The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Reposting with more information... A terror Campaign?

Attached is a confidential list with explanatory footnote supplied by a senior member of the Zimbabwe military, who is extremely annoyed and frustrated by the ongoing attempts of the military to achieve the impossible, and provoke a reaction from the mass of Zimbabweans who voted for the end of Mugabe's regime.

Please give this the widest coverage since it is essential that the regional and international community see the extent of the determination by the military to subvert the expressed will of Zimbabweans.

Despite such efforts, it is increasingly clear, both within and outside Zimbabwe, that there is a
determined resolve to see an end to Mugabe's regime, which no amount of dirty tricks can prevent.

The story is already featured on
2008 April
Harare Metropolitan Province  AVM Karakadzai + CIO
Bulawayo Province   Col. C. Sibanda
Bulawayo central   Maj. J. Ndhlovu
     Maj. J. Ncube
Manicaland and Mutare South Brig. Tarumbwa
Buhera Central   Col. M. Mzilikazi (MID)
Buhera  North    Maj. L. M. Svosve
Buhera South    Maj. D. Muchena
Buhera West    Lt. Col. Kamonge
     Major Nhachi
Chimanimani East   Lt. Col. Murecherwa
Chimanimani West   Maj. Mabvuu
Headlands    Col. Mutsvunguma
Makoni North    Maj. V. Chisuko
Makoni South    Wing Commander Mandeya
Mutare Central   Lt. Col. Tsodzai
     Lt. Col. Sedze
     Mandi Chimene
Mutare West    Lt. Col. B. Kashiri
Mutare North    Lt. Col. Chizengwe
     Lt. Col. Mazaiwana
Mashonaland Central  Brig. Gen. Shungu
Bindura South    Col. Chipwere
Bindura North    Lt. Col. Parwada
Muzarabani North   Lt. Col. Kazaza
Muzarabani South   Maj. H. Maziri
Rushinga    Col. F. Mhonda
     Lt. Col. Betheuni
Shamva North    Lt. Col. Dzuda
Shamva South     Makumire
Midlands    AVM Muchena
     Brig. Gen. S. B. Moyo
     Lt Colonel Kuhuni
Chirumhanzu South   Maj T. Tsvangirai
Mberengwa east   Col. B. Mavire
Mberengwa West   Maj T. Marufu

Matebeleland South   AVM Abu Basutu
Beit Bridge East   Group Cpt. Mayera
     Rtd. Maj. Mbedzi
     Lt. Col. B. Moyo
Gwanda South    Maj J. D. Moyo
Gwanda Central   Maj. B. Tshuma
Matopo North    Lt. Col. Maphosa
Matebeleland North   Brig. Gen. Khumalo
Binga North    Maj E. S. Matonga
Lupane East    Lt Col. Mkwananzi
Lupane West    Lt Col. Mabhena
Tsholotsho    Lt. Col. Mlalazi
Hwange Central   Lt. Col P. Ndhlovu
Masvingo Province   Maj. Gen. E. A. Rugeje
     Rtd. Maj. Gen. Gibson Mashingaidze
     Rtd. Brig. General Rangwani
Bikita West    Maj. B. R. Murwira
Chiredzi Central   Col G. Mashava
Chiredzi West    Maj. E. Gono
Gutu South    Maj. Chimedza (Medical Doctor)
     AVM Muchena
Masvingo    Lt. Col. Takavingofa
Mwenezi West   Lt. Col. Muchono
Mwenezi East    Lt. Col. Mpabanga
Zaka East    Maj. R. Kwenda
Mash West Province   Brig. Gen. Sigauke
Chinhoyi    Col Gwekwerere
Chegutu East    Lt. Colonel W. Tutisa
Hurungwe East   Lt. Col. B. Mabambe
Mhondoro Mubaira   Col. C. T. Gurira
Zvimba North     Cpt. T. Majongwe
Mashonaland East   Brig. Gen. D. Nyikayaramba
     Rtd. Brig Gen Rungani
Chikomba Central   Lt. Col. Marara
Gromonzi North   Lt Col. Mudzimba
     Maj F. Mbewe
Marondera Central   Maj. Gen. Chedondo (COSG)
      Lt. Col B. Kashiri
Marondera West   Squadron Leader U. Chitauro
Murehwa South   Maj. Gurure
Murehwa North   Lt. Col. Mukurazhizha
     Lt. Col. Chinete
In total, 200 serving senior officers of the armed forces will be participating in the exercise.  They will be commanding other war veterans and Zanu pf thugs.
The teams will be deployed on 8th April 2008 to campaign for RG Mugabe in the run off under the guise of war veterans. With the exception of two, all the deployed officers are senior serving officers of the armed services. It is understood that Lt. Gen. PV Sibanda will command the operation with the assistance of Maj. Gen. Nick Dube. General Chiwenga will be the overall commander of the operation. He is being assisted by Maj. Gen Last Mugova and Col. S. Mudambo

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The one man who could stop Mugabe... but won’t


April 09 2008

Gordon Brown and South Africa's Thabo Mbeki spent a couple of hours in
conversation the other day, talking, it is reported, about the crisis in
Zimbabwe. It is the mark of an authentic statesman to be able to speak
fluently for two hours without saying anything remotely useful.

In Zimbabwe itself, meanwhile, the cops have been chatting with seven
election officials. According to the police, who allege fraud and "criminal
abuse of duty", the functionaries have some explaining to do. How could they
preside over a presidential election in which Robert Mugabe was a
participant and fail to come up with a result appropriate to his vast

Voting outcomes have yet to be certified or published, but the cops are
confident that some 5000 papers were miscounted by the mendacious officials.
When you have Zanu-PF's extensive experience in stuffing ballot boxes, you
tend to know about these things.

The arrests are part of an emerging pattern. Far from cutting a deal that
would allow the "Marxist" octogenarian to be reunited with his "holiday
home" in Malaysia, Mugabe - encouraged, no doubt, by his 40-strong client
politburo - means to fight on. He could escape justice: so much is conceded.
But those who populate his army and his security apparatus would not be so
lucky. There are many deaths, starting with the massacre of 25,000 souls in
Matabeleland in the early 1980s, still to be explained.

So election officials are charged with the crime of failing to arrive at the
right result. So the remaining white-owned farms come under attack. So the
suspiciously young "veterans" of the liberation war, complete with an
energetic "green bombers" youth cadre, are mobilised while police and army
threaten to ignore any election results not to their liking.

Morgan Tsvangirai, candidate for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
says a war is being prepared. Having been beaten senseless once before by
Mugabe's patriots, Mr Tsvangirai has experience on his side. Efforts to rig
the elections having failed - the camera-phone is a useful gadget - it seems
the great liberator has decided to forget about plausibility, credibility,
legitimacy or pride.

It is unfair, of course, to say that Mr Brown has failed to "act". What
could Britain do? Mugabe has adopted what might be termed the North Korea
strategy: there is nothing the international community can now inflict on
his country and his regime that would approach the damage the latter has
already wrought on the former.

Military intervention, even by Zimbabwe's neighbours, is probably out of the
question. Diplomacy has been comical, shameful and futile by turns. Economic
action would be a joke - with a single important exception - in the context
of a country that has added a new chapter to the annals of hyper-inflation.

Still Mugabe insists on blaming the former colonial power for all his
country's ills. There was some truth to the rhetoric, once upon a time.
White ownership of vast tracts of Zimbabwe did not come about by accident,
or by anything resembling legal process. By any reasonable definition, much
of the land was stolen. It needs to be, in the proper sense, repatriated.

But Mugabe has instead replaced one form of corruption with another,
arguably worse, version, awarding white farms to his incompetent favourites
while driving Zimbabwe to ruin. That cannot be explained, even if you choose
to believe the excuse, by foreign conspiracies. Britain and the other
colonial powers can be held responsible for many things, but not
self-inflicted bankruptcy and endemic poverty in a rich and fertile land.

Zimbabwe is an African problem. It is patronising to Africans, and
self-defeating, to say otherwise. This is not another story about the abuse
of aid and trade. This is not the work, for the most part, of the
trans-nationals, the Chinese or interfering white governments. Mugabe was
never Britain's favoured successor to racist rule, but he came to power on a
wave of popularity and acclaim. Some of us even thought him a hero, and
considered that a Bob Marley song was the least Zimbabwe's rebirth deserved
in 1980. All that seems fantastic now.

Britain claims to be assembling one of those "£1 billion" (nice round
number) aid packages in preparation for the moment Mugabe yields to reality.
If the act matches the press release, if double-counting, pre-conditions and
the usual vices attendant on western benevolence are absent, that sounds
reasonable. One of these days Mr Tsvangirai will need all the help he can
get. For now, however, Zimbabwe's crisis is embodied in one figure, and its
solution in the hands of another.

Thabo Mbeki appears not to realise that he bears responsibility for his own
revolutionary legacy. Aids denial in the South African context was bad
enough. ANC corruption and assaults on press freedom have been, to put it no
higher, deeply dispiriting. But the insistence that Mugabe should be taken
at his own estimation, that he should be indulged year after year in the
face of all the evidence, that he should earn applause when African leaders
meet, disgraces Nelson Mandela's movement.

Only South Africa can halt Mugabe. It controls the only important border,
holds the last economic reins and provides the Zimbabwean regime with its
only important source of legitimacy. Mr Mbeki need say only that he is
unimpressed by Mugabe's response to the election process, that he deplores
alleged assaults on 80 opposition activists, that the courts should not be
required to validate a democratic poll. Nothing of the sort has happened.

For years, Mr Mbeki has been making vaguely hopeful noises over "progress"
with Mugabe. The strategy, if any, seems to rest on the hope that an old man
will recognise his mortality, or simply die. You can judge how effective
this has been by the simple fact that Mugabe is neither intimidated nor
dissuaded by South Africa's words and deeds. An absurd delay in announcing
election results? Mr Mbeki says this is to ensure there is "no controversy".
A re-run allowing time for Mugabe to rig results? Mandela's heir says it is
"time to wait".

We can presume that Mr Brown and the South African president failed to agree
on that. It is less likely that the Prime Minister made a broader point:
Africans dealing with African problems have not, in this case, done much to
comfort an African people. They have failed, are failing, and seem content
to live with that failure even while Mugabe mocks their rhetoric. In the
process, they confirm all the latent (and not so latent) post-colonial
racism of the west. If nothing else, they excuse our impotence.

It amounts to a very sad story. The last thing Africa needs is another
failed state. You could talk, as Tony Blair once did, of a "scar on the
conscience of the west". There comes a point, however, when you need to talk
about the conscience of Africa itself, and the conscience of its biggest
regional power. If nothing else, simple pragmatism applies: does South
Africa need a desolated country on its doorstep simply because Mugabe was
once a hero who called the white world's bluff?

It appears that Mr Mbeki can live with that. It is clear, beyond mere
appearance, that the people of Zimbabwe cannot.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

A crime against Zimbabwe

The Times
April 9, 2008

If Mugabe clings to power, the world will be to blame
Eleven days ago Zimbabwe's elections raised hopes that Robert Mugabe's
tyranny was near its end, and might even end peacefully. Those hopes now
look forlorn. Mr Mugabe has lost control of Parliament but is clinging to
the presidency at any cost. The result of the presidential poll is still not
known, and may never be. Thugs loyal to the regime have taken to the streets
and occupied the country's last remaining commercial farms to soften up the
electorate in case of a second-round vote - but even that last refuge of
democratic hopes may yet fall to emergency rule.

Amid the chaos, this much is clear: having stolen a series of elections
through fraud and intimidation before contriving to steal this one, Mr
Mugabe has long since lost any legitimacy as Zimbabwe's leader. He and his
inner circle are now playing for time. Zimbabweans and their neighbours may
feel powerless to remove him, yet neither can they afford to let his ruinous
regime endure. Africa's other leaders, therefore, must at last find the
courage to heed the opposition's pleas and tell Mr Mugabe that his time is
up. And Gordon Brown, who once staked his international reputation on a
pledge to ease African suffering, must show that these were not idle words.
His response to Zimbabwe's crisis, so far, has been timid, incoherent and

For eight years, the rationale for Britain's soft-spoken policy towards
Harare has been that strident criticism of Mr Mugabe would only unite his
country behind him. That contention had merit only as long as real pressure
was being applied via other European and African governments - and there is
little evidence that it was - and only until last month's election. The
parliamentary vote did more than end the 28-year majority of the ruling Zanu
PF and unseat several of Mr Mugabe's ministers. Given his tight hold on the
party, it amounted to a massive rejection of Mr Mugabe himself.

This is what Mr Brown should now be saying, repeatedly, in public and
without fear of Britain's colonial shadow, which a majority of Zimbabweans
understand exists chiefly in Mr Mugabe's fevered imagination. Instead Mr
Brown has delegated condemnation of the regime's delaying tactics to his
Foreign Secretary, who makes resonant speeches but has yet to craft a
concerted diplomatic effort. He has urged President Mbeki of South Africa to
toughen his position on Zimbabwe, but in private and inconclusively. He has
failed to galvanise Nato (at its recent summit in Bucharest) or the South
African Development Council into united condemnation of the Mugabe regime.
And he has called for “proper monitoring” of any second-round presidential

Proper monitoring will, indeed, be vital, and finding ways to guarantee
international observers' presence at a run-off poll is an urgent priority
for the EU and the UN. But Mr Brown's choice of admonishment is baffling.
His focus on a second round before the first-round results are known is
little better than the outrageous Zanu (PF) demand for recounts without the
initial counts being published. Mr Brown's duty to lead the world's response
to Mr Mugabe is all the more urgent for Mr Mbeki's stubborn failure to lead
Africa's. If

Mr Brown is accused of meddling, he should admit it. Zimbabweans now need
meddling of an entirely new order to rid themselves of the man who has
destroyed their country.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe faces starvation as mobs rampage through farms

The Times
April 9, 2008

Catherine Philp in Harare South
Just as Tommy Miller was milking his Friesian herd early yesterday morning,
the mob stormed into Dunluce Farm. Armed with sticks, stones and a shotgun,
they ordered him to stop. He refused. The cows had to be milked or they
would become ill. “This is the law,” replied their dreadlocked leader,
brandishing his baton. “You must throw the milk on the ground.”

As they rampaged through Zimbabwe’s last productive farms, Robert Mugabe’s
feared militiamen threatened to drive the country to starvation with a
campaign not just to reclaim white-owned land but to destroy the farming

Reports flooding into farmers’ unions in Harare yesterday told of the wilful
destruction of farm equipment, produce and buildings as part of an alleged
“popular uprising” by government-backed mobs in the name of getting the land
back for the black population. Agriculturalists fear that the country could
run out of food within weeks as the farm invasions stop the maize harvest in
mid-flow and threaten the future of wheat crops with only four weeks left
for planting.

As of yesterday, 60 commercial farmers – including two black farmers with
opposition sympathies – had been evicted from their farms by mobs of
so-called war veterans, the shock troops unleashed by Mr Mugabe in a
desperate attempt to cling to power. Dozens more have fled their farms,
unwilling to resist the increasingly violent mobs, which have set fire to
farm labourers’ huts and beaten workers.

Up to 300 veterans, in T-shirts of the ruling Zanu (PF) party, turned up at
Mr Miller’s sprawling dairy farm south of Harare yesterday, closing down
production when he refused to leave, and surrounding his heavily fortified
house to try to flush him out.
Milk has become one of the scarcest commodities in Zimbabwe since the first
invasions in early 2000, and long queues form from early morning in the rare
places it can be found on sale. In a land of such desperate hunger, the
wanton waste of milk seems unbelievable. But while millions of Zimbabweans
spent their day in the exhausting search for food, Mugabe supporters spent
theirs in a frenzied effort to destroy the supply chain.

The militias, financed by trillions of Zimbabwean dollars printed since Mr
Mugabe’s apparent election defeat 11 days ago – official results have still
not been announced – are answering a call to arms to defend the land from a
new white invasion and reclaim what is held by the country’s few hundred
white farmers. Mr Mugabe has cast the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) as the stooges of former British colonial rulers, claiming that
it is seeking to hand back land to ousted whites.

When two white Times journalists drove to Dunluce Farm yesterday on the
pretext of buying meat, the car was set upon by the chanting mob occupying
the farm. They dragged a cart across the driveway to block an escape and
gathered, chanting and mocking, round the car. “The butchery is closed, the
farm is closed,” their leader said. “This is the law.”

Similar tales were told by the white farmers fleeing to Harare for safety
and congregating at the offices of the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) to
report attacks on their farms. “They are saying they have come to reeducate
the people and repossess the land,” one white farmer from Mashonaland
Central said, refusing to give his name for fear of retribution.

Too afraid to return to his farm, he was fretting over what would happen to
his wheat crops, which must be planted within four weeks. Other farmers were
evicted or fled in the middle of the maize harvest, raising fears over how
long the country could last on its food stocks. Zimbabwe needs 23,000 tonnes
of maize a week to feed its population, half of which it imports. Its
remaining stocks stand at just two thirds of that figure. Trevor Gifford,
president of the CFU, calculated that more than 1,000 lorryloads of maize
would have to be imported every week just to keep the country at subsistence

The political limbo, meanwhile, shows no signs of ending. Yesterday a court
postponed the opposition’s petition for the release of disputed election
results, as news emerged that officials had been arrested for allegedly
undercounting Mr Mugabe’s vote.

There is no sign of the promised run-off between Mr Mugabe and his
challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, but every sign of a violent campaign
unfolding to intimidate opposition supporters. In Harare, the queues for
basic food-stuffs stretched along the pavements into the evening. “We are
suffering here,” said one woman, holding her crying baby. “When will it

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The outside world can do little to stop Robert Mugabe's plans

The Telegraph

By David Blair in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 8:51pm BST 08/04/2008

If President Robert Mugabe succeeds in subverting Zimbabwe's election
and extending his 28-year rule, the outside world can do precious little in

He could choose simply to repudiate the whole contest. The officials
now in custody could be induced to "confess" that the process was rigged by
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in collaboration with Britain.
The convenient discovery of such a plot would allow him to cancel the
election and rule by decree until another contest could be held, perhaps in
a year's time.

Alternatively - and this is the more likely choice - Mr Mugabe could
throw the Electoral Commission into chaos by arresting its officials and
levelling accusations of a plot.

This would make it impossible for a second round of the presidential
poll to take place in accordance with the law on April 19.

Mr Mugabe would then secure more time to seize farms and organise
violent attacks on his opponents until he felt confident enough to hold and
win a second round, perhaps after a few months.

If he chooses either of these courses, the world has few options in
response. Britain and Western powers stopped giving aid to Mr Mugabe's
regime and imposed travel bans on the president and his senior allies six
years ago.

The only aid they still give goes directly to the needy via
international agencies such as the World Food Programme. Halting this
support would worsen the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Western condemnation of Mr Mugabe has no effect on his behaviour and
allows him to pose as an anti-colonial icon.

African leaders, notably President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, have
always refrained from criticising Mr Mugabe and have, in effect, supported
his regime.

In the chaotic aftermath of this election, even they might have second
thoughts. The central goal of Mr Mbeki's diplomacy towards Zimbabwe was to
secure an undisputed election.

But Mr Mugabe is now denouncing the electoral process and arresting
the officials concerned, while Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition candidate,
is going to court to try to get the results announced.

For the first time in electoral history, this poll is being disputed
by both contenders before the official result has even been declared.
Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe has been avoiding phone calls.

President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the current chairman of the
African Union, has repeatedly failed to get through to him.

African leaders now have one viable option. If Mr Mugabe fails to hold
the election's second round on April 19, they could cease to recognise him
as Zimbabwe's legitimate president.

This might chasten Mr Mugabe. But the chances of African leaders going
this far are minimal.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Why Morgan went south

Zimbabwe Today

The intriguing reason why the leader of the MDC flew to South Africa for the

On the surface it didn't seem a very sensible idea. With the election
process in deep crisis, and violence spreading, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of
the so-far victorious Movement for Democratic Change, left the country. He
got on a plane for South Africa and only returned last night (Monday). But
my source in the MDC leadership says he had good reason for going.

It was not to meet President Mbeki, who still prevaricates over the issue of
Mugabe, and who in any case was in India. Instead Tsvangirai met with Jacob
Zuma, leader of South Africa's ANC and the front runner for the Presidency
of the Republic next year.

Tsvangirai knew that he would receive a warm and sympathetic welcome from
the controversial Zuma. He hoped that the South African would lend his
support to the demand to publish the election results, and would be equally
supportive in the drive to rid Zimbabwe of Mugabe. And for some very
interesting reasons...

First, Zuma is a Zulu. The Zulu have close historic links with the
amaNdebele people of Zimbabwe, who live for the most part in Matabeleland.
These are the people who Mugabe has persecuted and killed during Zimbabwe's
history as an independent state. Mbeki, on the other hand, is of the Xhosa
tribe, who have no links with the Ndelele's.

But there's a second more subtle reason why Zuma would be keen to help. That
is, he would like to see the back of Mugabe long before he becomes SA's
President. He knows that the longer Mugabe clings to power, the more of an
embarrassment and irritant he will be to his neighbours. So he wants him
gone now.

My source for this information travelled with Tsvangirai to South Africa,
and he tells me: "Zuma showed tremendous interest. He promised to help
unlock the deadlock over the election results and negotiate an exit deal for

He said the ANC leader promised to talk to Thabo Mbeki when he returns to
Pretoria, but added:"He said he is prepared to break away from Mbeki's much
criticised 'quiet diplomacy'. He said this had failed, and leaders who
believe in democracy like himself should act now on Mugabe."

All this is excellent news for those who support Tsvangirai and his party's
struggle to end the tyranny of Mugabe and Zanu-PF. But I must report what
might prove to be a slight problem.

Zuma is a controversial character. In South Africa he has a string of court
cases hanging over his head. Media reports from the Republic indicate that
he might yet fail to get the top job, that it might instead go to the ANC
secretary-general, Kgalema Motlanthe.

But meanwhile, Tsvangirai, who is also planning to visit Tanzania to enlist
the support of President Kikwete, knows that with Zuma backing him today he
is signicantly strengthened for the struggle ahead.

Posted on Tuesday, 08 April 2008

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

We won’t give Mugabe pretext for emergency rule: ZCTU

Zim Online

by Ntando Ncube Wednesday 09 April 2008

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe labour leaders said on Tuesday they were under
“intense pressure” to call worker protests to demand release of election
results but would not do so in order not to give President Robert Mugabe a
pretext to declare emergency rule.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) described the situation in
Zimbabwe as a “cliff-hanger” and said the nation was in an “explosive mood”
after the election authorities withheld results of a poll that Mugabe is
said to have lost to the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

ZCTU secretary general Wellington Chibebe told journalists in Johannesburg
that Mugabe was trying to provoke protests as a pretext to crackdown on
opponents and declare emergency rule.

Chibebe said: “The leadership is aware that such protest may be what
President Mugabe is praying for in that it would give him the excuse to
declare a state of emergency and rule by decree.”

Zimbabwe was plunged deeper into political crisis after election authorities
withheld results of the March 29 presidential election that Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Tsvangirai says he won against Mugabe.

The MDC, which has also accused Mugabe of trying to provoke violence, has
said the veteran leader was delaying the issuing of results to prepare for a
violent onslaught on opposition supporters in a bid to overturn defeat in an
anticipated second round run-off against Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai says he won the presidential vote and should be declared
president immediately, ending Mugabe’s 28-year rule. However, the ruling
ZANU PF and independent observers say the MDC leader was a shade below the
50-plus percent required to take power from Mugabe and a run-off is
necessary to determine the final winner.

The High Court continues on Wednesday hearing an MDC application demanding
immediate release of results of the presidential poll held 11 days ago.

Chibebe, who was speaking at a joint press conference with the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU) at which the two unions called on the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the result of the presidential
poll, said the ZCTU was urging restive workers to remain calm to deny Mugabe
an opportunity to unleash violence.

“The ZCTU and COSATU demand that the results be announced. If there is a
clear winner, that winner must form a government. If there is no winner then
the election must be re-run, with an increased number of international
observers,” COSATU secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said.

Meanwhile, the two unions decried as unfortunate statements by President
Thabo Mbeki that the international community should not intervene in
Zimbabwe because the situation there was still manageable.

“The statement is quite unfortunate as it misleads those who might have the
solution to believe that there is someone managing the situation when in
actual fact no one is managing it,” said Chibebe. – ZimOnline.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC, civic groups urge African leaders to save Zimbabwe

Zim Online

by Nqobizitha Khumalo Wednesday 09 April 2008

BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders, church and civic groups on
Tuesday urged African leaders to intervene to break a political stalemate
that many fear could plunge the country into anarchy and bloodshed.

Zimbabwe was plunged deeper into political crisis after election
authorities withheld results of a March 29 presidential election that
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai says he won against President Robert Mugabe.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told journalists in Harare that
Mugabe was delaying the issuing of results to prepare for a violent
onslaught against opposition supporters in a bid to overturn defeat in an
anticipated second round run-off against Tsvangirai.

Biti said Mugabe has, since the inconclusive March 29 ballot, rearmed
militants of his ZANU PF party who have gone on to attack opposition

Mugabe, whose ZANU PF party lost its parliamentary majority for the
first time in 28 years, was angling for violence to find a pretext to impose
emergency rule in Zimbabwe and Africa should intervene before there was
bloodshed in Zimbabwe, Biti said.

"There's been massive violence inside our country since the 29th of
March 2008 . . . MDC people are being beaten up . . . farms with remaining
pockets of white people are being invaded. Farms with known MDC supporters
are being invaded," Biti said.

He added: “They (African leaders) should not wait for dead bodies in
Mbare, Dotito and elsewhere in the country. They must intervene now.”

Biti spoke as churches and civic leaders meeting in the second largest
city of Bulawayo urged African leaders to pressure the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (ZEC) to release poll results, saying the deepening stalemate was
hurting efforts to heal a nation that has faced political and economic
turmoil since 2000.

They said: “We appeal to the Southern African Development Community
and African Union to exert the required and necessary pressure upon ZEC to
release the results of the presidential election as a matter of primary

Among groups that met in Bulawayo were the Christian Alliance, Women
of Zimbabwe Arise, Association of Evangelicals in Africa, Bulawayo Agenda,
Zimbabwe National Students Union, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
(CCJP) and the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference.

The groups said failure to announce results of the presidential poll
had caused unnecessary anxiety and tension amongst traditionally peace
loving Zimbabweans.

Meanwhile, the High Court postponed to Wednesday hearing an MDC
application demanding the immediate release of presidential election

The court had delayed the matter several times since Saturday as
lawyers from both sides argued first over whether the court had powers to
hear the matter and whether it should be heard urgently. It ruled earlier on
Tuesday that the opposition application was urgent.

Lawyers expect the matter to last several more days before the court
can pass judgment. Either party could go on to appeal the judgment,
prolonging the stalemate further. – ZimOnline.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Soldiers beat up revellers and shoppers

Zim Online

by Own correspondent  Wednesday 09 April 2008

HARARE – Soldiers beat up revellers and late evening shoppers in the city of
Gweru as punishment for not “voting correctly”, a human rights group has
reported as Zimbabwe’s election stalemate looks increasingly set to
degenerate into violent clashes between rival political groups.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said soldiers, some of them wearing face
masks, on Sunday raided bars and a public market in Gweru’s Mkoba 6 surbub,
assaulting people they accused of failing to vote correctly.

Gweru, which is in Mdilands province, is a stronghold of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Mogan Tsvangirai which
trounced President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party in the city in the
just ended elections.

The ZPP said: “Soldiers descended on unsuspecting revellers in bars and late
night shoppers beating them up. The soldiers were allegedly saying the
people’s crime among other things was that they did not vote correctly.”

The soldiers, who allegedly used logs and broom sticks to assault their
victims, were back on Monday morning but this time at a different shopping
centre in Mkoba 14 suburb where they again beat up civilians, according to

The ZPP, which monitors politically motivated violence and human rights
abuses in Zimbabwe, said it had also received reports of violence in
Mashonaland East province where a ZANU PF official is said to be waging a
campaign of retribution against people he suspects may have voted for the

The human rights group said three victims of the ZANU PF official, Gerald
Shamuyarira, Shingi Chogovanyika and Irvine Chimanga, attempted to report
him to the police but ended up being arrested themselves because the
official had filed a report against his victims first.

The ZPP said: “The situation is worrisome and events (reported) from the
provinces are threatening peace.”

ZimOnline was unable to independently verify the claims by the ZPP.

Politically motivated violence has resurfaced in parts of Zimbabwe since a
March 29 poll that saw ZANU PF defeated by the MDC in a parliamentary poll
while President Robert Mugabe is said to have lost to the leader of the
opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai.

War veterans and ZANU PF militia have also stepped up farm invasions with at
least 60 white farmers said to have been evicted from their properties over
the past few days.

Analysts see new farm invasions and resurgent political violence as part of
a well-orchestrated plan by Mugabe to regain the upper hand in rural and
farming areas, where ZANU PF surprisingly lost several seats to the MDC.

There are fears that an anticipated re-run of the presidential election
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai could spark serious violence between militant
supporters of the Zimbabwean leader on one side and opposition supporters on
the other. – ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

High Court hears MDC petition

Zim Online

by Wayne Mafaro  Wednesday 09 April 2008

HARARE – The High Court this morning resumes hearing a petition by the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party demanding the release of results
of the presidential election held 11 days ago.

“The matter is proceeding tomorrow (Wednesday). We are still arguing,” MDC
lawyer Alec Muchadehama told reporters yesterday.

Zimbabweans are still waiting to hear who their next president is more than
one week after casting their ballots.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he won against President Robert Mugabe by
more than 50 percent of the vote, which is enough to avoid a second round

The opposition leader says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is
holding on to the results in a bid to fix the vote in favour of Mugabe.

However, ZANU PF and independent election observers say Tsvangirai won with
less than 50 percent of the vote, warranting a re-run of the ballot.

ZANU PF has been exerting pressure on the electoral commission to order a
recount of ballots even though no result has been announced yet.

The delay in announcing results for the presidential poll has plunged
Zimbabwe deeper into crisis while Mugabe has continued to preside over the
state, amid increasing signs that he might resort to violence and
intimidation during the anticipated run-off in order to regain the upper
hand against Tsvangirai. – ZimOnline.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's rivals beg Africa to step in and avert a bloodbath

Daily Mail, UK

Last updated at 21:55pm on 8th April 2008

African states must intervene in Zimbabwe to prevent widespread bloodshed,
the country's opposition warned yesterday.

Party leaders accused president Robert Mugabe of trying to provoke violence
as a pretext for a state of emergency - and to intimidate his opponents
ahead of a likely run-off election.

The claims came amid growing reports that ruling party thugs were escalating
their invasions of white-owned farms.

Tendai Biti, the secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, appealed to African states to act, saying: "I say to my brothers and
sisters across the continent - don't wait for dead bodies in the streets of

"There is a constitutional and legal crisis in Zimbabwe."

He said the ruling ZANU-PF party had launched a violent campaign against
their supporters following a stalemate over March 29 elections.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he won the presidential vote and
should be declared president-immediately, ending Mugabe's 28-year rule.

But ZANU-PF is pressing for a delay in issuing the presidential results
pending a recount, and is also alleging abuses by electoral officials.

Scroll down for more ...

Earlier, a farmers' union said that veterans of Zimbabwe's independence
war - used as political shock troops by Mugabe - had evicted more than 60
mostly white farmers since the weekend.

Mugabe's information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said the union was lying,
and added that there had been no outbreak of violence in the country.

"There is nothing like that," he added. "They are concocting things. It is

The High Court has begun hearing arguments in a case brought by the MDC to
force the release of the election result.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission to
release the election results "expeditiously and with transparency".

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Parliamentarians urges UN chief to go to Zimbabwe

8th Apr 2008 22:09 GMT

By a Correspondent

LONDON - British and Swedish parliamentarians Kate Hoey and Birgitta Ohlsson
have urged the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to lead a UN delegation to
deal with the election crisis in Zimbabwe.

In a joint letter to Secretary-General Ki-Moon the two MPs said his presence
in Harare would signal that the world community stood united in an appeal
for the installation of a government that reflects the will of the people.

Ban Ki-moon has since made an urgent statement urging the expeditious,
transparent release of election results from the March 29 elections.

Said the UN on behalf of the the secretary general; "Nine days ago, the
people of Zimbabwe voted in a responsible and peaceful manner.  The
Secretary-General is concerned that presidential results have yet to be
released in spite of the constitutional deadline.  He urges the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission to discharge its responsibility and release the results
expeditiously and with transparency.  He calls upon all actors to act
responsibly, exercise restraint and calm, and to address all issues
regarding the elections through recourse to legal means and dialogue as
necessary for the good of all Zimbabweans."

But Hoey and Ohlsson want him to lead a delegation to the African country.

Both MPs have made recent undercover visits to Zimbabwe visiting opposition
activists and members of civil society engaged in the struggle for democracy
and human rights.

Labour's Hoey is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe in
the UK Parliament. Birgitta Ohlsson is the Foreign Affairs spokesperson for
the Liberal Party in the Swedish Parliament.

The two wrote; "We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the
events unfolding in Zimbabwe following the March 29 elections. More than a
week has passed and the people have not yet received the official election
results, while crackdowns and arrests of opposition and journalists have
been reported by media.

We, the undersigned, have made repeated visits to Zimbabwe and have noted
pleas from within the country for help from the United Nations. In order to
facilitate a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis, the United Nations
must act immediately.

The United Nations’ ability to respond decisively in the wake of a bitterly
contested election was illustrated during former Secretary-General Kofi
Annan’s diplomatic intervention in Kenya.

Therefore, we urge you as Secretary-General of the United Nations to lead a
UN delegation to Zimbabwe. Your presence in Harare would signal that the
world community stands united in an appeal for the installment of a
government that reflects the will of the people.

Secondly, the UN delegation headed by the Secretary-General should arrange
face-to-face meetings with presidential candidates Mr Robert Mugabe and Mr
Morgan Tsvangirai. At this stage, it is crucial that the UN listens, leads
and calms the situation.

Thirdly, in order to ensure the Zimbabwean people’s confidence in an open
and transparent election process, the UN Security Council should demand that
the election results are made public.

Finally, we believe it is of utmost importance that you, as
Secretary-General, engage all of the region’s nations. Such a shuttle
diplomacy would be essential in ensuring that a peaceful and democratic
resolution of the conflict has the backing and legitimacy from neighboring

The United Nations has an obligation to stand by the Zimbabwean people who
have bravely shown their commitment to the democratic process. The
Secretary-General of the United Nation must play a leading and active role
in facilitating resolution to the current crisis and preventing further

President Robert Mugabe's government lost control of the country's
parliament for the first time since independence in elections held on March
29 and Mugabe himself is believed to have lost the presidential poll to
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition MDC leader.

Results for the presidential election have not been announced 10 days on
though Zanu PF is already talking of a run-off of the presidential election
when the results are still to be made public.

The MDC on the other hand has claimed victory, saying Tsvangirai is the
righful Zimbabwe President after pipping Mugabe at the polls.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Exiled lawyer Gugulethu Moyo says change is happening in Zimbabwe

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 09/04/2008

Reporter: Tony Jones

Gugulethu Moyo, a Zimbabwean lawyer and media relations advisor on southern
African issues discusses the country's situation in the wake of its

TONY JONES: I'm joined now from London by Gugulethu Moyo, a Zimbabwean

She was the in-house counsel for the Zimbabwean-based newspaper, The Daily
News, which was violently shut down by Robert Mugabe's Government in 2004.

Thanks for joining us, Gugulethu Moyo.

I'm wondering how significant you believe this High Court decision is to
hear the MDC's case urgently on releasing the election results?

know, it's progress. I think that that's what many people were hoping for so
I think it's important now that they complete the arguments about the merits
of the case and we hope that perhaps tomorrow he will deliver a judgment
compelling the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to actually publish the

TONY JONES: I'm wondering what the case could comprise of. I said earlier it
should, in effect, be the shortest case in legal history because what could
the argument against releasing the election results possibly be?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Well, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is saying that they
are still counting the votes, they're still verifying the counts that were
done at the polling stations some 10 days ago when the first counts were
done so that's their basic argument that we haven't finished yet. Give us a
bit of time.

But of course the Opposition is arguing that they ought to have finished,
that their explanation for the delay is just not plausible and that this is
possibly just giving the ruling parties an opportunity to manipulate the
outcome and I think they're arguing that the longer this delays the less
likely it is that the results that will be announced will be the actual

TONY JONES: Has this High Court shown any, in the past, or had any
reputation for genuine independence and can we expect a fair and free legal
judgment, particularly a legal judgment on this question?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Well, you know, the Zimbabwe courts actually do not have a
reputation for their independence. They have been criticised by many
independent observers, including the International Bar Association for whom
I work, for their lack of independence therefore being politicised and
allowing themselves to be manipulated by politicians from the ruling party.

But I think that what might be happening is that judges would be considering
at this point their position, you know, power is shifting quite clearly in
Zimbabwe. So if I were a judge in that seat, even if I were inclined to, you
know, follow the dictates of some politician from the ruling party, I would
also consider what it means for me if I perhaps am not acting impartially
and will be then faced with the situation where the new government wants to
clean up the bench and would like to reinstate judges who are independent.
So I think that there are many pressures that are weighing on the judge.

But having said that, one of the things that you cannot rule out is that
even if this judge issues a decision, which is impartial, that he won't be
victimised by Zanu-PF. We saw earlier today that some polling people who
were employed in the polling stations have been arrested and accused of
taking bribes in order to favour the Opposition. And you can't rule out
that, you know, a judge who acts independently today and tomorrow will be
victimised in a similar fashion.

TONY JONES: That is pretty ominous, the arrest of these five or depending on
who you listen to seven electoral officials accused of under-counting Robert
Mugabe votes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of votes. You know, is
there any evidence at all that you know of that's been released or have they
just been secretly arrested?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Well, it's difficult to find out what has happened to these
people and who they are. One of the things, of course, that surprises
everybody is that the outcome, the result isn't out as far as we know but
Zanu-PF clearly knows what is going on inside the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission so they've been arrested. Of course Zanu-PF, rather the police,
claim that they have evidence that, you know, some of these people have
acted fraudulently so they don't need to wait for the result but many people
are sceptical because I think given what's been taking place in the last few
days they just think this is a desperate attempt on the part of Zanu-PF to
manipulate the outcome and perhaps to discredit the process if it doesn't
favour them.

TONY JONES: Now we haven't had, in spite of everything and this election has
been relatively, and the period immediately after, has been relatively free
of violence until very recently. We're now getting reports that 80 or more
opposition activists in different parts of the country have been attacked
and beaten by Mugabe supporters. This is on top of the arrest of the
electoral officials that we're talking about. Are you at all concerned, and
is there a growing concern, that the backlash by Mugabe supporters that's
long been warned of is just starting to happen now?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Oh yes, you know, we're very concerned. Our partners that we
speak to on the ground, the independent monitors on the ground are also very
concerned about what lies ahead. They see Zanu-PF that has been shocked by
the outcome of the first round of the this election and fears the loss of
power and instead of conceding defeat, they are now really resorting to old
election tactics to win back power. So, you know, they're going back to the
use of violence and intimidation against the electorate and that is a really
very serious concern.

TONY JONES: We've in fact been sent a long list of senior military officers
who are allegedly in charge of orchestrating a campaign for Robert Mugabe in
different regions throughout the country in the run-off elections. It looks
like they are expecting the run-off elections to proceed but they're
intending to use the old tactics of the past and to use the military to make
sure that these things and the war veterans to make sure that things don't
go wrong this time.

GUGULETHU MOYO: Yeah, I mean, you know, I don't know how reliable your
sources are but I mean you can just see it from what is going on in the
ground and what is being reported by the Zimbabwe press itself, the
state-run press. They've had war veterans, people who call themselves war
veterans, coming out saying that they're out to defend the revolution, as
they call it, they're out to defend the land, they've been evicting farmers
in parts of the country. But I do understand also that the police have
stopped them from actually, you know, evicting some farmers in some parts of
the country. So there is, you know, some resistance, or at least some law
enforcement that is taking place and so, you know, the situation is pretty

Also I think, you know, the Zimbabwean Government is aware of the intense
international scrutiny over this process so they will be a little bit more
cautious, perhaps, about how they proceed. But I have no doubt that, you
know, these are people who are very desperate and I think all the signs are
there for everybody to read. And when Zanu-PF finds itself faced with
opposition, their normal strategy, their normal tactics are to simply beat
up the opposition and trying to suppress the opposition in a violent

TONY JONES: You've had personal experience of that. I don't know if you're
in a position to talk about it or if you're comfortable to talk about it but
if you can can you tell us what happened to you?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Oh, well, you know, that's a bit of a long story, but when I
worked for the Daily News in Zimbabwe, which was at the time the only
independent daily newspaper, one of our reporters, who was a photographer
was arrested and beaten up by the police and some soldiers. At this was at
time when he was covering a demonstration which had been called by the
opposition the final push. It was meant, according to the opposition, to be
a demonstration which would really oust Mugabe from power. So, you know,
political tensions were very high. The photographer who was covering this
was arrested and beaten up, which was quite normal, you know. Many of our
reporters would be attacked by the police or ruling party supporters when
they went out to try to report matters because the Government regarded us
not as an independent newspaper but as the opposition.

I went down to the police station to try and secure the journalist's release
together with a colleague, and when we, while we were there the wife of the
commander of the armed forces, you know, his wife, she arrived and she had
been for some reason asserting control over the police who were stationed in
this particular post and giving them instructions. She then approached me
and asked me why I was at the police station and when I explained and told
her that I worked for the Daily News she just, you know, really became very
angry and started to beat me up and also then, you know, asked or instructed
her henchmen to do the same. She then told the police to detain me, which
they did, you know, this is a civilian who's instructing the police, you
know, to do all these things. They detained me, she then ordered them to
beat me further, which they did, and, you know, the long or short story of
it is that I was detained for a further 48 hours in police custody, there
were no charges against me but the police listened to her instructions and
kept me in a police cell in Harare. My lawyers actually got a court order
compelling the police to free me because there was no ground on which they
were keeping me but the police defied that because she had instructed them
not to release me. It was only after my lawyers threatened to go for a
second order that they then released me.

So, you know, it's characteristic of ruling party tactics, you know, people
who support the ruling party can use violence against anybody they perceive
to be opposition and they can do it with impunity to this day this woman has
gone unpunished. When I reported the matter the police, despite the fact
that it happened in a police station, the police said "Oh, we don't remember
this. When did that happen?" Later on when they acknowledged that this
incident had actually happened, they then said they couldn't find her and
asked me to provide them with her address, which I did, but they knew
because of course they knew where she lived because the police guard her
home, you know. The commander of the armed forces has an official police
guard outside his home. But, you know, as I say she remains unpunished and
my hope is that some of these cases will be addressed and there are many
like this, that in a different dispensation when we have perhaps a
democratic government that is interested in upholding the rule of law, I
hope that this woman and others who were involved in this attack will face

TONY JONES: One final question. I mean Morgan Tsvangirai has actually kept
his mass movement relatively quiet until now, they haven't gone on to the
streets, they're not demonstrating at the fact that the results have not
been released, do you expect that to change?

GUGULETHU MOYO: Well, you know, I don't know. I'm quite surprised, actually,
by the quietness of the opposition supporters. My understanding is that
Morgan Tsvangirai has told his supporters to wait and that they must be
disciplined and that they think that is Morgan Tsvangirai thinks that he
doesn't want to provoke Mugabe into declaring a state of emergency and
clamping down on the opposition.

But I think that to many people, to many of Morgan Tsvangirai's critics,
this looks like what has happened in the past. He's been accused of being
tactically inept, of being always not able to follow through. So he clearly
has Zanu-PF in a weakened position but instead of following through and
ensuring that this time around the opposition wins and prevails in victory,
he is still playing by the ruling party agenda. So they're still setting the
pace and one thing I'd like to see is Morgan Tsvangirai speaking to his
supporters and reassuring him that he's doing something about what is
happening, that this election won't be stolen again because he says he's
won. So I think he needs to show that confidence and I think that is lacking
at the moment is somewhat surprising. I understand that the rule of law
situation is difficult and that perhaps the war veterans and other state
agents might come down heavily on his supporters but Morgan Tsvangirai has
said that things have changed in Zimbabwe, people are openly defiant, many
people including the police, including the soldiers no longer support Mugabe
or are no longer willing to be used as tools of the ruling party. So I think
that he ought to have a bit more confidence. He certainly needs to speak to
his supporters because Zimbabwe's press is state-controlled and so what
people are hearing is only what the government wants them to hear and
they're not hearing from Morgan Tsvangirai about what he's doing about the
delays and the election outcome.

TONY JONES: Alright, Gugulethu Moyo, thank you very much for taking the time
to come and talk to us tonight. Hopefully we'll get a chance to speak to you


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Democracy in dire peril

Daily Nation, Kenya



Publication Date: 4/9/2008 Events in Zimbabwe could be taking a dangerous
turn. The longer the delay in releasing the presidential election results,
the greater the threat to democracy in the country.

If independent projections and the results of the parliamentary
elections are anything to go by, then President Robert Mugabe’s 28-year hold
on power is over.

His chief rival Morgan Tsvangirai claims to have won just over 50 per
cent of the presidential vote, and thus claims outright victory.

President Mugabe’s party concedes the opposition candidate got the
most votes, but says not by the majority required to avoid a run-off. It
thus says it is ready for a run-off, but at the same time demands vote
recounts in some constituencies.

More ominously, government security agents have begun arresting
officials of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. At the same time, the
self-proclaimed war veterans have been re-activated and have resumed
evicting white farmers.

The opposition is warning that President Mugabe is planning to wage
war on his own people, fears which cannot be far-fetched looked at against
the recent history of that country.

It remains inexplicable that the Electoral Commission has been unable
or unwilling to release the election results. The uncertainty this has
caused cannot be good for the country.

Democracy in Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to abort. If that happens so
shortly after the trauma that Kenya has undergone over its own disputed
elections, a very worrying message will have been sent about the fate of
democracy in the whole of Africa.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe as harbinger

 Special for El Universal

Robert Mugabe's rejection by the people of Zimbabwe is a harbinger of what
awaits Chavez down the road. Mugabe was initially a liberator from white
rule, racism and apartheid but in the last decade he sank deep into those
same pits himself.  His 2000 confiscation of white property was popular at
first, but when it resulted in inflation, unemployment, malnutrition and
misery, the people of Zimbabwe learned about Mugabe's tricks to stay in
power. His tricks work magic no more in Zimbabwe. His early liberation of
Zimbabwe from white minority rule is no longer his legacy. That legacy is
one of death and destruction for which he shall be long remembered.

It took a decade for Zimbabweans to realize how Mugabe migrated from the
early dreams of liberation to later nightmares of despotism. And it has
taken a decade for Venezuelans to realize the same about Chavez, who faces
the same future as Mugabe but has 300 billion barrels of oil to convince the
world it's not so. Some may remember the day in 1999 when Chavez delivered
his inauguration speech about liberating Venezuela from poverty and
corruption, when 90% of the people were happy to have him in Miraflores. But
what shakes faith in the Chavez of 1999 is that in 2008, poverty is just as
bad, inequality is worse, corruption is epidemic, inflation is the worst in
the hemisphere and Venezuela has become the murder capitol of the world.

With half a trillion dollars going through his hands in the last decade, it
is unimaginable that Chavez could manage so terribly, but he has. He has
gifted foreigners with $100 billion while in his Fatherland one family out
of five is ill-housed, one third are desperately poor, and the standard of
living of the Bolivarian Republic is a fraction of what it was in 1954.
Here's what few Venezuelans recall: from 1920 to 1970, Venezuela had the
lowest inflation and best growth rate in the world. It was prepared to join
the first world of nations as an equal and dignified partner in progress.
Yes, malfeasance in office by past politicians surely created the
opportunity for Chavez to take power, but it did not give him the right to
do to Venezuela what Mugabe did to Zimbabwe. And for that he will always be
remembered, especially by those who supported him.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum Rally - Wednesday 9 April, 2008 - Central Johannesburg

Dear Friends
Apologies for sending this flier out late, Have only just received the information from the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum.  Unfortunately, with the Zimbabwean situation being so volatile and changing at such a rapid rate, there is minimal time to plan ahead.
Details on the rally are pasted follow:
Best regards















11:00 am-4:00pm












SIPHO O82 5000 811

PHILANI 076 9423 565

                                                                                                                                SIMON 0769157893


Back to the Top
Back to Index