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"Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Elie Wiesel


Zimbabwe: Court Denies Election Appeal

Associated Press

Apr 14, 3:26 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's High Court rejected an appeal Monday for
the immediate release of presidential election results, dashing hopes for an
end to a paralyzing political crisis and prompting the opposition to call a
nationwide strike.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he won the March 29 election
outright and has accused President Robert Mugabe of holding back the results
to try to maintain his 28-year grip in power. Independent tallies show
Tsvangirai won, but did not receive enough votes to prevent a runoff.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change had hoped the court - though
stacked with Mugabe loyalists - would force the election commission to
release the results after a 16-day wait. The commission, which published
results for parliamentary and local elections within several days of the
election, said it can't release the presidential results until it
investigates electoral anomalies.

In rejecting the opposition petition, the court ruled that the commission's
explanation was "legally valid," and said the electoral body "has not
strayed from the law."

Government spokesman Bright Matonga praised the ruling and dismissed charges
the court was biased.

"The electoral commission should be allowed to do its job," he said.

Tsvangirai accused the election commission of working for the ruling party.

"Now, for the next three or four weeks, (the commission) will drag the time,
while people get beaten and while a new electoral environment is being
created," he told South Africa's independent e-tv station.

The opposition and human rights groups said ruling party militants have been
waging a campaign of violence against opposition supporters ahead of a
possible second round of voting.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said it had documented at least 130
attacks on opposition or independent poll monitors. Two people were killed
and 29 hospitalized with serious injuries, director Irene Petras said.

The MDC called a nationwide strike for Tuesday in what would be the first
major protest since the election.

The police have banned all political rallies, and opposition officials said
Tuesday's action would be a quiet "stayaway," not a raucous strike complete
with street protests.

"People are not going to go to work. They are going to be in their homes,
expressing their dissatisfaction," MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

Past strike calls have been met with resistance by impoverished workers, who
can't afford to lose even one day's wage in an economically ravaged country
suffering 80 percent unemployment.

Meanwhile, opposition officials said violence was spreading.

Looting and arson attacks since Thursday in the northeastern Mutoko
district - a former ruling party stronghold that voted for the opposition -
have forced scores of villagers to flee their homes, the MDC said Monday.

Armed assailants broke into the home of a woman who had worked as an MDC
polling agent and slashed her arms with knives as they interrogated her, the
party said in a statement. Another was attacked with an ax, the party said.
Medical staff at a Harare clinic said they treated several people from the
area for broken bones, cuts and severe bruising.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey repeated the U.S. call for the
Zimbabwean electoral commission "to let the votes be counted, to release
those results, and to do so immediately."

He said that as long as the electoral commission refuses to release the
results, "the situation is going to remain tense, and their failure to do so
only raises more suspicions about what really happened in the process of
that vote-counting."

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Zimbabwe poll wait aims to subvert people's will: UK


Mon 14 Apr 2008, 17:32 GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Zimbabwean authorities are delaying election results to
allow them time to find an "alternative to the will of the people," British
Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Monday.

It was the first time a British government minister had publicly accused
Zimbabwe's authorities of trying to subvert the result of the March 29

Miliband spoke after Zimbabwe's High Court rejected an opposition bid to
force authorities to release the result of the presidential election after a
two-week delay that has stoked fears of violence.

"There is unanimous demand, both publicly and privately, from the
international community for the results to be released," Miliband told a
news conference.

"We know why there is a delay in the results being released. That is to give
time for an alternative to the will of the people to be found," he said.

The people of Zimbabwe had clearly shown in the election that there was not
a majority for President Robert Mugabe or his government, Miliband said.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says Mugabe's 28-year
rule is over and says its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, defeated Mugabe in the

It took the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to court to try to force it to
announce the result.

High Court Judge Tendai Uchena found in favour of the commission, which says
it is still counting and verifying votes.

The opposition says Mugabe is holding back the announcement to give him time
to organise a violent response to his biggest electoral setback.

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Zimbabwe opposition challenges parliamentary results


Mon 14 Apr 2008, 17:26 GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's opposition has challenged election results for
about 60 parliamentary seats won by President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
party, a lawyer for the Movement for Democratic Change said on Monday.

"All in all we have filed about 60 applications to the Electoral Court in
respect of the house of assembly seats. The applications are to ensure that
the declarations of the results be set aside," MDC lawyer Charles Kwaramba
told Reuters.

Official results show the MDC defeated the ZANU-PF in the March 29
parliamentary vote, but ZANU-PF has challenged some of those results,
arguing among other things that the MDC bribed election officials.

In its court challenge the MDC accuses ZANU-PF candidates and supporters of
vote-buying, intimidating and interfering with presiding election officers
and other election malpractices, Kwaramba said.

The MDC, which tried to get a separate court to force the release of the
results of the presidential election, also said there had been undercounting
of its votes in the parliamentary poll, he said.

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MDC to proceed with general strike


    April 14 2008 at 04:34PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition confirmed its call for a general strike
from Tuesday after the High Court quashed its legal bid to force the
immediate results of the presidential elections.

"We are calling on the public to speak against ZEC (the Zimbabwe
electoral commission) for failing to release the results," the party's vice
president Thokhozani Khupe said.

"We have called for a mass stay-in, starting tomorrow, until the
results are released." - Sapa-AFP

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Mugabe deploys troops as strike looms

From correspondents in Harare

April 15, 2008 04:32am

Article from: Agence France-Presse

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's security forces fanned out across Zimbabwe
overnight on the eve of a general strike called by the opposition after a
judge threw out its bid to force the election results.

Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition urged Zimbabweans to show their disgust at
the continuing hold-up by launching a general strike from tomorrow until the
results of the March 29 presidential poll are released.

Police accused Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of
trying to cause mayhem and issued a statement threatening that "those who
breach the peace will be dealt with severely and firmly".

"The call by the MDC Tsvangirai faction is aimed at disturbing peace and
will be resisted firmly by the law enforcement agents whose responsibility
is to maintain law and order in any part of the country," it said.

National police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said officers and soldiers were
being deployed throughout the country and a diplomatic source said the
military was already camped out on the main arteries into the capital

In a further sign of mounting unrest, the opposition claimed one of its
election agents had been stabbed to death by Mugabe supporters over the
weekend in what it claimed was the first politically motivated killing since
the polls.

Police confirmed that the agent, Tapiwa Mubwanda, had been killed but said
the motive had yet to be established.

Dozens of riot police hovered outside the high court as Justice Tendai
Uchena rejected a petition from the MDC calling for the electoral commission
to immediately declare the poll result.

"The matter has been dismissed with costs" to be paid by the MDC, Justice
Uchena said.

Mr Tsvangirai has already claimed outright victory over Mr Mugabe in the
presidential poll and his party said it was now calling on the public to
speak up against the commission, which claims it is still compiling the

"We have called for a mass stay-in, starting tomorrow, until the results are
released," the party's vice-president Thokhozani Khupe said.

"What we want is for ZEC (electoral commission) to announce the results. We
hope every Zimbabwean takes it upon themselves to speak out and be heard.
Voting alone was not enough. We want our results, the time has come."

The ruling was a double blow to the opposition after a summit of southern
African leaders in Zambia at the weekend merely called for the results to be
announced "expeditiously", saying the matter should be decided by the

The impact of any general strike is likely to be muted as unemployment is
already running at more than 80 per cent.

Previous stay-aways called by the opposition and its allies in the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions have flopped with few of the people still in work
wanting to risk a day's pay.

However the opposition is aware that Mr Mugabe still exerts an iron grip
over the security forces and is wary of sending its supporters on to the
streets to protest the current impasse.

Police have banned all political rallies.

In March last year Mr Tsvangirai himself sustained serious head injuries as
the government cracked down on opposition attempts to stage an
anti-government rally.

Flyers handed out since the MDC first threatened on Saturday to stage the
general strike have called on everyone from bus drivers to street vendors to
join in.

"The power is in our hands. Zimbabweans have been taken for granted for too
long. We demand that the presidential election results be announced now."

At Sunday's emergency summit in Lusaka, regional leaders discussed the
post-election impasse long into the night, but they stopped short of
criticising the Zimbabwean government or Mr Mugabe.

Regional leaders have been chided for their traditional reluctance to speak
out against 84-year-old Mr Mugabe, seen by many as an elder statesman who
still deserves respect for his role in winning Zimbabwe's independence.

Some three million Zimbabweans have fled to neighbouring countries in the
wake of the country's economic collapse under Mr Mugabe, who has ruled
uninterrupted since independence from Britain in 1980.

A one-time regional model, Zimbabwe is now groaning under the impact of the
world's higest rate of inflation while even basic food products such as
bread and cooking oil are scarce.

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Soldiers Sharpen Skills

The Herald (Harare)  Published by the government of Zimbabwe

14 April 2008
Posted to the web 14 April 2008


About 5 000 members of the Zimbabwe National Army attached to 2 Brigade
underwent a two-day mock combat training at the Grippose Range in Karoi on
brigade administration aimed at sharpening their skills.

The exercise -- which involved real-life scenarios in a war situation
included setting up of a brigade administration area (BAA) with a hospital,
jail for prisoners of war, an information centre and an entrance area among
other things - began on Thursday and ending yesterday.

Preparations for the course started in February. It involved mastering of
the site map with the intention of repelling attacks from Chirundu and other
northern areas. In an interview, 2 Brigade deputy commander Colonel Brave
Matavire said the exercise was routine and is normally rotated among the
five brigades in the country on an annual basis. Last year the training
exercise was conducted by 4 Brigade while next year it will be switched to 5

"This is an exercise aimed at fully acquainting our forces with all the
facets of administration of a combat area so that when a war breaks out it's
something they know already," he said.

Students from Botswana, Namibia and Angola among others - attached to the
Staff College also attended the training exercise.

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Act now or accept Mugabe for life!!!

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 10:06:18 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Make a stand!!

The MDC has called on the work force of Zimbabwe to go out on strike on
Tuesday. They say that it's vital that the people of Zimbabwe become
involved in shaping the destiny of this country.  Morgan Tsvangirai Has won
this election, he has done what he can for the people of Zimbabwe. Now is
the time for the people to back him and stand up for what they voted for.

The MDC are calling on what they hope will be the first day of an indefinite
national strike on Tuesday 15 April 2008.

The Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has called the strike
amid continuing efforts by the ruling party to rig the outcome of this
election and rob the people of their democratic rights.

The country's electoral commission has ordered recounts in 23 constituencies
as well as a full recount of the presidential election. The ballot boxes
have been tampered with and a recount will result in what the MDC has
denounced as an attempt to rig the parliamentary and presidential
election in favour of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party.

Morgan Tsvangirai, has won a clear majority in the presidential poll. The
MDC have quite simply calculated this result buy adding up the numbers
posted outside each polling station. This calculation showed that Morgan has
won the election with a majority well over the required 50%.

A regional summit in Zambia over the weekend failed to broker an end to the
crisis. Thabo Mbeki has in fact has once again come out on the side of
Mugabe and ZANU PF. He claims that there is not a crisis in Zimbabwe!
Mugabe is on the verge of rigging another election!
Are you going to let him!!!

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Zimbabwe peace project alert

14 April 2008
Focus on violations in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West
Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) as an organisation has strength in its permanent deployment of two monitors in each electoral constituency of Zimbabwe ensuring a grassroots presence. ZPP monitors work in the communities of their ordinary residence, which gives ZPP the leverage to sense potential violations and record incidents swiftly and discretely with a high degree of accuracy. ZPP received a worrisome report last week of the existence of torture bases in Mutoko and Mudzi constituencies in Mashonaland East province and our Provincial Coordinator took time during the weekend to investigate the incidents and gave us the following report:
War Veterans have unleashed terror in Mashonaland East with the assistance of the ruling party Zanu PF. War Veterans, youths and war collaborators are beating and torturing suspected opposition party supporters and local observers of the harmonised elections like ZESN.
Mutoko South Constituency
About ten war veterans using a new B1800 truck and two Toyota trucks all armed are moving around Mutoko beating up people suspected to have voted for MDC Tsvangirai they are forcing villagers to attend meetings during the day and in the evening with the help of Zanu PF youths beat up people. Bases of torture have been established at Corner Store, Kushinga, Jari, Nyahondo and Rukanda.
Last week on Friday, 11 April 2008 around 1900hrs about twenty people were beaten at Corner Store Base and those assaulted included Desmond Dovi residing in Village 13. The war veterans are led by one Chimhini and youths are led by Brighton Mutendera and Jimmy Chivambu. Our Coordinator spoke to a policeman who confirmed the beatings and the bases. The Coordinator said all those who observed elections on the ZESN ticket have been allegedly listed for beatings.
Mutoko North Constituency
Armed veterans are moving around villages forcing people to meetings where suspected MDC members are being beaten up. Bases have been established at Charehwa, Chitekwe, Nyamuzuwe, All souls mission where doctors have fled for their lives.
On Thursday, 10 April a police officer by the name Ngorima said war veterans visited Mutoko police station where they ordered the Member in Charge to call all police officers at the station for a meeting. They were allegedly threatened with death if they arrest any of the perpetrators and were also ordered that during the run off all police officers should cast their votes at the office before the member in charge. Bases were also established in Mutoko East at Lot and Kawere villages and Bondamakara and Chikuhwa schools.
Mudzi Constituency
Bases have been established at Nyamapanda, Dendera, Kotwa, Suswe and Chifamba. The same war veterans stated above are holding meetings in villages and people are being beaten. On Thursday, 10 April 2008 three MDC activists were heavily assaulted at Kotwa and are detained at Kotwa hospital. These war veterans have instructed all hospitals not to attend to these victims. ZPP is still trying to establish the identity of the three MDC activists.
Murehwa North Constituency
On Friday 11 April 2008, war veterans and Zanu PF youths held a meeting at Murehwa Centre around 1600hrs. All shops were closed and war veterans fired two shots in the air to instil fear in the people. At around 17.30 hrs more than 100 MDC supporters toyi toyied in the centre and the war veterans and Zanu PF youths were outnumbered and were forced to disperse.
In Matenda village two ZESN observers Blessing Chirambadoro and another were threatened with eviction and are now living in fear.
Marondera East
ZPP Provincial Coordinator also visited the constituency and reported that by Friday 11 April 2008 three houses had been burnt down and people were being assaulted by Zanu PF supporters. On Friday three MDC activists were heavily assaulted at Rapid farm and they are being guarded by Zanu PF youths so that they do not access treatment. The victims were assaulted by war veterans.
Mashonaland West
One polling agent Aaron and three MDC activists Broderick Marigawa, Taka Ganje and Caleb Marufu were for the past two weeks living in mountains in Kanzamba village, Makonde constituency. The four are said to have ran away from their homes after serious threats of violence from Zanu PF men namely, Black Jesus of Mhangura, Thomas Ganure a soldier from the village, Lovemore Mupoto, Marko Gungungu, a Mashintini and one Brown all from the same constituency are said to be the perpetrators haunting the polling agent and the activists. The polling agent’s plight has been allegedly heightened because his parents belong to Zanu PF and are aiding the perpetrators in threatening the activists. The four are in dire need of legal and counselling services. 
As ZPP we are getting frustrated with the situation prevailing in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West and in other parts of Zimbabwe in direct contravention of the country’s laws and international laws that the Government is a signatory. These actions should come to a quick stop as no people should be terrorised continuously with perpetrators threatening police officers that they should not carry out their law enforcing duties by arresting perpetrators and intimidating Doctors and victims that they should not get medical assistance. These are serious forms of politically motivated violations and they should just come to a stop in the spirit of letting Peace Prevail.
Let Peace Prevail
From ZPP Information Department.
ZPP envision a Zimbabwe that would transform into a society that cherishes the pursuit and realisation of justice, freedom, peace, human dignity and development.

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Action Alert: General Strike begins tomorrow, Tuesday 15th April

Sokwanele - Enough is Enough - Zimbabwe

Sokwanele : 14 April 2008

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has today called for a general strike in Zimbabwe starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 15 April 2008) after the high court refused to order the immediate release of the presidential election results. Take Action!

These photographs of reprisal attacks by Zanu PF thugs were taken yesterday.

The photograph on the left is of a 22 year old male from Musaruro Village, Mudzi. This is what he said what happened to him: "The ZPF youth came to my shop on Friday 11 April 2008 at 9pm, broke the door down and dragged me out of the building. They said “you are an MDC member”. They took all the groceries from my shop then burned grass on both my hands. After that they beat my hands and back with wooden poles. I went to Kotwa rural district hospital and they gave me 2 paracetamol - they had nothing else.”

The photo on the right is of a 22 year old male from Chibamo Village, Mudzi south. He stated: "15 or so ZPF youth came to my house on Friday 11 April 2008 and started to hit me with fire wood and kick me in the mouth. They beat me on my buttocks, left arm and hand. The perpetrators are known to me (names recorded). They said “why are you supporting MDC, we promise you we are here to vandalise you”.


We have been waiting for word from our elected leaders on the way forward after the farcical way in which the Presidential results have been withheld from public knowledge by the Zimbabwe Electroal Commission (ZEC).

The word has come and we need to stand by and do what we can to ensure justice and democracy are delivered to Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.

Please support the call for a General Strike. We elected Morgan Tsvangirai to be our President; let's RESPOND POSITIVELY to his call.

  • Do not come to work tomorrow (April 15th).
  • Stay peacefully at home.
  • Phone everyone you know NOW and spread the word.
  • Ask them to start phoning and spreading the word too.
  • Encourage those who are fearful or unsure that there comes a time when people need to stand together, strong and proud and peaceful, for what we believe in as a nation.
  • Don't forget: we have won. The only reason why ZEC is delaying is because the results showed that the opposition leader, Robert Mugabe, lost the elections
  • Be peaceful, be proud and be strong

Sky News have been broadcasting evidence today that shows that Morgan Tsvangirai won the Presidential election. The reporter says: "The significance of this paper work is that although it belongs to the MDC, it comes from the polling stations. To all intents and purposes these are the verified results." The world has seen this with their own eyes, and now knows what we know to be true.


MDC confirms national strike as tensions rise in the suburbs
published on

HARARE - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has confirmed its calls for an indefinite general strike starting Tuesday following the High Court's rejection of an MDC petition to order the immediate release of results of the presidential election, which the party believes was won by their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

No presidential results have yet emerged from the harmonised March 29 election, effectively believed by many to have been poised to signal President Robert Mugabe's demise after 28 years at the helm. The Zimbabwe Election Commission, ZEC, has instead announced it will be going ahead with a partial recount of votes in 23 constituencies being contested by the ruling Zanu PF.

The MDC said yesterday the continuing delay in making public the results of the ballot held more than two weeks ago, and the breathing space given to Mugabe by a failed weekend summit of regional leaders, was permitting the regime to widen its campaign of violent intimidation in rural areas.

"We are calling on the public to speak against ZEC for failing to release the results," the MDC's deputy president Thokhozani Khupe told a news conference.

"We have called for a mass stay-in, starting tomorrow, until the results are released."

Khupe spoke soon after Justice Tendai Uchena turned down a petition by the MDC urging the electoral commission to end its silence over the March 29 election presidential election.

Khupe said that it had now been proved that voting on its own was not enough to bring about a regime change and accused President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party of trying to use the delay since the elections to fix the result.

"We are receiving information that the ballot boxes are being kept by Zanu PF, that they have been stuffing more ballot papers," she said.

"What we want is for ZEC to announce the results. We hope every Zimbabwean takes it upon themselves to speak out and be heard. Voting alone was not enough. We want our results, the time has come."

In the high density areas of Harare, the mood on the streets was volatile. In Highfields this reporter spoke with many opposition supporters who threatened to turn violent against any commuter buses that may try to ferry people into the cities during the strike.

"We are going to burn those vehicles coming from Mtoko, Murewa and such areas with tomatoes and vegetables," an MDC supporter, Andrew Pishai, told at a market in Lusaka, Highfields.

"They should not bring their tomatoes and vegetables here. They should go to Zvimba or to state House and sell them to Robert Mugabe. We are serious, there is not going to be any business here. We are tired of people who aid Mugabe in exploiting the people of Zimbabwe."

Pishai spoke as reports about widespread violence in the rural communities of Zimbabwe continued to trickle in with a number of opposition activists apparently being hospitalised after being beaten up by Zanu PF people and youth militia.

Peter Nguwani said he had heard that in his rural home of Mutoko, those believed to have voted for the opposition MDC had their huts burnt by Zanu PF activists.

"Our message to them today is that those who are in Mutoko, Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe and such other areas who are in love with Zanu PF, please do not come to the cities because we will deal with you and we are also warning all transport operators to heed the call for the stay-in. By 12 midnight today there should be no commuter buses on the road otherwise we will deal with them."

The tone of the interviews indicated that all hell may break lose on Zimbabwe's streets tomorrow. A heavy police presence was also expected to deter those seeking to speak out against the holding of presidential election results.

Meanwhile Tsvangirai had to cancel a planned trip to South Africa to meet SADC mediator South African President Thabo Mbeki following his support for Mugabe at the regional leader's summit over Zimbabwe in Lusaka at the weekend.

Instead, Tsvangirai had decided to go to Mozambique after a similar sojourn to Botswana. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to meet Mbeki and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the election impasse in Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, all eyes remain on Zimbabwe as the people's patience continues to wear thin over the results of the presidential election.


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Amnesty International USA Press Release

For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150

Amnesty International Says Post-Election Violence in Zimbabwe Appears to be

(New York) -- As leaders of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
states prepare for an emergency meeting on the political crisis in Zimbabwe,
Amnesty International said today it was disturbed by reports of widespread
violent retribution against supporters of opposition parties, including
attacks reportedly orchestrated by soldiers and police.

The human rights organization called on police to end political violence and
investigate any allegations of police and army involvement in some of the

According to information received by Amnesty International, incidents of
post-election violence are widespread - suggesting the existence of
coordinated retribution against known and suspected opposition supporters.

Violence has been reported in Harare, Mashonaland East, Midlands,
Matabeleland North and Manicaland provinces.

Victims of political violence have reportedly been pulled from buses and
assaulted at their homes in rural areas, townships and farms.

Among the incidents reported were the following: * In Gweru, on or around
April 6, soldiers reportedly assaulted people in a bar. Victims told local
human rights groups that the soldiers were accusing them of "not voting
correctly." * On and around April 7, soldiers assaulted shoppers in Gweru.
The soldiers were reportedly in anti-riot gear and assaulted people with
sticks. * At around midnight on April 6, about 10 soldiers and two people
dressed in police uniform arrived at the home of a known Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) activist in Mkoba 14 in Gweru. They assaulted the
activist and two of his friends by kicking them and hitting them with baton
sticks. The activist sustained injuries requiring medical treatment.
Although the matter was reported to the police, no-one has been arrested.

Amnesty International welcomed the SADC announcement of an emergency meeting
to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis on Saturday in Lusaka. The organization
called on SADC leaders to redouble diplomatic efforts to avoid further
deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

"SADC leaders should come out and publicly acknowledge the human rights
violations being perpetrated by security organizations, war veterans, and
supporters of political parties - and insist on an end to the political
violence," said Simeon Mawanza, Amnesty International's Zimbabwe researcher.

"SADC should also publicly acknowledge that one of the causes of the
increasing tension in Zimbabwe is the delayed release of the presidential
election results. They must urge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
immediately release the results."

Rowly Brucken, Amnesty International USA country specialist on Zimbabwe,
said: "Zimbabwe has been allowed to operate outside the African Union and
United Nations human rights frameworks for too long. This has reinforced a
culture of impunity in the country."

# # #
For more information please visit

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Two MDC Activists Killed in New Wave of Political Violence

SW Radio Africa (London)

14 April 2008
Posted to the web 14 April 2008

Tichaona Sibanda

Two MDC activists died over the weekend in political violence linked to
reprisal killings, that have left over 100 party activists seriously injured
after beatings by war veterans and militias.

Tapiwa Mbwada, an MDC organising secretary for Hurungwe East in Karoi, was
beaten to death on Saturday night. His wife and brother were badly beaten
and are in a serious condition. A local Zanu-PF councillor from Kazangarare
named as Jawet, and an ex-soldier identified as Madamombe, have been named
as the culprits.

A teacher in Mudzi in Mashonaland East, was murdered and 8 women from the
same area were abducted. The MDC is still waiting for more information and
confirmation about this case. In Gokwe an activist was shot and seriously
injured and is now in a Harare hospital.

Ian Makone, a top aide to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, accused Zanu-PF of
the latest killings and violence and denounced the attacks as 'naked evil'.

He warned that Robert Mugabe was trying to provoke 'mayhem and civil
disobedience' by inciting violence through political killings.

'To say it is tense would be an understatement,' Makone said. 'There is
almost a siege mentality because of the attacks.' The scale of the beatings
in most rural areas are so shocking, the victims can barely walk or talk.

In most of the recorded cases of beatings, the perpetrators are well known
figures in the communities. In other instances, Zanu-PF parliamentarians and
senior serving members of the police and army have been implicated in the

'David Parirenyatwa has been implicated in the violence taking place in
Murehwa. We also got the names of assistant commissioner Pfubvute and
Brigadier Douglas Nyikayarambwa, and these people are causing untold
suffering to many of our supporters,' Makone said.

He added; 'It's unfortunate now that in former strongholds of Zanu-PF, the
violence there now is brother against brother or brother against sister, or
friend against friend'.

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God have Mercy

Zimbabwe Metro
By Staff  April 14, 2008

terror8.jpgThe hand of a 22 year old male from Musaruro Village in Mudzi. He narrated what happened to him:

The ZANU PF youth came to my shop on Friday 11 April 2008 at 9pm, broke the door down and dragged me out of the building. The said “you are an MDC member”. They took all the groceries from my shop then burned grass on both my hands. After that they beat my hands and back with wooden poles. I went to Kotwa rural district hospital and they gave me 2 paracetamol - they had nothing else.”

A passenger on a bus reported seeing a man being hung by his hands from a tree while a group was beating him at Corner Store, between Muhrewa and Mutoko - this took place at approximately 4 pm Sunday 13 April 2008.

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Continent Must Re-Think the Principle of Non-Interference

New Vision (Kampala)

13 April 2008
Posted to the web 14 April 2008

Gad Fix Ruakoah

Almost all the headlines carried by media houses are about the possibility
of power sharing between Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.
This was a result of the disputed December 27, 2007 elections, which the
opposition believes were rigged by Kibaki's party.

The headlines are also centred on Zimbabwe, where the 84-year-old president
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF has ordered for a recount of the votes, while Morgan
Tsvangrai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the recount is

Similar headlines are running about the war between Islamists and government
troops in Somalia. As the African Union (AU) looks on, Ugandan troops are
sacrificing their lives to bring calm in Somalia.

In Darfur, thousands of people are dying in what the media deem as genocide,
with little concern from the rest of Africa.

To understand and find solutions to some of the problems Africa is facing,
Africans must reconsider their strong belief in the doctrine of sovereignty.
This doctrine, coupled with its twin, non-interference in the internal
affairs of another state, is a major contributing factor to the suffering of

The Darfur plight came about partly because the AU-member states believe
they will be interfering in the affairs of a sovereign state. Interfering is
necessary, but it should not necessarily be overt and militaristic because
there are other types of interference which are not easily detectable.

The AU and the United Nations (UN) both engrained in their charters these
two doctrines. Without the principles of peaceful co-existence in their
charters, these two bodies would continuously be troubled by states that
want to make raids into the territories of others. So, nations should
respect international borders and the sovereignty of nations.

International law, however, recognises certain instances when this
sovereignty can be dispensed with. It sets out occasions when one country
may be justified or even allowed to cross into the territory of its
neighbouring country.

Such was the case when the UN gave an American-led coalition permission to
go to Iraq and drive its army out of Kuwait. It is again this right, which
is supposed to have its limits, that initially allowed then president,
Julius Nyerere, to help Ugandans uproot Idi Amin.

The genocide in Rwanda in 1994, for instance, where over 1,091,000 people
were massacred (The New Vision Monday April 7, 2008) by primitive forces,
could have been averted if other African states intervened, regardless of
Rwanda's sovereignty.

The victims were killed for their ethnicity and political inclinations and
because Africans felt they would be interfering with the affairs of Rwanda.

Look at Kenya where the bloodiest political crisis has happened; a
post-election spasm of rigging and ethnic slaughter that killed at least
1,200 people and over 300,000 were displaced. Why didn't African leaders
condemn the way the results were declared?

African politics, for example, is shaped by the same contradictions. A
leader rigs elections, jails his opponents, torments his rivals and makes
enemies in the process.

Why can't African leaders rise at the AU meeting to condemn these acts? The
answer lies in their lack of democratic constitutional transparency.

Some Africans always want to play it safe by siding with super powers. Such
leaders should know they are just tools of convenience. The super powers
will get rid of them as soon as they cease to be of help. However, the
recent action taken by the Comoran forces, backed by the AU forces, to oust
rebel leader Mohammed Bacar of the Comoran Island, should be commended.

We need to emulate Nyerere, who did not fall for the concepts of Adam Smith,
the pioneering western economists or Lenin's eastern counterparts, but
delved deep into traditional values to promulgate African socialism.

He was the vanguard of African liberation. He undertook human resources and
financial costs. as a leader of the African Frontline States, he struggled
for the liberation of countries like Mozambique and Uganda. Nyerere also put
enormous effort elsewhere on the continent.

Wake up Africa!

The writer is a journalist

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Should other countries intervene in Zimbabwe?

Radio Netherlands

by Jonathan Groubert


Zimbabwe's election dispute is dragging on into its third week since the elections. President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF has managed to force a recount in some constituencies.

The opposition MDC claims the government has lost the election and is trying to rig the result.

What should the world do? Should the international community intervene? And if so, how? If not, why not.


George Kay, Los Angeles, California, United States

It is the counting that counts, not the voting. It seems that politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds. Power seems to be the great aphrodisiac of this president and he pollutes whatever he touches.

David L., Chicago, Illinois, United States

In a sense the International Community has already intervened in Zimbabwe. It did in 1965 when it refused to recognize Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence for Rhodesia and again in '79 when it wouldn't support the Internal Settlement, Smith formulated. Had UDI and IS won international recognition, Zimbabwe would have been spared the misrule of Mugabe and his fellow thugs in the ZANU-PF.

In light of this reality, the international community has a responsibility to undo the damage it did in 1980 when it effectively put Mad Bob into power, and affect regime change in Zimbabwe immediately! 

Pauline, Canada

We left Zimbabwe five years ago to make a better life for ourselves. If Mugabe does not go one way or another, no Zimbabwean will have peace of mind or have a better life in Zim. He is a monster and as such must go!!! 

Bob, Zimbabwe

Absoulute nonsense Jeroen van Well, Mugabe has to go, intervention is the only way and soon please. Things are not good.

Jamie Lee, Singapore

The international [community] should intervene! Someone must help Zimbabwe! The ruling party rules like a king. There is no way a king will leave his kingdom. A king will continue to stay in his kingdom until the day he dies.

I have no relation with Zimbabwe. But I really cannot bear the news of the suffering of these people. Someone must help them please! 

Bob Jonson, Scotland

It's about time the international community intervened and got rid of 'uncle Bob' completely - he's a disaster for the people of Zimbabwe.

Jeroen van Well, The Netherlands

No, of course the outside world shouldn't intervene. Unless the people of Zimbabwe ask for it. The current stalemate was created by Zimbabweans and should be ended by them as well.

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Mugabe's diversionary tactics

International Herald Tribune

By Eliphas Mukonoweshuro Published: April 14, 2008

The Movement for Democratic Change won the March 29 parliamentary and
presidential elections in Zimbabwe.

That fact needs to be stated time and time again, for it is in danger of
being gradually buried in a haze of obfuscation and bluff by Robert Mugabe
and his ZANU-PF party.

Democracy, so battered and abused in Africa, is being forced once again to
endure the harshest treatment. How does democracy take root in Africa if
this is the soil it is expected to grow in?

Zimbabwe at this moment exists in the midst of a coup led by the loser of
the elections and aided by inaction on the part of the global community. The
victims have names and faces, such as the few remaining white farmers now
being evicted from their homes, or the MDC supporters being roughed up by
ZANU-PF thugs.

And there are other victims. They are the many Africans who are looking to
Zimbabwe to watch one of the few local opportunities for democratic change.
They are looking to our country to present a model of moving from
dictatorship to democracy, from authoritarianism to the rule of law.

They are seeing not only if this can be done, for it isn't a common event in
Africa, but whether it can be done peacefully, an even rarer phenomenon.
They are being disappointed. What they are seeing are the self-serving
tactics of a spent leader and they can take no solace from the fact that
Africa has seen it all before.

It's unlikely a solution will arrive as a result of more talking. The
regional conference on Zimbabwe just concluded in Zambia is useful as a
general focus, but such a talking shop was never going to be a remedy to the
impasse Zimbabwe finds itself in.

In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has upturned democracy. This is not a matter of
discussion or in need of high-level analysis. It is a fact and it needs no
solution other than the removal of Mugabe himself.

It is clear that this needs to be done strategically. This we can accept.
Mugabe and his powerbrokers have the potential to wreak havoc on the country
should they be slighted in the changeover process. It is a sad truth that
dictators rarely respect the law, only doing so when they themselves are
threatened by it.

But first, Mugabe must agree to release the full election results and leave
the presidency when those results reveal his demise. This is the single
bottom line requirement before any further progress can be made in Zimbabwe.

It is telling that the ZANU-PF mouthpiece, the Herald newspaper, has been
fishing for what it has called a coalition government, which envisages a
shared government between the MDC and the defeated ZANU-PF.

This has been unfortunately picked up by various media outlets around the
world as a potential circuit breaker in Zimbabwe.

But this move, along with the attempts to maneuver for a presidential
run-off, are political charades, not factors in a democratic process; more
examples of Mugabe roping all Zimbabweans to the mast of his sinking ship,
threatening to take the whole country down with him.

As these diversions are wound tighter they trap the democratic process in
Zimbabwe. This is of course the intention from Mugabe's point of view, but
what is remarkable is that many in the international community seem to have
entrapped themselves.

For many Africans, this is a sideshow. As they look on through jaundiced
eyes at Zimbabwe as it lurches about under the weight of its expectations,
many will note that for all the world's talk about democracy and due
process, it means little in reality. Most will no doubt return to their
lives after watching another moment in African democracy pass by.

Others might observe that dictatorship meets few barriers in this part of
the world. They might be motivated to try their hand at winning power
through similar means and then develop their means of holding power via a
template derived from the handbook of Robert Mugabe.

So, as discussions continue around regional summits and presidential
run-offs, it cannot be forgotten that Africa is watching and it is learning
the hard facts of global geopolitics. They are seeing behind the façade of
international diplomacy.

The message being transmitted from Zimbabwe today will send those hopeful of
democracy away, and will encourage those seeking to draw on Mugabe's model
of power.

History may well look back on this moment and blanch. So far, it represents
a moment lost. Zimbabwe sits awaiting a resolution, not distractions.

The people of Africa are waiting too. Zimbabweans, on behalf of all
Africans, have spoken and they want a new deal.

Eliphas Mukonoweshuro is the foreign affairs spokesman of the Movement for
Democratic Change.

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Few options for Zimbabwe opposition in poll stalemate


 HARARE, April 14 (AFP)

Rebuffed by the courts and regional leaders, Zimbabwe's opposition has a
shrinking range of options as it seeks to build up pressure for the release
of results from last month's presidential election.

The Movement for Democratic Change may have threatened a general strike on
Tuesday and to boycott a possible run-off between its leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe but both tactics run the risk of
playing into their rival's hands, say analysts.

Previous campaigns to force a general shutdown have largely flopped and
street protests have been crushed while a decision not to participate in a
run-off could end up simply handing victory on a plate to Mugabe.

As many in the MDC privately feared, the high court Monday turned down its
petition for an order to the Zimbabwe electoral commission (ZEC) to
immediately announce the results of the March 29 poll, ordering the party to
pay the costs.

It was the second such reverse for the opposition in as many days with
leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC)
ending a summit on Sunday with a declaration only for the results to be
announced "expeditiously" and urging all sides to accept the outcome.

The MDC had called on SADC to issue a firm declaration urging Mugabe to
"accept defeat" and to tell him his time was up.

It has released its own figures claiming Tsvangirai won more than 50 percent
in the March 29 poll, pushing its man over the threshold needed to avoid a
second round.

But Eldred Masunungure, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe,
said the opposition was in a bind as a boycott of the second round would
leave the electoral commission no option but to declare Mugabe the winner.

"The boycott will throw the whole electoral exercise into disarray. If
Tsvangirai decides not to participate in the run-off, it will leave Mugabe
as the sole runner in the race," said Masunungure.

Lovemore Madhuku, a Zimbabwean constitutional expert, said the law was clear
about the consequences if Tsvangirai does not contest any run-off.

"The law says those with highest and the second highest votes in the first
round go to a run-off and if one of them withdraws the other one is
automatically declared winner," Madhuku told AFP.

Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has challenged the MDC to
formally withdraw from a potential run-off, accusing them of empty threats.

In a letter to the electoral commission, Chinamasa said the boycott threat
was "because they know that they will lose heavily and as a face-saving
gesture they are trying to avoid a run-off."

The MDC issued a call last week for a general strike on Tuesday if results
were still unannounced and has made thinly-veiled threats that the people
"will make a statement" in the continued vacuum.

However, with unemployment running at over 80 percent and few of those in
work willing to forego a day without pay as they struggle to make ends meet,
the most recent general strike calls have gone largely unheeded.

The MDC has so far resisted direct calls for its supporters to take to the
streets, well aware that Mugabe still controls the security apparatus.

"The MDC is in a very difficult position," said Dirk Kotze, an analyst at
the University of South Africa in Pretoria.

Tsvangirai's courting of regional leaders and the resort to legal action
underlined how little room for manoeuvre they have and their awareness of
the dangers of taking to the streets, he added.

"Mugabe wants to provoke the MDC to violence, to violent demonstrations -- 
that would give him a reason to declare the state of emergency and set the
elections aside."

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Zim protesters head for the streets


    April 14 2008 at 04:04PM

By Francis Hweshe

Several hundred activists are set to take to the city streets this
week to protest against the crisis in Zimbabwe and President Thabo Mbeki's
"What crisis?" response during the weekend.

The protest, spearheaded by lobby group People Against Suffering,
Suppression, Op-pression and Poverty (Passop), is aimed at highlighting the
unconstitutional delay in announcing the presidential results; President
Robert Mugabe's latest wave of violence and intimidation against those who
voted for the opposition MDC party; the reported militarisation of that
country; and the dire refugee situation, among other issues.

Cosatu, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Angolan, Congolese and
Somali societies are expected to be part of the protest to Parliament on
Thursday, said Passop chairperson Braam Hanekom.

On Sunday Hanekom blasted Mbeki's denial on Saturday of a crisis in
Zimbabwe, two weeks after the presidential poll - the results of which has
still not been announced.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Cape Argus on April
14, 2008

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Now the MDC turns to the Supreme Court

Zimbabwe Today

A new move by the opposition as the battle for the results goes on

Lawyers for Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change were
considering appealing to the Zimbabwe Supreme Court today, Monday, after the
High Court dismissed the party's application to force the Electoral
Commission to release the result of the presidential election.

Issuing what is a body blow to MDC hopes, High Court judge Tendai Uchena
said: "This court is...not entitled to intervene and order respondents (ZEC)
to announce the results on the basis of failure to comply with the law."

MDC lawyer Andrew Makoni said: "The court has given the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission a blank cheque. We don't know when they will be ready to release
the results, or what length of delay would be reasonable in the eyes of the

Extra pressure on the ZEC is also being planned for tomorrow, when
Tsvangirai has called for a general strike, to end only when the results are

Posted on Monday, 14 April 2008 at 16:55

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Protest as Mbeki addresses UN security council


Zimbabwe crisis appeal takes to the skies over the United Nations
3000-sq-ft banner to deliver 120k petition—"Mbeki: Time to Act", the world's largest international online advocacy network, will
issue a dramatic aerial appeal on Wednesday for Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's
president, to step up to the plate and support democracy in Zimbabwe.

Building on a 120,000-strong global petition, Avaaz will fly a 3000 square
foot banner above the UN on Wednesday morning, calling on Mr Mbeki to
convince Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe president, to respect the will of his

Zimbabwe's high court refused today to order the release of the March 29
election results. Mr Mugabe's regime threatens to use violence and fraud to
hold on to power.

Mr Mbeki is chairing a presidential level Security Council meeting on Africa
on Wednesday, and is widely believed to be the man best placed to change Mr
Mugabe's mind. But his brand of "quiet diplomacy" has so far failed to win
meaningful results. On Saturday, Mr. Mbeki provoked outrage by saying "there
is no crisis in Zimbabwe."

A worldwide petition launched last week is calling on Mr Mbeki to take a
tougher stance, as well as calling for the immediate release of election
results. It has already attracted 120,000 signatures from almost every
country on earth, including thousands of Avaaz members in the African

"Global public opinion is loud and clear," says Ricken Patel, Executive
Director of Avaaz. "Thabo Mbeki's credibility as a global and regional
leader is on the line."

"Now is the time to act. Mbeki is in danger of betraying the principles of
the worldwide movement that helped bring democracy to his own country."

About Avaaz

Avaaz, which means "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian
languages, was launched in January 2007 with a simple democratic mission: to
use the tools of online campaigning to help ensure that the views and values
of the world's peoples shape the policies that govern them.

Avaaz has since grown to more than 3 million members from every country on
earth. The Economist wrote last year of Avaaz' power to "give the world
leaders a deafening wake-up call"; while the Indian Express heralded "the
biggest web campaigner across the world, rooting for crucial global issues."

David Miliband, the UK foreign secretary who asked Avaaz to co-host his
first major speech, calls the organization "the best of the new in foreign
policy." Zainab Bangura, the foreign minister of Sierra Leone, describes
Avaaz as "an ally, and a rallying place, for disadvantaged people everywhere
to help create real change".

Avaaz' call for dialogue over Tibet received more than 1.6 million
signatures in little over a week, in what is thought to be the fastest
growing global online petition ever.

And Avaaz's 'Stop the Clash' video recently won the YouTube political video
of the year award, gaining more votes than Obama Girl and other videos
centered on the US Presidential race.

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Looking for a knock-out ahead of round two

No news from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
HARARE, 14 April 2008 (IRIN) - At least one Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporter has been killed in political violence in Zimbabwe at the weekend, amid reports by human rights groups that ruling ZANU-PF party militants and the army have been deployed in the countryside to snuff out the opposition.

The man was reportedly beaten to death in Hurungwe district, in Mashonaland West Province: unconfirmed accounts said another MDC supporter was killed in Mudzi distict in Mashonaland East Province. Both northern provinces have in the past overwhelmingly voted for ZANU-PF, but in the 29 March election the MDC picked up seats and local government wards.

A spokesperson for an organisation working with political violence victims told IRIN: "We can confirm that one MDC supporter was beaten to death by ZANU-PF supporters, youths and war veterans over the weekend in Hurungwe. The brother to the victim of violence is currently detained in a hospital with severe injuries. We are still making a follow up to confirm reports that there was another murder in Mudzi."

Acts of political retribution have reportedly increased in rural areas that were formerly seen as ZANU-PF strongholds, where the MDC scored startling successes in last month's poll.

"More than 200 families have had their homes burnt down and chased away. Many are reported to be living in the forests and nearby mountains while trying to make their way to urban areas, especially Harare [the capital]. Those who have been targeted are those who were election or polling agents for the MDC or known supporters," said the human rights defender, who asked not to be named.

Teachers who worked as polling officers are some of those who have been targeted, according to the secretary general of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Raymond Majongwe, told IRIN.

"Teachers who worked as polling or presiding officers are being accused of rigging the elections in favour of MDC. Teachers have been abducted and tortured to alter election results," Majongwe alleged.

Bednock Nyahude, the MDC winning candidate in the parliamentary elections for a constituency in Mashonaland Central, another former ZANU-PF stronghold, claimed he had been threatened by ruling party militants.

"ZANU-PF supporters have been threatening me and my supporters with physical assault. They have threatened to kidnap my children on their way from school," he reportedly said.

''I saw many villagers, especially MDC supporters and teachers, being beaten up by armed men and ZANU-PF supporters''
According to the official vote count, ZANU-PF has lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980, but it has called for a recount in 23 constituencies where it claims its candidates were cheated. The presidential results are yet to be released, two weeks after the ballot. If it is determined that incumbent President Robert Mugabe or MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to win over 50 percent of the vote, a  second round run-off will be called.

Military maneovers

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary general, Wellington Chibebe, told IRIN that the deployment of the military, war veterans and ZANU-PF militia was in line with statements made by senior military commanders who said they would not recognise any elected government except one led by ZANU-PF and Mugabe.

"What is happening is clear proof that the military meant what it said, but what is undeniable is that ZANU-PF has been beaten in the just ended elections and that it is now an opposition party. Mugabe lost the elections otherwise why is he traumatising innocent Zimbabweans?"

While the police confirmed there were "isolated" cases of violence, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association, Jabulani Sibanda, told IRIN that his members were not responsible for the attacks. "No genuine war veteran would go out and commit acts of violence. We are a disciplined force."

Ratidzo Moyo, a teacher in Mudzi, said she had witnessed the political unrest in the district before she fled. "I saw many villagers, especially MDC supporters and teachers, being beaten up by armed men and ZANU-PF supporters. I only carried a few clothes and came to Harare. I am afraid if I continue to stay there, I could be a victim of political violence."

For now she is staying with her sister in the high density suburb of Glen View in Harare. Although heavily armed soldiers and police patrol the township, she feels safer among urban residents.


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Zimbabwean officials fear prosecution if Mugabe loses

Christian Science Monitor

Top ruling party members are jittery about being tried in international
By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
and a contributor
from the April 15, 2008 edition

Bulawayo and Harare, Zimbabwe - Defeat is never easy in politics, but it
seems especially hard for Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, which has steered
Zimbabwe through 28 years of ruinous and often brutal rule.

Harsh crackdowns against dissent, starting with the "Gukurahundi" massacres
that left more than 20,000 people dead in the early 1980s to the crackdown
against university students in 1988 to the land invasions against white
commercial farmers in the late 1990s have created a long list of potential
human rights violations by senior members of ZANU-PF.

Prosecution for involvement in these alleged crimes – and for rampant
corruption – has given many top ZANU-PF leaders another compelling reason to
hang on to power in the wake of Zimbabwe's disputed March 29 elections.

Recent examples of former African dictators – most notably Liberia's former
President Charles Taylor who's now on trial for war crimes in The Hague –
provide caution for any official facing defeat.

Small reason, then, that ZANU-PF officials and top military commanders are
expressing reluctance to hand over power to the opposition candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai, who has pledged a clean sweep of government and a redress of
past crimes.

"We cannot allow our liberation war hero [Robert Mugabe] to be humiliated
like [former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein]," says a senior ZANU-PF politburo
member in Harare, who requested anonymity.

The official claims that the opposition party, Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), plans to send Mr. Mugabe to The Hague to face human rights and
war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court in order to please
Western countries. He says some countries have already pledged financial
support to the opposition party should it emerge victorious.

While much of the international community seems baffled by the two-week long
delay for releasing Zimbabwe's election results – in which preliminary
tallies show the opposition party to be the winner – the reason for
ZANU-PF's intransigence may be a simple matter of staying rich and avoiding

Twenty-eight years of unquestioned power is a hard thing to leave behind,
and having a military – especially one that is equally implicated in crime
and corruption – seems to give the Zimbabwe ruling elite the capacity to
hold onto power, no matter what the polls say.

The question now is whether the MDC will give the ruling party confidence
that they will receive fair treatment in court.

"Robert Mugabe is a person who is surrounded by idiots, fools, thieves,
criminals, unemployable people," says Innocent Kala, one of the founding
members of ZANU-PF. Mr. Kala served as Mugabe's minister of home affairs in
the 1980s until a falling out. "These crooks are holding him hostage. If he
leaves, who will protect them?"

The signs of ZANU-PF's distress are seen in the fact that the once
all-powerful party is suddenly negotiating with smaller parties in
expectation that when the results from the March 29 election are finally
released, neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai will have the 50 percent majority
and will have to face a runoff. This outreach stands in stark contrast with
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, which continues to insist that
it has won the election outright and is prepared to govern.

"For us, it is not safe to cede power whether we lose or win," says one
veteran of Zimbabwe's war for liberation against the former white-ruled
governmnent of Rhodesia, who could not be named. "The MDC would want a land
audit, meaning some people will lose their farms. They would want
investigations into the deaths of its activists, and some of our colleagues
are not comfortable with that."

There is also a widely held view that senior ZANU-PF officials and Army
chiefs were reluctant to cede power because they are afraid of losing the
properties they looted or got through party patronage.

"In politics, you don't cede power easily, especially in a country like ours
where the opposition is controlled by foreign countries," says one senior
ZANU-PF official.

During election campaigns, the MDC told its supporters that it would replace
all officials in key positions in major state institutions, a pledge that
sent shivers down ZANU-PF spines.

The fact that the on-going political violence – particularly in the rural
areas such as Masvingo, where houses of opposition supporters are being
burnt down by ZANU-PF militia and war veterans – is happening with little or
no rebuke from senior party leaders appears to be a clear sign that ruling
party elite are determined to cling to power at whatever cost.

"If we are to leave power, we would want a guarantee from the MDC and the
international community that there would be no prosecution of any crime,"
says another ZANU-PF official. "Even with such a clause we are very

• A journalist who could not be named for security reasons contributed from

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Zanu-PF 'not surprised'


    April 14 2008 at 06:32PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's party said on Monday it
was not surprised by a High Court decision to throw out a request by the
opposition to force the immediate release of presidential elections.

"We are not surprised that the court has dismissed the application,"
Patrick Chinamasa, the ruling Zanu-PF's spokesperson said.

"We knew from the outset that application by the MDC had no merit. How
can you force the electoral commission to release results when it is not

He accused the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of aiming at
post-electoral unrest in the southern African country.

"It is very clear that the MDC embarked on mitigation in order to
stampede the electoral commission to announce an incorrect result and to
cause confusion," he said.

"The MDC is trying to paint and portray Zimbabwe as a country in
crisis and this explains why they caused the SADC chairperson to convene a
meeting with no prior consultation with Zimbabwe," he said in an interview
flanked by Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Rural Housing
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The three ministers represented Mugabe at the weekend summit which
Mugabe decided to skip.

Mnangagwa had earlier on Monday told a news conference that SADC
member states were taken by surprise to be invited to the summit by Zambian
leader Levy Mwanawasa, two days after it had been announced in the media.

At the summit held in Zambia, he said Zimbabwe had "objected in the
strongest terms" to the inclusion of opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai
and Simba Makoni on the agenda.

Allowing the two to address the leaders "was tantamount to elevating
opposition politicians to the status of heads of states and governments".

"Such a step, if allowed, would create a dangerous precedent." -

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A leadership vacuum

The Australian

April 15, 2008

Zimbabwe's opposition must continue to stand firm

THE failure of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community summit
to put pressure on depraved Zimbabwe tyrant Robert Mugabe demonstrates why
much of the region remains wracked by starvation, disease, economic ruin and
corruption. As head of the largest nation at the summit, South African
President Thabo Mbeki should have galvanised the support of his neighbours
to give Mugabe, 84, the stern push he needs to make way for the new order
demanded by his people. The SADC's weekend resolution did not even name
Mugabe, let alone criticise him. Mr Mbeki's mealy-mouthed insistence that
"there is no crisis in Zimbabwe" and that "quiet diplomacy" will prevail
suggests that Mugabe is still lionised as a symbol of black liberation.
After 28 years of his rule, it is fair to ask, liberation from what?
Liberation from non-democratic white rule that has morphed into
non-democratic black rule. As southern Africa's worst example of clapped-out
Stalinism, independence has come at a price of 100,000 per cent inflation,
80 per cent unemployment, the razing of once-rich farmlands and black
opponents' villages and a life expectancy of about 35years. Under former
prime minister Ian Smith in the 1960s and 70s, farms and mines were
white-owned, but most blacks had jobs, food, lived twice as long and in many
cases were educated.

The people of the former Rhodesia, like those of all colonies, were entitled
to self-determination. Tragically, however, today's generations across much
of Africa are hungrier and more downtrodden than their ancestors under
colonial rule. Aids has been allowed to run rampant. Unaccustomed to a
culture of trade and commerce, unlike the Indians and Chinese who helped
former Asian colonial countries thrive, Africans have floundered. Abysmal
leadership has squandered any hope of prosperity because too often it has
been shackled to the failed remnants of Marxism.

In Zimbabwe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, despite the Mugabe
regime's electoral fraud, clearly won the March 29 presidential election as
well as the parliamentary poll. Mr Tsvangirai's tactics of pressing his
claim of outright victory are correct. The Mugabe regime's leading henchmen
have so much invested in one-party democracy that a second ballot would be

Now pressing 90, South Africa's liberator Nelson Mandela seems unable or
unwilling to raise his voice. And the new generation of leaders' efforts on
Zimbabwe match their collective failure to take a stand on the tragedies in
Darfur, Sudan and Somalia further north. If the SADC had a shred of
credibility or a basic grasp of responsible governance, it would distance
itself from Mugabe's mass murder, corruption and turning his nation from a
bread basket into a basket-case. Doing so, however, might throw too much of
spotlight their own shaky regimes. The UN, too, is displaying customary
meekness in the face of such outrages. Yet until the Mugabe regime is
history, the world cannot help his starving people.

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Zimbabwe: The Battle Mugabe Will Never Win

African Path

April 14, 2008 11:49 AM
By Rev M S Hove


It is very vital that the whole world should know that ZANU-PF has always
had two faces. There is the face that is shown to the world and the face
that the common man on the ground sees and brushes and inter-acts with.

We who have been part of ZANU-PF for all our adult lives can testify that
ZANU-PF is a very dangerous organisation indeed. I will try to follow the
bumpy journey that we have had with Mugabe and ZANU-PF since before the
Independence of 1980.

It must be emphasized that Mugabe and ZANU-PF have always existed as some
sort of under-dog. That is the underline that must never be omitted.


When the Rev Ndabaningi Sithole broke away in the early 60s (from the main
Organisation, ZAPU), the new Organisation, ZANU survived and thrived by
demonising Dr Joshua Nkomo. He was presented to the people as a dangerous
Ndebele who would revive the NdebeleKingdom.

As with all propaganda, there must be some element of truth for the
propaganda to stick. The majority Shonas had suffered untold hardships in
the previous Century from raids by war-like Ndebeles. So anyone who could
revive that experience in the hearts and minds of the people had a very easy

So it was very risky for Shonas to remain in Dr Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU. In
fact, those that did deserve a lot of respect. There are numerous I could
mention but I do not intend to list them in this particular submission. I
cannot also list the numerous events where ZAPU supporters were tortured and
murdered before Independence. The trend was for Shonas to support ZANU and
forget about Dr Joshua Nkomo if they wanted to live and survive.

From 1973 when I completed the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary
Level) ie Form Four, I was a member of the United African National Council
(UANC) which was led by the Methodist Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa. This
UANC was the internal Organisation which grouped all the nationalists ie
ZAPU, ZANU and the former ANC. The strategy was for the Smith Regime to
treat the UANC in a softer light yet in fact it was representing the very
same "banned" ZAPU and ZANU.

From 1974 I was staying my with my parents and my father was the Pastor at
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the black township of Rimuka in the small
farming and mining town of Kadoma (then Gatooma).

Recruitment for guerilla fighters for both the ZANLA and ZIPRA (military
wings of ZANU and ZAPU respectively) was done underground within the UANC.
The young men we recruited went mainly to Mozambique to the ZANLA bases.

I remember vividly that we contributed monies in Kadoma to give the "boys"
when their representatives came to us in Rimuka Townnship. We used to gather
at the SQ's (Single Quarters) at Mr Nyamhuri's house (or more correctly,

Mr Nyamhuri was so committed to the struggle and I held him in the highest

What I didn't know and what didn't really concern me then was whether he was
ZAPU or ZANU. To me these Organisations had been "swallowed" by the UANC and
what was there was just the UANC and the UANC alone. But because of what I
will relate later, may I mention that he was a fervent supporter of Dr
Nkomo's ZAPU.

I was a Sub-station Attendant with the then ESC (the Electricity Supply
Commission) and I was very angry with the racism of the white Rhodesia Front

I had completed my Cambridge School Certificate with a First Division and I
was angry that I was only taken by the ESC as a $7.92 a week Sub-station
Attendant yet white youths were getting in as Apprentices getting $40 a

I hated Ian Smith and I was committed to the Armed Struggle.

In March of 1975, 21 of us were picked up and I spent three weeks detained
at the Rimuka Police Cells.

Detective Sergeant Zimani then told me that they were doing their jobs and
they would continue with their jobs even in the event of Black Majority
Rule. He specifically said, "Tichangoshaina zvakadaro. Tiri kushaina ende
tichangoshaina." (We will still thrive. We are thriving now and will still
thrive then.)


Detective-Sergeant Zimani was a very smart, handsome light-skinned man. Many
years later I worked in ZESA (The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority)
with a nephew of his who informed me that Mr Zimani did continue working a
Senior Detective in the renamed Zimbabwe Republic Police and retired due to
old age.


In the middle of April, 1975, some of were released but some were sent to
the High Court in Harare (then Salisbury) and one was sentenced to death and
two were sentenced to Life Imprisonment. The crime was "the recruitment of
terrorists for military training."

The young man who was sentenced to death was a very handsome, intelligent
brother whom we had learnt to love, trust and admire. His name appears in
the lists of people who were sentenced to death in the Salisbury High Court
in 1975.

I escaped Death or even Life Imprisonment myself because I was 19 years old
and it was assumed that I had been misled by the older people.

After my release I got a job as a Temporary Teacher at MupamombePrimary
School in the same RimukaTownship and I remember I was earning a healthy
$59.75 per month.

I started in the Second Term and I hoped I would settle for a quiet
uneventful life.

Sometime beginning of the Third Term, seven young Form One Students came to
me and they said they wanted directions to go to Mozambique. I told them I
was sure they needed to go to Malvenia and see from there. They asked me for
financial assistance and I truthfully said I had none. I, however, wished
them a safe journey and that was the last I heard from them.

On the 10th of November (the same year 1975), Detective-Sergeant Zimani came
to my Grade 5B Classroom with the Headmaster and I was told the Police
needed me and could I get my jacket and everything. I was driven to Chakari
Police Station where I spent exactly five weeks. Among the numerous visitors
who periodically came to visit me was the same Nyamhuri who I had shared a
cell with earlier in the year.


On the 16th of June, 2004, when I was now a District Secretary in ZANU-PF, I
had to supervise the beating up of PF-ZAPU members and one of them was my
same compatriot, Cde Nyamhuri. The full story of this particular black day
the link thereof is available at

What made ZANU-PF members go on a rampage beating up and killing PF-ZAPU
members? What made brother to turn against brother and children to turn
against their parents etc?

I have related how the Rev Sithole's ZANU persecuted Dr Nkomo's ZAPU.
Although there was some loose Alliance called the Patriotic Front, Mr Robert
Mugabe (now heading ZANU) was so determined to lead the new Independent
Zimbabwe. He fooled all who thought his Alliance with Nkomo was genuine.

There was great disappointment when Mugabe led ZANU to contest the Elections
on its own in 1980.

He had made his task easier by assassinating a much respected Karanga
General Josiah Magama Tongogara who was of the view that Mugabe and Nkomo
should go into Zimbabwe as one united entity. The General held the ZAPU
leader in high esteem and paid with his life for that posture.


It was so logical that Dr Joshua Nkomo and Mr Robert Mugabe should fight the
Smith Regime as a one united front. At that time the battle was actually
against the Internal Settlement Leader (Bishop Abel Muzorewa.)

The whites were contesting on their own for the 20 reserved seats. The 80
were "up for grabs" for the black Political Formations.

But to simple persons like myself, it would have been a wonderful climax if
the Nationalist Movements were to share their victories together.


Dr Nkomo's Campaign Team couldn't campaign in numerous areas.

Masvingo, Manicaland and many parts of Mashonaland. Many lost their lives.
The situation became so bad Lord Soames was under pressure to disqualify
Mugabe's ZANU-PF. In retrospect many wish he had done just that. But it
would have been impossible to hold the Elections without Robert Mugabe.

ZANLA had left 4000 fighters in Mozambique who had not been declared at the
Assembly Points and these would have destabilised the Elections of 1980 and
whatever would come from them. So in spite of the violence, ZANU-PF was
allowed to contest and "won" 57 seats, Dr Nkomo 20 with Muzorewa getting 3.
The seats were given out using the proportional representation ie using the
percentages of the votes gained.

But I later learnt that the ZAPU members and the ZIPRA combatants never
really felt relaxed and happy in the new Zimbabwe. At that time – 1981 to
1987, I was under the impression that ZAPU was a dangerous organisation
which was plotting to "overthrow" Mugabe's ZANU-PF Government. Me as a
Minister of the Gospel, I managed to talk to many ex-ZIPRA cadres who told
me horrifying stories.

Many good persons were being locked up, ZAPU offices were being shut down
all over the country.

The farms which the demobilised ex-ZIPRA Combatants had bought with their
"De-mob" monies were confiscated by the State and even after the so-called
"Unity Accord" of 1987, they have never been returned. These were called
"Nitram Farms."

The persecution of all of Mugabe's real or imaginary enemies during his 28
year reign of terror can never be fully quantified.

In my submission "IS ROBERT MUGABE THE MASTER-ASSASSIN" (refer, I tried to list all the persons I knew had
been assassinated by Robert Mugabe's CIO (Central Intelligence
Organisation.) I'm daily surprised by other additional names.

I had not listed Professor Masipula Sithole who allegedly had a heart attack
while on a plane to the United States.

I had not listed Dr Swithun Mombeshora who had a very strange death. At that
time we thought he just died in his sleep. Now we know more and I need to
update my records.


The very cadres that Mugabe and ZANU-PF used in various evil and nefarious
activities are too scattered this time. Some left the country due to the
Economic hardships, some now support Tsvangirai's MDC, others support the
Makoni-Mutambara Alliance and numerous are giving Interviews all over the
world and a few like myself are blogging and are collecting information
which heavily incriminates the same Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

Mugabe can never rig Elections this time and hope to get away with it.
Within the most close networks are angry and disgruntled Operatives who were
made to persecute their own friends, relatives etc. There is no Operative
who doesn't have relations that suffered in one way or another during
Mugabe's stranglehold on power.

The few that sing Mugabe's praises are the desperate ones who fear serious
retribution in the event of another Government getting into power. These
operate in difficult circumstances because their own colleagues leak vital
information to the Opposition Forces hence making "Operations" very
difficult, if not impossible.

How can MDC sypmathisers "rig" at 23 Polling Stations? Are we, therefore,
alleging that those registered as ZANU-PF Polling Agents were actually MDC

That's very frightening!

So who is really ZANU-PF?

If members of the Politburo can break away just a month before a very vital
election, who is the committed ZANU-PF member?

In other words, can anyone be sure who supports Mugabe and who does not?

So how does Mugabe hope to win a re-run, if there is one? Does Mugabe not
risk the danger of a worse loss?

Are Mugabe's advisers sincere? Or are they also Opposition sympathisers?


After numerous Political Parties "fell" by the way-side, ZANU-PF made the
blunder of being arrogant and complacent. It is important to mention that
those that "fell by the wayside" were actually strangled by ZANU-PF.

Margaret Dongo, Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena, Edgar Tekere, Bishop
Muzorewa etc etc. Graves were dug as their members were clubbed to death or
were sent to other violent death.

Corruption then crept in and spread like a cancer.

When Cde Edgar Tekere mentioned in a Politburo Meeting that "we are getting
too corrupt", the reply was: "You see that door.....leave through it and
form your own Political Party." He did form ZUM and what happened to Cde
Kombayi and numerous others is there for all to read.

Please go to my and look for "APPEAL TO ALL

Mugabe was now a "Demi-God" who could neither be advised nor even approached
by anyone. His own relatives, Phillip Chiyangwa, Leo Mugabe etc became
filthy rich while the generality of the populace sank into deeper and deeper
poverty. State funds were diverted to non-productive and dangerous
adventures. The DRC war, the Pay-outs to angry Ex-Combatants, the
"Gracelands" projects by Grace Marufu-Goreraza-Marufu… the list is endless!

When the Movement for Democratic Change was formed, then Mugabe and ZANU-PF
decided to take the most risky leap ever the dark!


I was an Accounting Officer (Revenue) in the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority when the "Land Grab" began. As o former Credit Controller in the
same Organisation, I knew who our "Big Customers" were. Farmers, Mining
Companies and other big Industrialists gave us the big revenue.

Farmers had their own Transformers and used millions of Megawatt-hours

When the "Land Grab" began, revenue fell dramatically. ZESA never became the
same after that. Remember many "big" customers were paying in Foreign
Currency, if it was known they exported certain products e.g. beef products,
flowers etc.

With the collapse of the Commercial Farmers, everything then followed like
that Domino Set-up! Centres supplying farmers with implements also
collapsed. Banket Farmers' Centre, Chinhoyi Agricultural Supplies etc. Each
town had closures. Norton lost Farmers' Centres. So did Kadoma. Name every
city and town!

The Cold Storage Commissions around the country closed for lack of beef
products. My fellow-countrymen who had gone into the farms were selling beef
at black market places and had no regard for business acumen since they had
"inherited" the farms with all the beasts etc for free! All that was there
to do was to thank Mugabe and ZANU-PF for the "Third Chimurenga."

The Dairy Marketing Commissions closed down. No-one brought megalitres of
milk. The new farmers were sitting on stools and milking just enough for
their families. No bulk deliveries to town. The little that was being sold
in towns was being sold at market stalls. Nothing much to talk about!

The Commercial Banks were holding numerous title deeds as Security for
short-term and long-term loans that the Commercial farmers taken to supply
their ventures with financial injections. Overnight they lost millions as
Mugabe declared those Title Deeds just equal in value to "toilet paper." Who
knows how much was lost by the Banks due to this misguided "Revolutionary"

The new farmers who took over the farms were mainly "Cell Phone"
administrators who did not live full-time on the land. Whenever they bought,
say, fertilizer, they never knew if their Farm Managers used that fertilizer
or actually sold it at cheaper prices and pocketing the ready cash. Which
farmer can succeed if they send inputs and implements and not supervise how
they are used?

Fuel that was sold to the new farmers at ridiculously low prices never
reached the said farms.

The new farmers found it far more profitable to re-sell it to transport
operators rather than take it hundreds of kilometres to their farms.

The whole tragedy that surrounded the "Land Grab" can never be fully

It is not fully true that "Sanctions" are the only ones to blame for the
Economic Crisis in Zimbabwe. The factors are so numerous, what's required
for Zimbabwe is a completely new start!

The strongest ZANU-PF supporter knows that Mugabe and ZANU-PF can never
preside over the re-construction of the country's Economy.


I rarely have a formal conclusion in all my submissions.

This one, however, deserves a proper conclusion.

As I write this submission, its Sunday 13th April and I'm receiving SMS's
from Zimbabwe and from around the world. Those in Zimbabwe inform that
Mugabe's last card is to replace the genuine Ballot Papers with those
already printed which have the same serial numbers as the ones previously

It works like this:

If an MDC supporter was given Ballot number BX 14567 and voted for the MDC,
a new Ballot Paper with the number BX 14567 must be thrown into the Ballot
Box with an "X" for ZANU-PF and the original one (which had an "X" for the
MDC) destroyed.

No new Ballot Papers can be added otherwise it would destabilise the
original total.

This is completely stupid, though, because the Information is already being
circulated. Otherwise how else would I know about it from here in South

But it is incredible to believe that with the rigorous checking and
cross-checking, it would have been possible for 23 Polling Stations ( or
even one) to make a gross error where a certain number of votes could have
been passed as Tsvangirai's yet they were actually Mugabe's.

The allegation means that all the four Boxes were miscounted. It implies
that the alleged 23 Polling Stations; the votes for the President, for the
Member of Parliament, for the Senator and for the Councillor were all

All this happening (allegedly) in the presence of the candidate for ZANU-PF
(who can never be absent), the candidates of the other parties, the Polling
Officers, the Presiding Officer, the ZEC representative, the ZESN
representative and the visitors from other "friendly countries."

This allegedly happened at not one but 23 Polling Stations!

This allegedly happened in Zimbabwe where the State Officials normally
support ZANU-PF.

This allegedly happened with the help of the Foreign observers.

So one can as well allege that it happened in all the 9000 Polling Stations.
Who can dispute that?

At what stage were the anomalies discovered? After the results had been
signed for and the results posted outside the Polling Stations? Then for
four full days, nobody had noticed it? Then someone checked the figures of
the 9000 Polling Stations and discovered that there 23 which were suspect?

Are there more to come?

Which idiot in the whole wide world would believe that trash?

If we expect to receive Donor Confidence to re-build our country, why engage
in desperate tactics?

If we hope for Investor Confidence, why sink to such low levels?



Respectfully submitted,

Rev Mufaro Stig Hove

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Southern Africa fails Zimbabwe

Financial Times

Published: April 14 2008 19:28 | Last updated: April 14 2008 19:28

Were it not for its tragic dimensions, Zimbabwe’s post-election debacle
would be entering the realms of farce. Fifteen days have passed since it
became clear that Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party lost both
presidential and parliamentary elections. Yet the official tally for the
presidential vote has yet to be declared.

It is abundantly clear that the reason for the delay is that the resultsspelleddefeat for Mr Mugabe and his acolytes. Deluded as they were, this appears to
have come as a surprise. The parliamentary election, in which the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change overcame Zanu-PF’s majority for the first
time since independence, may now be overturned in the manipulated recount
already under way.

The response of Southern African leaders, meeting in the Zambian capital,
Lusaka, last weekend, was to call on the Zimbabwean authorities to release
the full results of the elections “expeditiously”. This was a pathetic
statement of the obvious. But to add insult to injury to Zimbabwean voters,
Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s president, denied that Zimbabwe was in crisis
and urged the world to be patient while the votes were counted. He has now
forfeited any residual credibility as the principal trouble-shooter in
southern Africa.

What was needed was a concerted response to what is now self-evidently a
constitutional coup to salvage the Mugabe regime. While Mr Mbeki and his
regional peers exercise patience, a brutal campaign to suppress the popular
will has begun. Regardless of whether a run-off in the presidential
elections is deemed necessary by an electoral commission stacked with
officials in hock to Mr Mugabe, his intention to cling to power at all costs
is clear.

The world is by now used to the procrastinations of Mr Mbeki and his
southern African peers over Zimbabwe. They have long been oblivious to the
threat to regional security in their midst. Nor should it be a surprise that
the cries of outrage from Britain and the west have fallen on deaf ears.

But that Africa at large should stand by, while Mr Mugabe and his security
chiefs steal another vote and subject their country to a brutal
confrontation, is harder to understand. Until now the African Union has
delegated a response to the Zimbabwe crisis to the Southern African
Development Community. That is not working. If the AU is to preserve its own
credibility, it must stand up now and call this coup a coup. That is the
first essential step towards an honest debate about the transition from Mr
Mugabe’s tyrannical rule.

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Editorial: This dictator has no clothes

Stuff, New Zealand

The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 15 April 2008

South  Africa's president Thabo Mbeki marshalled his words with military
precision when he spoke about the two-week delay in releasing the results of
Zimbabwe's presidential election. "I wouldn't describe that as a crisis.
It's a normal electoral process in Zimbabwe," he said. Sadly Mr Mbeki was
right, The Dominion Post writes.

It is normal for Zimbabwe's elderly president Robert Mugabe to fix
elections. In 2002 he stuffed the ballot with votes from dead, fictitious
and improperly registered voters to "win" the last presidential contest. In
2005 his Zanu-PF party used fraud and intimidation to win a two-thirds
majority in the parliamentary elections.

So it is hardly surprising that two weeks after his party lost control of
Zimbabwe's Parliament, the result of the presidential contest has still not
been announced. Nor is it surprising that a number of election officials
have been arrested, or that ballots from 23 constituencies are being
recounted, or that supporters of the Opposition Movement for Democratic
Change have been set upon by gangs of Mugabe supporters.

South Africa and Zimbabwe's other neighbours cannot continue to turn a blind
eye to this state of affairs.

For years Mr Mbeki has pursued a policy of "quiet diplomacy" in Zimbabwe. He
has done so out of a misplaced sense of loyalty for a fellow freedom-fighter
and because of distrust of the MDC's links with the wealthy remnants of what
used to comprise Zimbabwe's white elite. The aim of the policy has been to
ease Mr Mugabe from power but leave his Zanu-PF party in control.

But it must be clear, even to Mr Mbeki, that it is a policy that has failed.

Mr Mugabe and his cronies still control the machinery of the state.

Thousands are dying of malnutrition every month, average life expectancy has
plummeted from 60 to less than 40 in less than 20 years, inflation is
running at about 100,000 per cent and 80 to 90 per cent of the population is

While Zimbabwe's African neighbours have defended it on the international
stage and accused critics of western imperialism, Mr Mugabe has destroyed a
bountiful nation that was once Africa's breadbasket. The losers are not
western imperialists or Zimbabwe's former colonial masters, but ordinary
black Zimbabweans who no longer have homes in which to live, food to feed
their families, access to medical supplies, or hope for the future.

Mr Mbeki and the other leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development
Community should recognise that the dictator has no clothes.

An election has been held. Zimbabwe's people have expressed their will, at
great risk to themselves, and that will should be allowed to find expression
in the form of a government headed by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Whatever good Mr Mugabe ever did was long ago overtaken by the evil he has
perpetrated to retain his grip on power.

Mr Mbeki and Mr Mugabe's other supporters in southern Africa should insist
the tyrant respect the will of the people. Mr Mugabe is not the only leader
with blood on his hands for what has happened in Zimbabwe. His neighbours do
not need any more.

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