|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
April 8, 2003.
Zanu PF in panic, parades own youth militia to deceive the world.
Zanu PF and the Mugabe regime are clearly in a state of desperate panic. They are failing to find ways to challenge the moral authority and increasing popularity of the MDC. The success of the recent two-day stay away demonstrated that the MDC in the eyes of the people is the legitimate authority in Zimbabwe.
The landslide victories by the MDC in the Kuwadzana and Highfield by-elections was symptomatic of the scale to which Mugabe and Zanu PF have been rejected by the people of Zimbabwe. When the people of Zimbabwe think of Zanu PF they think of hunger, insecurity and violence.
Zanu PF' s response to the recent successes of the MDC has been violence, violence and more violence. Violence and brutality are increasingly the only tools with which Zanu PF engages the people of Zimbabwe.
Yesterday the army paraded a group of youths claiming that they had been hired by the MDC to wreak havoc in Harare's high-density suburbs over the past two weeks. This is false. This is a theatre that is being performed to divert attention of the state-sanctioned human rights abuses ahead of the arrival of the SADC ministerial taskforce in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe regime is panicking following the strong condemnation from the SADC region of the gross human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, particularly in the last two weeks.
The parading of the youths, who are evidently members of the Zanu PF Border Gezi youth militia, who have been given army uniforms by the Zimbabwe National Army is an attempt to suggest that all the violence that has been going on in the last few weeks has been sponsored by the MDC.
The wave of terror that that swept through Harare in the last two weeks was carried out by groups of people who were wearing army uniform, armed with AK 47 Rifles and driving in big army vehicles. They moved around in broad daylight. All the cases were reported to the police and published in the media.
Mugabe and his illegitimate regime have unashamedly sanctioned and encouraged the violent attacks on the MDC. In a speech given at a funeral on Friday 21 March Mugabe chillingly declared:
"Let the MDC and its leaders be warned that those who play with fire will not only be burnt, but will be consumed by that fire".
What ensued after that statement by Mugabe was an intensification of torture, rape and murder of MDC leaders and activists. It would beat all logic, including the desperate Zanu PF propaganda logic that a militia could be set up by MDC to brutalise its own people.
In an article in the sycophantic Sunday Mail on Sunday 6 April, Junior Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo, confessed that the Mugabe regime had deployed the army to ‘deal with terrorism’. Moyo chillingly warned that ‘where the army is deployed, people should not expect a picnic’.
Desperate attempts once again to hide the truth from the world are futile. The truth of the matter is that the regime in Zimbabwe has sponsored violence and applied the law selectively. That is why Jocelyn Chiwenga, wife of the Army General, could walk into Glenorah police station and brutally torture Daily News lawyer Gugulethu Moyo on March 17 right in front of the police. The police did not lift a finger to protect Moyo who had gone there to represent journalist Philimon Bulawayo. Bulawayo a photographer was severely tortured in police custody at that police station alongside 83 MDC supporters that day alone.
Steven Tonera was brutally murdered after being abducted from MDC MP Roy Bennet’s farm in Ruwa by a group of state agents led by Richard Mashingaidze. Over sixty farm workers were brutally tortured. The police have lifted no finger to investigate this murder and torture, although the perpetrators are known.
Similarly, Joseph Mwale a member of the CIO who is known to have murdered Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya in 2000 still walks free today despite a court order to bring them to justice. He is responsible for the wave of terror on MDC supporters in Cimanimani. The most recent case is that over 1000 people were forcibly removed from Roy Bennet’s farm and dumped in the open with their belongings. All their little food and belongings were drenched in the rain for over a week.
Hundreds of other state agents and Zanu PF supporters that include a gang of former dissidents led by Khiwa, responsible for the terror and death of at least 4 MDC supporters in Nkayi are all walking free in Zimbabwe. The message that they are being given is that they are above the law.
Margret Kalunji, MDC Harare’s provincial Secretary was forced to open her legs and a rifle was forced into her private parts. Last Thursday, an MDC election agent’s wife was gang raped by Zanu PF militia in the presence of a baby who is less than a year old, while her husband was severely tortured by the same gang. The police record number is OB3646/03. As usual the police have lifted no finger to investigate the matter.
During the past two weeks in Harare over 600 MDC supporters have been arrested, scores beaten and tortured, 250 hospitalized and a number abducted, many of whom are still missing. The attempt by the Mugabe regime to blame the MDC for this reign of terror is not only ridiculously absurd it is also a clear attempt to divert the attention of the SADC Taskforce away from the true dynamics that are currently shaping the Zimbabwe crisis. The Mugabe regime is blatantly trying to polarise the effectiveness of the 'Taskforce' by quickly building a wall of deceit and lies in order to shield the extent of their unprecedented barbarity.
Zanu PF and Mugabe should not sit comfortably in the belief that they can shift the blame for the violence that has engulfed Harare during the past two weeks. The facts speak for themselves. The hundreds of injured people littered around Harare know who attacked them. Blaming the MDC for their own passion for violence is a futile exercise and which will simply serve to further weaken the regime. Such insidious tactics will not fool the SADC Taskforce. It is coming to Zimbabwe to build an accurate picture of what is going on and to hear the truth.
If the Taskforce genuinely wishes to hear the truth about the crisis we advise that it pays special attention to the people of Zimbabwe and treats any information from Zanu PF with the utmost suspicion.
Professor Welshman Ncube,
MDC Secretary General.
Notes to Editors:
Examples of victims of Mugabe campaign of retribution against the MDC since the successful mass stayway of 18/19 March.
Fidelis Mhashu - MDC Shadow Education Minister
In the early hours of 3 April, armed soldiers ransacked the home of Mhashu and brutally attacked his wife and two young grandsons.
- James Munetsi – MDC Activist
Brutally attacked in Highfield on April 1 by Zanu PF youth militia whilst on his way to work.
- Paul Shambira – MDC Information and Publicity Secretary for
He and his family were brutally attacked by armed soldiers on 1 April.
- Stanford Mashumba – MDC Chair, Zengeza
Armed soldiers raided Mashumba’s house on 2 April and proceeded to brutally attack him after the thugs had teargassed all the rooms in an effort to force him to respond to their repeated knocks on the door.
- Rejoice Moyo
On April 3, Rejoice Moyo (21) was raped by 12 members of the youth militia in front of her husband, Hector. Hector was then taken away by the militia and brutally tortured. The militia urinated in his mouth and tried to set him on fire.
- Steven Tonera
Beaten to death by members of Mugabe’s feared Central Intelligence Organisation on Tuesday 18 March.
- Giles Mutsekwa MP – MDC Shadow Minister for Defence
Mutsekwa was arrested on Wednesday 19 March along with 11 other MDC members including Patrick Chitaka, chairman for Mutare North and Pishai Muchauraya, Provincial Secretary (Manicaland) for Information and Publicity. All were beaten whilst in police custody and Mutsekwa was denied medical attention even though he suffers chronically from hypertension. The 11 were illegally detained beyond the stipulated 48 hours.
Mutsekwa was released on 23 March.
- Austin Mapandawana MP
Arrested along with 83 MDC supporters in Kadoma on 19 March. Mapandawana has been severely tortured whilst in police custody and denied medical attention. Hon Mapandawana was released on bail last week.
- Mrs Viola Shamu - Councillor for Ward 34 in Mufakose
The house of Mrs Shamu was raided by a group of army, police and CIO officers on the evening of 21 March. Mrs Shamu managed to escape, however, her husband and two young children (aged 11 and 13) were severely beaten. Mrs Shamu's husband, a retired army officer, was dragged into an army truck and his whereabouts remain unknown. Her children were beaten so badly that they went unconscious and are now in hospital.
Margaret Kulinji - Harare Provincial Secretary in the MDC Women's
Margaret Kulinji and her mother were brutally assaulted on Saturday 22 March in Harare. ZANU PF thugs, wearing army uniforms, forced Kulinji's mother, at gunpoint, to open her legs and stuck a gun in her private parts. Kulinji's brother, Chrispen, was abducted and, at the time of writing, is still missing.
In February a school boy by the name Kindness Moyo who had gone to watch cricket was severely assaulted by the police in the police cells. He was in a comma for more than a month as a result of the injuries he sustained at the hands of the police.
Essentially Zanu (PF) is a party of violence; it was born in a violent birth in 1963, when the original Zanu splinter group left Zapu in 1963. They left the main liberation movement Zapu throwing petrol bombs at the homes of some of their former colleagues.
Today Zanu (PF) Officials constantly make loud noises about having fought in
the liberation struggle when the truth of the matter is that during the
struggle, Zanla forces were poorly armed and were never too keen on engaging the
Rhodesian forces on the field. Instead they moved around in groups of about 200
guerrillas whose campaign were typified by their arriving at a village in the
former TTLs (Tribal trust lands), gathering the people for days and some times
weeks forcing them to sing political song listen to their political lectures and
the women doing their chores for them and providing them with physical comfort
(sex). These long politicisation meetings were called "pungwes". When these
guerrillas left the villages they often murdered some villagers accusing them of
being witches and "Sell-outs". Now these people expect the nation to pay them
huge sums and also give them large farms 20 years after the end of the war for
the having subjected the villagers to pungwes. During the first General election
in 1980 the Zanla pungwes continued throughout the time that the Zanla forces
were meant to be inside the Assembly points. Lord Christopher Soames (the
governer of Rhodesia during and before elections) did not have the power nor
will to stop the Zanla pungwes throughout the Campaigning period neither did he
try to stop them.
Thus, in his autobiography "The Story Of My Life" the late Dr. Joshua Nkomo writes "The task of the Zanla forces, with their Frelimo allies, was less to fight Smith's forces than to win support for Zanu (PF) at the expense of Zapu. Dangerous confusions arose. We received reports of unidentified bands of armed men speaking Portuguese, who raided communities that had hitherto been faithful to Zapu, beating and even killing Zapu party organisers, and compelling people to shout slogans of which the clearest was 'Down with Nkomo'. " Dr. Nkomo continues, "The greatest threat to the fair conduct of the elections came from Zanla guerillas in the eastern areas of the country. At the ceasefire large numbers of fighting men loyal to Zanu (PF) were not withdrawn into scheduled assembly points. They stayed on in the villages they had organised on a war footing, refusing to move or to allow anyone else to campaign there. No outsider was allowed in those places, on pain of death. The people were not allowed to know that there is an alternative to voting Zanu (PF). Exercising our democratic right (PF) Zapu put up candidates and tried to campaign throughout the country. Two of our candidates and eighteen of our party campaigners were killed by these adversaries. Many more were terrorised....As the evidence accumulated of terrorism and mass intimidation in the eastern provinces of the country, Lord Soames summoned all the party leaders to Government House. He told us frankly that in certain areas intimidation was on such a scale that free and fair elections could not be conducted. I asked him to clarify the statement, and he made it cleat that the offences were being committed by members of Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party. I confirmed that my own (PF) Zapu party was unable to campaign in those areas, adding that neither Ian Smith's (all white) party, nor Sithole's Zanu (Ndonga) Bishop Muzorewa's so-called United African National Council, could campaign there.......Yet two days before the poll the governer (Soames) changed his mind and decided that elections could be held on the due date even in the disturbed eastern districts."
That failure to enforce the rules entrenched the Zanu (PF) philosophy of
violence, that thuggery is an Accepted Election campaign strategy. From that day
onwards Zanu (PF) has always adapted and practised in its election strategy the
tactic of campaigning by thuggery. Even when Zanu (PF) entered Government the
thuggery was always below the surface.
The sign of the Zanu (PF) violence was further shown when Mugabe shielded his the former Manpower Minister Edgar Tekere from the law after he shot dead a white farmer at the very start of Zanu (PF)'s time in government.
Zanu (PF) then refined this culture of violence into an art in 1981 with the Aid of the North Koreans; they formed PISI, CIO, and the "Firth Brigade" and launched the "Gukurahundi", a war on the villagers in Matebeleland and Midlands between 1982 and 1988.
In the 1985 General elections campaign Zanu (PF) 's violent electioneering came into its own. At the 1985 elections campaign the so-called Zanu (PF) youth brigade and the Zanu (PF) women's brigade were armed with purposely fashioned weapons such as shaped bicycle spokes to be used to stab people gathered in opposition rallies without producing high visible injuries. They were then ferried in government vehicles to disrupt opposition meetings. The violence would start; the police would stand by and just look-on. In the countryside the PISI and CIO (secret police) would abduct and arrest opposition people especially at night then take them to police stations. Some of the police stations like "Mzilikazi" and "Stop camp" police stations in Bulawayo became quite infamous for the beatings and electrocution of political opponents of Mugabe/Zanu (PF) administered there. In cities and town such as Gwanda the residents of a town would be assembled into the towns football ground, the people would be forced to run around the track whilst being beaten and forced to shout Mugabe is Prime Minister. As all this was taking place the Ethnical Army loyal only to Mugabe that is "the fifth brigade" was stationed in the countryside in Matebeleland and Midlands. In fact these areas became "no go areas" under curfew it is a wonder how the opposition candidates of PF-Zapu won those parliamentary seats when no meaningful campaigning took place and every body was forced to go around carrying a Zanu (PF) membership cards to produce at road blocks. In fact most of the PF-Zapu opposition leadership was assembled held prisoners at Chikurumbi maximum-security prison in Harare.
After the signing of the unity accord in 1987 no apology was given, nothing in the state media was ever said about the enormous suffering that affected half the country, it was an Alice in wonderland situation. In fact it was only after the death of Joshua Nkomo in 1999 that the nation tried to face what Zanu (PF) had done to citizens of its own country. In fact it was at the funeral speeches of some of the now age former PF-Zapu old gather such as Dr J.Nkomo, Mr Sikwili Moyo and the last Mayor of Bulawayo Mayor Siwela that Mugabe or any top Zanu (PF) official choked to utter something that may be likened to an apology to the people of Matebeleland and Midlands for the genocide and years of oppression. Even then they only said those words to try and boost the flagging fortunes of the Zanu (PF) party. In fact of late it seems that they will almost say anything to any one in order to try and revive the fast sinking popularity of Zanu (PF).
However after the electorate had bruised them with the "No referendum result" at the hands of the NCA. The Zanu (PF) gurus seem to have abandoned this somewhat enlightened charm offensive in favour of the tried and tested "violent campaign by thuggery". This is where Robert Mugabe feels in his own element. The world must not allow him to slide back to the 1980s.
It is a very sad day indeed when the world sits and accepts very poor standards for democracy and good governance in Africa and then calls it "African Solutions". If this misuse of this phrase is being put forward to justify appeasement to evil men, their deeds and reward them for choosing thuggery over real democracy whilst punishing the innocent true democrats on the other hand for trying to maintain world standards of democracy and good governance then this is indeed a very sad day.
The ruling party/Government sponsor activity of thugs picked from the
streets and prisons put on the government pay rolls, directed, transported in
government vehicles, equipped with hardware ranging from knobcarries to fire
arms and supplied with consumables ranging from food to narcotic drugs. Then
ferried from one targeted farm to the next to carry out the following actions: -
1. Punish the farmer or worker who dared to support the No Vote at the passed constitutional referendum.
2. Take over the farm, loot its property take the land and use it to buy support for Zanu (PF) from potential supporters.
These people who call them selves the Zanu (PF) war veterans are very similar
in character to the previous Zanu (PF) thugs who came before them such as the
Zanu (PF) youth brigades, Zanu (PF) women brigades, who were used by Zanu (PF)
in the period of time which led to the 1985 Elections at which PF-Zapu and the
Matebele people were the targets of Zanu (PF) state sponsored violence.
Today the NCA opposition parties are the targeted parties and the ethnic groups targeted are the white farmers and the black labourers so far, it is highly likely that more and more groups are going to be added to the target list as time passes.
In order for democracy and economic development to thrive in Zimbabwe this culture of violence at the heart of Zanu (PF) must be removed, it must be starved out it must not find fertile ground and nourishment to grow, the world must be unequivocal in its condemnation of this diabolical culture.
Finally, sithi MAYIHLOME MTHWAKAZI, BAYETHE MTHWAKAZI. Please CIRCULATE widely to hundreds of other Mthwakazians.
The correct attitude of War veterans is that demonstrated by the Zipra
ex-combatants who have issued a press statement from Bulawayo disassociating the
selves from the current land occupations. In 1980 the demobilised Zipra
ex-combatants pooled their money and bought, not invaded several properties and
bought several businesses. These farms and properties were seized by the Zanu
(PF) government and they have not handed them back despite the so-called Unity
accord of 1987, recently in a bid to revive the flagging fortunes of the Zanu
(PF) party some Zanu (PF) top officials have announced that they are handing
back those properties, but its proving almost impossible to recover any of the
money because whilst these properties were impounded Zanu (PF) officials sold on
these properties and the money simply disappeared. Now if after almost 20 years
Zanu (PF) can not hand over to its stated friends and allies of the liberation
struggle, how long do you reckon it will take for Chengerai Hunzwi and Mugabe to
withdraw from the currently occupied farm of the "stated enemies of the state"
and make good the damage to farm properties which their on farm acquisition
program say they would not touch?
Finally, sithi MAYIHLOME MTHWAKAZI, BAYETHE MTHWAKAZI. Please CIRCULATE widely to hundreds of other Mthwakazians.