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Dockers' protest forces arms cargo away from Durban port

The Times
April 19, 2008

Ian Evans in Cape Town
A Chinese ship carrying arms destined for Zimbabwe was last night forced to
turn back after South African unions refused to unload it, claiming that to
do so would be “grossly irresponsible”, South African media reported.

The reversal is a humiliation for President Mbeki, who had said that the
Government was powerless to stop the shipment of three million rounds of
AK47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 3,000 mortar
rounds and mortar tubes to President Mugabe’s armed forces.

It was not clear last night where the ship was now destined, or whether it
was trying to deliver the arms by a different route. The retreat, if
confirmed, would represent a victory for human rights activists, who had
filed a legal petition to block the transfer of the goods, and also for the
300,000-strong South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union, who had
said that the arms would worsen the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

“Our members employed at Durban container terminal will not unload this
cargo, neither will any of our members in the truck-driving sector move this
cargo by road,” Randall Howard, a union spokesman, said.

“South Africa cannot be seen to be facilitating the flow of weapons into
Zimbabwe at a time where there is a political dispute and a volatile
situation between Zanu (PF) and the MDC [Movement for Democratic Change],”
he said.

Themba Maseko, a South African government spokesman, had previously claimed
that it would be difficult to stop the shipment. “We are not in a position
to act unilaterally to prevent a trade deal between two countries. It would
be possible, but very difficult, for South Africa to start intervening.”

But responding to an appeal by Bishop Rubin Phillip, a leading clergyman of
KwaZulu Natal, and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, the High Court
ruled yesterday that the arms could not be transported to the border with

Armed Chinese troops were seen this week in Mutare, Zimbabwe’s third-largest
city, where up to ten soldiers, carrying revolvers, booked into a Holiday
Inn with 70 Zimbabwean officers and men.

Zimbabwe and China have close military ties, but Chinese soldiers are rarely
seen on the streets. Witnesses in Mutare claimed that their presence was

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said yesterday: “It is
important that the Government urgently makes representations to China and
calls upon them to halt their shipments of arms to Zimbabwe.”

Finally some sense being applied.

Brian, Oak Hills, California USA

good for the dockers
they have more guts than the politicians, apparently

grindles, London, england

Africa needs democratic government that provides social interaction and
interactive civil order. China needs new lands for their massive population
and food for the masses in China. As HIV continues and destabilizes Africa
then vacated lands present opportunities. For China, movement into Africa
makes a good tactical positioning.

However, will African people give farm lands to the Chinese to grow needed
food? The Chinese can put African lands to productive uses; and with
military presence, China can provide civil order. Has this change of
management been made formal with a signed agreement? Has the formal
agreement been put into circulation at the United Nations?

It might present good adaptations; but without agreement to all parties, the
China-Zimbabwe military advancement might need additional interactive work.
Without additional work then might skeptics consider Armed Chinese troops in
Zimbabwe as Chinese adventurism?

Does improved China-Zimbabwe interaction need United Nations consideration?
Is such an improvement correct for other Southern Africa nations? It has

Thomas C. Inskip, Gulan, Guatemala

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Chinese troops are on the streets of Zimbabwean city, witnesses say

Independent, UK

By Ian Evans in Cape Town
Saturday, 19 April 2008

Chinese troops have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe's third largest
city, Mutare, according to local witnesses. They were seen patrolling with
Zimbabwean soldiers before and during Tuesday's ill-fated general strike
called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Earlier, 10 Chinese soldiers armed with pistols checked in at the city's
Holiday Inn along with 70 Zimbabwean troops.

One eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: "We've never seen Chinese
soldiers in full regalia on our streets before. The entire delegation took
80 rooms from the hotel, 10 for the Chinese and 70 for Zimbabwean soldiers."

Officially, the Chinese were visiting strategic locations such as border
posts, key companies and state institutions, he said. But it is unclear why
they were patrolling at such a sensitive time. They were supposed to stay
five days, but left after three to travel to Masvingo, in the south.

China's support for President Mugabe's regime has been highlighted by the
arrival in South Africa of a ship carrying a large cache of weapons destined
for Zimbabwe's armed forces. Dock workers in Durban refused to unload it.

The 300,000-strong South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu)
said it would be "grossly irresponsible" to touch the cargo of ammunition,
grenades and mortar rounds on board the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang anchored
outside the port.

A Satawu spokesman Randall Howard said: "Our members employed at Durban
container terminal will not unload this cargo, neither will any of our
members in the truck-driving sector move this cargo by road. South Africa
cannot be seen to be facilitating the flow of weapons into Zimbabwe at a
time where there is a political dispute and a volatile situation between
Zanu-PF and the MDC."

Three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades
and more than 3,000 mortar rounds and mortar tubes are among the cargo on
the Chinese ship, according to copies of the inventory published by a South
African newspaper.

According to Beeld, the documentation for the shipment was completed on 1
April, three days after the presidential vote.

Zimbabwe and China have close military ties. Three years ago, Mr Mugabe
signed extensive trade pacts with the Chinese as part of the "Look East"
policy forced on him by his ostracising by Western governments over human
rights abuses. The deal gave the Chinese mineral and trade concessions in
exchange for economic help.

The shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague called on David Miliband to
demand a cessation of arms shipments.

A South African government spokesman Themba Maseko said it would be
difficult to stop the shipment.

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Top Brass

The Zimbabwe Times
The Zimbabwe Times reported early this week that Chinese soldiers were patrolling on the streets of Mutare. Here the top brass celebrate Zimbabwe’s 28th independence anniversary in Harare.

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Mugabe regime ordered 77 tonnes of Chinese arms three days AFTER disputed elections

Daily Mail, UK

By IAN EVANS and WILLIAM LOWTHER - Last updated at 21:33pm on 18th April

A huge cargo of Chinese guns and ammunition sits marooned aboard a ship off
South Africa.

It would have been used to arm the tyrant Robert Mugabe's thugs in Zimbabwe.

But dockers in South African port of Durban won't unload the 77 tons of
mortars, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons.

They know that the armoury will almost certainly be used in a brutal
crackdown on Mugabe's opponents.

Yesterday Britain, the U.S. and other western nations were preparing to call
for urgent United Nations action to bring in a worldwide ban on arms sales
to Zimbabwe.

The stand-off in South Africa has returned the world's attention the
election crisis in Zimbabwe and Mugabe's desperate efforts to remain in

But it is also yet another international embarrassment for Beijing,
following the Olympic protests, and highlights China's increasing
involvement in Africa.

Earlier this week, Chinese troops were seen on the streets of Zimbabwe's
third largest city Mutare.

The order for the shipment was finalised on April 1, three days after last
month's elections.

It emerged yesterday that this was when talks on a peaceful transition of
power from Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party to the opposition broke down.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai revealed in a TV interview that after
the election on March 29 envoys of Mugabe's party approached his Movement
for Democratic Change to discuss forming a government of national unity.

Tsvangirai hinted he would be prepared to accept some Zanu-PF people in the
government but the talks broke down after several days.

The result of the election has still not been released by Mugabe's

The South African government said the paperwork for the shipment was in
order and the ship, An Yue Jiang, has been cleared to dock and unload.

However, the dock workers union won't handle four containers of weapons.

These include nearly 3million rounds of ammunition for small arms and
AK-47s, about 3,500 mortars and mortar launchers, as well as 1,500 rockets
for rocket-propelled grenades.

Gordon Brown, George Bush and other leaders were briefed on the arrival of
the weapons ship but British officials were reluctant to criticise China
before confirmation that the shipment was from Beijing and destined for the
Zimbabwe government.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The European Union has a ban on the sale
of arms to Zimbabwe and we would encourage others to take the same

Zimbabwe and China have close military ties involving equipment and

Three years ago, Mugabe signed extensive trade pacts with the Chinese as
part of his Look East policy - forced on him after he was ostracised by
western governments over alleged humans abuses.

The deal gave the Chinese mineral and trade concessions in exchange for
economic help - mirroring other deals Beijing has signed with regimes all
over Africa.

Scroll down for more...

The Chinese soldiers seen in Mutare were accompanying Zimbabwean soldiers,
say witnesses.

Workers at the city's Holiday Inn said ten members of the People's
Liberation Army checked into the hotel on Monday, carrying pistols.

They were supposed to stay five days but left after three to travel to
another town in the country.

Officially they were there to visit strategic areas such as border posts,
key companies and state institutions.

However, witnesses found their presence intimidating.

"We've never seen Chinese soldiers in full regalia on our streets before. It
was surprising," said one.

China is under an international spotlight over its human rights record and
rule in Tibet ahead of hosting the Olympics in August. Violent protests have
followed the Olympic torch across the globe.

Last night Beijing said it "has always had a prudent and responsible
attitude towards arms sales".

The unions' action in Durban is also an embarrassment for South African
president Thabo Mbeki.

He has been heavily criticised for not taking a tougher line against Mugabe,
even claiming there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe information minister, Bright Matonga, said no party had the right
to stop the shipment.

"When they are going to be used is none of anybody's business,' he said.

Yesterday, 84-year-old Mugabe launched a typical tirade against Britain in
his first major speech since the elections.

Mugabe told 15,000 cheering supporters in a fiery address to mark
independence day: "Down with the British. Down with thieves who want to
steal our country."

In a stream of insults against Britain, Mugabe added: "Today they are like
thieves fronting their lackeys among us, which they give money to confuse
our people."

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, repeated the line that London
and not the MDC were the real enemy.

The MDC accuses him of launching a campaign of militia violence to help him
rig victory in an expected presidential runoff against Tsvangirai.


China must be taught a lesson about this arms shipment and the Olympics.
Mugabe is a wicked old man. Morgan Tsvangirai is a hero and I fear for his

- Iain, Edinburgh

How can those people buy arms and not food?

- Fifthbridge, Nuneaton Warks

So, the Chinese are helping out the dictatorship that should have by now
come to a legal end. Well, they are the experts in putting down the common
people so why not help Mugabe do the same? Cruel. They are peas in a pod and
South Africa should not allow this to pass through the country as they will
have blood on their hands should any violence come to pass. Same with China,
boycott the Olympics and their 'Made in China' goods. When will somebody say
stop to all of this? I wish I was in a position where I was able to do bring
some humanity to these people. What does it take for people to stand up for
the downtrodden who are in the right? Any ideas anyone?

- Emily Kelly, UK

It is shocking and outrageous for the Chinese or anybody to be supplying
arms to the Mugabe regime at this time. The South Africans must find a way
of not allowing this delivery of arms to go through. If allowed there are
immediate and huge humanitarian concerns for Zimbabwe citizens and in the
medium term for the region as a whole under this dictatorship. Let us all
make our concerns known by whatever means we have at our disposal.

- Georgina Moles, Norwich UK

If only there was oil in Zimbabwe.

- John Groves, UK

The USA and the west should leave African leaders out of this. Their blood
is in your hands.

Mugabe has been supported by the west for too long for the the African
leaders to do anything about the situation.
A few years ago Mugabe was given millions of pounds to help sort out the
land problems in his country. All grabbed white farms were given to Mugabe's
relatives and tribes men and women who worked in government or veterinary
offices, medics and ZANU-PF supporter who left the country and are currently
living in the west. Farms are left unchecked with lone garden boys.

Who now should sort out this mess? Not Africa, the west should get rid of
Mugabe since they have given him the diplomatic immunity he so deserves.

- Pat, UK

I believe we should now consider withdrawing the British team from the

- John, Shrewsbury

We banned South African products to protest at the evil of apartheid regime.
It would be hypercritical not to ban South African goods in protest at South
Africa's complicity in the forthcoming slaughter of Zimbabweans, by allowing
arms to go to the disgraced leadership in Zimbabwe.

- Richard Clark, Chelmsford, England

This household will not be watching any Olympics on TV this year.

- Cww, Suffolk

If McBroon is really interested in Zimbabwe, he will tell Mbeki where to go
in plain language that even that man could understand. What further proof is
needed that the very reason Mugabe does what he likes, is because of South
Africa and China?

- Mike Randall, Worcester England

Now Zimbabwe are getting weapons for mass destruction. Will Brown and Bush
sit and do nothing? Watch this space.

- Richard, Newbury

Why doesn't the Zimbabwe Opposition Party start a rumour that large deposits
of oil and gas has been found, Britain and America would land troops within
a week.

- John Griffiths, Rhondda

Let’s stop giving to Africa as a whole. These people collectively elect,
choose or simply allow poor leadership to ruin their own lives. Leave them
to it. Why do they not fight back or support each other country to country.
Even South Africa does not care, why should we?

- Common Sense, London, England

The IOC will have the blood of Zimbabwean protesters on its hands. The
Olympics should be cancelled, even at this late stage.

- David Bourke, Rochester, Kent.

Given the transit time, I suspect that this arms order was made long before
the elections in Zimbabwe. It may have been only a provisional order, i.e.
dependent on the outcome of the election but, knowing the genocidal regime
in Zimbabwe, I have no doubt that this was carefully planned well in

I am curious to know how they paid for the arms. Presumably, Zimbabwe has
something the Chinese want?

Finally, given the Chinese Government's appalling record of supplying arms
to Sudan, thereby fuelling the crisis in Darfur, one should not be surprised
by their grotesque intervention in another African country where human
rights are brutally suppressed.

- Longshanks, Leeds, U.K.

You watch, the Olympics will be a blood bath. We should now withdraw as this
adds to all the other negatives about the Chinese government. It proves that
all they do is about money, not about people. They are proven to act against
their own; they are proving that they care not about the Zimbabwean people,
so for sure they don't care about the UK team. They are blatantly expressing
the attitude of "we don't give a damn".
I wonder what Brown will do about this.
Got a headache Gordon, I'm not surprised.

- Bob Price, Warrington

Mbeki is a disgrace.

- David, Dunmow, UK

It maybe prudent to read this letter sent to me from Zimbabwe. The people in
Zimbabwe really do need outside help to rectify the internal imposed
terror - before it is too late - everyone can become one voice to help
leaders of the world to make the changes needed.

The letter from Zimbabwe was sent in by John Winter.

I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is
always before dawn.
We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next. I mean they are
actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with
twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police
came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house -
five bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was "too close to the airport".
We are feeling extremely insecure right now.

You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you
do not know - how can you help? Even if you put us in your own mental ring.

- Lillian Heron, Nottingham England

So what do we do now? Wait patiently for the slaughter? Sit back and say
nothing, like our New Labour Government? Twiddle our thumbs until a million
lie dead? Isn't there anybody in authority in the West who has the guts to
stand up and stop the forthcoming bloodbath?

- Roy, Southend, UK

What stinks here is the fact that other African leaders refuse to really
come out strongly against Mugabe in this tragedy. Some, like South Africa,
in fact support Mugabe.

African leaders would rather see people starve, tortured and die than speak
out against another black leader.

This could be Africa's moment, but they shuffle around. What kind of leaders
are these? Shameful and disgusting.

- Adelaide, London England

Says it all really. He isn't going without a fight and has no doubt sold the
country to China.

- Roger, York

Emily Kelly, the only real thing you can do is vote for a party who will
stop messing around with Mugabe and Mbeki (mot the three main parties!).
Boycott Chinese goods, and write lots of letters and e-mails.

- P. Smith, Orpington, UK

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The new scramble for Africa begins

The Times
April 19, 2008

Modern imperialism on the resource-rich continent will be less benign than
old colonialism
Matthew Parris
Fifty years ago the decolonisation of Africa began. The next half-century
may see the continent recolonised. But the new imperialism will be less
benign. Great powers aren't interested in administering wild places any
more, still less in settling them: just raping them. Black gangster
governments sponsored by self-interested Asian or Western powers could
become the central story in 21st-century African history.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Take Zimbabwe. In the Western news media the clichs
about Robert Mugabe's “despotism” roll, but this is a despotism crippled by
monumental incompetence. The BBC's audience must have been bemused in recent
weeks by John Simpson's reports from within a country where, as we are
always being reminded, the BBC is banned. I yield to none in my respect for
Mr Simpson's courage and ingenuity but only modest quantities of either will
have been required to enter the country, move within it or broadcast from

Our own correspondent, Jonathan Clayton, was unluckier, but there are
journalists in Zimbabwe reporting what Mugabe would stop them reporting if
he could. It is chance whom his thugs stumble upon. They may be easily
capable of beating to a pulp those poor, anonymous Zimbabweans who cross
them, but when it comes to the apparatus of a modern state - effective
policing, surveillance, restriction of movement, or censorship which works -
the regime in Harare has plainly lost what control it ever had.

Zimbabwe is not Iraq. Any great power could pick a leader in Zimbabwe today,
send in a modest military support force to sustain him in power, and follow
this up with ten jumbo jets filled with economic, technical and political
advisers and half-a-billion-pound's-worth of reconstruction aid. Within a
couple of years the intervening power would be sponsoring something
tantamount to a puppet government there. In modern management-speak, there
exist bunches of low-hanging fruit, overlooked, on the African continent.

If Zimbabwe had oil the Americans would be plucking this fruit already. If
the country's mineral resources were greater, if the persistence of white
settlers there were not throwing an international spotlight on the news, and
if China were not embarrassed by Tibet and the forthcoming Olympics, I think
the argument in Bejing for sponsoring either Mugabe or the most amenable
available opposition leader would be strong.
It may yet prevail. I had just left school in Africa when Maoist China tried
something similar in the early 1970s, constructing a 1,160-mile railway from
Zambia to Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to transport copper to the Indian Ocean
port. But Tanzania's Julius Nyerere was wily, the construction proved
fraught with difficulty, and Chinese advisers and workers did not make
themselves popular with local people. China never recovered a decent return
on that economic and political investment. China may well yet do so,
however. Meanwhile, China's support for a vicious Sudanese regime in
Khartoum has been too widely commented on to need rehearsing. Hydrocarbons
are the prize.

But enough of China: simply a little hungrier, a little more opportunistic
and a little less scrupulous than some of its competitors. This is not about
China, but about vacuums into which, if Beijing does not move, then someone
else surely will. If modern British governments still had the stomach for
this kind of thing we could be more or less in charge of Sierra Leone today,
and accept northern Somaliland as a client state tomorrow.

The American neocons were unlucky in the pilot projects they chose. For
those seeking the creation of biddable states, Iraq and Afghanistan proved
among the least amenable places to pick. But there is something more than
the awful bloody nose received in both these Asian interventions, and
America's earlier disaster in Vietnam, that may have temporarily blocked
Western minds from thinking about neo-imperialist opportunities in
sub-Saharan Africa. It is the myth that black liberation movements were
formidable. They were not. They were no Vietcong or Algerian FLN. The lesson
from 20th- century sub-Saharan Africa is not how irresistible were the
forces faced by European imperialism, but how easily, and for how long, they
were resisted.

Remember that America was on the other side in this conflict, fanning the
flames of African nationalism and undermining the European powers. Yet
Belgium - Belgium - managed to hold on to a colony 76 times its size, the
Congo, from 1908 (after its rapine private ownership by King Leopold II)
until 1960. Contrary to widespread belief, Britain was never beaten by the
Mau Mau in Kenya, and in most of the African colonies and protectorates
relinquished between 1957 (Ghana) and 1968 (Swaziland) we had been meeting
little if any armed resistance. Britain was not drummed but shouted out of

Portugal, meanwhile, hung on to two territories (now Angola and Mozambique)
the first twice the size of Texas, the second twice the size of California,
until 1975. For years an impoverished and virtually Third World European
tinpot dictatorship sustained two wars simultaneously against nationalist
insurgencies in both countries without going under. Meanwhile. a tiny force
of white renegades denied victory to Mugabe's Patriotic Front for nearly
eight years until 1980: yet there were 20 times as many blacks as whites in
Rhodesia, and the breakaway regime of Ian Smith was under international
economic siege throughout.

Why then did the great (and lesser) powers of the day turn their backs on
empire in Africa in the 20th century, and why in the 21st might their
successors return to an interest in acquiring political grip?

European imperial powers lost the will rather than the capacity to own and
govern overseas resources. A world in which all could buy and sell on the
global market was arriving. It is a world, however, which is now feeling the
pinch in the natural resources with which Africa is richly endowed.
Meanwhile, the continent is in many places run by outfits that resemble
gangs rather than governments. At their most dysfunctional (as in Congo)
this disintegration seriously impedes the extraction of resources, because
security, communications and infrastructure break down.

But a solution beckons: buy your own gang. You hardly need visit and are
certainly not required to administer the gang's territory. You simply give
it support, munitions, bribes and protection to keep the roads and airports
open; and it pays you with access to resources. You dress up the arrangement
as helping Africans to help themselves. The French, who have been doing this
in their former African possessions for years, lead the way. But it is when
China, then America, and perhaps even Russia or India follow, that the
scramble for Africa will truly be resumed.

Hypocrisy, they say, is the homage that vice pays to virtue. During the last
scramble for Africa, colonial administration was the homage greed paid to
responsibility. But greed may be less sentimental during the next. From a
resource-starved industrialised world in the 21st Century, reponsibility for
Africa will get no more than a passing nod.

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Disarming Mugabe

The Times
April 19, 2008

The United Nations must order an immediate embargo on weapons for Zimbabwe
Wounded, reviled and discredited, Robert Mugabe has no intention of backing
down. Taking comfort from Africa's pusillanimous refusal to deal with the
dictator in its midst, the old demagogue President has returned to the
tactics he knows best: denouncing a phantom enemy abroad while turning loose
his party thugs to beat, shoot and intimidate his political opponents.
Yesterday he emerged from the bemused silence that followed his election
humiliation to harangue 15,000 cheering supporters, accusing Britain of
trying to steal the election and promising to defend Zimbabwe from
“imperialists” as long as he remained on Earth. Away from this stage-managed
absurdity, his youthful “veterans” were breaking the bones and smashing the
homes of those who had dared to vote against him.

There was, it appears, a brief moment when Mr Mugabe was ready to do a deal.
Morgan Tsvagirai, the opposition leader, has revealed that he was approached
by Mugabe stalwarts ready to negotiate a government of national unity in
which no one would have lost jobs or faced prosecution. The move was swiftly
scotched, however, by Zanu (PF) hardliners, reluctant to lose their
privileges or fearful of retribution from an angry and hungry electorate.
Instead, the order went out to unleash an “orgy of violence”.

Mr Mugabe has been emboldened in his defiance by the complicity of Thabo
Mbeki, the South African President, who has moved from cautious neutrality
to outright support for his neighbour. His bland insistence that there was
no crisis in Zimbabwe - at a time when more than three million destitute
Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa - defies not only logic and the
evidence of a nation in freefall but also the growing impatience of the
outside world.

Gordon Brown deserves full credit for voicing that impatience - in his
warning to the UN. Mr Mugabe, he said, was trying to steal the election.
Patient diplomacy had proved ineffective; the world, and especially
Zimbabwe's neighbours, must wake up to the tragedy. Luckily not everyone in
the region is blind to what is happening. South African dockers yesterday
announced that they would refuse to unload a Chinese ship that arrived in
Durban with three million rounds of AK47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket-propelled
grenades and 3,000 mortar rounds destined for Zimbabwe. The transport union
also vowed to block the movement of this military consignment to Zimbabwe,
arguing correctly that it would be used only for internal repression.

This principled stand underlines the disgraceful lack of principle by the
two governments on which Mr Mugabe depends: South Africa and China. Mr
Mbeki's refusal to put any pressure on Mr Mugabe beyond a featherweight call
for the publication of the election results is as obstinate as his denial of
Aids in his own country, and appears motivated by a personal animus against
Mr Tsangirai. China's willingness to continue arming the dictator is part of
an overall policy of questioning neither the legitimacy nor the policies of
elites in those countries whose energy and mineral wealth it seeks to buy.
In both cases, this cynicism is likely to backfire: Mr Mbeki faces growing
hostility at home to his hands-off approach, while China is struggling to
contain global protests against its human rights policies.

This weekend there will probably be a partial recount demanded by Zanu (PF)
in 23 constituencies where, in all but one, it lost to the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. Whatever the MDC challenges or court
rulings, few doubt that the election commission will contrive to overturn
the results and thus hand the Government a parliamentary majority. This will
be the moment when the election is formally stolen. Mr Brown and other world
leaders must then act. Their first step must be to demand UN moves to halt
the repression that will follow as soon as Zimbabwe's police manage to
acquire the weapons they seek. There is another immediate step to take: the
imposition of a blanket arms embargo. It is extraordinary that this is not
already in place. It is disgraceful that Zimbabwe's neighbours have not
called for one. But if they are too timid to act, the UN at least must show
that it cares about Zimbabwean lives.

I am surprised that no emargo on weapons has been enforced on this mass
murderer.Shame on you impotent politicians of Africa.Why is UN is not doing
anything to save these opor people.

Clifford Fernandes, Sunderland,

China? Again?

Sure lets just go play some sports with them this summer and betray all the
people struggling for freedom in the dictatorial regimes that the Chinese
government supports.

Zened, London,

The tyrant of Zimbabwe is taking advice from the cubans and is blaming his
troubles on London, as castro does with the U.S., the cuban intelligence
agency is surely advicing the tyrant on what steps to take to remain in
control and to keep fear in the hearts of the citizens, world opinion be
Dammed all he cares about is staying in power

J Novelo, miami, U.S.A.

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Fed Up With Mugabe

Washington Post

By Njoroge Wachai

On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran an editorial blasting the South
African President, Thabo Mbeki, for cozying up to Zimbabwean leader Robert
Mugabe, a totalitarian demagogue who has been hoarding the results of a
presidential contest held three weeks ago, an election many believe he
lost.The Post decried Mbeki’s fraternizing with Mugabe at a time when the
international community is in consensus that the opposition Movement for
Democratic Movement (MDC) won presidential elections three weeks ago.

What actually caught my eye was not the strong language the Post used to
ridicule Mbeki – who asserted a week ago that the situation in Zimbabwe
falls short of a crisis. What caught my eye were the comments the editorial

Consider this: An irate supporter of President Mbeki, who identified himself
as a South African, questioned the moral authority of Americans – not of the
Post – to poke their noses into the affairs of sovereign countries like
Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Another wrote: “…there isn’t (sic) greater thieves, murderers and exploiters
of peoples (sic) on earth than Western powers.” Let’s assume, for a second,
that Western countries are in fact thieves and plunderers of other nation’s
resources. Does this justify Mugabe’s overturning the Zimbabweans’ verdict
that he and his henchmen should pack their bags and go home? Of course not.

Most of the comments, which I suspect originated from African readers of the
Post, were harsh and vitriolic not towards Mugabe or Mbeki, but to the
West – for its habit of meddling in the affairs of African countries. These
commenters missed the point. What’s at stake now is not the U.S., Britain,
France or Canada interfering in the affairs of either Zimbabwe or South
Africa. This is an effort to emancipate Zimbabweans from the twin yokes of
Mugabe’s dictatorship and his inept leadership.

It defies logic that Africans, of all people, should be engaging in
xenophobic ranting instead of joining to demand restoration of democracy in
Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans have spoken, period. What remains now is for the
dictator Mugabe to concede to MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai, or to allow a run-off
election to be monitored by independent observers from such bodies as the
African Union (AU), the UN and the European Union (EU).

It’s easy and comfortable for those who don’t espouse universal democratic
ideals to demonize the media and other countries - especially in the West –
rather than face the political crisis in Zimbabwe head-on. Rather than
demand that Mugabe release election results, these are willing to believe
his claim that the crisis in Zimbabwe isn’t about democracy – that it’s
about Western countries’ attempts to meddle in the country’s internal
affairs. Mugabe said as much today, when he addressed a gathering to
celebrate Zimbabwe’s 28 years of independence and accused Britain and the
opposition of scheming to recolonize the country.

This is a trick Mugabe has used again and again to deflect attention from
his incompetence. The world must say no to Mugabe. Letting him go will set a
very bad precedent, especially in Africa: incumbent rulers will start
borrowing a page from him, clinging to power even when their people have
rejected them.

The African Union (AU), regrettably, hasn’t come out forcefully to admonish
Mugabe and demand that voters’ will be respected. Its deafening silence is a
discreet endorsement of Mugabe’s demagogical debauchery. In that silence, it
seems to be enjoying the ongoing brutality being meted out on opposition
supporters, whose only offense was to vote for the Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The fact that it has taken U.S. President George Bush or the European Union
or British Prime Minster Gordon Brown to pressure Mugabe to relinquish
power, and not the AU or the South African Development Community (SADCC), is
a big embarrassment to Africa. The time has now come for African leaders to
rescue Zimbabweans from Mugabe’s lunacy. What’s going on in Zimbabwe is

It’s well-known that Mugabe will resort to violence to silence his critics.
The world hasn’t forgotten that as recently as last year, he vowed to bash
opposition politicians who dared to challenge his rule.

It’s clear that Zimbabweans can’t fight this ruthless dictator alone. They
need help. It’s time the world acted on their behalf, not just through
verbal denunciations as is the case now, but also through the use of force.
Isn’t this the same way he’s treating his people?

Njoroge Wachai is a former Kenyan journalist currently based in the United

Posted by Njoroge Wachai on April 18, 2008 6:35 PM

malam you might have a point but its not valid.the root problem is mugabe
and his removal is the answer or at least the first step towards solving it.
african leaders right now are showing their lack of leadership skills.
african leader should be confronting this more vigorously. in what country
do elections get held and the results are not announced. what was the
purpose of the election then.i'm a fellow zimbabwean hurting deeply about
the situation back home.anyone who wants to point a finger at the western
world on this obviously is ignorant of the real situation in zimbabwe

April 18, 2008 8:30 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:30

Robert N.:
I have watched since the 1970's as Africa has been distroyed. The right to
prevent communism and the left to embracing any revelutioary leader.
Zimbabwe was as fact, was better all around with white rule (Rhodesia), than
what is in place now. Africa has become a bloody battefield without any
outside help and the west has let the horrier go on as a reward for black
Unless Africa can clean up it's own house, the rest of the world will wash
it's hands of it. I can only hope that the African leadership in other
country's will support the people of Zimbabwe. The president of South Africa
is no better then yes man for supporting Magumbe.

April 18, 2008 8:29 PM

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:29

What I don't appreciate about this article is the final statement of the
author that he thinks its time to depose Mugabe "through the use of force".
What a pile of idiocy. Let's identify an African country, or any country for
that matter, where the violent overthrow of a dictator has left the people
any better off. Nominations?

April 18, 2008 8:20 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:20

Bella Kushinga:
Mr Mugabe and others should stop this violation of the popular will of the
electorate. The race card is now invalid. There are members in his cabinet
who are linked to mixed race background. The history of Zimbabwe goes back a
very, very long way. Is he aware of it or not? Zimbabwe is a country of many
races even now with many cultures, customs, each a bright section in the
tapestry of humanity. However two wrongs do not make it right. Mr Mugabe
should have walked alongside the majority of Zimbabweans to realise they are
going hungry, a long time ago, not now. It is so sad to pass the blame to
the British even now. It seems his cabinet did not sacrifice their own
desires for the good of poor Zimbabweans. For Zimbabwe to prosper racism has
to end and unite for the good of the common people. The killings have to
stop now, because you are creating a nation of traumatised people.

April 18, 2008 8:15 PM

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:15

Nice job Malam. You criticize the article above with a series of ad hominem
attacks on the writer, without addressing any of his valid points. Fox News
may have a slot for you. Fact: Mugabe lost the election. Fact: He will not
leave office. Fact: He is now gathering his thugs and threatening the
opposition with violence. Fact: Life expectancy in Zimbabwe is less than 38
years, and continues to drop. Fact: Malam is cool with all of that.

April 18, 2008 8:08 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:08

Well, to be fair, the USA was the last country to stop supporting the
apartheid regime in the 1990's. Apartheid, survived in South Africa for as
long as it did due to support by the USA. Consequently, I think it is fairly
obvious that the USA lacks any moral authority when it comes to democracy
and discrimintation of any sort. Apart from this, it is laughable to believe
the USA's view on any international policy can be taken seriously given the
incompetence exhibited by successive administrations wnen it comes to
international affairs.

April 18, 2008 8:02 PM

Posted on April 18, 2008 20:02

Ivan Silva:
I agree that the election results should be respected. But it's harsh to say
Mugabe is incompetent! Zimbabwe before the crisis was by far one of the most
developed countries in Africa. It was not lead recklessly like so many other
African countries. But it is time for Mugabe to go and let Zimbabwe get back
to where it was, as one of the prosperous and stable regions in Africa. A
luta continua!

April 18, 2008 7:56 PM

Posted on April 18, 2008 19:56

I find this comment by Malam very interesting. Instead of offering actual
criticism, Malam just calls people names. If something is wrong with what
Njoroge Wachai wrote, why doesn't Malam just point it out instead of just
saying Njoroge Wachai is not a good journalist, or not intellectual?

April 18, 2008 7:53 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 19:53

Haha, all these people will accept our monitary support with open arms, but
when it comes to our opinion, they do not want to hear it.

April 18, 2008 7:48 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 19:48

Haha, all these people will accept our monitary support with open arms, but
when it comes to our opinion, they do not want to hear it.

April 18, 2008 7:47 PM

Posted on April 18, 2008 19:47

thank jimmie carter.

April 18, 2008 7:27 PM | Report Offensive Comments

Posted on April 18, 2008 19:27

I find this article by Njoroge Wachai very interesting. Njoroge personifies
the African journalist mentality. The problem with African journalism is
that it does not pay well. As such it does not attract the best and
brightest of the African crop. Because they are intellectually weak, there
is a tendency for these African journalists to just endorse everything the
west says. They just copy what the BBC or Reuters wrote. It is very rare to
find intelligent analysis in the African press scrutinizing western

These jorunalists have a mistaken definition of intellectualism. They think
being an intellectual means endorsing anything the west says.

Anyboy who thinks you can takle the Zimbabwe problem without properly follow
its roots need to have their head examined.

April 18, 2008 7:12 PM

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International, regional companies and even China shun Zimbabwe's trade fair

19th Apr 2008 00:15 GMT

By Ian Nhuka

BULAWAYO - Only seven countries, down from 15 last year, will be represented
at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which begins here
Tuesday next week.

Exhibitors from Europe and America will again not participate at the annual
event, expected to attract even fewer Zimbabwean and African firms owing to
the long-standing economic crisis, which has been worsened by the three-week
political standoff over the delayed
release of presidential election results.

And in yet another sign that President Robert Mugabe’s so-called Look East
policy is a failing, China, touted as the centrepiece of Zimbabwe’s drive
towards Asia, is also not participating.

“We have Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and
Indonesia. These are the countries that will be represented, but we expect
more to register as the day approaches. We have not finished registering
exhibitors,” Rose Harrison, a senior ZITF official said yesterday.

She refused to comment on the total number of exhibitors who would take
part. The press conference, which the ZITF traditionally holds on the eve
of the fair to disclose the number and profile of exhibitors and the
identity of the guest of honour, was abruptly cancelled Thursday.

The guest of honour is usually a foreign head of state, but of late,
President Mugabe has taken it upon himself to do the honours, apparently
because his counterparts are shunning the trade fair.

In recent years, the ZITF, once one of the biggest trade expositions in
Africa has apparently followed the path that the economy has taken –

During its prime in the late 1990s, as many as 1 500 exhibitors used to take
part annually, but the figure has been declining with just over 500, mostly
parastatals and small and medium-scale enterprises,
exhibiting last year.

Key exhibitors from Europe and America have shunned the ZITF since President
Mugabe's often-chaotic land reforms in 2000. Yesterday, only a few days
before the annual event, there was little activity as parastatal workmen
spruced up their exhibition stands in
readiness for the five-day event that will be held from Tuesday to Saturday
next week.

There was some activity on the National Railways of Zimbabwe, ZESA,
Industrial Development Corporation, and Net One stands. The continuing
impasse between Zanu –PF and the mainstream faction of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai since the March 29
elections, had thrown the successful holding of the ZITF into doubt.

The MDC is embroiled in a fight with Zanu PF which it accuses of withholding
results of the presidential election. Tsvangirai says he won a clear
majority to form a government but Zanu PF is claiming that none of the four
presidential candidates scored enough votes to win in the first round and is
pressing for a run-off between its candidate, President Mugabe and

This week, Tsvangirai said he would only participate in the run-off if
international observers are invited.

But last weekend, ZITF company general manager, Daniel Chigaru tried to
re-assure industry that the event would proceed in spite of the political
and economic uncertainty.

During a hastily arranged press conference meant to counter rumours that the
ZITF would be postponed, Chigaru said it would be “too expensive” to defer
the occasion.

“There have been rumours this year’s ZITF has been postponed,” Chigaru said.
“But this is not true because it will go ahead as planned. There has been no
indication from the Ministry (of Industry and International Trade) that it
has been postponed,” he said.

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Jonathan Clayton tells of his ordeal when trying to enter Zimbabwe

The Times
April 19, 2008

'With every answer, I fell father into Mugabe’s vortex of terror after being
caught trying to enter Zimbabwe'

They are the words every foreign correspondent dreads hearing. “We are going
to have to detain you for a little while, sir.” In my case, they were
uttered by Senior Immigration Officer Godfrey Kondo, a dapper good-looking
man. They hit me like a boxer’s blow to the solar plexus. I felt a frisson
of fear run up my spine.

Journalists are banned from reporting in Zimbabwe and have to resort to all
manner of ruses to gain entry. Mine had been to slip in through the back
door of the quiet second city of Bulawayo, capital of the southwestern area
of Matabeleland where Robert Mugabe is still remembered for a series of
brutal massacres in the 1980s and has few friends.

It had worked before, but since the veteran dictator lost elections on March
29 vigilance against “neo-colonialists” and “Western imperialists” has risen
to unprecedented levels.

I had taken a set of golf clubs and as few items as possible that could link
me to reporting. I used a second passport, which carried no mention of my
work with The Times, or so I thought.

Mr Kondo, whose meticulous attention to detail was impressive, spotted a
years-old entry stamp to South Africa with an oblique reference to
“reporting duties”.
I tried to bluff it out, saying I used to work forThe Timesbut, at 54, I was
far too old for news reporting. Mr Kondo hesitated and rushed outside the
terminal building. The plane which had brought me in from South Africa had
just departed again. “Now, we have a bit of a problem,” he confided. I was
put in the back of an enclosed van and taken off to the local headquarters
in the town some 15 miles away.

There, I was ordered to sit in the office of an elderly colleague who sat
under a glowering portrait of President Mugabe. He told me of his love for
Britain, where two of his children now lived.

The rest of the time was spent chatting about football and the chances of
Liverpool, my place of birth, winning another European Cup final. I relaxed.

“We’ll deport you tomorrow. You’ll just have to spend one night with us,” Mr
Kondo told me as we drove off to the airline office to reserve me a seat on
the next day’s flight. Then he hit me with: “I’ll have to leave you with the
police tonight, but I’ll come early and pick you up as you’ll be a bit
dirty. It is not very comfortable there.”

Within minutes of arriving at Bulawayo central police station, I began to
panic. I desperately tried to send an SMS on my roaming phone to alert
friends to my plight, but frustratingly failed to obtain a signal.

I was taken to a dingy room with paint peeling off the walls and broken
filing cabinets, where I was told to hand over all my possessions and
clothes except for a pair of trousers and one top. I chose to keep a fleece
as I judged the cells would be chilly.

The policeman’s breath smelt of the sweet aroma of African beer. While his
attention was elsewhere, I grabbed my phone back off his desk and stuffed it
into my crotch. Barefoot, I was led across the courtyard to the cells where
I could see dozens of eyes watching me through the slits in the doors.

The door of cell four opened and I was pushed inside. The stench hit me so
hard I struggled to catch my breath.

“Welcome to Hell,” a voice said. As my eyes adjusted to the half-light, I
saw it belonged to a young man wearing tattered half-mast pants and a shabby
anorak top. “I am Conqueror, just like your William the Conqueror,” he said.
He introduced me to the other occupants of the 10ft by 8ft cell, an armed
robber called Mkhululi, 30, and a 58-year-old man called Porcent who had
stolen his niece’s cow.

Miraculously, my phone picked up a signal and I managed to send a few texts
saying where I was. Moments later, I heard keys in the lock and was hauled

The interrogation lasted several hours. The officers were young and I
parried their inquiries with little difficulty. Around 9pm the door burst
open and two stocky figures walked in. I was kicked off my chair and told to
sit on the floor.

The larger of the two towered above me and yelled: “Now my friend, listen
and listen carefully. You are in big trouble, your lawyer is not coming, you
can forget that. We have had enough. We are elevating this to another level
and it will not be pleasant. Are you hearing me? It will not be nice, you
understand? If you cooperate it will end, OK?” With that he was gone. I was
led to another room. A large fat woman in a red dress and sneakers walked in
and shouted at me: “Where’s the phone? Where’s the phone?” They searched me
and found it. I tried to switch it off but they grabbed it from me.
The questioning grew more hostile as they found names and addresses in the
phone. “Who is Jane Williams?” one yelled. “She is my sister,” I answered
truthfully. They would have none of it. They thought it was a pseudonym for
a well-known activist called Jenny Williams.

More and more figures started appearing in the room, some looking down at me
with ill-concealed contempt. “What is your mission, what is your mission?
Tell us, tell us the truth,” was a favourite question repeated over and

They had found a novel in my jacket pocket – The Kite Runner by Khaled
Hosseini. “Why are you reading about Afghanistan? Zimbabwe is not
Afghanistan. You want Zimbabwe to be in conflict, don’t you?” Journalists
who have been to Afghanistan or Iraq are barred from working in Zimbabwe. I
have been to neither but that was of no interest to my inquisitors. With
every answer, I seemed to slip farther into Mr Mugabe’s vortex of terror.

Around midnight the atmosphere changed for the worse. A man who I instantly
dubbed Mr Nasty walked in. He searched me aggressively, then suddenly pulled
my arms behind my back and handcuffed my wrists. He took out a large
triangular piece of canvas and blindfolded me. It was tied so tightly my
nose squashed into my face.

I was then led out into the courtyard and pushed on the back seat of a car.
Two goons sat on each side of me. I heard the metal gate of the police
station pulled back and felt the cool night air rush in from an open front

I realised I had been transferred from the police to the feared state
security service, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

We drove for about seven to ten minutes, but it seemed an eternity. I fought
to control my rising panic and racing mind. Mentally, I thanked my eldest
daughter for having recommended that I listen to a giveaway DVD in The Times
some months back of Paul McKenna’s deep-relaxation technique. I focused on
my own breathing, determined not to let them know how terrified I was.

The car stopped and I was tugged out. We walked for about two minutes. I
could feel wet grass under my feet mingled with pebbles. I knew at least two
people were in front, with one hand gently guiding me along, and another two
behind. No one talked.

I was pushed through a doorway and on to a rickety chair. The door closed.
It was silent except for the sound of dripping water which made me fear some
form of water torture might follow. About ten minutes later, the door opened
and we set off on another walk. This time I heard keys opening locks. I was
taken into a room and pushed onto another chair. The handcuffs were unlocked
and finally the blindfold was lifted. I found myself staring into the face
of Mr Nasty and the fat woman in the red dress. There were a dozen other
security officers.

The interrogation began again. I stuck to my story that, although linked
toThe Times, I was not in Zimbabwe to work. It drove them crazy. They said I
had come to organise the exit of journalist friends working illegally in the
country. I denied it. They demanded to know the name of my “contact”. I told
them there wasn’t one.

Mr Nasty’s patience finally snapped. He ordered me to kneel in front of him
and stare into his face. The first blow came so swiftly and hard it sent me
reeling across the floor. As I recovered a second one crashed on to my left
ear, leaving a pinging sound in my head.

“I am counting to five and more are coming unless you tell me the truth,” he
yelled. “Tell the truth. We are not fools you know, you think we are fools.”
I stared back into his face and vowed if I ever saw this bastard again I
would make him pay in some way. My anger was so great, I suddenly discovered
a new strength. He seemed to realise it and, on the count of four, he
abruptly changed tactics. He ordered me to try to stand on my head. I
laughed and so did some of the other officers which infuriated him even
more. He told me to stand on one foot, but I kept – deliberately – falling
over. He stormed out of the room. I never saw him again.
The questions continued until 5am but the intensity had gone. Some of the
officers fell asleep. While they snored, a kind one even let me go to the
lavatory. Eventually I was blindfolded again, put back in the car and taken
back to the police station. The stinking cell had never seemed so welcoming.
I told my new friends what had happened and they sympathised.

“Bastards, they do that. But you are lucky, sometimes they put you in the
boot,” Conqueror told me while the old man Porcent carefully put a
lice-ridden blanket over my shoulders.

It was clear to me now that Mr Kondo’s promise of deportation would not be
honoured. I stayed in the cell most of the day, dreading another night of
interrogation. It never came.

Instead, a lawyer contracted by The Times finally made contact and I was
taken to another cell, this time containing nine others, in another police
station. After one of the longest weekends I have known, I appeared in court
last Monday. The magistrate, Mrs Phathekile Msipa, a smartly dressed lady
with her hair tightly pulled back into a pony-tail, heard the prosecution
and then adjourned the case. She ordered me to be remanded in custody.

Now, I was in the hands of the prison service. I was manacled to a fellow
prisoner and in a group of about a dozen convicts marched through town to
Grey’s Prison in central Bulawayo.

There, a kindly officer allowed me not to put on prison garb until the next
morning and took me to cell block number four.

He opened the door and told the inmates: “I want no harm to come to this
man. No noise from here, OK? I will ask him in the morning.” In the new
cell, we were 22. Most of my new cellmates wore only underpants and had
bodybuilder-type figures. Some were naked. One told me to do likewise, but
modestly I declined. Later, as the lice and other insects buried deep into
my pants, I fell in line.

They were mostly policemen and soldiers who had deserted and, despite my
initial fears, were wonderfully friendly and warm. They gave me what little
food they had left from the day – half an orange, a banana and some dry
bread. “This is the only country in the world where the inmates are
policemen,” Ryan, a 30-year-old traffic cop, laughed.

During my eight days in custody most of the only food and drink I had came
from donations from local churches. Without them Zimbabwe’s prisoners would
have nothing to eat or drink.

For three more days, I went backwards and forwards to the court – my feet in
leg-irons and my corpulent body squeezed into prison shorts and shirt two
sizes too small. I dreaded a custodial sentence.

On Wednesday, I was suddenly found guilty on a minor immigration charge and
fined $20 billion Zimbabwean dollars, about 200, and told I was banned from
any more visits to the country. The next day I was put on a plane and
deported to South Africa.

Before I left a sympathetic policeman took me to one side. “Zimbabwe is a
good country,” he said. “One day things will change and you will be back.”

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Eight days of fear in Mugabe's machine

The Times
April 19, 2008

Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor
He may be aged, isolated and facing economic ruin, but Robert Mugabe still
clings to power thanks to a feared state security apparatus that continues
to function across Zimbabwe.

As the 84-year-old leader marked nearly three decades in power yesterday
with a defiant speech against Britain, the Africa correspondent of The Times
recalled, just 48 hours after his release from jail, his experiences of Mr
Mugabe’s ruthless regime.

Jonathan Clayton spent eight days imprisoned in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second
city, where he was interrogated, beaten and tortured by a senior officer in
the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). He was eventually
released after paying a Z$20 billion fine, about 200, for misleading an
immigration officer.

During his incarceration in various prisons, he found generosity and
humanity from officers and inmates alike. But he also endured brutality at
the hands of a local intelligence chief, nicknamed “Mr Nasty”, who led a
team of a dozen security officers during a five-hour interrogation session
at a secret location near the city centre.

The experience, which other prisoners had also endured, revealed that even
in provincial areas far from Harare, Mr Mugabe’s writ is still respected and
his security operation keeps tight control over society.
But he also discovered that other parts of the security services were
showing signs of strain. Several of his fellow cellmates were police
officers and soldiers arrested for desertion. Many of the others were
desperate young men, convicted of stealing in order to survive. While the
prisons were full, there was no food or drink for inmates. These were
provided by Christian charities. Yesterday Mr Mugabe marked the country’s
28th independence anniversary by attacking Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler.
“Down with Britain. Down with the thieves who want to steal our country,”
said the former guerrilla leader, warming to a familiar theme of blaming the
country’s ills on Britain.

“Today they have perfected their tactics to a more subtle form by using
money to buy some people to turn against their government. We are being
bought like livestock,” he said.

Some 15,000 Zanu (PF) loyalists and a guard of honour turned out to salute
Mr Mugabe, as he made his first major public speech three weeks after
presidential elections, whose results have still not be revealed by the
electoral commission.

In spite of the pomp, the anniversary marked a low point in Zimbabwe’s
international standing, where there is a growing outcry over the election
failure and the subsequent violent crack-down on the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which claims it won the presidential and
parliamentary votes. Two MDC members have been killed and dozens injured by
pro-Government vigilante groups.

One clear sign that Zimbabwe is losing its support abroad came from Durban,
where South African dockers refused to unload a freighter carrying Chinese
weapons bound for Zimbabwe’s armed forces.

“We do not believe it wil be in the interest of the Zimbabwean people in
general if South Africa is seen to be a conduit of arms and ammunition,”
Randall Howard, a transport union spokesman, said. The move could herald the
broadening on an international arms boycott against Harare.

As one of Mr Clayton’s cellmates observed about his country’s leader: “The
last kick of the dying horse is the hardest.”

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Artists to stand trial for performing political satire

Zim Online

by Tafirei Shumba Saturday 19 April 2008

HARARE – A Zimbabwe court this week postponed to next month the trial of two
artists accused of performing a political satire without approval from
government censorship officials.

Magistrate Gloria Takundwa deferred the matter to May 29 to allow the state
to furnish defence lawyers with an outline of the case that is the first
known trial of artists in post-independence Zimbabwe for allegedly breaching
the government’s colonial era Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.

The state is the complainant in the case in which artists Sylvanos Mudzvova
and Anthony Tongani were arrested last year for their production - “The
Final Push” - depicting Zimbabwe’s worsening political crisis but which
state officials say targets President Robert Mugabe personally.

The court heard on Wednesday that the lawyer representing the artists,
Philip Nyakutombwa, had only received summons for his clients to appear in
court yesterday but had not been served the actual state outline to enable
him to prepare a defence.

The state is represented by public prosecutor Alois Gakata in the trial that
will certainly make or break Zimbabwe’s small but vibrant protest arts, a
sector that has increasingly been targeted by the police for the satirical
acts hitting too close to the bone.

Magistrate Takundwa warned the trial would continue next month with or
without the state outline.

“Justice delayed is justice denied but we will now get the state outline to
allow the trial to start on the new date,” Nyakutombwa told ZimOnline.

The artists were arrested in Harare in October last year during a public
performance of the satire and detained at Harare Central police station for
two days while their lawyer sought their release.

Police did not immediately charge the artists only to do so five months
later when Mudzvova and Tongani were slapped with charges of breaching the
1967 censorship law, which is widely viewed in arts circles as a repressive
and draconian law stifling artistic freedom and human liberties.

The satire is named after the 2003 mass protest march against Mugabe’s
government by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party. The demonstration failed after armed police and ruling ZANU PF party
militia heavily deployed on Harare’s streets.

At least a dozen hard-hitting political performances satirising Zimbabwe’s
political woes blamed on Mugabe’s controversial policies were banned by the
police last year while several artists were arrested.

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Zimbabwean opposition met Annan in Nairobi: report

Monsters and Critics

Apr 18, 2008, 22:19 GMT

Johannesburg/Nairobi - Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
held talks Friday with former UN secretary general Kofi Annan on Zimbabwe's
post-election crisis, South African radio reported.

The MDC team led by party secretary-general Tendai Biti met Annan and Prime
Minister Raila Odinga in Kenya, which was rocked by post-election violence
earlier this year.

Annan brokered the talks between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader
Odinga on the formation of a power-sharing government that ended weeks of
bloodshed in the east African nation.

It was not clear whether the MDC had asked Annan to act as mediator in

Three weeks after the country's presidential elections the state-controlled
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is refusing to release the results. At the
same time it has allowed a partial vote recount Saturday.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has claimed victory over President Robert
Mugabe - a claim Mugabe's party rejects.

While Zimbabwe does not have the same tribal divisions as Kenya, analysts
have been warning of an outbreak of violence if the election stalemate

Youth militia loyal to Mugabe have beaten up scores of people suspected of
voting for the MDC in the past two weeks - killing four, according to the

Tsvangirai on Thursday called for South African President Thabo Mbeki to be
replaced as the Southern African Development Community's mediator in the
standoff after he declared there was 'no crisis' in Zimbabwe.

South African radio reported Friday that SADC had ruled out replacing Mbeki.

'Kenya is special for us ... because of the special circumstances that
people here have gone through. There is a basic correlation. Your people
feel our bitterness, our people share your bitterness,' Biti told Kenya's
independent station NTV.

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All opposition forces should rally behind Tsvangirai

Zim Online

by Wicky Moffat Saturday 19 April 2008

“The value of anything is determined by how much it can be traded for”.

This is a concept that the Aurther Mutambara-led faction of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has failed to grasp, and could
ultimately cost them their political lives, or whatever is left of it.

Faced with the choice of supporting President Robert Mugabe or
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in parliament or in the event of a
presidential run-off, both the Mutambara faction and the Simba Makoni camp
have decided to take time to think and come up with preconditions before
they can offer an official statement.

Any enlightened right-thinking Zimbabwean will tell you that given
such an option they will support Tsvangirai instinctively. The fact that
Mutambara and company have to sit and even consider the option of supporting
Mugabe is dispeakable.

If they had any common sense left in them they would have realised
that the only way to salvage whatever is left of their political lives is to
openly side with Tsvangirai without having to sit down and weigh the
options. There is nothing to weigh. Anything outside an instinctive support
for Tsvangirai should be regarded as siding with the dictator.

They should go where the people are instead of expecting the people to
come to them. At the moment the people are with Tsvangirai, so anyone with
democracy at heart will support him without preconditions. The interests of
the people should prevail over any preconditions that Mutambara or Makoni
may put on the table.

When people are hungry and oppressed, politics becomes extremely
polarised. It is either you are with Bob, or you are with Morgan; there is
nothing in between and there is absolutely no reason to sit on the fence.

There is a fundamental moral asymmetry between left and right which
has caused moderate voices to lose their power in Zimbabwe. Our politics has
become polarised. Everything is either black or white. On a black and white
TV, anything coloured appears as grey or black. In Zimbabwe, anything black
is ZANU PF and anything grey is labelled as a ZANU PF agent.

The infamous downfall of Welshman Ncube et al is therefore a story of
warped values. They simply did not recognise the true worth and vast
preciousness of consistent opposition as opposed to compromise. Right after
the split, they were accused of being ZANU PF agents. Instead of going out
of their way to prove that they were not, they did everything in their power
to prove that their accusers were actually right.

A few people (me included) had been willing to give them the benefit
of the doubt but soon these people were left with egg in their faces. For
example, in June 2007, The Herald reported that many in the Mutambara group
had benefited from the farm mechanisation programme. Mutambara unequivocally
denied this and labelled the mechanisation programme a “shameless abuse of
tax-payer’s money in pursuit of cheap propaganda”. A few days later he was
made to swallow his pride after Ncube and others went on to publicly receive
their share of this abused taxpayer’s money.

How could anyone purport to be fighting ZANU PF while at the same time
accepting their gifts? You cannot fight the devil while feeding from his
hand. No, fighting Mugabe involves dissociating oneself completely from him.
Accepting a handout from Mugabe is tantamount to selling out.

This was like trading a genuine German-made Mercedes, in exchange for
a vehicle made of wire. It could qualify as one of the worst transactions in
the history of commerce, only comparable to the Biblical Esau who sold his
birthright for a bowl of soup. What a shame.

The political climate in Zimbabwe requires a good grasp of the concept
of the “politics of the stomach”. Because of hunger, people are naturally
attracted to anything that presents itself as the exact opposite of Mugabe.
If you want to be a successful opposition in Zimbabwe, just look at what Bob
is doing, then do the opposite.

When polarisation becomes as severe as it is in our country today,
politics becomes pathological. You must not have anything at all in common
with Bob.

In one of my articles I once asked; “Can the real MDC please stand
up?” The result of this election has provided an ample and eloquent answer
to this writer and anybody else who had questions about who the real MDC is.
The result has resolved the MDC split once and for all.

It is true that a united MDC could have won an additional eight seats
in parliament. However, I personally believe that resolving the split was a
bigger price than winning those extra eight seats. A united front would have
been more susceptible to future disputes over positions and strategy.

We are glad that all those disputes are now dead and buried once and
for all, and everyone can now move forward knowing exactly what they are
worth. Hence the benefits of resolving the split far outweigh the loss of
those extra eight seats.

Only The Herald, the state propaganda machine, can still refer to the
Mutambara faction as the “MDC” while calling the people’s choice the “MDC-T”.
What The Herald doesn’t realise is that by so doing, they are actually
throwing the Mutambara faction deeper into political oblivion.

I hope Mutambara still has enough wisdom left to heed this advice and
stop giving preconditions to the people of Zimbabwe. His faction is now like
a snake whose head has been crushed, and whose tail has been cut off and
left spinning aimlessly. With virtually the whole national executive
defeated, the only sensible thing is for the surviving tail (the 10 MPs) to
attach itself to the living head, which is Tsvangirai.

The only way Mutambara and his executive can buy themselves a new
lease of political life is to go where the people are and put the people
before their own pride and selfish interests.

My point will soon be proved right when the three outstanding
by-elections are held. Even in Matebeleland South where the Mutambara
faction won some seats, the outstanding Gwanda by-election is likely to be
won by Tsvangirai. I hope Mutambara et al can read the mood this time around
and follow their hearts instead of their “super-intellectual” minds.

This same argument applies to the Makoni camp: please put the people
before your own selfish demands. – ZimOnline.

a.. Wicky Moffat is a Zimbabwean based in New Zealand.

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What now from SADC?

JOHANNESBURG, 18 April 2008 (IRIN) -

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been lampooned and condemned across
the world for saying there is "no crisis" in Zimbabwe on his brief stopover
in the capital, Harare, on the way to an emergency summit of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) in Zambia to discuss Zimbabwe’s
disputed 29 March elections.

Now there is also a growing chorus from within the African National Congress
(ANC), Mbeki's own party, in South Africa, the continent and the world for
Mbeki to discard his much-maligned policy of "quiet diplomacy" and get tough
on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

Mbeki's comment that “there is no crisis in Zimbabwe” drew a sharp response
from Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), that Mbeki "needs to be relieved of his duties" as a mediator.
The SADC appointed Mbeki to mediate between the MDC and the ruling ZANU-PF
party in 2007.

One of the key provisions governing elections in Zimbabwe - that results be
displayed outside polling stations - allowed Tsvangirai to claim victory in
the presidential race by 50 percent plus one vote, which negates the need
for a second round of voting.

The MDC overturned ZANU-PF’s parliamentary majority for the first time since
independence from Britain in 1980, but the official result of the
presidential election has still not been published, nearly three weeks after
the poll.

Britain's Economist magazine said in an editorial, "Can Mr Mbeki seriously
suggest, with a straight face, that the result would have been held back if
Mr Mugabe had not lost?"

The Washington Post, under the headline “Rogue Democrat”, commented in an
editorial: "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 ... Now Mr Mbeki's perverse and immoral
policy is reaching its nadir - in South Africa's neighbour, Zimbabwe."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon expressed "deep concern" over the delay in
publishing the presidential ballot at a UN Security Council meeting in New
York, chaired by South Africa this week, and noted that "the credibility of
the democratic process in Africa could be at stake here."

ANC spokesperson Jesse Duarte added to the Mbeki bashing: "It [the ANC] is
concerned with the state of crisis that Zimbabwe is in and perceives this as
negative for the entire SADC region."

It is not the first time that the ANC’s and Mbeki’s views on Zimbabwe have
been out of step. In 1980, when Mugabe won Zimbabwe's first democratic
elections, Mark Gevisser recounts in his biography, “Thabo Mbeki: The Dream
Deferred”, that "Thabo Mbeki seemed to be one of the only ANC comrades [at a
meeting] in the whole of Lusaka [capital of Zambia] who was not devastated
[by the then ZANU party's victory]."

During the struggle against apartheid, the ANC was allied to Joshua Nkomo's
rival ZAPU party. That night, Gevisser recounts in an interview with a
mid-level ANC exile, the celebrations of Zimbabwe’s independence and
shedding white rule were as if "at a wake. I think we even said we would
rather have had [Ian] Smith [leader of white-ruled Rhodesia] than Mugabe."

In the early 1980s Mbeki was tasked with building relations between the ANC
and Mugabe's ZANU party. Gevisser wrote on 17 April in the South African
weekly newspaper, The Mail and & Guardian, that Mbeki admitted this
relationship developed into one of “father [Mugabe] and son [Mbeki]”.

All diplomacy is quiet

Chris Maroleng, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, a
Pretoria-based think-tank, told IRIN the "quiet diplomacy" label was a
misnomer, as "all diplomacy is quiet."

He said, "Mbeki knows that open criticism of ZANU-PF creates intransigence,
so he has steered away from public criticism." Post-apartheid South Africa
learnt to its cost that public criticism of other African governments, even
ones that had no pretensions to democracy, was a high-risk game.

Maroleng pointed out that the 1995 execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight
other political activists in Nigeria on trumped-up charges by Sani Abacha's
military dictatorship saw a "serious backlash" from other African countries
after South Africa's founding president, Nelson Mandela, called for
sanctions against the oil-rich nation,.

From then on, Maroleng said, South Africa's foreign policy has been
multilateral in its approach and always "wary of pushing a Western agenda,
in case it is seen as a proxy or lackey of the West".

South Africa's economic clout on the continent - it produces 25 percent of
Africa's GDP - has led to it being given disparaging labels such as the
"Yanks of Africa", but this is not mirrored in its broad diplomatic
engagement on the continent.

On 17 April, after the UN Security Council meeting, Themba Maseko, South
Africa's ambassador to the UN, said the situation in Zimbabwe was "dire",
and the delay in releasing the poll results was "obviously of great

Maroleng said this was being interpreted by many as a policy shift, but
South Africa had criticised human rights abuses by Mugabe in the past,
although "maybe not in the manner people would like to see."

Mbeki has always sought "homegrown" solutions rather than imposing them,
Maroleng commented, and while "strong on pragmatism, it [this approach] can
be weak on principle", but he [Mbeki] has "an aversion to force."

In March 2008, on the eve of an African Union (AU) military operation to
reclaim Anjouan, an island in the Comoros archipelago, from renegade leader
Mohamed Bacar after nine months of fruitless negotiations, Mbeki said the
operation should be delayed.

Much to the chagrin of the AU, Mbeki told an international news agency on 12
March that Bacar had offered to hold fresh elections, and "this is really
the way that we should go. I don't think there is any need to do anything
apart or additional to that." AU troops landed on the island a few days
later and encountered minimal resistance.

SADC member states and the AU are not contemplating any military action
against Zimbabwe, and probably never would, although Article 4 of the AU
Constitution gives permission "to intervene in grave circumstances that
include war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, as well as a
serious threat to legitimate order".

A shipment of Chinese small arms, ammunition and rocket propelled grenades
en route to Zimbabwe is being held up in the South African port city of
Durban, not by Mbeki's government, but by unionised workers refusing to
unload the ship's cargo because they are concerned that the weapons could be
used against Mugabe's opponents.

Maroleng said such a worst-case scenario "is a continuation of what is going
on now [the refusal to announce presidential results, and the alleged
beatings and assaults of MDC supporters] and ultimately a clampdown by
Mugabe, backed by the military, and a worsening of the humanitarian
situation and the inability of the region [SADC] to change things."

A more likely scenario might be a second round of voting, with an enhanced
mission of SADC observers, and assistance by South Africa's Independent
Electoral Commission.

However, Tsvangirai has said that the MDC would not take part in a
presidential run-off ballot, as the high levels of violence and intimidation
by Zimbabwe’s police and army since the first round of voting would amount
to Mugabe "stealing the election".

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

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The long charade

Zimbabwe's opposition have made tactical errors, but the onus is now on
regional leaders

Chris McGreal in Harare
The Guardian,
Saturday April 19 2008

Zimbabweans have been here before. They vote, the opposition wins despite
the pressures and threats to keep Zanu-PF in power, and Robert Mugabe
brazenly fixes the figures to stay on and take his country to new depths of

The three weeks since the election have seen the initiative swing back and
forth between Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change. The MDC caught Zanu-PF off balance by swiftly producing its tally of
results and claiming victory. Zimbabwe's rulers were clearly shocked that
Mugabe took only four in 10 votes and appeared to have lost parliament for
the first time since independence 28 years ago. They looked seriously

But Mugabe regained the initiative. He sat on the presidential election
results while giving himself a second chance by, in effect, calling a
run-off ballot with Tsvangirai, even though official figures had not been
released. Zanu-PF then unleashed its tested tactic of beatings and murders
to terrorise rural voters and curb the MDC's ability to campaign in a second
round. Once again the opposition was left looking powerless and unable even
to protect its own members from systematic violence.

The MDC called a general strike this week, the first test of its ability to
mobilise popular protest since the election. It was a flop. That was no
surprise. The few people with jobs cling to them. Before the election, the
MDC had one eye on the Kenyan opposition's mass mobilisation after
vote-rigging there, but Zimbabweans are generally more fearful and passive.
The MDC leadership, to its credit, is also reluctant to risk people's lives
by calling them on to the streets.

Zimbabweans looked to their neighbours for support but were let down,
particularly by South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki. He said there was no
crisis in Zimbabwe and played into Mugabe's hands by calling the long delay
in releasing the election results part of the normal electoral process.
Mbeki kept the lid on the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC) at its summit last weekend; some leaders were less indulgent of
Zimbabwe's president, but Mbeki pressed his own agenda aimed at easing
Mugabe out with dignity but keeping Zanu-PF in power.

Tsvangirai also faced the dilemma of the run-off vote. The MDC said he would
refuse to participate on the grounds that he won the election outright. But
that became a difficult position to maintain, particularly when the MDC's
own count gives him only a fraction above the 50% threshold needed to avoid
a run-off. To shy away from the second round risked making Tsvangirai appear
afraid of a head-to-head contest with Mugabe. But what point is there in his
participating if it ends up legitimising another stolen election while
supporters are bludgeoned into submission?

Subsequently Tsvangirai regained the initiative to some extent by saying he
is after all prepared to take Mugabe on in another vote as long as the
process is open for the world to see. Here the MDC leader has learned one of
the lessons of Kenya's political confrontation in seeking to draw support in
the rest of the continent - and his regional tour of the past week may pay
off. Mbeki's own African National Congress has broken with him over his
handling of Mugabe, and that has laid the ground for others in the SADC to
follow. Tsvangirai felt emboldened enough after his meetings with the ANC's
new leader, Jacob Zuma, to call for Mbeki to step down as mediator in favour
of Zambia's president, Levy Mwanawasa, who wants Mugabe out.

If the ANC and other governments in the region have the courage to decry the
charade and refuse to legitimise another rigged election, Mugabe may cling
on but he will do so as a fatally weakened and unwanted despot.

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Appeal by the Secretary General of Amnesty International

Date: 18 April 2008


At the time of Zimbabwe's 28th anniversary of independence, Amnesty
International is deeply concerned about reports of the deteriorating human
rights situation in Zimbabwe following presidential, parliamentary and local
government elections which took place on 29 March 2008. The organization is
particularly concerned about apparent retribution attacks against opposition
supporters in rural areas, townships and farms across the country. Victims
allege that they have been assaulted by soldiers, police, so-called "war
veterans" and supporters of the ruling party, ZANU-PF, and have been accused
of not having voted "correctly."

These assaults appear to be targeted at people in rural areas and low income
suburbs where the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) seems to
have gained more votes than the ruling ZANU-PF party. For example,

a.. On 6 April, about 10 soldiers and two people dressed in police
uniform, reportedly went to the home of a known MDC activist in Gweru,
assaulted him with sticks and kicked him and two of his friends. The
activists sustained injuries and required medical treatment.

b.. On 11 April, a man was attacked in his shop in Mashonaland East
Province by persons believed to be ZANU-PF supporters who reportedly broke
into his shop, dragged him out the building and accused him of being an MDC
member. The victim alleges that the ZANU-PF youth stole groceries from his
shop and that they burned grass on both of his hands before beating his
hands and back with wooden poles. The victim sustained injuries including
burns to both of his hands and his left arm as well as broken bones in one
of his arms and in both of his hands.

Though some victims have reported these crimes to the police, no arrests
have been reported and it appears that perpetrators continue to commit
abuses with impunity.

Violations of national and international law

These assaults violate both national and international human rights law.
Section 15(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states: "No person shall be
subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other such

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are
prohibited absolutely under international law, for example under Article 5
of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and Article 7 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Zimbabwe is a state
party to both instruments.

It is also widely agreed that a state has violated the prohibition on
torture and other ill-treatment not only when a state official physically
commits the act, but also when such an act is committed at the instigation
of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person
acting in an official capacity.

To President Robert Mugabe...

I call on you in your capacity as head of state and as leader of the ruling
ZANU-PF party to denounce and bring to an end all human rights abuses,
including violent attacks by soldiers, police, "war veterans" and ZANU-PF

I am appealing to you to bring about a prompt, independent and impartial
investigation into the reported acts of human rights abuses, including all
reports of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment and to bring to justice all suspected perpetrators.

To the Commissioner-General of Police, Augustine Chihuri, and Army
Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga...

I call on the Commissioner-General of Police and the Zimbabwe National Army
Commander to bring an immediate end to human rights violations being
perpetrated directly or condoned by police officers and soldiers.

I urge you to ensure that all allegations of police and military involvement
in human rights abuses including violent attacks on individuals are
promptly, independently and impartially investigated. The Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe National Army must cooperate fully with
investigations. Those suspected of involvement must be brought to justice in
proceedings which meet international standards of fairness. Victims must be
awarded full reparations in accordance with international standards.

Police officers and soldiers should operate in a non-partisan manner and
respect human rights law. They should act to prevent human rights abuses,
not perpetrate them or allow a climate of impunity for others who may be

To Jabulani Sibanda, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War
Veterans Association...

I call on you to publicly call on your members to end immediately all acts
of violence against real or suspected supporters of the political
opposition. The alleged abuses by members of your organization may
constitute crimes under national and international law. Those committing the
abuses as well as those instigating them should be held accountable.

To Heads of states and governments of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC)...

Amnesty International welcomes the emergency summit held by SADC in Lusaka
on 12 April but urges you to redouble your diplomatic efforts to avoid
further deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. I call on
you to acknowledge publicly and express concern at the human rights abuses
being perpetrated by members of state security organizations, "war
veterans", and ZANU-PF supporters.

The Zimbabwean authorities have operated in violation of regional and
international human rights law and standards for too long. Urgent action is
needed to end human rights abuses, hold perpetrators accountable and ensure
reparation for the victims.

Irene Khan

Secretary General

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Nottingham Zimbabwe demo calling for release of election results

indymedia, UK

Tash [alan lodge] | 18.04.2008 22:53

On Friday (April 18) there was a demo on the Council House steps next to the right lion, Market Square from 12.30-2pm. The demo was being timed to coincide with a similar event outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in London organised by Action for South Africa (ACTSA).

On Friday (April 18) there was a demo on the Council House steps next to the right lion, Market Square from 12.30-2pm. The demo was being timed to coincide with a similar event outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in London organised by Action for South Africa (ACTSA).

ACTSA, the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement which campaigned for independence and freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, is now calling on the Zimbabwean government and other SADC governments to implement the immediate release of election results. The delay in releasing the presidential election results has created tension and uncertainty and will undoubtedly cast serious doubt on their credibility when released. ACTSA is using the occasion of Zimbabwe Independence day to call for democracy for Zimbabwe; that the will of the Zimbabwean people be reflected in the election results, against the growing violence, intimidation and human rights abuses which continue to take place in Zimbabwe.

ACTSA is standing in solidarity with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions which is undertaking a national stay-away from Tuesday 15 April until the full election results are released. ZCTU are also protesting against the latest hike in income tax to a staggering 60% for those left in employment.

At 2pm on Saturday 29th March, on the day of the Zimbabwean elections, folks gathered to highlight the dangers that people who have fled Zimbabwe will face, if they are forcibly returned there.

Zimbabwean Asylum Rights Demo @ Speakers Corner, Nottingham


Zimbabwe Association for information and asylum assistance

Zimbabwe Association Ltd
Development House
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4JX
020 7549 0355

Association of Zimbabwean Journalists in the UK (AZJ-UK)

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