people being complicit in it,
including police and party agents.

Section 67A also specifies:
(5) Where the Commission orders a recount of votes in terms of this section,
the Commission shall specify—
(a) the polling stations whose votes are to be recounted and, where
appropriate, the votes that are to be recounted; and
(b) the date on which, and the place and time at which the recount is to
take place; and
(c) the procedure to be adopted for the recount;
and shall take all necessary steps to inform accredited observers and all
political parties and candidates that contested the election of its decision
and of the date, time and place of the recount.
(6) Accredited observers and representatives of candidates and political
parties that contested the election shall be entitled to be present at any
recount ordered in terms of this section.
The polling process had precautions against fraud during counting and
adding, with vote counting done by 11 officials in the presence of party
agents, police and observers, and each result then being signed and posted
at the polling station.

Any fraud at either stage would have required the complicity of numerous
people including the police.
Every polling station record was made with 6 signed copies & under such
supervision that no-one could have hoped to commit a fraud in counting or
collating undetected.

• No complaints were heard from ZANU-PF during this process.
• Various observers praised the process.
• ZEC delayed its own announcements confirming constituency results for
days, saying it was checking all the results before doing so.
• When it announced them, ZANU-PF and state media still voiced no criticism.

Although secrecy and delay have now clouded ZEC’s official Presidential
results, the public statements by Mr Mugabe’s most loyal supporters have
made it clear that they know he lost. Only the margin is open to any doubt.
But suddenly individual ZEC officials around the country are now being
arrested on charges of defrauding Mr Mugabe.

And as suddenly the ruling party has started challenging the announced
results, and ZEC has phoned some new MPs to say it will be recounting.

Due to the other new precautions, the law does not protect ballot boxes
well. The only seal allowed on them was the official one. That is an
unsigned plastic seal that can be readily removed and replaced, with little
chance of detection. No-one knows who has had the boxes since the poll; and
as there were no complaints, no-one else has been observing them. Their
contents may have been completely switched by now. ZEC refused to disclose
how many ballot papers it had printed, and reports were received in advance
of duplicated serial numbers.

ZEC has not said why it wants to reopen boxes, or what boxes it intends to
open. ZEC can only do this if it has good reason to believe the first count
was wrong. With so many people watching and no reports of complaints at the
time, and the observers endorsing that aspect, how can it have any such

ZEC only accredited observers approved by Mr Mugabe’s Minister. ZEC and his
government then welcomed and publicized any endorsement by them of the
election and counting as ‘credible’. Yet ZEC now ‘doubts’ it and wants to
reopen ballot boxes without advising them.

Zimbabwe’s law obliges ZEC to tell them and also entitles all observers to
be present whenever any box is opened, so they must be given enough notice.
Courtesy dictates the same, to let them observe what they allegedly missed,
and apparently received no complaints about, before.

It is our belief that Zimbabwe cannot use selected observers to try and give
its elections credibility, then U-turn and say its official results were not
credible after all, and reopen boxes in an effort to “prove” this - in the
observers’ absence.

Not just ZEC’s credibility but the future credibility of the observers
themselves would inevitably be destroyed by any such action.

IF ZEC has any plausible reason to reopen any boxes, ZEC in our view is
obliged now by the electoral law to tell all those observers who endorsed
the processes that it has had cause to rethink, and that it wants to
re-examine the records, in their presence, with all the other details
It is also required by the Administrative Justice Act to explain to those
observers why it has had cause to rethink.
If that is not happening, please make this and your views known.

Local observers and others with a right to attend have not been informed

Posted by Sekuru Jecha | April 11, 2008
a.. ishmaelbu,

Prayer is always a good idea, but just praying without any actions other
than praying is kind of silly I think. If you aren’t willing to actually DO
anything and make an effort why should God? Why expect Him to do ALL the
work? It is a bit unfair. God helps if people take at least SOME initiative
to solve their own problems.

If somebody asks their neighbour to push his car up a hill, is it fair if
the person then sits down and has a drink while the neighbour is expected to
push the car uphill by himself? Would YOU be OK doing that?

Posted by Jonah A | April 11, 2008, 9:40 am
The picture painted by Tendai Magorira could be a reality quite soon. I can
see it happening, and it would be unfortunate, but inevitable.This is the
only way that I have known dictators to go away.As I have said before Mugabe’s
greatest enemy is the situation of the economy. This will destroy him. The
sooner he recognizes this the better.His options are getting narrower and
narrower if at all he has any left.

Posted by Sekuru Jecha | April 11, 2008, 9:50 am
God will not help while you sit on your laurels. Mwari haapi neruoko. Stand
up children of the soil. Reclaim your freedom from ZANU PF (ZATO PF -
Zimbabwe African Thieves Association). Get up and be counted. Do everything
and anything you can to liberate yourself. The world does not care. SADC is
useless. Britain and George dont care. Mbeki is smiling all the way and the
rest of Africa have their own problems. People have died, killed by Robert.
It is time to get yours back.

Posted by Zindoga | April 11, 2008, 10:04 am

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The Quietest Coup In History (or A Coup By Osmosis)

A coup d’état (also coup) is the sudden, overthrowing of a government by a part of the state establishment - usually the military - to replace the branch of the stricken government, either with another civil government or with a military government.

Politically, the coup d’état is a type of political engineering, generally violent (hence "strike", "blow"; French "coup"), but not always, yet differing from a revolution (by a larger, armed group to effect violent, radical change to the political system) in that the change is to the government, not the form of government

…The coup d’état succeeds if its opponents fail to thwart the usurpers, allowing them to consolidate their positions, obtain the surrender of the overthrown government or acquiescence of the populace and the surviving armed forces, and thus claim legitimacy. Coups d’état typically use the power of the existing government for the takeover. As Edward Luttwak remarks in Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook: A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder. In this sense, the use of either military or another organized force is not the defining feature of a coup d'État.

(Source: Wikipedia)

When we learn of coups d’etat in the world, it is normally punctuated with the sound of rifle fire and explosions. And some of the most harrowing violence we might ever see.


The coup d’etat carried out by Mugabe and his party with the support of the armed forces is probably the quietest ever carried out on the face of this earth.


Up until midnight on the 28th of March 2008, Robert Gabriel Mugabe was the President of Zimbabwe. Note that I do not describe him as the ‘duly elected’ President of Zimbabwe, as I do not believe that the 2002 Presidential elections voted him back into power.


(And Zimbabwean courts agree with me, finding that the election was influenced heavily by voter intimidation and political thuggery, but that Morgan Tsvangirai had indeed been defeated by means other than a free and fair ballot. The court, however, stopped short of ordering a re-run, or ordering Mugabe from office, as, they ruled, Mugabe has already taken office!)


So this time around, the country's proletariat went to the polls thirteen days ago, and four days later we were told that the Movement for Democratic Change had won the majority in Parliament.


Since then we have heard little of the Presidential election results. Although we have heard much about the results. Doesn’t quite make sense, does it?


And the war of words have flown thick and fast ever since. The Deputy Minister of Information, Bright Matonga, has continually played up the buoyant spirit of Mugabe’s party, and has even given time to the much hated and vilified BBC. Just this afternoon, Matonga has stated that he does not understand the fuss about the Presidential election result, as the numbers are in the public domain. Not so far as I am aware - because then we would, in all likelihood, be witnessing the swearing in of a new President in Zimbabwe… namely, one Morgan Richard Tsvangirai of the MDC.


Mugabe maintains his stance as President of Zimbabwe, even though, on his own party’s admission, the election is due to go to a second round run-off - and although the MDC has done the mathematics based on the public figures posted outside the polling stations, and consider Morgan Tsvangirai to be the duly democratically elected President of Zimbabwe.


But there are a number of issues in his way before he will be sworn in as holder of that prestigious office - indeed, he would be the first democratically elected person to that office… And I have no doubt in my mind, that when all is said and done, Morgan Tsvangirai will hold that office.


First of all, the MDC has to get ZANU PF to accede to the releasing of the results. That, in itself, will be a veritable minefield.


The election administration was overseen by an ostensibly autonomous Electoral Commission - appointed by Mugabe himself. That negates the word ‘autonomous’… Thirteen days after the close of polling stations, we wait for something to give - primarily from the Zimbabwean High Court, where a Justice is due to give a ruling on Monday.


It took the same court four days to acknowledge, after much legal argument, that the application for the release of said results was indeed ‘urgent’… Cast your mind back to 2002, and you will maybe recall that the results were released in just three hours. As at 7pm Zimbabwean time this evening (Friday, 11th April 2008), the results have been withheld for a total of 312 hours. The difference between this time and last equates to something on a par with the current inflation rate!


The Presidential elections are obviously known to ZANU PF, who repeatedly state that a run-off is the next step, but they are not telling…


The function of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has been taken over by ZANU PF - well, they will tell you, “the government”, and have dismantled the election command centre and have whisked away the ballot boxes to an as yet undisclosed location. The “government” are now taking any decisions in the stead of the ZEC.


Constitutionally, which obviously does not apply to ZANU PF or Mugabe, any Parliamentary seat recounts have to be requested within 48 hours of the publishing of those seat results. Given that the last seat results were made public on Wednesday last week, and today we discover that 5 seats are being recounted - with a further 9 under consideration - we must question under what regulation, statue or law are these to be reconsidered?


The authority for these recounts is wrongfully in the hands of the “government” and therefore any decision will be based on ZANU PF wants and needs.


They have been stalwart in their resistance to publishing the Presidential election results - their legal representative stating in court that releasing them would be ‘dangerous’.


I also was taken aback this morning to discover that Mugabe had re-appointed his cabinet to office, seven of which are people who lost their seats in the Parliamentary election! The announcement was made by Patrick Chinamasa, now a civilian in every sense of the word, having lost his seat in the Parliamentary ballot… who now masquerades under his former title of Minister of Justice (now there is an oxymoron!).


Or should that just be ‘moron’?


So we have an illegally parked President, and a resident cabinet that is not the people’s choice.


Add this together with the ongoing farm invasions up and down the country - even though the dubious ‘leader’ of the war veterans states that no invasions are taking place - this would then lend credence to the document that was published on the internet this week that the invasions are being conducted by appointed serving soldiers masquerading as veterans.


This would also suggest that the country is, in reality, being run by the military junta of Constantine Chiwenga (army), Perence Shiri (air force), Augustine Chihuri (police) and Paradzai Zimondi (prisons). According to quite a few articles on the internet, and it is very difficult to chose any one that has definitive proof for their stories - not because of their predilection to printing false stories, but because of the wall of silence from the ZANU PF/military fortress - that Mugabe was prepared to stand down and cede power to Morgan Tsvangirai, but this was stopped by the chiefs who do not want to face the music for their actions over the last three decades.


Articles state that Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had attempted to convince him (and the security force chiefs) that it was not worth his children’s sanity to continue. His sons were being bullied at school over their father’s actions.


Armed soldiers and police patrol the streets of the cities and towns, and the election result release has hit somewhat of a lopsided stalemate.


ZANU PF, no longer the ‘ruling party’, maintains control of what little still exists of the economy, and, perhaps, more importantly, the Reserve Bank, seen as an integral part of Mugabe’s rule. Once Mugabe is displaced, I believe that the full enormity of the financial damage of his rule will be uncovered, leaving the new authority with little option but to pursue criminal proceedings against the former President and his hierarchy.


This is why his military chiefs are adamant that Mugabe make a stand.


Their biggest fear is the inside of a prison cell.


We have to admit, that sheer stubbornness and the hunger for power and absolute control, has resulted in the quietest coup d’etat ever in Africa, and possibly ever known to man.


Robb WJ Ellis

11 April 2008

Robb WJ Ellis
Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
Websites: The Bearded Man (incorporating "ZNU Podcast"), Messages From Zimbabwe, Mandebvhu Talks "Zimbabwe", Without Honour and Ellistrate & RobinArt.

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Mugabe 'unstable' as generals takeover

12 April 2008

By Never Kadungure (Political Editor)

Zimbabwe's ruling party is battling to protect its leader President Robert
Mugabe from scrutiny after recent performances in public have shown the
84-year old mentally unstable and unable to handle pressure.

Sources told Nehanda Radio the shock defeats in both parliamentary and
presidential elections to the opposition MDC have made Mugabe even more
deranged and he seems not to be in charge of his mental faculties.

'Effective Sunday 30 March the Joint Operations Command (JOC) have been
running the country up until such time Mugabe recovers or demonstrates he is
ready to continue as President,' the source said.

Army General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Marshall Perence Shiri, Prisons Chief
Paradzai Zimondi, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, CIO boss Happyton
Bonyongwe and Major General Philip Sibanda from the army presented Mugabe
with the shock news of his defeat at state house on the Sunday after the

Mugabe threw a fit and demanded Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman
Justice George Chiweshe manipulate the figures in his favour. The former
soldier turned judge however refused, throwing Zanu PF's entire game plan
into the political water.

Nehanda Radio understands Mugabe on the advice of First Lady Grace Mugabe
contemplated resigning as President but was over-ruled by the army Generals
who are said to be using the ageing dictator as a human shield. 'Mugabe is a
virtual hostage to the situation now,' we were told.

As if to confirm the uncertainty over Mugabe's mental health, Zanu PF
bigwigs talked him out of attending the SADC emergency summit at the
weekend, fearing he would embarass himself amongst his peers. Foreign
Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi will instead attend to defend the
government against accusations they are delibarately withholding the results
after losing the election. .

Nehanda Radio: Zimbabwe's first 24 hour internet radio news channel.

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