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

G8 leaders' statement on Zimbabwe

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:16

Toyako, Japan

1.We expressed our grave concern about the situation in Zimbabwe. We
deplore the fact that the Zimbabwean authorities pressed ahead with the
presidential election despite the absence of appropriate conditions for free
and fair voting as a result of their systematic violence, obstruction and

2. We do not accept the legitimacy of any government that does not
reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people.

3. We strongly urge the Zimbabwean authorities to work with the
opposition to achieve a prompt, peaceful resolution of the crisis.  It is
important that any mediation process respect the results of the March 29
2008 election.

4.We support the Africa Union (AU) as it expresses deep concern with
the negative reports from the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
the AU and the Pan-African Parliament observers on the elections and the
loss of life that has occurred in Zimbabwe.  We also support the AU's call
to encourage Zimbabwean leaders to initiate dialogue with a view to
promoting peace and stability.  We encourage regional bodies, including SADC
and the AU, to provide strong leadership towards a quick and democratic
resolution of this crisis, including by further strengthening the regional
mediation process.

5.We are deeply concerned by the humanitarian dimension of the
situation in Zimbabwe.  The Zimbabwean authorities must allow the immediate
resumption of humanitarian operations and full and non-discriminatory access
to humanitarian assistance to prevent the suffering of the most vulnerable
people in Zimbabwe.

6. We will continue to monitor the situation and work together with
SADC, the AU, the UN and other relevant organisations for a prompt
resolution of the crisis.  We recommend the appointment of a Special Envoy
of the UN Secretary-General to report on the political, humanitarian, human
rights and security situation and to support regional efforts to take
forward mediation between political parties.  We will take further steps,
inter alia introducing financial and other measures against those
individuals responsible for violence

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

U.S. envoy: UN draft on Zimbabwe sanctions readied for vote

xinhua  2008-07-10 01:07:44

    UNITED NATIONS, July 9 (Xinhua) -- A U.S.-sponsored draft
resolution proposing Security Council sanctions on Zimbabwe has been "put in
blue," a UN parlance meaning readied for a vote, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad said Wednesday.

    "The resolution went blue last night, so a vote can take place on
the resolution at any time now," Khalilzad told reporters after a council

    But he refrained from disclosing the exact time for the council's
vote, saying that "we are still talking to colleagues in the council."

    Khalilzad reiterated what he had said that the time for the
resolution to be voted on is this week.

    "So we are still on track, but it could happen any time," he

    The United States circulated the draft resolution last week,
urging the 15-member body to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and freeze
the asset of Mugabe and 11 other senior officials and restrict them from
traveling abroad.

    Khalilzad said Tuesday that enough votes have been garnered for
the draft to be adopted.

    Russia, a veto-wielding council member, has questioned the
legitimacy of such a move to be taken by the Security Council.

    The UN Charter "does not empower the Security Council to interfere
into the internal affairs of a state unless the situation there poses a
threat to international peace and security," Russian Ambassador Vitaly
Churkin told reporters Tuesday.

    "There are serious questions in our mind if the situation in
Zimbabwe can be characterized as a threat to international peace and
security," Churkin said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Russia warned on Zimbabwe sanctions

Daily Express, UK

Wednesday July 9,2008

Britain has warned Russia not to try to block new international sanctions
against Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe.

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations Sir John Sawers said it would be
"unwise" for Moscow to use its veto in the Security Council to prevent the
adoption of a fresh package of measures against Harare.

However Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin described elements of the
draft resolution drawn up by the United States and Britain as "quite
excessive" and warned that they would require careful scrutiny.

Earlier, Gordon Brown, attending the final statement of the G8 summit in
Japan, said that he believed there was now sufficient international support
in the Security Council to pass a new resolution.

"We don't expect to get every country to support us on this but we believe
that we can gain sufficient support for this important resolution to be
passed in the next few days," he said.

On Tuesday night, the G8 leaders, including Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev, signed a statement backing further steps, including financial
measures, against individuals responsible for the violence in Zimbabwe.

Britain and the US are calling for targeted travel bans and the freezing of
assets of 14 named individuals, including Mr Mugabe, as well as the
imposition of a UN arms embargo.

However, Mr Churkin told the BBC that the proposals went too far.

"I personally believe that some elements of the draft are quite excessive,
in fact incongruous, and clearly in conflict with the notion of sovereignty
of a state member of the United Nations so some of these things have to be
looked at very carefully," he said.

Sir John cautioned Moscow not to backtrack on assurances given in Japan.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UN resolution to name and shame Mugabe associates, Brown

Monsters and Critics

Jul 9, 2008, 9:18 GMT

Toyako, Japan - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that a UN
Security Council resolution proposed by Britain and the United States
against Zimbabwe will name 14 top members of Robert Mugabe's regime.

The 14 would face a world-wide travel ban and asset freeze, Brown said. It
was as yet unclear whether the list also included Mugabe himself.

Speaking at the end of a Group of Eight (G8) summit in Toyako, Japan, Brown
said that despite resistance from some quarters, he was confident that there
would be enough UN support for the resolution, which also calls for an arms
embargo on the country.

There will be 'no safe haven and no hiding' for those responsible for the
violence in Zimbabwe, Brown said.

'We know who these people are and we are naming them today,' he added.

Brown, who is said to have shown his G8 colleagues shocking photos of the
violence in Zimbabwe in order to win them over, said all G8 leaders had
backed his calls for sanctions.

'The mood, not just of the G8, is of outrage against what is happening in
Zimbabwe and of disgust at Mugabe's regime,' he said.

On Tuesday, the G8 leaders issued a statement saying they did not accept
'the legitimacy of any government that does not reflect the will of the
Zimbabwean people.

'We will take further steps, inter alia introducing financial and other
measures against those individuals responsible for the violence,' the
statement added.

Italy had initially opposed sanctions. And Russia, which holds veto powers
within the security council, sent mixed messages about its position while in

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said that sanctions were a matter for
the UN.

The resolution was due to be discussed by the UN in New York later on
Wednesday, Brown said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Russia's Medvedev says G-8 statement does not necessarily mean UN sanctions against Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: July 9, 2008

RUSUTSU, Japan: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says a strong G-8
statement on Zimbabwe will not necessarily lead to sanctions against Robert
Mugabe's government.

Medvedev is stressing that there are "no concrete decisions" about how the
United Nations should respond and whether further action will be taken.

Medvedev spoke Wednesday after a Group of Eight nations summit in Japan. The
G-8 agreed to a statement promising further steps against those responsible
for violence in last month's election in Zimbabwe. Russia is a veto-wielding
permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, where the U.S. is promoting a
draft resolution on sanctions against Mugabe's government.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UN to push for ban on arms sales to Zimbabwe

Patrick Wintour in Hokkaido,
Wednesday July 9, 2008

Gordon Brown speaking at the G8 summit 2008 in Japan. Photograph: Junko

An arms embargo will be part of new sanctions the UN will seek to impose on
Zimbabwe this week to increase pressure on the Mugabe regime, Gordon Brown
said today.

The measure, which would go beyond the previously known plans for financial
sanctions aimed at the regime's leaders, would hit both Russian and Chinese
arms exporters, as well as some private European dealers.

British officials acknowledge that it may take as long as a week to get
agreement on the resolution, with doubt remaining over whether either Russia
or China will use their veto at the UN security council resolution to block
the move.

However, the prime minister said the resolution would gain considerable, if
not unanimous, support at the UN. Speaking at the end of the G8 summit in
Japan, he said the ban would cover the direct supply of arms such as
weapons, military vehicles and equipment.

The prime minister praised his G8 colleagues for backing measures to isolate
what he described as the criminal cabal running Zimbabwe.

The resolution will also call for a worldwide freezing of the assets of 14
leaders of the Zimbabwe regime, including Robert Mugabe, as well as a
worldwide travel ban on the same named individuals.

Brown said: "With this resolution, there should be no safe haven and no
hiding place for the criminal cabal that now make up the Mugabe regime."

British intelligence believes members of the Mugabe regime have transferred
assets to Switzerland, which is currently outside the EU sanctions regime.

Brown said: "This is an illegitimate regime with blood on its hands. We do
not consider the election as either free or fair. The benefit of this
resolution is, the whole of the international community will be freezing
their assets, wherever they are held, and will prohibit the 14 named leaders
from travelling anywhere in the world."

Russian diplomats in New York have been reported as saying the sanctions
regime proposed in the resolution is excessive and infringes national

But Brown is pointing to the decision of the Russian president, Dmitry
Medvedev, at the G8 to agree a statement backing financial measures against
named individuals in Zimbabwe. (The G8 statement made no mention of an arms

He also defended the idea of a UN-appointed envoy to act as a mediator
alongside South Africa, another proposal in the resolution.

Brown said: "We have to make it clear that the international community must
know from someone representing the international community on the ground
about the beatings, the deaths, the intimidation, the violence, the
suppression of dissent, the arrest of political prisoners - all that has got
be known to the world. "

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

G8's calls on Zim 'humiliating' for Mbeki

Mail and Guardian


A call by eight of the world's most powerful leaders to send a United
Nations envoy to Zimbabwe and to press for new sanctions against Robert
Mugabe's regime is a stinging humiliation for long-time mediator Thabo Mbeki
and his policy of quiet diplomacy, analysts said on Wednesday.

The South African president, who was at the Group of Eight (G8) summit in
Japan, has long argued he is best placed to broker a settlement between
Zimbabwe's governing party and opposition and that sanctions would only
worsen the situation.

But while world leaders have previously been willing to leave the hot potato
of Zimbabwe in his lap, observers said Tuesday's statement by the G8 shows
they have run of patience with the South African leader's softly-softly

"It is extremely humiliating," said Hussein Solomon, director of the
Pretoria-based Centre for International Policy studies.

Solomon said that Mbeki's refusal to criticise Mugabe had not only been
discredited in the eyes of the West but was regarded with increasing
scepticism closer to home.

"Various African countries, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, have all been critical
of Mr Mugabe, and for some reason Mr Mbeki refuses to budge. This is partly
his personality -- he would have to accept his failure."

Mbeki has been involved in mediating the crisis in neighbouring Zimbabwe
since counterpart Mugabe allegedly rigged his 2002 re-election.

He was again appointed as mediator by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) in March last year after a crackdown by Zimbabwe's security
services left opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in hospital with head

The South African leader, now into his last year as president, has always
been the go-to man for the international community who have relied on him to
carve the African solution they backed as being the answer to the crisis.

Tony Blair, speaking in South Africa during a farewell visit as British
prime minister last year, gave his backing to Mbeki's efforts and stressed
that there had to be "an African solution for Zimbabwe".

United States President George Bush also originally lobbied African leaders
to use their influence on Mugabe but he has also visibly lost patience with
their relatively timid approach.

As the African Union called last week for the establishment of a national
unity government in Zimbabwe following Mugabe's re-election in a one-man
poll, the European Union announced it would only deal with an administration
led by Tsvangirai, who boycotted the run-off ballot after attacks on his

"What they [G8] have done is accept the position of Mr Tsvangirai," said

The Star newspaper's foreign editor, Peter Fabricius, wrote on Wednesday
that the G8 calls for sanctions and a special UN envoy amounted to a "slap
in the face" for Mbeki and "an implicit vote of no confidence" in his
mediation efforts.

His view was echoed by Karin Alexander of the Institute for Democracy in
Southern Africa, who said the G8 call indicated a "falling level of
confidence in Mbeki's mediation".

While Alexander said the move should not be interpreted as an outright snub
to Mbeki, it was a sign he needed to be more open about how negotiations
were proceeding.

"A UN envoy is a way to get a clearer picture on the ground," she said.

Tsvangirai's relations with Mbeki are notoriously bad, with the Movement for
Democratic Change leader -- who pushed Mugabe into second place in the first
round of voting in March -- regarding the South African as blatantly biased.

Mbeki's claims to neutrality were hardly helped on Wednesday by Mugabe's
Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who said that he had "proved his
mettle as an African statesman par excellence" during his negotiations. -- 

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Lawyer says talks opposition-government talks to begin in Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: July 9, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: A lawyer for Zimbabwe's opposition told a court
on Wednesday that talks between the group and Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe's party are to begin this week.

An opposition spokesman denied that, but the comment by lawyer Lewis Uriri
during a court hearing in Zimbabwe was the first by an opposition official
to confirm what Mugabe's party has been suggesting for several days.

Lawyer Lewis Uriri appeared at a bail hearing in Harare on Wednesday, asking
a judge to return the passport of Tendai Biti, the opposition's No. 2 party
official in Zimbabwe, saying Biti needed it to travel to neighboring South

The reason he gave was that opposition talks with Mugabe's party are to
begin this week.

The judge ordered the return of the passport, which Biti had been forced to
surrender when he was arrested during Zimbabwe's recent election campaign
and charged with treason.

Zimbabwe's long-running political crisis has worsened since Mugabe went
ahead with - and declared himself winner of - the widely condemned June 27
presidential runoff election. He was the only candidate because opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai had quit as a candidate because of attacks on his
Since then, talks about a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution to
impose sanctions on Mugabe and some of his top political and security
officials appear to have been spurring developments in Zimbabwe.

The proposed sanctions are aimed at pushing Mugabe to negotiate and
punishing him for allegedly rigging the presidential runoff, killing
political dissenters and bringing Zimbabweans, who once grew food for the
region, to the point of struggling to feed themselves.

But on Wednesday, it remained unclear whether the opposition was prepared to
drop its objections to unconditional talks with Mugabe.

"There are no talks, I assure you," George Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for
Tsvangirai, told The Associated Press. "When there are talks, we will let
you know."

Attempts to reach government spokesmen were not immediately successful.

A spokesman for South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has been mediating
on-again, off-again talks between the two sides, also was not immediately

Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has said talks cannot
begin until violence blamed on Mugabe supporters ends and a mediator is
named in addition to Mbeki, accused by Tsvangirai of being biased in
Mugabe's favor.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF, meanwhile, has called for talks on forming a unity
government with Mugabe at the head, something the opposition and Mugabe's
critics in the West have rejected.

Late Wednesday morning, the opposition issued a statement saying "there are
currently no negotiations between itself and ZANU PF," and Biti has told The
Associated Press that talks about talks weren't even under way.

But state media in Zimbabwe reported earlier in the week that talks were
imminent, and government spokesman Bright Matonga told the AP on Wednesday
that "things are moving at a faster pace than you think."

Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi met Tuesday in
Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, with the West African nation's
President Blaise Compaore. Burkina Faso is currently a member of the U.N.
Security Council.

A vote on the U.S. draft Security Council resolution is expected later this

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC denies talks underway as Mugabe party accuses G8 of "racism"

Monsters and Critics

Jul 9, 2008, 13:43 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition party on Wednesday denied it was engaged in
talks with President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF on sharing power as Mugabe's
goverment accused the G8 group of wealthy nations of 'racism.'

'The party wishes to reiterate that there are currently no negotiations
between itself and Zanu-PF,' Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change said in a statement.

'A catalogue of acts of bad faith by Zanu-PF continue to poison the
environment for negotiations,' the MDC said in response to a report in a
South African newspaper that the two parties were due to hold talks
Wednesday on the country's months-long political impasse.

The African Union has called on the two parties to form a unity government,
but the MDC has so far shied away from talks with Mugabe, citing an unfair
playing field.

Ongoing attacks against MDC leaders, supporters and pro-democracy activists,
the withholding of passports from party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
second-in-command Tendai Biti, and divisive statements in state media were
among the impediments to talks, the MDC said.

Business Day newspaper had quoted South Africa's ruling African National
Congress leader Jacob Zuma as saying he been informed of planned talks.

Meanwhile, Mugabe's government labelled calls by G8 leaders at a summit in
Japan Tuesday to further isolate and put pressure on his regime as 'racism.'

The G8, after lengthy deliberations, said they refused to recognise Mugabe's
government, given the violence that characterized the June 27 presidential
run-off election he alone contested, and that it would take 'further steps,'
including 'financial and other measures against individuals responsible for
the violence.'

Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu dismissed the resolution as
'ultimately of no consequence.'

'Nowhere in international law is there provision for a group of countries to
sit down as a private club and decide the legitimacy of governments. This is
international racism,' he told the state Herald newspaper.

For them to discredit Mugabe's victory in the election that Tsvangirai
boycotted 'is an attempt to impose a government on the people of Zimbabwe
against their will. The people went out and voted, including for Tsvangirai,
and President Mugabe has won and has been sworn in as head of state,' he

Tsvangirai withdrew from the election a week ahead of voting in protest over
state-backed militia attacks on his supporters that have killed around 110
people since the first round of voting for president in March. He won that

Three African election observer teams found the vote, which handed Mugabe a
sixth term in office, was undemocratic, while Western leaders termed it a

Ndlovu also rejected the G8's endorsement of the MDC's demand for expanding
mediation attempts, currently solely in the hands of South African President
Thabo Mbeki.

The MDC has called for up to three AU envoys to oversee talks with Mbeki,
whom the party accuses of pro-Mugabe bias. The AU has so far refused to
accede the MDC's request.

'What do they want to impose another mediator for? President Mbeki has
proved his mettle as an African statesman par excellence, and so we will
follow the AU and the SADC position on this,' said Ndlovu. dpa

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

No Negotiations Taking Place

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:56

11:00 am

Wednesday 9 July 2008

MDC Press Statement

Further to the statement released by the MDC yesterday, the party
wishes to reiterate that there are currently no negotiations between itself
and ZANU PF.

The MDC views this lack of dialogue as a tragedy given the continued
deterioration of the security, social and economic conditions prevailing in
the country.

While the MDC remains committed to a peaceful, negotiated solution to
the Zimbabwean crisis, a catalogue of acts of bad faith by ZANU PF continue
to poison the environment for negotiations.

These include:

The continued murders, beating and displacement of MDC leaders and

The continued persecution of MDC Members of Parliament

The continued disappearance of MDC activists.

The continued persecution of all pro-democratic forces.

The continued denial of passports to both MDC President, Morgan
Tsvangirai, and Secretary General, Tendai Biti.The continued publishing in
the State media of false and divisive statements designed to fan the flames
of political violence.

In light of these conditions, the MDC remains convinced that there
cannot be serious and genuine negotiations while the above conditions

The MDC and the people of Zimbabwe are encouraged by the
ever-increasing number of countries and international organizations that are
speaking out against the brutality in Zimbabwe and the illegitimacy of the
27 June elections. This continued pressure will help to hasten a peaceful
resolution to the crisis through reducing the regime's ability to continue
to wage war on the people of Zimbabwe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The case of missing MPs- a worrisome trend

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 14:40
BULAWAYO - This report from Matabeleland North is of great concern. It
is clear that Pearson Mabaleka is under serious threat against his life. By
my count we now have one MP in hospital - may die after a beating at the MT
Star Rally on the 25th June, two in jail, one missing - abducted. at least 7
in South Africa and an unknown number in hiding inside the country.
We need to bring this to the attention of the world as these are all
Members of Parliament - duly elected and not yet sworn in after 4 months and
it looks as if we will be lucky if a majority can even attend the swearing
in at this rate. The threat to kill MP's is real and is a crude attempt to
force down the MDC majority in the House of Assembly.
Eddie Cross
8th July 2008

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Political violence surges after Mugabe assumes presidency

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs -
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)

Date: 09 Jul 2008

HARARE, 9 July 2008 (IRIN) - The already high levels of politically
motivated violence in Zimbabwe's rural areas are escalating, the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change told IRIN.

Violence surged in the aftermath of the 29 March elections, in which ZANU-PF
lost it majority in parliament for the first time since independence from
Britain in 1980, and its leader, Robert Mugabe, come off second best to MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential ballot. It continued in the
lead-up to the second round of presidential voting on 27 June.

The presidential run-off ballot was deemed necessary after neither
presidential candidate managed to achieve the 50 percent plus one vote
required for an outright win.

However, according to How to Lose an Election and Stay in Power, a report by
the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), a South African
think-tank promoting good governance, Zimbabwe's Electoral Act has two
contradictory clauses determining the outcome of a president's election.

Schedule one of Section 110 of the Electoral Act states: "Where two or more
candidates for President are nominated, and ... no candidate receives a
majority of the total number of valid votes cast, a second election shall be
held within twenty-one days after the previous election."

The Second Schedule of Section 110 states: "the Chief Elections Officer
shall forthwith declare the candidate who has received- (a) where there are
two candidates, the greater number of votes; (b) where there are more than
two candidates, the greatest number of votes; to be duly elected as
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe."

Former finance minister Simba Makoni was the third candidate in the first
round of the presidential election, along with Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The report surmises that "it is questionable whether the run-off would in
fact have taken place if Mugabe had gained more votes than Tsvangirai in the
first poll, though less than 50 percent plus one. The actual results
precluded that option."

In the interregnum between the 29 March and 27 June polls, there were
reports of widespread violence, torture and internal displacement, which,
according to the MDC, resulted in the deaths of more than 80 of their
supporters and led to Tsvangirai's decision to withdraw his candidacy.

Mugabe, who has ruled for 28 years, claimed a landslide victory in the
second round.

Rape as a weapon

Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC spokesperson for the country's eastern province
of Manicaland and newly elected parliamentarian for Makoni South, told IRIN
the violence intensified after Mugabe was sworn in as president two days
after the vote, on the eve of the African Union summit in Egypt.

"The torture camps are still in place, and since the beginning of July three
supporters of the MDC have been murdered by ZANU-PF militia and war veterans
at the torture camps. Several women, including a 70-year-old grandmother and
a 15-year-old girl, have been gang-raped, while beatings and displacements
continue. People are being forced to donate goats, cattle and women to the
bases to avoid being victims."

Rape was being used as a "deplorable" weapon against those perceived as not
supporting ZANU-PF, and "In many instances, the victims cannot remember the
number of people who raped them but it is usually more than 20, and that
increases the chances of infecting the victims with HIV/AIDS," Muchauraya

"The perpetrators ... also expose themselves to infection, which could have
a significant impact on reversing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic."

Muchauraya said "the siege" by government supporters was an attempt to
change the political culture and thinking in rural areas, and that rather
than being dismantled, "more torture camps are being established."

During the independence war against white rule, the rural areas were the
bastion of support for Zimbabwe's guerrilla armies, and the rural vote
against the ruling ZANU-PF in the recent elections was seen as an insult by
the country's ruling elite, according to political analysts.

"The international community has rejected the 27 June circus, in which
Robert Mugabe contested against himself and declared himself the winner.
ZANU-PF is subjugating everybody, so that if another election is called, and
even if it was free and fair, people would vote for ZANU-PF out of fear,"
Muchauraya said.

Social welfare minister Nicholas Goche told IRIN the upsurge in violence was
a consequence of the MDC attacking their own supporters in a bid to create
sympathy among the international community.

"The MDC stage-managed these developments in order to coincide with the G8
summit [in Japan] so that Zimbabwe is put on the agenda. The idea is to give
the impression that there is increasing political violence and that people
are still being beaten, but all that is false."

In reaction to Goche's comment, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told IRIN: "As
the MDC, we are deeply concerned by the upsurge in political violence,
especially in the countryside. We are overwhelmed by the number of
internally displaced persons who continue to flock to our offices.

"War veterans and ZANU-PF militia are behind these attacks. We have
information that the torture chambers have not been dismantled and that new
ones are being set up," he said.

Apparatus of violence

A "demobilised" member of ZANU-PF's youth militia, who declined to be
identified, told IRIN that only the militia bases in urban areas were being

"Some of my colleagues have relocated to rural areas to set up new bases or
join existing ones. They have launched Operation Makazviitirei [Operation
Why Did You Ever Vote for the MDC]," he said. This operation has been
running since ZANU-PF lost the general elections on 29 March.

"On the eve of voting [in the presidential runoff on 27 June] we mobilised
all the people to spend the night at an all-night vigil, so that they would
go straight from the base to the polling station. Our base commander, a
serving soldier who is a war veteran, was in charge, and the same appeared
to be the case with other bases.

"Unfortunately, the lines of communication are so vague that some of my
colleagues, who had not been officially told to stop mobilising the people,
have been severely beaten up by the police and army for political violence,"
he said.

ZANU-PF has mobilised the three main pillars of the party: the Youth League,
which also contains the Youth Brigade; the Women's League; and its Main
Wing, comprised of male ZANU-PF members.

The Youth Brigade has been wearing uniforms since the 1980s, but in 2000,
after Mugabe launched the fast-track land reform programme to redistribute
white commercial farmland to landless blacks, ZANU-PF established a National
Youth Service. Its graduates - also known as the Green Bombers because they
dress in green fatigues - combined with the Youth Brigade and are
collectively called the ZANU-PF youth militia.

These young people fight against opposition activists and were responsible
for rounding up and frog-marching people to "re-education and re-orientation
bases", known as torture camps by the MDC, the youth militia member told

He said youth militia were never accepted into the party hierarchy, as these
positions were the preserve of "old men and women".

The militia bases were usually established in schools or clinics and were
under the overall command of veterans of Zimbabwe's liberation war, or
serving members of the army or security services, he said.

The youth militia member said all-night vigils were held, during which those
brought to the bases were made to sing liberation songs and chant praises to
Mugabe, and to publicly "confess" to being opposition members and then
denounce the MDC.


This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or
its agencies.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

EU lawmakers criticize Mugabe, call for opposition to lead unity government

International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: July 9, 2008

STRASBOURG, France: EU lawmakers criticized President Robert Mugabe of
Zimbabwe on Wednesday for human rights abuses, ahead of a vote that was
expected call for tighter sanctions against senior members of his regime.

"Unchecked state sponsored brutality and violence and savagery has to stop,"
said British Socialist Glenys Kinnock.

Irish member Eoin Ryan called Mugabe "a murderous thug."

A draft resolution up for vote by the European Union assembly Thursday urges
the international community, including other African nations, to refuse to
recognize Mugabe's re-election on June 27 in a vote where he stood alone
after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out following attacks on
his followers.

The draft calls for the setting up of a transitional administration with a
mandate to halt violence and prepare the way for fresh elections. EU
Development Commissioner Louis Michel said Tsvangirai should lead the
transitional government.

"We shall use any means we have for exerting pressure to get a government
led by Mr. Tsvangirai," said Michel, who added that he'd spoken to the
opposition leader shortly before addressing the parliament.
"Mr. Tsvangirai said he was in favor of a national union government, but he
should have the last word in saying who should be a member," Michel said,
adding Tsvangirai also wanted a U.N. and African Union negotiating team to
prepare for the transitional government.

Tsvangirai has said he would not participate in talks about forming a
governing accord with Mugabe's government unless an additional mediator was
appointed besides South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Tsvangirai has called on Mbeki to step down from his mediation role, saying
his refusal to publicly criticize Mugabe amounts to appeasement.

Michel said the EU would immediately free up an aid package for Zimbabwe, if
Tsvangirai comes to power.

The EU draft "deeply regrets" South Africa's refusal to declare the election
illegitimate in the U.N. Security Council and calls for players other than
Mbeki to be brought into the mediation process.

Without progress to halt violence, the draft says the EU should push for UN
sanctions, including an arms embargo and a freeze of assets of the
government and ruling party leadership.

The 27 EU nations already apply such sanctions, but the parliament draft
says they should be extended to include business people bankrolling the
regime. It says EU nations should also stop granting visas allowing Mugabe
to attend international meetings.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UK House of Lords parliamentary debate

The Zimbabwean

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 07:53
UK Parliament House of Lords- Tuesday 8 July 2008 ,Zimbabwe

Lord Blaker asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress they have made at the United Nations on securing
international action on the situation in Zimbabwe.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord
Malloch-Brown): My Lords, the UK strongly supports the draft UN Security
Council resolution tabled by the United States which introduces targeted
measures against the Zimbabwean regime. That is currently under discussion
and will be a further powerful expression of the international community's
concern about the crisis in Zimbabwe, already expressed in the UN Security
Council presidential statement of 23 June.

Lord Blaker: My Lords, if South Africa was to join in support of that
resolution, would that not impose a travel ban on Robert Mugabe and 11 of
his cronies? What would that mean in practical terms? Will it bring to an
end the distasteful spectacle of Mugabe gallivanting around the world
visiting UN conferences?

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, we will have to wait to see the final
words of the resolution but our purpose is to make sure that Robert Mugabe
and his henchmen can no longer leave Zimbabwe. The resolution also intends
to make sure that their banking assets and properties, wherever they hold
them in the world, are subject to seizure. The purpose of this resolution is
to tighten a global noose around an illegitimate regime.

Lord Anderson of Swansea: My Lords, what has been the response of
African countries to the clear warning from the G8 issued just recently that
their own interests will be adversely affected if they do not adopt more
robust opposition to the Zimbabwean regime?

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, I assure my noble friend that my own
visit to the AU summit last week convinced me that few African Governments
do not fully share our view that this regime is not legitimate and that for
the sake of Africa as well as the people of Zimbabwe it must be brought to
an end as soon as possible. The disagreement, as always, is about how to
achieve that, with a certain caution still about reinforcing diplomacy with
sanctions. We have made it clear both at the G8 meeting today in Japan and
in the Security Council that we have reached the point where negotiations
must now be backed by the teeth of sanctions.

Lord Avebury: My Lords, will the noble Lord seek to ensure that the
final texts of the Security Council resolution and the G8 insist that no
interim Government be formed of which Mugabe is a part? Secondly, does he
not see some incongruity between the Foreign Secretary addressing 2,000
victims of Mugabe's terrorism in Johannesburg while at the same time the
Home Secretary is causing letters to be sent to their counterparts in the UK
cutting off their benefits and forcing them to return to Harare?

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, I am glad the noble Lord raised that
last point. I would see a large incongruity in that situation and am pleased
to be able to reassure him that nobody is being returned against their will
to Zimbabwe at this time. The Home Office is looking at what steps it can
take to help support those who, because of circumstances in Zimbabwe, are
forced to stay here.

Lord Alton of Liverpool: My Lords, has the noble Lord seen the reports
in today's newspapers that rape is being increasingly used, often leading to
HIV infection, as a weapon of war against supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change? Does he recall our recent exchanges about the possibility
of referring these many crimes against humanity to the International
Criminal Court, overcoming the technical objections he said might exist in
doing that?

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, unlike six months ago, there is now no
doubt that Mr Mugabe and those around him have committed crimes which
deserve referral to the ICC. In the past, the crimes were of such ancient
origin that they preceded the establishment of the court and were not
covered by it. Any referral of a non-signatory such as Zimbabwe would be via
the UN Security Council. At this stage, the Security Council is seized with
sanctions. If the object of those sanctions-a change of Government in
Zimbabwe-is not achieved, I suspect that this is one of several steps we
would want to bring to the council as a possible next round of pressure.

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, we are all agreed what should
ideally be part of the response to this appalling situation in Zimbabwe, as
quiet diplomacy finally fades and Zimbabwe slides into a gangster state. I
have two practical questions for the Minister on what we are doing and
perhaps what we should have been doing long ago. We have been arguing for a
long time that we need to assemble, or encourage the assembly of, an
international package for the recovery of Zimbabwe on the other side of
Mugabe. Have we made any progress with that? It is important that it is put
in place as soon as possible. Secondly, exactly what advice are we giving to
major companies planning new investment in Zimbabwe? There appears to be a
bit of ambiguity about that, and a clear lead is required.

Lord Malloch-Brown: My Lords, I welcome the opportunity to clarify
both points. On the first, planning has been led by the World Bank and other
multilateral institutions, and has been co-ordinated on the bilateral side
by Sweden, to make sure that plans are in place for the hoped-for period of
recovery of the country. There has been an estimate that that would cost at
least $1 billion a year for five years. Not having seen the books of
Zimbabwe, that is still a bit of a rough estimate. There is no doubt that
any new Government will face an immediate crisis in trying to establish
their political authority while ending a hyperinflation running at millions
of per cent. That would make ruling Weimar Germany look positively easy by

Secondly, we are trying to be very clear with companies, specifically
on new investment. I can give a very simple answer; we would discourage any
company from undertaking new investment at this time on political,
commercial and ethical grounds. If there was more time, I would be happy to
provide the noble Lord with the arguments that we are making on sanctions,
which, at their simplest, remain about how we can target the companies and
individuals around Mr Mugabe, while protecting the people at large. Not all
the activities of every British company fall into the second category. Some
preserve jobs and well-being for Zimbabweans without directly supporting the

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Use law to remove Mugabe - Clegg

9 July 2008

Following reports of a British-US draft UN Security Council resolution on
Zimbabwe, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has called on the Government to
toughen the proposal and include the threat of International Criminal Court
action against Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF inner circle, unless they leave
office within six months.

Currently, Zimbabwe is not a party to the Statute of the International
Criminal Court (ICC), putting Mugabe and his henchmen outside the reach of
international prosecutors.

However, the United Nations Security Council can, by a resolution, bring any
situation within the locus of the ICC, as it did in 2005 for Darfur. The
Court's Prosecutor could then investigate allegations of torture and other
international crimes in Zimbabwe.

Commenting, Nick Clegg said:

"The draft proposals are welcome, but targeted sanctions have been tried
before and found wanting. The UN must go further if real pressure is to be
applied to Mugabe and his henchmen.

"If they knew that they would be arrested and face prosecution until their
dying day, merely by stepping out of Zimbabwe, it would certainly focus
ZANU-PF minds.

"Britain should now work with African states to mount a diplomatic offensive
at the UN to win support for this powerful legal threat. What we are talking
about is the ultimate eviction notice.

"The Security Council resolution should focus on individual responsibility
for the crimes that have taken place in Zimbabwe.

"Mugabe has used brutal force to cheat his way out of democratic judgement.
If he refuses to go, or if his henchmen refuse to push him, then we must
make sure he can't escape legal judgement.

"While we must also push for tougher sanctions, it is time to use the law."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Lord Digby Jones slams South African leadership over Robert Mugabe

The Telegraph

By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg
Last Updated: 6:10PM BST 09/07/2008
South Africa needs to "step up to the plate" over Zimbabwe if the country
wants to earn a seat at the world's "top table", a government minister has
In the strongest official criticism yet of Thabo Mbeki's policy of "quiet
diplomacy", Lord Digby Jones, the trade minister, who is on a mission to
South Africa, departed from the government's official script of merely
calling for an African Union envoy to supplement the South African
president's mediation.

"I'm a fellow of Unicef, I'm a member of the human race who is seeing the
tragedy of Zimbabwe and the one nation that can do something about it is
failing in the way it's applying its policy," he said.

"People are dying, violence is endemic. It's perfectly clear that attempts
at dialogue are failing because the person you are trying to have dialogue
with will talk day in, day out for the rest of time without doing anything.

"South Africa must step up to the plate and bring about a solution to the
Zimbabwe issue. It's clear that the leadership in South Africa's policy of
what they have called quiet diplomacy has not worked. The people of Zimbabwe
have spoken and their wishes have been ignored."
South Africa is among the nations who are seeking a permanent seat on the UN
Security Council if and when it its numbers are increased, and would be a
candidate to join an expanded G8, he pointed out.

"South Africa has every chance in the world of having permanence at that top
table that would be so important for the people of the African continent.
When you get to the top table of anything in life it brings

Lord Jones, a former director-general of the CBI, who went on anti-apartheid
demonstrations in London in his youth, said it was not for him to prescribe
what measures South Africa should take, but its policy had to change.

"Zimbabwe has to have an African solution, not just for the historical
reasons and the so-called colonial resons, also because if a strong
confident African is going to mean anything in the 21st century she has to
sort out her own problems.

"It's South Africa's moment, she has the chance to shine on the world stage
and show that Africa can solve its own problems.

"The current leadership in South Africa doesn't seem to show that it
understands that the world is watching and the world has lost patience with
the current policy.

"The international temperature needs to be raised because history proves
that bullies crumble quickly."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The Olympic factor!

Zimbabwe Today

Why China may finally agree to action against Mugabe

Leaders of the G8, the group of industrialised nations currently meeting in
Japan, are calling for additional sanctions and United Nations action
against the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe - and this time even China may join

The G8, in a strongly worded statement, has demanded that new sanctions
target individual Zimbabwean leaders, and for a special UN Security Council
envoy to be sent to Zimbabwe to report on the situation.

In the past China could be expected to veto any such Security Council
action. But observers now believe that it would not wish to appear so
isolated on the world stage in the year that it is hosting the Olympic

The G8 statement was remarkably plain and unequivocal. In part it read: "We
do not accept the legitimacy of any government that does not reflect the
will of the Zimbabwean people."

Russia's signature to the statement also marks a decided shift in that
country's position. Previously it has refused to support sanctions against

The call for a UN mediator reflects a general opinion amongst the G8 nations
that the efforts of South African president Thabo Mbeki, much derided within
Zimbabwe, have been inadequate.

The G8 statement calls for specific sanctions against 12 individuals it
believes are responsible for the violence that has characterised Mugabe's
regime. The sanctions would include a block on all international travel,
plus action to track down and freeze any assets they hold outside Zimbabwe.

Who are the 12? Moses Moyo has great pleasure in listing them, coupled with
the warning that for them, the day of reckoning may finally be at hand:

Robert Mugabe, President. Constantine Chiwenga, Defence Forces commander.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, rural housing minister.  Gideon Gono, Reserve Bank head.
Augustine Chihuri, police chief. Patrick Chinamasa, justice minister.
Perence Shiri, Air Force chief. David Parirenyatwa, health minister. Didymus
Mutasa, security and lands minister. George Charamba, presidential
spokesman. Paradzi Zimondi, prison service chief. Happyton Bonyongwe,
Central Intelligence Organisation head.

Posted on Wednesday, 09 July 2008 at 06:50

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tyrant thrives as world looks away

The Australian

Michael Kroger | July 10, 2008

A DECADE or so ago a prominent Australian feature writer asked me who I
thought would be an interesting international figure to interview. One that
would "make a splash". "Idi Amin," I replied.

Some months later, the feature writer telephoned to say that he gathered
Amin was no longer doing interviews. "Pity," he told me, as he'd written the
first paragraph of the article in his mind and it had to be consigned to his
file he called "my best stories never written".

Pressed to reveal the opening paragraph, he replied: "I met Idi Amin, his
wife and children in a Jeddah supermarket last Wednesday. It was good to see
his wife upand well. The only one he hadn't eaten!"

Amin's downfall followed his unwise decision to invade Tanzania in 1978. It
was met with superior force and Amin was forced from office by the invading
Tanzanians in April 1979.

Amin was a butcher of extraordinary proportions. Tens of thousands of his
countrymen were murdered by his secret security forces, euphemistically
known as the Public Safety Unit and the Bureau of State Research. There must
be veterans of the PSU and BSR still alive today lamenting the good old days
under the rule of Amin. However, they are surely consoled by the leadership
of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, a man in Amin's image.

The world doesn't seem to doubt that before the recent election in Zimbabwe,
Opposition politicians and their supporters were variously murdered, beaten,
tortured and raped by the ruling ZANU-PF and its supporters.

The 30-year friendship between South African President Thabo Mbeki and
Mugabe is the reason Mbeki was the wrong person to be appointed to mediate
Zimbabwe's conflict. Mbeki has refused to criticise Mugabe throughout the
Zimbabwean crisis, nor has South Africa seriously attempted to put economic
pressure on Zimbabwe despite the obvious butchery of Mugabe's regime.
Mbeki's policy of "quiet diplomacy" is a synonym for inaction. Many reasons
are advanced as to why Mbeki and the South African Government have backed
Mugabe. The likeliest is that, just like the African National Congress,
Mugabe and ZANU-PF were successful in their liberation struggles against
white rule.

Nothing came out of the African Union summit at the Red Sea resort Sharm El
Sheikh and nothing came of Kenya and Botswana's demands that Zimbabwe be
suspended from the African Union.

But it is little wonder that Mugabe takes no notice of his African brothers.
Algeria, Libya, Sudan and Tunisia are often condemned for human rights
violations, Eritrea is run by dictatorship, vote rigging plagued recent
elections in Nigeria, and numerous murders disrupted elections in Kenya and
Ethiopia. No wonder Mugabe said before the African Union summit: "I'm going
to go to that AU summit. I want to see whose finger there is clean."

The response by Mugabe to African and international outrage at his behaviour
is the same self-determination argument used by many despots through the

"Our people, our people, only our people will decide and nobody else," he

Before the ballot, Mugabe said: "Only God, who appointed me, will remove me.
Not the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change), not the British; only God will
remove me."

The UN Security Council took only limp-wristed action, issuing a one-page
statement calling on the government of Zimbabwe to allow rallies and to free
political prisoners. It said it regretted the campaign of violence and the
restrictions on the political opposition in Zimbabwe. Powerful stuff.

Meanwhile, 40,000 turned up in London's Hyde Park to celebrate Nelson
Mandela's 90th birthday. Amy Winehouse and Annie Lennox were among those who
sang. Bono recorded a happy birthday tribute. Actor Will Smith hosted the
event, which came 20 years after a 70th birthday concert was held at Wembley
stadium to press South Africa's apartheid government to free Mandela.

With the worldwide publicity given to recent events in Zimbabwe, one would
have thought that international demonstrations against Mugabe would abound.
I scoured newspapers of the world for reports of demonstrations outside the
Zimbabwean embassies and consulates across the world, or those of the South
African Government. I looked for evidence of demonstrations outside the UN
headquarters in New York. I searched for reports of widespread
demonstrations in the streets of London, Paris, Berlin or Washington against
the brutality of the Mugabe regime. Surely some of those who opposed white
rule in South Africa and what was then Rhodesia would be similarly repulsed
by the butchery of Mugabe and his supporters.

But where are the peaceniks, the greens, the anti-war demonstrators, the
churches, the democrats, the human rights activists and others who committed
so much energy to freeing South Africa and Zimbabwe from oppressive rule a
generation ago? Where are those tens of thousands who marched against the
war in Iraq? Are they not revolted by the behaviour of Mugabe and his thugs?
There are no reports of demonstrations, sit-ins, hunger strikes and peace

Is silence consent? The streets are empty, the embassies are left in peace.
No traffic has been stopped, no one is chained to embassy fences, no flags
of protest are waving. Apparently Mandela's birthday concert was free of any
mention, let alone condemnation, of Mugabe.

Could it possibly be that the international Left pays no attention to
criticising Mugabe because he is seen as anti-Western and anti-US? Surely
someone on the Left somewhere in the world is outraged at the Mugabe
Government's behaviour? Surely the Screen Actors Guild in the US is appalled
by Mugabe. But where are the full-page advertisements signed by Cate
Blanchett, Susan Sarandon and their ilk? A cynic may be forgiven for
thinking that with no chance to criticise the US, Britain and the West by
opposing Mugabe, opposing him is of no interest to them.

If the UN is powerless, African nations will do nothing and the West can't
and won't intervene for a whole host of reasons, could the Tanzanians be
roused for one last act of international decency on behalf of the rest of
the world?

Michael Kroger is a former president of the Victorian Liberal Party and a
Melbourne-based merchant banker.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Newspapers Fight 'Luxury' Tax in Zimbabwe

By Wan Press.
The World Association of Newspapers and World Editors Forum have called for
the repeal of a punitive "luxury" tax on newspapers that are imported into
Zimbabwe, which is preventing independent newspapers from reaching their

The tax was imposed in early June in the run-up to the widely condemned
presidential election won by Robert Mugabe after his opponent quit the race
in the face of escalating violence against his supporters. It aims to reduce
the influence of South African-based news sources, which have been extremely
important to Zimbabweans.

"Restricting access to information by punitive taxation constitutes a clear
breach of the right to freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by
numerous international conventions, including the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights," the Paris-based WAN and WEF, which represent 18,000
newspapers world-wide, said in a letter to President Mugabe.

The two organisations called on Mugabe to remove the luxury tax on foreign
publications and to end state intimidation of the independent media. All
domestic independent newspapers and broadcasters in Zimbabwe are banned.

The letter to the President said:

"We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and the
World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 102 countries,
to call on you to immediately lift the punitive "luxury" tax imposed on
imported newspapers, magazines and periodicals, which is clearly aimed at
preventing independent newspapers from reaching the people of Zimbabwe.

"On 8 June, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported that all "foreign
newspapers sold in Zimbabwe will now have to pay import duty, as the
government moves to protect Zimbabwean media space". The newspaper went on
to say that this move is meant to curb the entry into the country of what it
called "hostile foreign newspapers".

"All foreign publications are now classed as luxury goods and therefore
attract import duty at 40 percent. The tax appears to be particularly aimed
at South African-based news sources, which have been extremely important to
Zimbabweans. All domestic independent newspapers and broadcasters in
Zimbabwe are banned.

"The Zimbabwean, a twice-weekly newspaper printed in South Africa for
distribution in Zimbabwe, has been forced to pay almost USD20,000 per week
and is reducing its circulation from 200,000 copies to 60,000 as a result.

"The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority refused to release a consignment of 60,000
copies of the 19 June issue of The Zimbabwean. This followed the burning of
60 000 copies of The Zimbabwean on Sunday on 25 May.

"We respectfully remind you that restricting access to information by
punitive taxation constitutes a clear breach of the right to freedom of
expression, which is guaranteed by numerous international conventions,
including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the
Declaration states: 'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and
expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through
any media, regardless of frontiers.'

"We respectfully call on you to remove the luxury tax on foreign
publications and to end state intimidation of the independent media. We urge
you to take all necessary steps to ensure that in future your country fully
respects international standards of freedom of information."

WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and
promotes press freedom and the professional and business interests of
newspapers world-wide. Representing 18,000 newspapers, its membership
includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and
individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 11
regional and world-wide press groups.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

G8 sanctions against Zimbabwe won't work

Further restrictions could backfire and reunite African leaders behind
Mugabe in the face of an interfering west

Blessing-Miles Tendi,
Wednesday July 9, 2008

After the EU imposed targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe's
administration in 2002, Tanzania issued the following statement:

  As you have heard about Zimbabwe and the EU's decision to impose
sanctions, it seems they want to divide Africa at Brussels in 2002 just as
they did in Berlin in 1884. Africa must be prepared to say no! I want to
tell the Zimbabweans that we are supporting them on this matter.

South Africa did not welcome the EU sanctions either. A political adviser to
the former Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo, remarked: "They seem to want
Mugabe's head delivered on a platter of gold."

An Africa-Europe summit for leaders of both continents, scheduled for April
2003 in Lisbon, was deferred repeatedly because an EU travel ban on Mugabe
meant he could not attend. African leaders refused to countenance Mugabe's
exclusion. For four years, in spite of EU overtures, African leaders were
unyielding in their stance that they would not attend the Lisbon summit if
Mugabe was barred. It finally took place in December 2007, with Mugabe as an
invited head of state amid British-led disquiet over Mugabe's attendance.

That is the history of Africa's response to western targeted sanctions
against the Mugabe government, and one would have thought that the G8 would
be informed by this history going into the summit. However, they chose to
disregard it. The leaders gave attending African leaders a dressing down for
failing to "deal" with Mugabe, and chose to press ahead with targeted
sanctions via the UN security council - despite the fact that all the
African countries invited to the G8 summit were opposed to sanctions. This
division risks playing into what Mugabe has been preaching about all along:
that he is in a fight against an imperialist west.

Mugabe's spin doctors in Harare will make the most of events at the G8
summit, and the possibility of more sanctions may have the effect of
producing more resolve and hostility on Mugabe's part. Indeed, there already
exists a hardened nationalist faction of the Zanu-PF ruling elites and
members of the Joint Operations Command aligned with Mugabe who understand
western interference as being aimed at "regime change". Moreover, the
existing sanctions have given Mugabe a false pretext for explaining
Zimbabwe's economic decline. Increasing them will provide him with a
convenient scapegoat for the current acceleration in the country's economic

The G8's condemnation and targeted sanctions would command more authority if
the same human rights standards were applied everywhere evenly, which is not
the case. And the moral authority of G8 members such as Britain and America,
who have been most vocal about Mugabe's undemocratic re-election, is at its
lowest ebb since September 11, largely because of the illegitimate 2003
invasion of Iraq. Few, if any, countries still look up to these two states
as champions of human rights and democracy.

The G8 is enthusiastic about imposing sanctions against an undemocratic
African government, but is less enthusiastic about meeting its aid
commitments to Africa, as emerged from this year's summit. These
inconsistencies further undermine its human rights and democracy promotion
agenda in Africa.

Should the G8's sanctions bid succeed, it may reunite African leaders behind
Mugabe, even as many of them recognise his illegitimacy.



  a.. waazpi
  Jul 09 08, 07:26pm (43 minutes ago)

  There was a good article by a New York Times columnist about two weeks ago

  If Only Mugabe Were White

  In that article he gave two options to get Mugabe out of power.

  The first option is to bribe him to leave office while allowing him to
save face by claiming he's doing it for medical reasons. He suggests letting
him retire in South Africa with a bank account worth about five million

  The second option, suggested by Robert Mugabe himself in the 1970s during
his attempt to get rid of Ian Smith, is to make the sanctions worse. This
can be done by getting Mozambique, South Africa and the Congo to cut off all
electricity supplies to Zimbabwe. Kristof also suggests getting African
leaders to back an indictment of him and his aides in the International
Criminal Court.

  Either of those options may work but perhaps paying him to leave and
allowing him to save face would be the quickest option.

    a.. Recommend? (1)
    b.. Report abuse
    c.. Clip |
    d.. Link
  a..  Brazilian
  Jul 09 08, 07:45pm (25 minutes ago)

  Well, Mr Tendi, you seem to want African leaders to be treated like
children. Come on! You know that I know that you know that the G8 has no
imperialistic agenda whatsoever. I can't believe you don't see the irony in
using the expression 'regime change' in connection with Robert Mugabe on
July the 9th 2008. What do you mean by regime change? From tyranny to
democracy? Why should anybody be sorry about such a wonderful regime change?
And, Mr Tendi, why is it that Morgan Tsvangirai is not entitled to the same
respect bestowed upon Robert Mugabe by the big abstract word Africa? Because
the West likes him? Or is it because Zimbabweans like him? Do you like him,
Mr Tendi? Do you think he is African enough? What about Nelson Mandela? The
West loves Nelson Mandela. Why can't the black folks in Zimbabwe be free as
well? Is it because they are black? Is it because they are not black enough?
Is it because Mugabe isn't white even though he drinks tea at five and wears
European clothes and sports a preposterous Hitler moustache?

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Police drop case over unpublished story

9th Jul 2008 13:45 GMT

By a Correspondent

PLUMTREE - Police here have dropped the case against Kholwani Nyathi a
Bulawayo-based correspondent with The Standard privately owned weekly who
they wanted to question over an unpublished story he had investigated
following a visit to the south-western border town.

Nyathi was ordered to present himself at the police station by Plumtree
officer- in- charge law and order section Assistant Inspector Sifelani and
duly did so in the company of his lawyer, Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, on 7 July

Davison Maruziva, the editor of The Standard, told MISA-Zimbabwe that the
police had recorded his accreditation details and said the case was over.

According to Maruziva, the police wanted to question the reporter on what
became of the story he had been investigating following his visit to the
area before the presidential election runoff elections held on 27 June 2008.

Maruziva said he had been told by Sergeant Mudenda of the police law and
order section in Plumtree that the people who had been interviewed by Nyathi
were wondering as to what had happened because the story had not been

The editor said he subsequently provided the police with details of Nyathi's
accreditation including the Harare telephone numbers of the MIC for further
verification of the information supplied.

The police still insisted that Nyathi should present himself at Plumtree
police station. Maruziva described the police actions as downright
harassment and intimidation of journalists going about their lawful duties.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Of a Plundered Civilization

  What is going on in Zimbabwe right now is a serious indictment on the more
than twelve million citizens of Zimbabwe for failing to stand up for the
mutual defense of their rights and freedoms which have been trampled upon by
the Mugabe regime. We watched as the regime entrenched itself year after
year since 1980 until it blossomed into becoming this monster that we see
today. We let them create fiefdoms that have come to haunt us. There is no
doubt that this current phase of deceptive politics smacking of
Machiavellianism, is coming to an abrupt end even though its architects are
still deluded into thinking that they will forever rule Zimbabwe. Remember
the late (let us emphasize ‘late’) Vice-President Muzenda used to boast that
the regime will rule ‘kusvika madhongi amera nyanga’ (literally translating
to ‘until donkeys grow horns’) oblivious of the fact that nothing lasts
forever and that Zanu PF’s defeat was imminent irrespective of how many
elections they were bent on stealing.
 It is our blind faith in politicians that has made us despots across
nations where we are not wanted. We have all seen the humanitarian crisis
that the Mugabe rule has created. The health delivery system is in total
collapse, mass-starvation is looming as the nation fails to feed itself,
political violence has caused hundreds of deaths and severe injuries, influx
of refugees across the borders and the barbaric xenophobic killings of
fellow citizens in South Africa bear testimony to a plundered civilization
and a return to primitivism.
 Even though the defenseless citizens continue to be pounced upon by Mugabe’s
heartless hangmen, shameless rapists, seasoned torturers and abductors, the
day of reckoning is coming. We will all have an opportunity to sit back and
listen to the tales of horror narrated by our present tormentors as they
give an account of all the atrocities they committed. It is incumbent upon
each citizen now to gather as much evidence of the abuses as possible so as
to hold the perpetrators accountable. There is need for a vibrant and
vigilant citizenry. From human rights lawyers, journalists, private
investigators, to teachers and preachers, let them quietly pen every abuse
that is being committed by the regime. There has never been an urgent need
for journalists (trained and self made alike) like now. With the advent of
the internet information can be disseminated very rapidly. Right now it is a
fact that most people in Zimbabwe are kept in the dark because the regime
muzzled freedom of the press, thanks in part to Jonathan Moyo’s ‘heroic’
efforts to quash voice of dissent during his five year tenure as the regime’s
information boss. Can you imagine what goes on in those Zanu PF camps manned
by the Green Bombers? If we had at least one hidden camera for each of the
2000 plus camps then the world would be better informed about the evils of
the Mugabe regime. Maybe we need to launch a “Donate a Camera for Zimbabwe’
 The whole idea of forcibly removing Ian Smith from power was centered
around the need to create a society that upholds the respect for human
rights, establishment of  democracy, and the realization of peace and
prosperity for all citizens. For over half a century, the citizens have
lived under two dictatorships in a row (Smith and Mugabe combined). Then the
question will arise, which one of the two dictatorships was better? That
will be for academics to answer but citizens will have a not-so-surprising
answer. They might very well say Smith was better compared to Mugabe who has
taken everything away from them (even that which they did not have). There
is no doubt that the crisis will be upon us probably for some time to come.
In the not-so-distant future another revolution will spark to fight for the
very same goals that led to the ouster of Smith. The regime fails to
recognize that the human spirit will not rest until justice is done. Through
the ballot box, people have already said no to this regime. They will say it
again even louder in one form or another!
 Never again should we put our faith in these politicians. Mbeki, or Mugabe
should not determine our destiny. The power lies in us, the citizens who
should determine who best serves our interests.. We need to stop them from
lying to us under the guise of nationalism or some form of misplaced
jingoism that we have been fed before. They claim to represent us yet we
know that they represent their own selfish interests. Together as a nation
we have an urgent obligation to unwaveringly renew our commitment to the
cause of freedom that the very gallant liberators like Josiah Tongogora
sacrificed their lives for. We cannot live in the past and continue to
embrace their colonial rhetoric which is being used to cover up for their
corruption, economic mismanagement and  to justify political suppression. We
have new war frontiers that are more menacing than the mere possession of
land for subsistence agriculture which has always been a victim of erratic
rains of Africa. The fight against poverty  and disease should be the number
one priority of the next President (deservedly, Morgan Tsvangirai).
Political oppression and repression are natural causes that will be dealt
with head-on. As highlighted in our last article, it is the economy stupid that is making
the rebirth of Zimbabwe imminent. The country is ungovernable and we know
change is knocking!
This is the time to start new civic groups, political movements and pressure
groups that serve the purpose of safeguarding our freedoms. Never again
shall we take our freedoms for granted!

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe: the ultimate mining frontier?

Investors Chronicle

  9 July 2008
  Written by:
  Martin Li
Recent research by broker Ambrian argues that as the dust settles in
Zimbabwe, large companies will be able to operate effectively in the
country - notwithstanding a likely leadership change and unfavourable mining

Zimbabwe has highly attractive geology. It was once Africa's second-largest
gold producer and is also highly prospective in platinum, nickel and
ferrochrome. But, as demonstrated by the current state of the industry,
Ambrian analyst Dr Brock Salier sees no future for mining in Zimbabwe as
long as President Mugabe remains in power. Dr Salier highlights the
Indigenisation and Empowerment Bill (51 per cent indigenous ownership) and
the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill (25 per cent free-carry to
government - yet to pass into law) as key threats.

Ambrian believes it likely that there will be new leadership of Zimbabwe.
With an uncertain long-term tenure for most Zimbabwean politicians, Dr
Salier expects any new administration to focus on short-term gain over
long-term economic growth. This should be good news, since mining has the
capacity to drive the rapid growth the country so badly needs.

Close political ties to ruling politicians are essential for any aspiring
miner, which suggests that CAMEC and Anglo American - which have both made
recent investments - have connections at senior government level that offer
security of tenure.

Public perception is also critical. Rio Tinto is very conscious of public
opinion, not least because of its UK pension fund shareholders, and has
stated it won't invest in Zimbabwe "until the situation stabilises". Dr
Salier argues that Anglo American, which is currently "reconsidering" its
investment, has more to lose than to gain, and will follow Rio Tinto's lead
and halt investment in the country.

Dr Salier identifies the potential big winners as junior mining companies,
whose long-standing commitment may stand them in good stead over the coming
months. CAMEC has historical ties with Zimbabwe and other hardened African
operators, including Mwana Africa, Central African Gold and Aquarius
Platinum, are also likely to be keen to get involved.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe adds to World Cup challenge

July 9, 2008

JOHANNESBURG - Political turmoil in neighbouring Zimbabwe was adding to a
long list of problems South Africa faced in its preparation for the 2010
World Cup finals, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday.

“The situation in Zimbabwe has to be solved quickly. What is happening there
is definitely terrible,” Valcke told a media briefing in Johannesburg on

“It would have been nice for South Africa with all the other challenges they
are facing not to have the problem of Zimbabwe on top of it all.”

Valcke said FIFA backed various international initiatives to resolve the
political impasse following the contested elections that returned president
Robert Mugabe to power last month.

“We add our voice to concerns and we fully support what is being done by all
international organisations.”

But Valcke said he was unsure what the effect of possible international
sanctions might be on Zimbabwe’s national team, who are involved in 2010
World Cup qualifiers.

“Their national association has done nothing wrong. This would be something
we would have to discuss with the United Nations. We do have links with some
international bodies but for the time being I can tell you we have made no
decision on Zimbabwe.”

Valcke said the list of organisational challenges in South Africa for the
2010 tournament, which kicks off in 700 days from Thursday, remained long.

On Tuesday organisers decided to drop Port Elizabeth as one of the venues
for the Confederations Cup, an eight-team test event to be played next June.

The city had promised to complete their new Nelson Mandela Bay stadium by
March but the South Africa 2010 World Cup Organising Committee said this was

“It is a challenge to deliver a brand new stadium and if our main goal is to
succeed in 2010 then it was a good idea to remove it from the 2009
tournament,” Valcke said.

“We would rather drop them from the list than have to play in an uncompleted
stadium. It is not the image we want to send out before 2010″.

Valcke said he was considering increasing the frequency of his trips to the
country from two monthly to monthly to help ensure South Africa would be

Back to the Top
Back to Index