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D-Day on Tuesday

Zimbabwe Metro

By Staff April 14, 2008
President Robert Mugabe’s security forces fanned out across Zimbabwe on
Monday on the eve of a general strike called by the opposition, after a
judge threw out its bid to force the election results.

The MDC urged Zimbabweans to show their disgust at the continuing hold-up by
launching a general strike from Tuesday until the results of the March 29
presidential poll are released.

Police accused 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.

Mounting unrest

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

In a further sign of mounting unrest, the opposition claimed that 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 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 Judge 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, Uchena
said, ruling that the electoral commission - which says it is still
collating results - was acting within the provisions of the law.

Mass stay-in

The ruling Zanu-PF said it was not surprised by the ruling, which
spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa called an attempt by the MDC to force the
commission “to announce an incorrect result and to cause confusion”.

With their court bid unsuccessful, the opposition has called for the public
to make a stand against the delay by staging a mass stay-in until the
results are released.

“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 party’s vice-president
Thokhozani Khupe told reporters.

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Zimbabwe police set up checkpoints ahead of strike


Mon 14 Apr 2008, 22:20 GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, April 15 (Reuters) - Soldiers and police fanned out across Zimbabwe
on Tuesday ahead of a general strike called by the opposition to pressure
officials to release the results of a presidential election.

Army trucks, some equipped with water cannons, moved through opposition
strongholds around the capital Harare and riot police and other officers set
up checkpoints.

"This is a routine security exercise," one police officer said at a
checkpoint in a township controlled by the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which has called on Zimbabweans to stay at home

Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC has declared victory in the March 29 parliamentary
and presidential elections and has demanded that President Robert Mugabe
step down. Parliamentary results have been released but the results of the
presidential poll have not.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission said it was still counting and verifying the

On Monday, a Zimbabwean High Court rejected the MDC's bid to force
authorities to release the results.

The MDC said one of its supporters was stabbed to death by members of
Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party. Police disputed that, saying the killing did
not appear to be politically motivated.

Tsvangirai and his supporters are hoping that Zimbabweans will support the
general strike. But there are concerns it could fizzle as others have in the
past or wither in the face of the unspoken threat of a police crackdown.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police has noted with concern the distribution of
subversive fliers and pamphlets by the MDC Tsvangirai faction urging for an
indefinite stay-away ... we find the call by the MDC Tsvangirai faction as
agitating for violence," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.

Mugabe's police beat dozens of MDC members and supporters, including
Tsvangirai, during an aborted 2007 anti-government protest. A general strike
last year to protest wages and living conditions also collapsed.

Zimbabweans are facing inflation of more than 100,000 percent, an
unemployment rate of 80 percent and rising poverty and malnutrition. There
are chronic shortages of food, fuel and hard currency throughout the


The opposition has accused Mugabe's ZANU-PF of working behind the scenes to
delay the announcement of the presidential results to give them time to
organise a violent response to their biggest electoral setback since coming
to power in 1980.

Official results show ZANU-PF lost control of parliament on March 29, and
independent observers have said that Tsvangirai outpolled the 84-year-old
veteran leader but did not win enough votes to avoid a second-ballot

The stalemate has stoked international fears of violence in Zimbabwe.
Britain and the United States have called for the speedy release of the
results and warned Mugabe's government not to intimidate opponents.

Southern African leaders said after a summit in Lusaka at the weekend that
the results should be released "expeditiously".

But further delays are expected because of legal manoeuvres and a recount in
constituencies ordered by election officials for next Saturday. The MDC is
challenging that decision.

The MDC also filed an application on Monday asking the electoral court to
set aside results in about 60 parliamentary seats won by ZANU-PF. The move
came after ZANU-PF launched its challenge of results in about two dozen
seats won by the MDC.

The MDC accuses ZANU-PF of vote-buying, intimidating and interfering with
presiding election officers and other malpractices. ZANU-PF has accused the
MDC of similar election wrongdoing. (Additional reporting by Muchena Zigomo,
Nelson Banya, Cris Chinaka; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Elizabeth

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Zimbabwe braced for strike action


03:39 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 04:39 UK

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has called a
general strike for Tuesday, which police have warned could have severe

It comes after the High Court ruled against an MDC demand for the
release of presidential election results.

The opposition says Morgan Tsvangirai beat President Robert Mugabe in
the vote and one of its poll agents has since been killed by Zanu-PF

Police accuse the MDC of "agitating for violence" by calling for the

Rather than street protests, opposition officials have called for a
"mass stay-in until the results are released," MDC Vice-President Thokhozani
Khupe was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Police warned that "those who breach the peace will be dealt with
severely and firmly".

But with four out of five Zimbabweans jobless, widespread fear of the
security forces, and rallies banned, it is not clear how much impact the
strike will have, says the BBC's southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles.

'Ridiculous ruling'

On Monday, the High Court judge said the outcome of 29 March
presidential polls could not be published until reports of anomalies in some
seats had been investigated.

Electoral officials had said they could not release the result until
after a recount of the vote in some seats, following reports of

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the BBC the High Court ruling in the
capital, Harare, was "absolutely ridiculous and incredible".

It comes amid reports of increasing violence around the country.

Some 200 MDC elections agents and activists have been beaten up - one
fatally - by ruling party activists attempting to intimidate them before any
run-off vote for president, Mr Chamisa said.

About 1,000 people have reportedly been displaced by political
violence at Manicaland province in eastern Zimbabwe.

Possible run-off

Amid the ongoing tension, Mr Tsvangirai is currently basing himself in
neighbouring Botswana.

Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF welcomed Monday's ruling, denying the court was
biased towards the ruling party.

Independent tallies suggested Mr Tsvangirai won the poll, but took
less than 50% of the vote, meaning he would have to face a run-off.

The electoral commission says a recount of presidential and
parliamentary results in 23 constituencies will start on Saturday.

Zanu-PF wanted a recount in 22 constituencies, while an MDC recount
request in one seat has also been granted.

Zanu-PF has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in Mr
Mugabe's 28-year rule.

But it could be recovered if the ruling party is awarded just nine of
the 23 seats subject to a recount.

Southern African leaders called for the election results to be
announced "expeditiously" during a summit at the weekend in Zambia.

But it did not urge Mr Mugabe to step aside, as the MDC had wished.

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Diplomats Say US, UK To Bring Up Zimbabwe At UN Wed


UNITED NATIONS (AFP)--The U.S. and the U.K. will raise the Zimbabwe crisis
at a high-level meeting in the UN Security Council Wednesday, despite South
African opposition, Western diplomats said late Monday.

"We intend to highlight our concern for Zimbabwe," Benjamin Chang, a
spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations told AFP. "We will be
raising Zimbabwe, among other issues."

The occasion will a meeting to be hosted by South Africa, which chairs the
15- member council this month, to discuss ways to boost security cooperation
between the United Nations and the African Union.

Chang said the delay in releasing officials results of Zimbabwe's March 29
presidential poll would also be taken up in bilateral meetings during the

Participants are to include South African President Thabo Mbeki, his
counterparts from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Somalia and
Tanzania as well as Prime Ministers Gordon Brown of the U.K. and Romano
Prodi of Italy.

Another Western diplomat said Brown was also likely to bring up Zimbabwe in
his remarks to the council as well as in bilateral meetings with Mbeki and
other leaders.

South Africa's UN Ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, said last week that the
crisis should not be raised during Wednesday's meeting because it is not on
the council's agenda and is best handled by Zimbabwe's neighbors in the
Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Sunday SADC leaders wrapped up an emergency meeting in Zambia with a call on
Harare to release the results of the March 29 presidential election.

In London Monday, U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said his
government's stance on the issue "remains very, very clear."

"The people of Zimbabwe have voted, they have clearly shown that there is
not a majority for President (Robert) Mugabe or his regime, and that there
is a pressing need ... for the international community to play a role," he

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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Do Something!

In anticipation of the upcoming UN Security Council meeting this Wednesday,
please immediately:
(1) copy the letter below between and including "Dear" and "Respectfully
submitted," (2) sign your name at the end; (3) copy/paste and send to every
UN Mission members' e-mail listed below (excluding Zimbabwe); and (4)
this message to all people
concerned about Zimbabwe or human rights and have them repeat steps (1),
(2), (3),
and (4). Of course, feel free to write your own message instead.

Please note that you will probably have to send in batches as many accounts
limit how many addresses you may send to at once.

Dear United Nations Mission Member:

Zimbabwe is in a crisis. Not only have Zimbabweans suffered through
food insecurity, 80% unemployment, hyperinflation, and plunging
life-expectancy all brought about by the disastrous policies of Robert
Mugabe and his ruling party Zanu-PF, they have also suffered constant
political repression.

Now that political repression has returned stronger than ever because
Mugabe has decided that, contrary to the wishes of the voting population, he
does not want to relinquish his authoritarian hold on power. Beatings,
killings, and farm invasions have started in order to punish the people for
voting their conscience.

It is clear that the delay of over two weeks of the release of the
presidential election results, as well as the recounts being demanded by the
ruling party, are nothing more than a pretext designed to allow Mugabe to
rig the result. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better after suffering
through a decade of repression then to have their democratic will thwarted
by a tyrant who cannot even keep food on the shelves.

The U.N. Security Council is meeting this Wednesday, April 16, 2008 and
it is time that action is taken. Please use all avenues of pressure to
ensure that the Council addresses the urgent crisis in Zimbabwe. Please do
not wait until more people are beaten and die before you speak out.

Respectfully submitted,


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Tsvangirai sets terms for run-off

Independent. UK

By Basildon Peta in Johannesburg
Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Zimbabwean opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has softened his
party's stance on boycotting a run-off presidential vote by setting
conditions on participation, distancing himself from a statement by the
secretary-general of his Movement for Democratic Change at the end of last

Mr Tsvangirai, in an interview yesterday, said that he would only
participate in a second-round presidential run-off if it is run by the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), and on condition that all
international observers are admitted to witness the poll.

"Any run-off election has to be conducted under SADC and it has to be run
transparently, freely and fairly. Every observer who wants to witness it
ought to be allowed in," he said. His comments were in contrast with those
of the MDC secretary-general, Tendai Biti, who said the MDC "will not
participate in a run-off".

However, Mr Tsvangirai insisted that he was the winner of the presidential
election and should be allowed to form an "inclusive government" to
concentrate on the business of rebuilding Zimbabwe.

"SADC leaders must understand that the issue here is not about mere figures.
The issue is that Mugabe lost badly and must give up power," he said.
"Mugabe is delaying the inevitable. The people's will will prevail."

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ANC: Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis

Mail and Guardian

Johannesburg, South Africa

15 April 2008 07:17

Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis, the African National Congress
(ANC) national working committee (NWC) said on Monday.

"The ANC regards [the ruling] Zanu-PF as an ally. However, it is
concerned with the state of crisis that Zimbabwe is in and perceives this as
negative for the entire Southern African Development Community [SADC]
region," said spokesperson Jesse Duarte following an NWC meeting in Cape

This is contrary to President Thabo Mbeki's pronouncement that
the stand-off in the Southern African country does not constitute a crisis.

Duarte said the ANC accepts that Mbeki, who has been
re-appointed by SADC to mediate between the Zanu-PF and the two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) factions, "has cause to remain neutral".

The ANC again called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to
announce the election results without delay. A run-off suggests a lack of
respect for the will of the people of Zimbabwe and would be "undemocratic".

"The ANC will contact the Zanu-PF and the MDC separately with a
view to hold party-to-party dialogue on the situation in Zimbabwe," she

The NWC also discussed the ANC Youth League's national
conference, which was adjourned last week and indefinitely postponed after
being unable to finish its work or confirm the election results of its top
five leaders after five days.

The NWC said the ANC endorses the results of the youth league
top-five leadership positions announced at the conference, prior to it being

However, "the ANC wishes to state categorically that it does not
accept the abhorrent and negative behaviour displayed by members of the
youth league at the conference".

"A senior delegation of NWC members will meet the youth league
to give guidance and assist in organising a follow-up conference in June to
conclude their business," Duarte said.

The league elected its top five leaders, with Limpopo's Julius
Malema as president, during the five-day congress in Bloemfontein.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe opposition supporters face the prospect of a
heavy crackdown by security forces on Tuesday if they heed a call to launch
a general strike to show their disgust at long-delayed election results.

Police have been deployed throughout the country in anticipation
of the strike called by Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition in a bid to
pressurise the country's electoral commission (ZEC) to release presidential
election results.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been
accused by police of trying to cause mayhem with the strike, launched on the
back of a failed court bid to force the release of the March 29 presidential

National police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said police had
been deployed throughout the country and "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," he

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

Previous stayaways 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. -- Sapa, AFP

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Rogue Democrat

Washington Post

South Africa's Thabo Mbeki sides with Robert Mugabe against the people of
Tuesday, April 15, 2008; Page A14

FOR THOSE who argue that democracies are natural allies in international
affairs, South Africa poses a vexing challenge. Since that country began
serving a term on the U.N. Security Council last year, the government of
President Thabo Mbeki has consistently allied itself with the world's rogue
states and against the Western democracies. It has defended Iran's nuclear
program and resisted sanctions against it; shielded Sudan and Burma from the
sort of pressure the United Nations once directed at the apartheid regime;
and enthusiastically supported one-sided condemnations of Israel by the U.N.
Human Rights Council.

Now Mr. Mbeki's perverse and immoral policy is reaching its nadir -- in
South Africa's neighbor Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe is inarguably one of the world's worst: It has wrecked the
economy, triggering food shortages that have driven millions of refugees
into neighboring states, and used brute force to stem what would otherwise
be overwhelming opposition. On March 29, the regime staged presidential and
parliamentary elections and lost both by a wide margin. Rather than concede,
Mr. Mugabe has refused to release the presidential vote count, called for a
recount in parliamentary districts won by the opposition and launched
another violent campaign to intimidate those who voted against him.

Every Western democratic government has condemned Mr. Mugabe's maneuvering,
and even many Africans have appeared to lose patience with the 84-year-old
strongman. That he remains in office is due mainly to Mr. Mbeki, who has
used South Africa's considerable influence and prestige to bolster Mr.
Mugabe. Last weekend, when Zambia's president called an emergency meeting of
the Southern African Development Community, which he chairs, to consider the
situation in Zimbabwe, Mr. Mbeki flew to Harare for a preemptive meeting
with Mr. Mugabe, after which he declared, "There is no crisis." Then he
traveled to the regional conference, where he prevented the group from
criticizing Mr. Mugabe or supporting the opposition's demand that the
election results be immediately released.

If there is good news in this sordid story -- and consolation for the
proponents of an alliance of democracies -- it is that Mr. Mbeki's policy is
increasingly unpopular in his own country. South Africa's free press has
been scathing in its denunciations of the coddling of Mr. Mugabe, as have
opposition party leaders. Even better, the new president of Mr. Mbeki's own
African National Congress, Jacob Zuma, has distanced himself from the
Zimbabwe posture, as have the party's secretary general and treasurer. Mr.
Zuma defeated Mr. Mbeki in a party election in December and is the
front-runner to succeed him when he leaves office in a year. So democracy
may yet rectify a foreign policy that is shaming South Africa -- and
preventing an end to Zimbabwe's misery.

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Zimbabwe: the time for action is now

The Sowetan

15 April 2008
Mothobi Mutloatse

The people have spoken. Their message is clear. So the rest of the
democratic world should stand by those brave souls. Now is the time to do
the right thing.

The people have spoken. Which people? The people in Zimbabwe’s general
elections. The ordinary people are the true heroes and heroines of
Chimurenga – the liberation of Zimbabwe – yet again.

They showed their mettle in April 1980, didn’t they? Now what is delaying
the people of Africa from respecting their wishes, their democratic
sentiments and their aspirations?

What is this dithering on our part? Why this shadow-boxing in the dark? Why
can’t we show some solidarity, eh?

Why can’t we embrace them for their bravery, their valour, their boldness,
their daring?

Don’t they deserve this year’s Nobel Peace Prize as a collective, as a
nation with true grit?

I implore all African laureates such as Archbishop Tutu; Tata (uMadiba); FW
de Klerk, Bafana ba Peace; with Mme wa Peace, Kenya’s Wangari Maathai.

I also ask the literary laureates, comrades Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka
and JM Coetzee to rally all other laureates of the democratic world (and
even the repressed world) to join the heroic people of Zimbabwe in their new
challenge: to help rebuild the Great Zimbabwe.

There is no time or resources to embark on a Nuremberg-type court or
inquisition against the villains and human rights violators in the defeated
Zanu-PF tribal cabal.

Good Old Smithy, the Rhodesian who would die virtually orphaned in
democratic South Africa, was not hauled before any court for the sins and
atrocities of his Rhodesian Front during the war of Chimurenga.

Neither did the new South Africa charge apartheid tyrant PW Botha, who had
steadfastly refused to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission, or recognise it. So why the double standards now?

Even so, ex-teacher Malome Ro-hbaht is our brother-in-law, and an old boy of
the University of Fort Hare to boot. He is married to a South African girl
Ausi Grace.

Ask the people of Soweto – the people in Pimville – where you’ll find some
of his Mtshanas.

Malome is entitled to the same treatment as Ian Smith when he left Zimbabwe
for good – no harassment or ridicule.

Malome should be free to visit South Africa without being questioned or
treated like a common criminal, even if the actions of his party qualify as
human rights transgressions.

Yes, Malome used to be our collective liberation hero. Now, all he is – and
I say this sadly – is a democratic zero.

I met him once at the 1984 Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare. He
came up to me and not the other way around. He made me the envy of the other
publishers around me.

Why me? Don’t ask me! Earlier I had published the doctoral dissertation in
book form of Paresh Pandya’s study of Zanu-PF guerilla tactics, called

I have nothing personal against Malome7-Mabone (he has degrees, comrades!).

Actually, Uncle began his presidency with a strange philosophy then for a
revolutionary leader, quaintly called reconciliation. He would later include
yet another ubuntuism called “People First”, which, coincidentally, would be
adopted by democratic South Africa as ... wait for it – Batho Pele.

Aha! So that’s where it springs from. Yaa-ma’an, so what? People First
(being Zanu-PF people first). Just as in Batho (ba bangwe) Pele? Other
People First?

But I digress. ’Tis just a pity that Malome 7-Mabone was unable to obtain
the most academic achievement of all: a PhD in common sense.

And there’s the rub: no such degree exists in the highest educational

Zimbabwe lies in virtual ruins in economic terms because common sense is in
short supply. Do we still have the collective energy to rise again like the

Of course we do, if only we could place our trust in ourselves as humans to
invoke our inner gods to speak softly and humbly and quietly, and allow the
truth be told; truth to be respected; truth to be hugged; and truth to be

Tell me I am wrong, and then I will “shaddap’’, never again to offend any
human rights violator. But then, stubborn as I am, I cannot offer that

Not when my Ndebele Khumalo cousins in Bulawayo (in the west, Matebeleland
North) and Shona Bangwayo relatives in Chipinge (in the east, Manicaland) on
both my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother’s sides, respectively,
would have it.

I have blood ties to Zimbabwe, which explains the passion and earthiness of
this outburst. And that is why I have a vested interest in the Rebirth of
Zimbabwe, dammit.

Also, because April is not only my birthday month, but the month of
independence and freedom of Zimbabwe and South Africa, on April 18 and April
27, respectively. See what this issue has made me do? Become agitated rather
than rational.

Is it true that justice is delayed, or is it being denied? Are the Nobel
Peace Prize committee and adjudicators in Norway listening?

Presidential candidate Robert Gabriel Mugabe – now is the time to act
honourably and timeously. Now is the time to do the right and only thing.

Now is not the time to engage in a meaningless and costly presidential

With the ruling party earning the most humiliating honour of becoming the
first liberation movement to lose a parliamentary majority, what more
evidence do you need to realise it is all over?

Avoid the Polokwane harakiri route. Don’t run again. Rather take the A
Train, Comrade Mugabe. In Africa, umntu akalahlwa, my fellow Africans.

a.. Mothobi Mutloatse is a publisher and author.

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Whites under siege hunker down in election crisis in Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: April 15, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe: With his 28-year grip on power slipping, President Robert
Mugabe's government has again lashed out at his nation's white community,
calling his black opponents tools of former colonial master Britain and
railing against white control of the economy.

In the past, such attacks struck a chord in a country that suffered under
white minority rule until 1980, and where whites controlled much of the
economy even decades later.

But after repeated attacks on the white community, the seizure of most
white-owned farms and the near collapse of the economy, the white
community's size and power have dwindled. It may no longer be effective to
use whites as a scapegoat for the nation's ills.

Stoking anger at the nation's whites is "the last card" Mugabe has in his
fight for political survival, analyst John Makumbe said. "He has nothing
else to offer."

Mugabe's past programs to seize white wealth might have been too effective,
Makumbe said, and may have deprived the president of his most valuable
tactic. Now, with just a handful of whites left controlling businesses and
farms, offering to seize white property may not be seen as a rich prize to
the poor blacks suffering the worst of the economic hardships, Makumbe said.

Mugabe once was hailed as a model leader who brought racial reconciliation.
At independence in 1980, he offered an olive branch to the nation's 270,000
whites following 15 years of rule by Ian Smith's minority white government.
But as their power decreased over time, many whites left the country, and
only 70,000 remained two decades later.

In 2000, as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change presented the
greatest challenge to his rule, Mugabe abandoned the rhetoric of
reconciliation and railed against the white community and the 4,500 white
farmers who still controlled 80 percent of the nation's most fertile land.

Television footage of wealthy whites giving donations to the MDC reportedly
infuriated Mugabe, who felt it violated his tacit agreement with whites that
they could retain their economic power as long as they didn't meddle in

"A lot of whites naively thought the MDC offered a new democratic
dispensation they could openly support. Since then, they've had to wind
their necks in," said Ian Stokes, an executive employment consultant.
"Mugabe set out to punish the people he said spurned his hand of

Mugabe endorsed farm invasions by ruling party militants and began a radical
reform program he said would right historic wrongs by dividing the best land
among poor blacks — but ended up putting most of that land in the hands of
party cronies. The land reform is often blamed for igniting an economic
crisis that has devastated the country.

He also pushed legislation to take over majority stakes in white-controlled

The moves set off an exodus among the nation's remaining whites.

Now, there are only 30,000 whites left out of a population of about 12
million — though an estimated 5 million Zimbabweans, black and white, have
fled as economic fugitives and political exiles.

Many of the remaining whites are retirees finding it nearly impossible to
live on their meager pensions with the official inflation rate of 100,000
percent, the highest in the world. Independent financial firms say real
inflation is closer to 290,000 percent.

One white retiree in the Alexandra Park suburb of northern Harare said his
monthly pension does not buy him a loaf of bread, and he survives on
handouts from relatives abroad.

The man asked not to be identified because of the widespread fear of

White enclaves such as tennis, sports and social clubs, have largely
disappeared. Whites no longer display what affluence they retain, fearing it
will make them targets.

"Having a big car and a house boat for fishing trips on Lake Kariba became a
liability," Stokes said.

Meanwhile, increasing numbers of whites are suffering stress-related
conditions, respiratory illness and alcohol abuse, doctors said.

Mugabe's allies in the ruling party, with their luxury cars, ornate mansions
and access to state-subsidized fuel and special rates for buying hard
currency, now sit atop the economy.

Former ruling party lawmaker Philip Chiyangwa, who owns a Hummer even though
gasoline is almost impossible for ordinary Zimbabweans to find, boasted in
the state media recently that he installed a computerized color-coded
wardrobe for matching hundreds of suits, shoes and fashion accessories at
his 30-room home in the exclusive Harare suburb of Borrowdale.

Before the March 29 elections, Mugabe castigated British government leaders
and whites in Zimbabwe he said were yearning for a return to colonial-era
white privilege, calling them "pink noses" he would smash with his fist.

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The UN and the world have no conscience on Zimbabwe

Godwell Manyangadze

Toronto, Canada

I have never written a poem or something like a poem before for everybody to
read but, today I am going to do so because I am so angry with our ‘modern
world’ that I can not construct proper sentences.

Zimbabwe needs help don’t you see it; especially when the world could see
Weapons of Mass Destruction as far as Iraq from here?

Please send physical bodies to remove Robert Mugabe and his illegal

Please it’s not all about Iraq, Afghanistan or Tibet

The world is its own policeman and let’s all be part of that police force
not just for a chosen few.

The modern world is showing no conscience at all, which is a shame;
especially when Mugabe is Zimbabwe’s Hitler, Hussein and Milosovic.

There is a lot the world can gain if Zimbabwe goes back to normal; dignity.

We all agree legal and illegal Zimbabwean refugees have helped to some
extent, uplift the first worlds’ economies; it’s the leadership which fails
us in Zimbabwe not the public.

If you do not want to go as a United Nations Organization, Zimbabweans are
silently appealing for a God fearing donor to come forward with finance and
technical know-how, to help those who are prepared to go and forcefully
remove Mugabe – we cannot do it right now because we do not have the money
and the technical know-how. At least teach the willing like you did teach
them everything they know right now – as the world has seen this is the only
way since the United Nations has failed to help.

Numbers of the suffering are increasing back home and I personally feel
indebted to them but the only way I can help at the moment is by appealing
to you this way.

Africans have a nature of being unable to react accordingly to situations.
In Tanzania there were no demonstrations against Chinas’ oppressive rule in
Tibet, instead they were happy the Olympic torch passed that way.

This nature compounded by lack of money; Zimbabweans do not know what to do
with Mugabe.

Are you condemning us for being who we are – thought we are still human

South African President Thabo Mbeki is adding salt to the Zimbabwean wound
by calling the situation ‘a stalemate and not a crisis’ – what the ….. .

No one, I repeat, no one should talk about diplomacy anymore. It is
Zimbabweans in diaspora who have suffering siblings, relatives, friends and
fellow countrymen and are now appealing to any foreign aid to help take
Robert Mugabe out forcefully.

Manyangadze, The UN And The World Have No Conscience On Zimbabwe, 2

I remind the world that “we have eyes but we don’t see and we have ears but
we don’t hear”. We are losing our conscience.

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Former Justice Benjamin's Paradza's opinion on MDC Judgement

Below is what Ex-High Court Judge Benjamin Paradza says about the shameful judgement by Tendai Uchena on the MDC election petition.

Perhaps I may be regarded partial at this stage of my life but this is one matter a judge does not need to think and more so to take so much time to dismiss. The normal course of an election is that it progresses from casting votes, counting the votes and finally declarations as to who has won or lost. Who can ever doubt that in fact that was the clear intention of the legislature in enacting the Electoral Act. No one and I mean no one, has the prerogative over the results of and election except the people who voted. If there were any anomalies at all, of such a nature as would affect the pronouncement of the results; those should have been raised during the counting stage of the votes, with some officials belonging to the aggrieved political party refusing to endorse them by not signing. Once signed and forwarded to those with the responsibility to announce the results, the natural expectation of the due process of the law is to announce those results. Thereafter those aggrieved have to abide by the provisions of the Electoral Act in seeking any further redress as provided for in the Act.

The fact that the results were not published when they should, is an indication beyond reasonable doubt that someone who was a party to the electoral process had sight of those results and proceeded to investigate anomalies, alone, to the exclusion of all others and thereafter told the rest of the nation and participants that there is need to do a recount and all the rest. I am shocked that a court of law can make a finding on the basis that the result cannot be published before all anomalies are investigated. If that is what the ZEC was doing all along, why did they not just say so? And for the High court to buy that sort of argument without taking the ZEC to task smells of shameful interference and complicity between the ZEC and ZANU-PF. Forgive me if I hang my head in shame. To be a part of such a disgraced justice delivery system makes me shudder in fear of what ever will happen to our people.

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Zimbabwe: a nation betrayed by the world

Irish Independent

Tuesday April 15 2008

Ten days ago, I was in Zimbabwe watching joy turn to heartbreak. As the
early election results came through, ordinary Zimbabweans -- bank clerks,
shop assistants, domestic servants -- who have endured years of destructive,
violent rule under Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF cronies, were dancing in
the streets with delight.

These were the people who had risked their necks to vote against a hated
regime and they sensed an opposition victory.

By the end of the week, the mood had changed: it was obvious that the
election was being stolen and, with the prospect of more years of poverty
and suffering under Mugabe's kleptocracy, the dancing had stopped.

Once more, they have been abandoned by their African neighbours and by the
world. Several young Zimbabweans whom I spoke to in the country's second
city, Bulawayo, said they were certain that the world would only take notice
of their plight "when the streets are running with blood''.

Some old hands had known this was coming. Mugabe and his henchmen may have
proved to be the worst leaders on the continent in terms of economic
management and the betterment of their people, but they have been the most
cunning terms of retaining power.

Mugabe was always going to steal this election; the clues were there for
those who knew what to look for. We can only presume that South Africa's
Thabo Mbeki must have known this, too, even as he described the situation as
"manageable'' last week and claimed there was "no crisis in Zimbabwe'' at
the weekend. Likewise, African leaders at the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) meeting in Zambia at the weekend must also have seen the

The first indication that trouble was to come could be seen in the week
following the polls: a laughing and playful Mugabe bade farewell to the last
of the election monitor groups, the African Union group led by Ahmed Kabbah,
President of Sierra Leone. At the time, the country was anticipating a
landslide opposition victory. But Mugabe was smiling, happy in the knowledge
that, with the monitors gone, he could get down to serious business.

Then, the "war veterans'', Mugabe's very unpleasant informal army of thugs
who had been invisible while the monitors were around, gave a press

Their leader, Jabulani Sibanda, who was four or five-years-old at the end of
the bush war railed against "sanctions employed against us as a weapon by
imperial countries trying to bend the minds of our people''. This was
Mugabe-speak for: the "British-backed MDC'' will never rule Zimbabwe.

Within days, gangs of "veterans'' were roaming rural areas, burning down
huts and grain silos, torturing and, from what we now hear, murdering people
who had voted for the opposition.

There was more to come. Election monitors -- who had been appointed by
Mugabe's people -- were arrested on fraud charges and then, the most
telling, Kafkaesque twist: a recount was ordered in 23 constituencies, all
but one having been won by the opposition.

There is still talk of a presidential election run-off; but this must take
place within 21 days of the vote, and is required by law if neither of the
main candidates achieves 50pc of the vote. Surely this is nothing but empty
rhetoric, since, according to the Electoral Act, the re-run would have to
take place by this Saturday; the Mugabe government will be illegal by its
own legislation come Sunday. It just isn't going to happen.

Meanwhile, just to add to the surreal mix, fantastical reports are
circulating in the state-owned media which suggest that the white commercial
farmers who had been run off their land over the past eight years and had
fled the country are massing at the borders waiting to re-invade. In
Mugabe's world, no fictional tale is too far-fetched to peddle.

It is clear now. Whatever glimmers of hope the opposition's victory at the
polls had offered, there was never any chance of Mugabe or his beneficiaries
loosening their grip on power. With the gangs of thugs now let loose on
dissident voters, the last pretences of a democratic process have finally
fallen away.

So who is going to answer the pleas of the majority of starving, vanquished
Zimbabweans? They have been let down by their fellow Africans and by the
indifference to their plight of the outside world. One can't help feeling
that the young men of Bulawayo are correct in presuming blood has to run in
the streets before any serious intervention is considered.

In the mid 1970s, when it was politically appropriate, the then South
African prime minister John Vorster was leant on by the Americans and
brought Rhodesia's rebel leader Ian Smith to the negotiating table by
threatening to switch off petrol and electricity supplies. The same pressure
must now be put on Africa's apologist leaders and the Mugabe regime must be
brought to its knees by concerted international action led by the UN.
Anything short of that would be a betrayal of those brave Zimbabweans who
voted for change two weeks ago. ( Daily Telegraph, London)

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The world needs to tell Mr Mugabe to go

Jamaica Observer


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There's hardly anything that Mr Robert Mugabe, the despotic president of
Zimbabwe, does these days that surprises us. In fact, we had anticipated his
current reaction to the March 29 election results which have given the
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) a 109 to 97 majority in
Zimbabwe's 210-seat Parliament.

For Mr Mugabe has more than demonstrated to the world that he believes he
has a divine right to rule Zimbabwe for life, even if his 28-year tenure has
devastated the social and economic fabric of his country and his people are
left to starve.

That he and his ZANU-PF party have colluded with the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) to recount the votes from 23 parliamentary contests speaks
to the deep reach of Mr Mugabe's corrupt tentacles into the country's
institutions which, we have been informed, are stacked with his blinkered
That was made even more clear yesterday when the high court threw out the
MDC's bid to have the presidential vote results made public.

The MDC, citing returns posted outside polling stations, has claimed that
its leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, won more than the 50 per cent of the vote
necessary to avoid a second round in the presidential contest.

People on the outside looking on would be hard-pressed not to believe that
claim, simply because of the unwillingness of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission to release the results. For we have no doubt that had the
opposite been true, the numbers would have already been published and the
world would have been swamped with stories of how well-loved Mr Mugabe is by
the ordinary Zimbabwean.

As it now stands, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's decision to recount
the 23 constituencies could, we are told, overthrow the Opposition's newly
won parliamentary majority.
And given Mr Mugabe's penchant for rigging elections, we would not be
surprised if after the recount on Saturday his party emerges with a majority
in the assembly.

Obviously, Mr Mugabe has no intention of honouring the wishes of the
Zimbabwean people, and his tyrannical reign is being cuddled by the majority
of the leaders of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC), particularly South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose policy of
"quiet diplomacy" has failed miserably to bring change for the suffering
masses of Zimbabwe.

This seeming reluctance on the part of the SADC nations to turn their faces
hard against President Mugabe and his reckless policies has now come to
haunt some of them, as Zimbabweans have been streaming into neighbouring
countries in droves, creating a refugee crisis.

It is past time, we believe, for the international community to lend its
weight to this huge problem, especially given the increasing shortages in
food across the world.

Because, if Mr Mugabe is allowed to continue destroying the very ideals that
allowed him and his party to end the evil system of apartheid under which
his fellow Zimbabweans suffered for decades, he will only enlarge Africa's
already dangerous humanitarian crisis.

The world, therefore, needs to tell Mr Mugabe with one voice that it is time
to go.

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Zimbabwe explainer

CNN's Robyn Curnow gives us a clearer picture on what's going on in

(CNN) -- How do the leaders of other Southern African nations, who met about
the crisis at the weekend, regard Robert Mugabe?

There is a commitment to the concept of African solidarity -- where leaders
don't publicly criticize each other, especially elder statesmen such as the
84-year-old Mugabe. However, what is clear from the special summit on
Zimbabwe -- held in Lusaka, Zambia, over the weekend -- is that there's a
divide between those leaders who hail from liberation movements (South
African, Angolan and Mozambican presidents), and newer leaders who don't
have personal experience of liberation wars (Zambian, Tanzanian and Botswana
Collectively, they didn't publicly attack Mugabe, but there was a clear
sense that the Zambian, Tanzanian and Botswana leaders wanted much stronger
and more confrontational language included in the final summit resolution.

How much does his role as the man who many see as liberating Zimbabwe from
colonialism affect their attitude?

Very much so -- the issue of colonialism is still a sensitive and emotive
issue in Africa. Many of the Southern African leaders who fought against
racial oppression still view the world through the prism of colonialism.
Mugabe is regarded inside and outside his country as a liberation hero,
which he plays on very successfully. He constantly blames and berates
Britain, the former colonial master, for Zimbabwe's ills. However, many
younger Zimbabweans, born post-Independence in 1980, feel this role is
wearing thin.

Are the governments afraid that any regime change in Zimbabwe might set a
precedent for their own nations?

No, that is not an overriding concern. However, for someone like South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who is a product of the anti-apartheid
liberation movement, the prospect of an MDC government, which is rooted in
the trade union movement, is not a comfortable scenario. Many in South
Africa suggest a worker-aligned government to the north might empower South
Africa's own labor movement to break away from their alliance with the
ruling ANC.

Do they fear that sudden upheaval in Zimbabwe might spill over into their
own countries, and cause a refugee crisis?

By all accounts there is already a refugee crisis, although many of
Zimbabwe's neighbors will not admit this. Twenty-five percent of Zimbabwe's
population, about 4 million people, has already fled their country in recent
years. Most are in South Africa, Botswana and Britain.

Is there any indication that, behind the scenes, they are trying to persuade
Mugabe to quit quietly?

It appears that Mugabe is not the quitting kind of guy. He sees himself as a
revolutionary, a fighter, an intellectual and ultimately the best person to
lead Zimbabwe. All regional negotiations to convince him to concede power
have failed. Mugabe is also an arch-strategist and has outsmarted most of
his political opponents, so he is unlikely he will give up power without a

What is their attitude to Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic
change? Would they oppose his coming to office?

That fact that Southern African leaders invited Tsvangirai and the MDC to
the weekend's summit was a clear shift and a sign that the MDC is considered
a player. Mugabe did not attend the summit so it allowed the MDC to lobby
regional leaders directly. In fact, Tsvangirai has gone out of his way to
try to influence governments in the region -- such as Botswana and Zambia --
for moral assistance.

If violence does break out in Zimbabwe, as some fear, will they likely

It is highly unlikely there will be any regional intervention. Regional
leaders are extremely sensitive to any suggestions of interference in
internal matters. For many, it smacks of neo-colonialism. That said, the MDC
has said it would call for United Nations help if need be, but it's unclear
what kind of assistance they would ask for and what kind of help they could
get. The prospect of blue helmets operating inside Zimbabwe is not a likely

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ZANU PF, ZEC defies high court contrary to Mbeki's statement

The Zimbabwean

Tuesday, 15 April 2008 06:56

Harare: The ZANU PF party with its chief strategist at the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) George Chiweshe has unconstitutionally started
the process of recounting of votes even after the High Court barred them to
do so.

Mysteriously ZEC is ambarking on the process after the constitutional
deadline of 48 hours meant only to cause chaos from opposition qoutas. In
Johannesburg Secretary General of the Movement for Democratic Change Tendai
said his party would not bow down to rubbish practised by Chiweshe and his
The recounting comes two weeks after Zimbabwe went for elections that
saw the liberational party for the first time in three decades trailing
behind the Movement for Democratic Change that has also won the Presidency.

The move by the ZEC defeats South African President Thabo Mbeki,
accused of being Mugabe’s stooge who claims there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.
The move by ZEC to defy High Court order clearly shows that in Zimbabwe
there is constitutional crisis.
ZEC according to inside sources printed ballot papers with duplicate
serial numbers and already well placed sources confirmed some of the rigging
process will see ZANU PF retaining some seats it lost as they will vote in
private using the duplicate serialized papers.
Meanwhile violence in Zimbabwe is hanging in the air already after
ZANU PF and ZEC defied the court order and went ahead to ‘recount’ the
votes. Zimbabwe is currently under a constitutional coup were all rules are
administered at ZANU PF headquaters

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