By Staff | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 9, 2008 16:31
The Security Council,
Affirming its commitment to the independence and territorial integrity
Reaffirming the statement of its President of 23 June 2008 concerning
the situation in Zimbabwe (S/PRST/2008/23),
Reaffirming the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document that acknowledges
that peace and security, development and human rights are the pillars of the
United Nations system and the foundations for collective security and
well-being, and recognizing that development, peace and security and human
rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing,
Recalling the African Union resolution on Zimbabwe of 1 July 2008
which expressed its concern with the loss of life and violence in Zimbabwe,
the need to prevent a worsening of the situation to avoid the spread of the
conflict across the sub-region, the need to create an environment conducive
for democracy, and encouraged Zimbabwean leaders to initiate dialogue with a
view to promoting peace, stability, democracy and reconciliation,
Recalling the statements of the Southern African Development
Community, Pan-African Parliament, and African Union Observer missions to
Zimbabwe on 29 June 2008, which found that the elections fell short of
accepted African Union standards, did not give rise to free, fair or
credible elections, and did not reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people,
Expressing strong concern at the irregularities during the June 27
Presidential election, the violence and intimidation perpetrated in the run
up to the election that made impossible the holding of free and fair
elections, and the creation of an environment that did not permit
international election observers to operate freely before and during the
June 27 vote,
Expressing strong concern over the grave humanitarian situation in
Zimbabwe which has been exacerbated by the Government of Zimbabwe's misuse
of food aid as a political tool and its suspension of humanitarian relief
programs, conducted by international and non-governmental organizations, and
that this suspension is depriving the Zimbabwean people, in particular
vulnerable people, including those displaced by violence and women,
children, and orphans, of basic humanitarian assistance,
Condemning the violence and loss of life that has caused the
displacement of thousands of Zimbabweans, many of whom have been driven to
take refuge in neighboring countries,
Condemning also the arbitrary arrests, restrictions on the right of
assembly, seizure of vehicles, threats, intimidation and violence directed
against supporters of the opposition political party, as well as the
repeated detention of its leaders,
Taking note of the statements and expressions of concern by African
regional organizations and current and former Heads of State about the
impact of the situation in Zimbabwe on the stability of the wider region,
and expressing its grave concern over that impact,
Recognizing that the destabilizing impact of the situation in Zimbabwe
on the wider region is reflected in the burden placed on States in the
region by the presence of Zimbabwean economic migrants and refugees,
Recalling its resolution 1809 (2008) on Peace and Security in Africa,
and reaffirming its support for Southern African Development Community and
African Union efforts to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe in such a way that
reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people as expressed in the March 29
elections, and calling on the Government of Zimbabwe to cooperate with these
Reaffirming its support for the good offices mission of the Secretary
General, led by Assistant Secretary General Haile Menkerios, and expressing
strong support for the continuing efforts of the Secretary General and his
Urging all parties to immediately take the necessary steps to prevent
and put an end to abuses of human rights and underlining that those
responsible for such abuses should be held accountable,
Determining that the situation in Zimbabwe poses a threat to
international peace and security in the region,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Condemns the Government of Zimbabwe's campaign of violence against
the political opposition and the civilian population, which has resulted in
scores of deaths, thousands of injuries, and displacement of thousands of
civilians, making it impossible for a free and fair election to occur, and
expresses strong concern with the decision of the Government of Zimbabwe to
go forward with the June 27 elections;
2. Demands that the Government of Zimbabwe:
(a) Immediately cease attacks against and intimidation of opposition
members and supporters, including those by non-government agents affiliated
with the ZANU-PF party, and in particular end the abuse of human rights,
including widespread beatings, torture, killings, sexual violence, and
displacement, and release all political prisoners;
(b) Begin without delay a substantive and inclusive political dialogue
between the parties with the aim of arriving at a peaceful solution that
reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people and respects the results of the
March 29 elections;
(c) Accept the good offices offered by the African Union, the Southern
African Development Community, and the Secretary General, giving such
representatives full access to the country, security, and all requested
authority over negotiation processes;
(d) Cooperate fully with investigations of the political violence
experienced by the country between March and June, 2008 and hold accountable
those who have carried out abuses of human rights;
(e) End immediately all restrictions on international humanitarian
assistance and support international aid organizations' access to all parts
of the country for distribution of food, medical assistance, and other
3. Requests the Secretary General to appoint as soon as possible an
individual of international standing and expertise to serve as his Special
Representative on the situation in Zimbabwe who would:
(a) support the negotiation process between the political parties in
(b) report to the Council on the political, humanitarian, human rights
and security situation in Zimbabwe;
4. Decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to
prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Zimbabwe, through
their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or
aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of arms or
related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military
vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the
5. Decides also that all Member States shall also take the necessary
measures to prevent any provision to Zimbabwe by their nationals or from
their territories of technical assistance or training, financial assistance,
investment, brokering or other services, and the transfer of financial
resources or services, related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture or
use of the items specified in paragraph 4 above;
6. Decides further that the measures imposed by paragraphs 4 and 5
above shall not apply to:
(a) Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for
humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or
(b) Supplies of protective clothing, including flak jackets and
military helmets, for the personal use of United Nations personnel,
representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and
7. Decides that all States shall take the following measures with
respect to individuals and entities designated in the Annex to this
resolution or designated by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph
10 below as having engaged in or provided support for actions or policies to
undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe, including having
ordered, planned, or participated in acts of politically motivated violence,
or as providing support to individuals or entities designated pursuant to
(a) prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of
these individuals, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall obligate a
State to refuse entry into or require departure from its territory of its
(b) freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and
economic resources that are in their territories on the date of adoption of
this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled,
directly or indirectly, by these individuals or entities, or by individuals
or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and ensure that no
funds, other financial assets or economic resources are made available by
their nationals or by any persons within their territories to or for the
benefit of such individuals or entities;
8. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 7(a) above do not
apply where the Committee determines on a case by case basis that such
travel is justified on the ground of humanitarian need, including religious
obligation, or where the Committee concludes that an exemption would
otherwise further the objectives of this resolution;
9. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 7(b) of this
resolution do not apply to funds, other financial assets or economic
resources that have been determined by relevant States:
(a) to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for
foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes,
insurance premiums, and public utility charges or exclusively for payment of
reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses
associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges,
in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of
frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after
notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to
authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets
or economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the
Committee within three working days of such notification;
(b) to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such
determination has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and
has been approved by the Committee; or
(c) to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien
or judgment, in which case the funds, or other financial assets and economic
resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgment provided that the
lien or judgment was entered prior to the date of the present resolution, is
not for the benefit of a person or entity designated by the Committee
pursuant to paragraph 7 above, and has been notified by the relevant States
to the Committee;
10. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its
provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council
consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following
(a) to seek from all States, in particular those in the region,
information regarding the actions taken by them to implement effectively the
measures referred to in paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 of this resolution and
whatever further information it may consider useful in this regard;
(b) to examine and take appropriate action on information regarding
alleged violations of measures imposed by paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 of this
(c) to designate individuals and entities subject to the measures
imposed by paragraph 7 of this resolution;
(d) to consider and decide upon requests for exemptions set out in
paragraphs 8 and 9 of this resolution;
(e) to establish guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the
implementation of the measures imposed by this resolution;
(f) to report at least every 90 days to the Security Council on its
work and on the implementation of this resolution, with its observations and
recommendations, in particular on ways to strengthen the effectiveness of
the measures imposed in this resolution;
(g) to assess reports from the Panel of Experts established pursuant
to paragraph 10 11 below, and from Member States on specific steps they are
taking to implement the measures imposed by paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 above;
(h) to encourage a dialogue between the Committee and interested
Member States, in particular those in the region, including by inviting
representatives of such States to meet with the Committee to discuss
implementation of the measures;
11. Requests the Secretary-General to establish, within 30 days of the
adoption of this resolution, in consultation with the Committee, for a
period of twelve months a Panel of Experts comprised of four members with
the range of expertise necessary to fulfill the Panel's mandate described in
this paragraph, to operate under the direction of the Committee to undertake
the following tasks:
(a) to assist the Committee in monitoring implementation of the
measures in paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 of this resolution, and to make
recommendations to the Committee on actions the Council may want to
(b) to provide a mid-term briefing on its work to the Committee, and
an interim report no later than 90 days after adoption of this resolution,
and a final report no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its
mandate to the Council through the Committee with its findings and
12. Expresses its readiness to review the measures imposed in
paragraphs 4, 5, and 7 of this resolution in 12 months following the date of
adoption of this resolution or sooner, if before such time an inclusive
political settlement is agreed, which respects the will of the Zimbabwean
people and the results of the March 29, 2008 elections;
13. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council
regarding the situation in Zimbabwe, whether the Government of Zimbabwe has
complied with the demands in paragraph 2 above, and what additional measures
may contribute to improving the security, humanitarian, and human rights
situation in Zimbabwe;
14. Decides that all States shall report to the Committee established
by the Council within 90 days of the adoption of this resolution on the
steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively the measures
imposed in paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 above;
15. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
1. Mugabe, Robert
(Member/Head of Government responsible for activities that seriously
undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law)
2. Chiwenga, Constantine
(Member of security forces who directed repressive state policy and
has committed human rights abuses)
3. Mnangagwa, Emmerson
(Member of Government responsible for activities that seriously
undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law)
4. Gono, Gideon
(Reserve Bank Governor who is responsible for funding repressive state
5. Chihuri, Augustine
(Member of security forces who bears wide responsibility for serious
violations of the freedom of peaceful assembly)
6. Chinamasa, Patrick
(Member of Government responsible for activities that seriously
undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law)
7. Shiri, Perence
(Member of security forces complicit in forming or directing
oppressive state policy)
8. Parirenyatwa, David
(Member of Government responsible for activities that seriously
undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law)
9. Mutasa, Didymus
(Member of Government responsible for activities that seriously
undermine democracy, repress human rights and disrespect the rule of law)
10. Charamba, George
(Member of Government complicit in forming or directing oppressive
11. Zimondi, Paradzi
(Member of security forces complicit in forming oppressive state
12. Bonyongwe, Happyton
(Member of security forces complicit in forming or directing
oppressive state policy)
13. Sekeremayi, Sydney Tigere
(Member of Government complicit in forming or directing oppressive
14. Made, Joseph Mtakwese
(Member of Government complicit in forming or directing oppressive
July 10, 2008
James Bone in New York, Richard Lloyd Parry and Philip Webster at Lake Toya,
The United States pushed for a swift vote to apply UN sanctions on
Zimbabwe's leaders yesterday after Russia backed away from an apparent deal
at the G8 summit.
The US delegation asked initially for the UN Security Council to take a vote
last night, even though Russia and China said they were not ready.
Crisis talks in the UN corridors led to the vote being postponed until today
because of the risk of a veto by Moscow or Beijing.
Uncertainty about the timing remained, however, because Russian diplomats
told other members of the council that Moscow would not be ready to vote
The diplomatic drama came after signs that Dmitri Medvedev, the new Russian
President, had changed tack on Zimbabwe, despite an apparent agreement by
world leaders at the G8 summit in the Japanese resort of Lake Toya. The G8
leaders issued a strong statement on Tuesday threatening further steps
against Zimbabwe, including "financial and other measures against those
individuals responsible for the violence".
Gordon Brown flew home from the summit yesterday and talked confidently
about the unanimity of G8 leaders about Zimbabwe.
"The mood [in the G8] is outrage against what is happening in Zimbabwe,
disgust at the behaviour of the Zimbabwe regime, an acceptance by all of
them that this is an illegitimate regime that has got blood on its hands,"
the Prime Minister said. "With these new sanctions, there will be no safe
haven and no hiding place for the criminal cabal that now makes up the
Mr Brown's hopes for a quick vote on UN sanctions were thrown into question
when Mr Medvedev suggested that Russia would not support such measures in
the UN Security Council, which is the only body able to impose them. "The
elections that took place in Zimbabwe have left the feeling of
dissatisfaction in the international community," he told a press conference
in Lake Toya. "The statement contains recommendations of how the world
community should be reacting, but there are no statements regarding the
decision that would be taken by the United Nations in particular."
The US proposal would declare an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and impose a
travel ban and freeze assets on Robert Mugabe and 13 other officials who
were judged responsible for election-related abuses. Among them are the
commander of the Army, the police commissioner, the justice and defence
ministers and the governor of the central bank in Zimbabwe.
The draft resolution would also require the UN to name a representative to
Zimbabwe, effectively sidelining Thabo Mbeki, the President of South Africa,
South Africa has led opposition to the US proposal in the Security Council
and is expected to vote against it. Libya, Indonesia and Vietnam are
expected to follow South Africa's lead.
Western diplomats have said that they will still have the nine votes needed
to secure its adoption in the 15-nation council, unless Russia or China veto
it. China, which has attracted worldwide protests over its role in Darfur,
had shown no appetite for an embarrassing fight over Zimbabwe before the
Olympic Games in Beijing next month, diplomats said.
Russia has objected strongly to a provision in the US draft that called for
a political solution reflecting the results of the first round of the
presidential election on March 29, which was won by the opposition candidate
Vitali Churkin, the Russian UN representative, has balked at the Security
Council extending its jurisdiction to effectively certify the results of
elections in UN member states.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
09 July 2008
Political violence continues unabated in Zimbabwe with perpetrators shifting
their tactics to include forcing their victims, mainly opposition members,
to drink poison.
A mother and her son were battling for their lives this week at a hospital
in Harare after they were force-fed poisoned by ruling ZANU-PF party militia
in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central province, in an incident in which three
other people died, as Sylvia Manika reported.
Sources in Midlands province said new torture camps have been set up by
pro-government militia in the Gokwe-Kabuyuni constituency where member of
parliament-elect Costain Muguti and about 30 others were abducted and
severely beaten by the militia on the weekend.
Zimbabwe Peace Project Chairman Alois Chaumba, who is also national director
of the Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice, told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri that the pattern of violence shows ZANU-PF wants to silence the
opposition by all means possible.
In Manicaland province, spokesman Pishai Muchauraya of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change said the militia are establishing more base
camps there too. He said the liberation war veterans working alongside the
militia have set up kangaroo courts in bases to try opposition activists and
sentence them to community service, in certain cases working on an
irrigation project in Gonzoni, Chimanimani West constituency, and repairing
Sources in Matabeleland North province said Pearson Mbalekwa,
parliamentarian-elect for Zvishavane, and 15 others continue in detention in
Hwange accused of inciting violence.
by Gerard Aziakou 48 minutes ago
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The Security Council is likely to vote Thursday on
targeted UN sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and 13 of his
cronies over a presidential election widely viewed as illegitimate,
diplomats said Wednesday.
US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad, who Tuesday said he was confident
his sanctions draft resolution had the necessary votes in the 15-member
council to ensure passage, said Wednesday the vote could occur "at any
Vietnam's UN Ambassador Le Luong Minh, the council chair this month, told
reporters that the sponsors requested a vote for late Wednesday but said
several other delegations requested more time.
Several diplomats late Wednesday told AFP that the vote was now expected
Thursday as Russia and China wanted to consult with their capitals.
The US draft provides for an assets freeze and a travel ban on Mugabe and 13
of his cronies as well as an arms embargo on the Harare regime in protest at
the June 27 one-man presidential runoff won by Mugabe but seen by the UN as
"flawed" and lacking legitimacy.
Khalilzad said Tuesday he believed he had the nine votes needed for passage
provided there is no veto from any of the five permanent members -- Britain,
China, France, Russia and the United States. He added that he did not
anticipate a veto.
South Africa, the lead mediator in Zimbabwe's election crisis on behalf of
the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), opposes
sanctions, arguing that they would "complicate the situation."
Russia, China, Vietnam, Libya and Indonesia have also raised objections.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin Tuesday warned that rushing a vote could
have "unpredictable" consequences.
"We should be very careful about setting precedents," he added. "We should
make it clear to begin with that the Security Council is not about to enter
into the whole realm of mediating elections, or passing judgment on
"The solution can only be achieved by the Zimbabweans themselves with help
of South African leaders," China's deputy ambassador Liu Zhenmin told
reporters Wednesday. "We are going to support the mediation efforts."
In Japan, where he attended the just-ended G8 summit, British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown urged the world community to support UN sanctions against
Zimbabwe, denouncing the Mugabe regime as a "criminal cabal" who stole
"For the first time, the G8, and every country within the G8, has come out
in favor of sanctions" against Zimbabwe, he said.
He added that the G8, by promising new actions, including targeted
"financial measures" against leaders, had opened the way for the Security
Council to adopt a sanctions resolution proposed by London and Washington.
The US draft would also demand that the Harare government "begin without
delay a substantive dialogue between the parties with the aim of arriving at
a peaceful solution that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people as
expressed by the March 29 (first-round presidential) elections."
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round but fell short of a
majority. He pulled out of the run-off citing a campaign of violence and
The US draft resolution would direct UN chief Ban Ki-moon to appoint "an
individual of international standing and expertise to serve as his special
representative ... who would support the negotiation process between the
political parties in Zimbabwe."
Diplomats said former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who helped broker a
power-sharing agreement in Kenya last February, former Mozambican president
Joaquim Chissano, Nigerian ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo and Ghanaian
President John Kufuor were being considered.
Meanwhile leaders of South Africa's governing party on Wednesday met Mugabe
in Harare and expressed support for a dialogue to end the election crisis,
South African state television reported. There was no word on what was
And the Mugabe government branded G8 leaders' threat of more sanctions
"international racism" and a bid to force out the Zimbabwean president
following his widely condemned one-man election.
Mugabe, in power for 28 years, was re-elected to a sixth term in a run-off
widely denounced as a sham and marred by the use of violence.
By Omid Memarian*
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 8 (IPS) - U.S. and European efforts to achieve unanimity
among the 15-member U.N. Security Council to adopt a sanctions resolution
against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his top aides has run into
opposition from African leaders who argue that it will only increase
tensions there and in neighbouring countries.
"There isn't any unanimity in the Council on this," conceded British
Ambassador John Sawers after the Security Council met on Zimbabwe Tuesday.
"My delegation supports that resolution and likes to see it adopted as soon
"The statement issued by the G8 today clearly sets out that they deplored
the violence they have seen and support the mediation that is on the way and
needs to be reinforced by a U.N. envoy," he added, referring to the Group of
Eight most industrialised nations, which are meeting this week in Japan.
The Security Council is expected to vote on the U.S.-backed draft resolution
some time this week. French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert told reporters
Tuesday that proponents of the resolution had secured nine votes, although
Russia, which holds veto power on the Council, is not one of them, and its
ambassador has expressed reservations about the draft.
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change party won more votes
than Mugabe's ZANU-PF in March presidential polls but failed to receive an
outright majority. Its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out of a planned
run-off just days before it was held, citing widespread violence against
supporters. Mugabe claims to have won 85 percent of the votes cast in the
final Jun. 27 polls.
South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo said the Security Council should
support ongoing efforts at mediation towards a political solution.
"The African Union has said categorically that we do not need sanctions
against Zimbabwe. In fact, several heads of state, including the chair of
the African Union, who were in Tokyo, conveyed that message to the leaders
of the G8," he said. "We say don't take measures that are going to
complicate the situation and literally blow the country apart."
Kumalo said that there are several problems with the proposed sanctions,
which include an arms embargo and a freeze on the personal assets of Mugabe
and 11 other top government officials.
"One is that this resolution claims that the situation in Zimbabwe is a
threat to international peace and security, but the African Union doesn't
believe that, the heads of states that were in Tokyo do not believe that,
and neighbouring countries do not believe that," he said.
"Second, this resolution is under Chapter Seven [of the U.N. Charter]... It
says that they want to certify the vote of the first round [won by
Tsvangirai]," said Kumalo. "If the Security Council is now going to go to
countries and start certifying a part of election, where we are going to
Kumalo also criticised the European countries' approach toward the Zimbabwe
crisis as not even-handed. "The European Union, through its president, said
openly that they want to see the leader of opposition as president of
Zimbabwe. Now once you do that you create problems because we want the
people of Zimbabwe to select the president through free and fair elections
without violence and intimidation."
"South Africa has been asked to facilitate the mediation by the regional
group together with Angola, and we both report to the African Union, which
reports to the U.N.," said Kumalo. "The Europeans are implying that we need
a new mediator who is going to come in and impose the candidate on the
people. It just creates problems. We are neighbours and we know what we are
However, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the aim of the sanctions is
to put pressure on those "who hold the cards... those who need to change
their attitude in order for progress to be made, and those are the 12
individuals that are focused on in tailored sanctions."
Khalilzad said that he expects a vote on the resolution this week. "We
support mediation, but mediation has not been effective as it has been
conducted so far. It has been going on for a long time and therefore in
order to make the mediation more effective we are adding some elements to
the equation that there should be more of a U.N. role in support, and that's
why we say that the secretary-general should appoint someone."
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro conveyed the secretary-general's
message that the crisis in Zimbabwe represents a "moment of truth" for
democracy in the continent.
"The Zimbabwe issue poses a challenge to the world. When an election is
conducted in an atmosphere of fear and violence, its outcome cannot have a
legitimacy that is not built on the will of the people," Migiro said
following the Security Council meeting.
She added that the question of whether or not to impose sanctions is up to
the U.N.'s member states.
"Regarding suggestions that the U.N. may get more involved with a high-level
envoy to facilitate the mediation process," said Migiro, "this suggestion
has been discussed and the secretary-general will be open to all suggestions
that will lead to a solution of the crisis."
*With additional reporting by Katie Vandever at the United Nations.
By Paul Vallely
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Why are we asking this now?
Because the leaders of the G8 richest nations have announced sanctions on
Zimbabwe this week in an attempt to end the bloodshed and restore democracy
to the country.
What are sanctions?
Restrictions on trade and financial contact imposed upon a state to persuade
rulers to change its behaviour - a halfway house between diplomatic
disapproval and military intervention. Critics deride them as impotent
gestures designed only to quieten the demand that "something must be done"
in situations where the truth is that nothing can be done. Sanctions aren't
a proper foreign policy so much as a feel-good substitute for one.
Where have they been imposed?
The UN has authorised them to seek compliance with UN resolutions sanctions
in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti,
Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Rhodesia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia,
South Africa, Sudan, and the former Yugoslavia.
Every US president since 1936 has used them and the Bush administration has
threatened or used them on 85 states in the past 12 years including Burma,
Cuba, Haiti, North Korea and Syria. Russia is imposing them on many of the
newly independent states which were once Soviet republics. Sanctions have
been imposed on at least 185 countries since the Second World War.
Have they worked?
Academics say they have in about a third of those cases. They worked in
South Africa. Sanctions against Slobodan Milosevic hastened the end of the
Bosnian war. They prodded Libya into handing over the two terrorists
involved in the Lockerbie airline bombing and then abandoning its ambitions
to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Most recently the freezing of $25m in
a foreign bank brought North Korean back to talks on ending its nuclear
But they have been in place against Cuba for 40 years without bringing down
Fidel Castro. Some 13 years of sanctions on Iraq failed to topple Saddam
Hussein. After 14 years of US sanctions the military regime remains in
Burma. Decades of sanctions on Iran have brought no regime change nor, most
recently, persuaded Tehran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme. Yet
it depends how you measure success. If a footballer scored a goal every
three matches that wouldn't be written off as failure. And, as Iraq has
shown, war doesn't inevitably succeed where sanctions have failed, and it's
a lot more costly, economically and morally.
How long do they take to work?
Sanctions are no quick fix. When the British colony, Rhodesia, declared
unilateral independence the UK imposed sanctions on the minority white
regime and the British prime minister, Harold Wilson, predicted the rebel
downfall in "weeks not months". It took 12 years, partly because many
Western companies secretly ignored them. But the end came when the Rhodesian
secret service went to the Rhodesian prime minister and told him the oil
would run out in a week.
So why did they work in South Africa?
Because they bit on the business community which, in turn, put increasing
pressure on their own government to negotiate with the black majority.
Sporting boycotts also increased the psychological isolation of the
sport-mad Afrikaaners. But the sanctions were effective because they
affected a strong white middle class which could put effective pressure on
their own apartheid government.
Why did they fail in Iraq?
Because the comprehensive sanctions there ended up hurting the people they
are designed to help. The 13 years of UN sanctions brought poverty and
hardship for ordinary Iraqis and almost certainly caused the deaths of
hundreds of thousands of children when water and sanitation systems
collapsed and spare parts were unavailable thanks to the sanctions.
An enormous number of innocent people suffered and yet Saddam Hussein was
not dislodged from power. Ironically, though, when the West finally
concluded that sanctions were not working, the reason, it was claimed, was
that they hadn't prevented Saddam from rebuilding his weapons of mass
destruction - when. In fact, as we now know, they did achieve that aim.
Can sanctions be counter-productive?
Kofi Annan called sanctions "a blunt and even counter-productive
instrument". Sanctions can create a scapegoat for the economic failures of a
dictators, as happened with Castro for whom the US blockade of Cuba
strengthened nationalistic support. Sanctions also hit the private sector,
which shrinks, weakening the political leverage of the middle class and
leaving the economy smaller but one over which the regime has greater
So what makes for effective sanctions?
Almost everyone has to join in. A country deprived of goods or services by a
country can invariably secure them elsewhere. Crafty tyrants like Saddam
played on divisions between the US, Britain and France, and China and
Russia. China blocks effective sanctions on Sudan over Darfur.
What about 'smart' sanctions?
Over the last decade, following the abysmal failure of sanctions on Iraq,
they have become more targeted. Blanket measures which covered food and
medicines are out of fashion. In their place have come travel bans on senior
officials of a regime, freezes on their overseas assets, the selective ban
of key imports, and arms embargoes which weaken a regime's military forces.
The idea is to hit the corrupt elite rather than the people they oppress.
This works, to a considerable extent. Some 600 of the supporters of Slobodan
Milosevic, then Serbian President, found it impossible to conduct business.
Targeted financial sanctions hit top officials in North Korea. But in other
cases it doesn't work. Less than £4,000 belonging the Burmese generals has
been frozen in all 25 EU member states.
Would they work in Zimbabwe?
General sanctions might not, since the business community and general
electorate have no influence on Mugabe. But cutting off his oil might work.
Petrol is what supplies the elite and its troops with their mobility. Around
80 per cent of Zimbabwe's oil flows through the line from Mozambique.
Cutting that off could immobilise the Mugabe regime.
Will sanctions have any impact on Mugabe's government?
* Sanctions helped bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa, and they
can do the same in Zimbabwe
* Since an invasion is unlikely, it is the only measure of opprobrium open
to the international community
* Cutting off oil could immobilise the military on which Mugabe depends to
stay in power
* It will harm the ordinary people of Zimbabwe without seriously affecting
Mugabe and his henchmen
* It could increase Mugabe's control further, shrinking the entrepreneurial
sector which supports the opposition
* They will take far too long to have a serious impact; they are just
By Daniel Howden
Thursday, 10 July 2008
The net was tightening last night around the leading figures in the Mugabe
regime as the United Nations identified the key individuals it blames for
the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
A draft UN resolution named Robert Mugabe and 13 of his henchmen as the main
culprits behind the campaign of violence in which scores of opposition
supporters have been raped and murdered, and hopes of democratic salvation
for the southern African nation have been wrecked.
The men named by the UN include generals, such as the army chief,
Constantine Chiwenga, who is credited with persuading Mr Mugabe to launch a
military campaign against the opposition rather than negotiate an exit
package in the wake of his defeat in the first round of elections in March.
Hopes for a tough response from the UN were in the balance last night
despite the apparent agreement from G8 leaders to push for targeted
sanctions. A pitched battle has been under way since Tuesday at the UN
Security Council as the United States and Britain sought to force a showdown
over Zimbabwe. South Africa has been holding the line at the 15-nation
council against measures including an international arms embargo, as well as
travel bans and asset freezes targeting each of the 14 named individuals.
It was unclear whether London and Washington had the votes to win the battle
as one British diplomat close to the effort said it was "touch and go
whether we get them". The uncertainty was added to by the Russian President,
Dmitry Medvedev, who went half way to meeting the West's demands in Japan by
signing up to the G8 statement promising to punish the culprits in Zimbabwe,
but then stopped short of supporting UN sanctions.
In an unlikely twist, the West African nation of Burkina Faso has found
itself in the diplomatic spotlight. The second poorest country in the world,
it has a UN vote as a temporary member of the council and has so far
resisted pressure to back sanctions. Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, was in Burkina yesterday lobbying against a UN vote.
Mr Mugabe's inner circle, named in the draft resolution, has each amassed
personal fortunes while overseeing the steepest collapse of a peacetime
economy ever recorded. The draft resolution accuses them of "undermining the
democratic process" and having "ordered, planned, or participated in" the
campaign of political terror that has killed more than 100 people, displaced
200,000 and made the country an international pariah.
South Africa argued that punitive action would undermine mediation but this
approach was rejected by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic
Change. "These are not sanctions against Zimbabwe," said Ian Makoni, a
senior MDC official. "They're against individuals guilty of crimes against
South Africa was also attempting to block efforts to appoint a UN special
envoy to Zimbabwe, fearing this would undermine its President, Thabo Mbeki,
and his role as regional mediator. He has been fiercly criticised for the
apparent failure of "quiet diplomacy" and there have been open calls for his
replacement as mediator from the MDC who accuse him of sheltering the Mugabe
Zimbabwe's government responded to the mounting pressure with an outburst of
anti-colonial rhetoric against the West for preparing sanctions.
Mr Mumbengegwi said: "Zimbabwe has had free and fair elections... We can't
receive instructions from our former colonial masters. We are an independent
country and we will never, never go back to being a colony."
Named and shamed: the 13 henchmen identified by the UN
Head of the spy agency, the CIO. Although widely regarded as a restraining
influence on the excesses of his colleagues, his job has put him in the
front line of activities against Mugabe's opponents. His men have been
responsible for the abduction and murder of opposition supporters.
Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Vowed to mount an official coup
should Mugabe ever hand over to Morgan Tsvangirai. His wife, Jocelyn, has
led farm invasions and once declared: "I am itching to spill white blood."
She runs a company that sells military gear to the army.
Cabinet minister and Mugabe's most trusted lieutenant. Masterminded murder
of tens of thousands in the 1980s Matabeleland massacres. Named in UN report
for looting Congo cash from United Merchant Bank.
Air force chief. A relative of Mugabe, Shiri was in charge of a North Korean
trained unit which did the actual killings in Matabeleland. He trains
Mugabe's notorious militias and is known to personally conduct torture
Police chief. Credited with converting Zimbabwe's police force into armed
wing of the ruling party. Led the 2006 urban slum clearance campaign that
left one million homeless. Ordered police not to arrest Zanu members but
instead arrest MDC officials who file violence reports.
Director of prisons. Told members of security agencies not supporting Mugabe
they would be regarded as traitors and be rewarded with death. Also ensured
prison officers cast ballots for Mugabe.
Reserve Bank head. Close friend of Mugabe, with whom he frequently holidays
in Malaysia, Gono is also Mugabe's personal banker and the man who knows
where the stolen millions are stashed. He has funded the current political
Justice Minister. Described by peers in the legal profession as Zimbabwe's
most incompetent lawyer, Chinamasa has hounded out independent judges and
stuffed the bench with Mugabe cronies. In charge of death squads currently
on a killing spree in his rural home of Manicaland.
State Security minister. Infamously declared he would rather see the death
of six million people who support the opposition and remain with only those
who support Mugabe. He is in joint charge of the spy agency, the CIO.
Mugabe's spokesman. Has overseen purging of all state media of journalists
critical of the regime and enforced draconian laws against the independent
Minister of Defence. Has been travelling the world, mainly to Asia, to
source weapons used in the siege of terror against the opposition. Has
organised training of Mugabe's violent ruling party militias by the army and
Minister of farm mechanisation. Credited with destroying Zimbabwe's
commercial agricultural sector. He says he would rather see the last
remaining farm in Zimbabwe in black hands, even if they cannot farm.
Mugabe's own personal farm manager.
Minister of Health in country with lowest life expectancy in the world.
Cited by WHO for failing to provide adequate drinking water.
SW Radio Africa (London)
9 July 2008
Posted to the web 9 July 2008
Over 1500 MDC activists and officials remain in police custody across the
The MDC say that figure includes MP's and other parliamentary candidates,
all being held on trumped up charges of inciting violence. Manicaland has
the highest number of detained activists with 476, Masvingo 356, Mashonaland
East 184, Mashonaland Central 145, Mashonaland West 114, Midlands South 69
and the two Matabeleland provinces adding up to 122. All the remaining
provinces have 108 activists in custody, bringing the total to 1574
Mugabe and Zanu PF's refusal to accept defeat in the March 29 poll has led
to the death of over 129 opposition activists, 109 before the run-off and 20
after it. The opposition says 5000 of their supporters, mainly polling
agents and council candidates, are missing or unaccounted for. They blame a
spate of abductions carried out by state operatives using unmarked vehicles.
Thousands of supporters are also hiding in the mountains in rural areas in
order to escape Zanu PF reprisals for not voting for Mugabe. At one time
Zanu PF militants used dynamite to flush them out from the mountains in what
was code-named 'Operation Dzika Mugoma- Climb Down the Mountain.' MDC
Information Director Luke Tamborinyoka told Newsreel, 'They cannot talk
dialogue while they are acting war.'
Very worrying for the MDC is the welfare of its National Youth Chairman,
Tamsanqa Mahlangu, who won the Nkulumane parliamentary seat. The MDC say he
is still battling for his life a month after an attack by ruling party thugs
who disrupted an MDC rally at the Glamis Arena in Harare. Around 2000 Zanu
PF militia set about beating up supporters, party officials and journalists
who attended the aborted rally. Using sticks and knobkerries they bludgeoned
Mahlangu and hundreds others, in images captured live and shown on TV
networks across the world. A day after these attacks Tsvangirai withdrew
from the presidential run-off.
The MDC remains under siege from state security operatives. Lionel Saungweme
from Bulawayo reports that Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo has been in
hiding for the past month, following police claims that she was on a wanted
list. Several MP's in rural constituencies are also being targeted in what
most people say is an attempt at reducing the MDC majority in parliament.
John Nyamande (Makoni Central), Mathius Mlambo (Chipinge East), Misheck
Kagurabadza (Mutasa South) and Elton Mangoma (Makoni North) all in
Manicaland, are some of the MP's still in hiding. Buhera North MP and lawyer
Eric Matinenga was recently released from prison after being held without
charge for close to a month.
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:55
HARARE - The Zimbabwean parliament elected on March 31 is supposed to
convene by July 17, but experts say prospects are dim. Constitutional
experts say the parliament's five-year term commenced on June 29 after the
single-candidate run-off denounced internationally as an electoral sham.
The two formations of the MDC claimed a majority of 10 seats in the
new lower house. MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai and the formation headed by
Arthur Mutambara have pledged to cooperate in parliament.
"Mugabe is supposed to issue a gazette calling for the sitting of the
parliament," constitutional lawyer, Greg Linnington, said.
Only 25 of elected MP's need to be available for this sitting, so if
Zanu (PF) kidnaps all MDC MP's, parliament can still go forward.
MDC Innocent Gonese of Mutare, said his party's refusal to recognise
Mugabe could complicate getting the new parliamentary term going. He
admitted that the continuing violence would have a detrimental effect on the
ability of MDC MP's participation in the
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:54
HARARE - Zimbabwe's ex-liberation war fighters are demanding key
ministerial posts and governorships for mobilizing support for Robert Mugabe
in the fraudulent June 27 one-candidate presidential race.
The war veterans, who sealed off rural Zimbabwe from opposition
political influence after Mugabe and Zanu (PF)'s stunning electoral loss on
March 29, tabled the demands this week.
The Zimbabwean has reliable information that Mugabe had private
consultations with the war veterans where they made demands which were "very
alarming" for the nation.
Our sources said the leaders of the war veterans demanded that Mugabe
appoints war veterans as provincial governors in the four provinces of
Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Manicaland.
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:56
BULAWAYO - Felix Mafa, MDC legislator for Magwegwe, is in hiding from
Zanu (PF) thugs following comments he made in a story published in The
Zimbabwean two weeks ago headlined 'MDC activists tortured at a city base'
on June 26.
"Zanu (PF) thugs are after me, they are sponsored by a Zanu (PF)
politburo member," he said.
In the news story, Mafa confirmed that several members of his party
had been abducted and taken to the Zanu (PF) torture base on Jason Moyo
Avenue and 6th Avenue. He blasted the police for not disbanding the torture
base which is next to the Bulawayo main police station.
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:55
HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has ordered USD65.9 million of
military hardware from China North Industries Corporation.
The deal was clinched by Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and
authorised by the leader of the military junta now ruling Zimbabwe, Robert
Mugabe. It remains unclear how he would mobilize resources for the purchase
but there are concerted attempts to beef up the army's armoury amid fears of
Just four months ago, a Chinese ship carrying arms for Zimbabwe was
turned back from the Durban harbour and later airlifted into the country.
"The down payment is in respect of a five percent for the purchase of
the military goods by the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army)," an official
"As any military force the ZNA has obligations to bolster it equipment
holdings by new acquisitions in order to fulfil its designated roles," a
senior army official said.
By Carole Gombakomba
09 July 2008
Some senior members of Zimbabwe's Christian Alliance, a coalition of church
leaders which has provided humanitarian assistance since 2005, have gone
into hiding while others have fled the country after being threatened by
state security agents, members said.
Christian Alliance members who were arrested and later released by
authorities two weeks ago said they continue to be menaced for speaking out
and trying to help the victims of political violence through the provision
of shelter, blankets and food, among other items, as Harare has forbidden
them from providing direct humanitarian aid through outreach.
Pastor Lawrence Berejena, a Christian Alliance member now in hiding, told
reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that such
persecution stems from allegations the clerics campaigned for opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in March elections.
Bishop Trevor Manhanga, president of the Evangelical Association of
Zimbabwe, said his members have nothing to fear because they are working
within the confines of the law.
Another member of the Evangelical Fellowship, Pastor Alexander Chisango,
told VOA that the persecution cited by Christian Alliance members does not
only target church leaders, but anyone considered to be supporting a
particular political party.
Chisango confirmed he had heard reports of the persecution of some church
leaders, mostly in rural areas, but he said it is the role of the church to
bring peace to the country.
Zimbabwe, Harare-- The flood of Zimbabweans into neighbouring countries,
particularly South Africa, appears to be on the increase again following the
swearing in of Robert Mugabe into office a few days ago South African police
patrolling the Zimbabwe/South Africa porous border said. The police also confirmed Wednesday that they had picked up the remains of
Zimbabwe who had died attempting to cross into South Africa. The remains were
recovered at Eberstein Farm close to the twin border towns of Beitbridge &
Musina. Inspector Francois Celliers, of the South African police, said the bodies
were picked up on Saturday in an advanced state of decomposition "The bodies of the two, who we suspect could be Zimbabwean, were discovered
by some farm workers along the Alldays-Venetia Road who, in turn, made a report
to police. The bodies have since been conveyed to the Musina Government Hospital
mortuary for post-mortem," Insp. Celliers said. "We also suspect that the men might have strayed onto the farm soon after
illegally crossing into South Africa. As police, we have since launched
intensive investigations and we are going to get to the bottom of this
matter." Though to the uninitiated it seems easy, crossing the border into South
Africa illegally is fraught with danger. However, the dangers of crossing the
border, ranging from mauling by man eating lions, vigilante racist white
farmers, money lusting human smugglers, to hunger, don't seem to deter
determined Zimbabweans. A stroll down the street in Beitbridge, a town brimming with prostitutes and
human smugglers, one comes across many Zimbabweans preparing to cross the
border. "Why should i stay in Zimbabwe? What is there for me?" lamented Lameck
Shumba, as he made his final preparations to cross the border at night fall on
Tuesday. "I graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a bachelor's degree in
Economics, but i have been unemployed for the past two years. Now that Mugabe is
back in office, there is no reason for me wait, i have to work and feed my
family you know," he added. Thanks to Robert Mugabe's policies, Zimbabweans are finding it difficult to
survive in Zimbabwe. Unemployment in the country is estimated at 95% and the
annual inflation is at 9 000 000 %. Deaths along the South Africa/Zimbabwe are nothing new, nor is the journeying
of Zimbabweans to South Africa. Zimbabweans have been going to South Africa
since the times Rhodes to work in mines on three year contracts. "What makes the current migration to South Africa," explained Prof. Dube of
the Great Zimbabwe University, "is that for the first, women are making the
cross in large numbers. That has been the trend for the past eight years." Once in South Africa, Zimbabweans work all kinds of jobs, from picking
oranges in farms in Limpopo Province to selling handicrafts in South Africa's
cities. However, some Zimbabweans get to South Africa and suddenly find that
life is difficulty there, forcing them pursue such trades as bank robberies and
prostitution As long as the crisis in Zimbabwe continues, Zimbabweans will continue to
cross into South Africa. "It won't be surprising that by 2010, half the people in the country would
have left," predicted Prof. Dube. -- Harare Tribune
| Harare Tribune
Updated: July 9, 2008 18:36
Zimbabwe, Harare-- The flood of Zimbabweans into neighbouring countries, particularly South Africa, appears to be on the increase again following the swearing in of Robert Mugabe into office a few days ago South African police patrolling the Zimbabwe/South Africa porous border said.
The police also confirmed Wednesday that they had picked up the remains of Zimbabwe who had died attempting to cross into South Africa. The remains were recovered at Eberstein Farm close to the twin border towns of Beitbridge & Musina.
Inspector Francois Celliers, of the South African police, said the bodies were picked up on Saturday in an advanced state of decomposition
"The bodies of the two, who we suspect could be Zimbabwean, were discovered by some farm workers along the Alldays-Venetia Road who, in turn, made a report to police. The bodies have since been conveyed to the Musina Government Hospital mortuary for post-mortem," Insp. Celliers said.
"We also suspect that the men might have strayed onto the farm soon after illegally crossing into South Africa. As police, we have since launched intensive investigations and we are going to get to the bottom of this matter."
Though to the uninitiated it seems easy, crossing the border into South Africa illegally is fraught with danger. However, the dangers of crossing the border, ranging from mauling by man eating lions, vigilante racist white farmers, money lusting human smugglers, to hunger, don't seem to deter determined Zimbabweans.
A stroll down the street in Beitbridge, a town brimming with prostitutes and human smugglers, one comes across many Zimbabweans preparing to cross the border.
"Why should i stay in Zimbabwe? What is there for me?" lamented Lameck Shumba, as he made his final preparations to cross the border at night fall on Tuesday.
"I graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a bachelor's degree in Economics, but i have been unemployed for the past two years. Now that Mugabe is back in office, there is no reason for me wait, i have to work and feed my family you know," he added.
Thanks to Robert Mugabe's policies, Zimbabweans are finding it difficult to survive in Zimbabwe. Unemployment in the country is estimated at 95% and the annual inflation is at 9 000 000 %.
Deaths along the South Africa/Zimbabwe are nothing new, nor is the journeying of Zimbabweans to South Africa. Zimbabweans have been going to South Africa since the times Rhodes to work in mines on three year contracts.
"What makes the current migration to South Africa," explained Prof. Dube of the Great Zimbabwe University, "is that for the first, women are making the cross in large numbers. That has been the trend for the past eight years."
Once in South Africa, Zimbabweans work all kinds of jobs, from picking oranges in farms in Limpopo Province to selling handicrafts in South Africa's cities. However, some Zimbabweans get to South Africa and suddenly find that life is difficulty there, forcing them pursue such trades as bank robberies and prostitution
As long as the crisis in Zimbabwe continues, Zimbabweans will continue to cross into South Africa.
"It won't be surprising that by 2010, half the people in the country would have left," predicted Prof. Dube. -- Harare Tribune News.
By Staff | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 9, 2008 16:25
Zimbabwe, Harare-- MDC Statement:
We still have 16 people being held in Jail. This includes MP Pearson
Mbalekwa. They are all in Hwange now. They will be in court tomorrow and a
high court application has been made for their release. We are also putting
in a high court application for the release of our 4 vehicles.
There are concerns about the safety of Pearson Mbalekwa. Before he was
elected MP (MDC Mutambara/Zvishavane) he was a ZANU MP and also a member of
CIO. Officer in charge Law and order Lupane, Inspector Chakoma said that
there is a directive out that he must not be released and if he is let out
on bail he was to be picked up immediately and "dealt" with. The prison
officers will not allow food through to him and he will not eat what the
prison is trying to give him, he has after all played the game in his life
before he crossed over and knows what is good for him
Below I have some pictures of some very 'dangerous' people. The 11
from Gomoza that were released after being held in Lupane from the 24th June
until the 7th July. Their (alleged) crime was inciting violence while trying
to protect their families and homes from an attack by ZANU militia. You can
still see the injury on 60 year Rebecca Ncube face 14 days later.
She was slashed across the face by a sjambok. Methuseli Sibanda
received a bad blow to the head which is also only healing 14 days later.
There were a number of injuries and all of them were denied any form of
medical treatment while they were incarcerated. Maurice Moyo was born in
1918 and his friend John Ncube was born in 1931. Sophie Ncube is 74 and the
youngest of the group was a girl called Samukeliso Ncube; she had only just
turned 18. Very dangerous people! There is a full list is at the bottom of
Maurice Moyo and John Ncube
List of Gomoza 11 arrested on the 24th June and released on the 7th
Maurice Moyo - (m) born 1918
John Ncube - (m) born 1931
Biton Lunga - (m) born 1962
Sindiso Sibanda - (m) born 1985
Methuseli Sibanda - (m) born 1970
Orchard Ndlovu - (m) born 1968
Rebecca Ncube - (f) born 1948
Effie Tshuma - (f) born 1956
Sophie Ncube - (f) born 1934
Samukeli Ncube (f) born 1991
Silobile Sibanda (f) born 1972
by Goramukoko Mubayiwa Thursday 10 July 2008
OPINION: Now that the dust is settling, it is time to start frank
discussions on some of the decisions made by Zimbabwe's opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party President Morgan Tsvangirai.
A lot has been written about Tsvangirai's tremendous capacity to flip-flop
and I have nothing more to contribute on that other than, perhaps, to agree.
Similarly, I am not interested in discussing ruling ZANU PF party's partisan
perspectives on Tsvangirai's relations with colonial and neo-colonial powers
or the MDC's equally partisan defences; I believe both parties have
sufficient propagandists, beneficiaries, and sympathisers to do that.
What I am interested in is exploring the broader meaning and wisdom of
Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the run-off elections.
On Sunday June 22, exactly five days before the run-off election, Tsvangirai
announced to the world that he was no longer going to participate, and with
his withdrawal, the MDC was also pulling out of the election.
Judging by the contradictory utterances by Deputy Information Minister
Bright Matonga and MDC spokesman Nelson Chinamasa, it appeared that ZANU PF
had not anticipated this development.
Similarly, this took the civil society by surprise, if we take as an example
Lovemore Madhuku's comments and adamant denial that Tsvangirai could not
pull out of the election.
So was it to the MDC Arthur Mutambara faction who claim to have known
nothing about the pullout beforehand, and it turns out that even some very
senior national and provincial leaders of Tsvangirai's faction were
oblivious to the decision.
There are several key issues that, for convenience of analysis, we can try
and separate. The central question remains the wisdom of pulling out of the
election and the anticipated benefits and risks, but equally important are
the little discussed relationship between an individual (in this case
Tsvangirai) and the political party, the timing of the withdrawal, and the
secret nature on how the decision was arrived at.
1) Withdrawing from the Runoff Election
In my opinion, the biggest barrier to understanding what Tsvangirai's
withdrawal from the election really means has been that we have concentrated
on detailed explanations of what was happening in Zimbabwe at the time.
Let me clarify; the detailed events remain relevant but the act of
withdrawing from an election, race or fight is not something unique to
Tsvangirai or Zimbabwe.
It may help here to step back and analyse other instances, hypothetical or
real, from Zimbabwe or other countries, on the meaning of withdrawing from
As a hypothetical example, imagine Senator Barak Obama pulling out of the
United States presidential race . . . five days before the election in
And he could explain his withdrawal using reasons similar to those given by
Tsvangirai, that as a campaign strategy, the Republicans have stepped up
their wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other places; that as a result of
these irresponsible campaign decisions, many hundreds or thousands of
American soldiers have been killed and disabled, and worse, hundreds of
thousands of foreigners and their countries have literally been destroyed;
that because much of this was happening to strengthen the Republican
position in the elections, he was not going to legitimise that election by
Would the American people accept that and praise Obama as their hero for
withdrawing from the election? Would the democrats, who have been galvanised
and united by the repulsive actions and policies of the republicans, happily
sing praise to their candidate for heeding his call to newly found purity by
Would African Americans, enslaved and denied the vote for centuries, stand
in support of brother Obama, their first and only chance for president in a
long time, as he gave reasons that have always been there to withdraw from
And how about us Africans - who have had the shortest end of the stick in
any world issue - would we sing joyously as the Kenyan son withdrew from the
Let me be categorical: if Obama withdraws from the presidential election in
November, he will have betrayed the American people that bravely answered
YES WE CAN, the Democrats on whose ticket he stands, the African Americans,
the Africans, the Iraqis, Afghans and all other peoples of the world who
have been raped and impoverished by past US governments, and those of us
that dream of a sane superpower.
I am not arguing that if Obama becomes US president, he will necessarily
solve all the problems of this world. I am just asserting that as one of the
two main candidates, he carries the hopes of the world, and if were to
suddenly dump our dreams and us after campaigning hard to secure our trust,
what a traitor he will become.
Maybe the example above is too far away from home. We could take Robert
Mugabe in 1980 as another example. Imagine five days before that crucial
1980 vote, and Mugabe announcing that he was pulling out of the election.
And he could have argued that the Ian Smith regime, in cooperation with
Muzorewa and others, had stepped up killings, torture, intimidation,
displacement of people etc.
And the numbers he could cite are orders of magnitude higher that Tsvangirai's:
the Second Chimurenga killed more than 50 000 Zimbabweans, destroyed whole
villages and displaced wards and districts especially along the whole
eastern belt of the country.
Would the ordinary Zimbabweans have accepted such a withdrawal and praised
Mugabe for being moral?
I think not; he would have become the biggest sellout and would die at the
hands of his colleagues in the liberation movement.
Without belabouring the analogies, it suffices to say Tsvangirai's
withdrawal from the run-off election was an act of grave betrayal. He
carried the hopes and burdens of the country on his shoulders.
He had worked hard over the last decade and more to earn the people's
trust - first within the workers movement, then through the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the historic NO vote in 2000, then through
founding the Movement for Democratic Change and contesting elections in
2000, 2002, 2005 and March 2008, each election moving the people of Zimbabwe
closer to defeating the ZANU PF tyranny.
He had suffered for his efforts - imprisoned many times, prevented from
travelling, beaten up many times and at least once the beating was life
So did his colleagues in the MDC and broader civil society. All top members
of the MDC such as Tendai Biti, Elias Mudzuri, Sekai Holland, Ian Makone,
Grace Kwinje and Chamisa have been imprisoned and beaten; so is it with
members of the NCA such as Madhuku, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)'s Jenny
Williams and other civic organisations; the same is true for leaders of the
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU); and many independent journalists
such as Geof Nyarota have had to flee the country in fear of continued
But the worst atrocities were committed not to the leaders who had
reasonable international attention on them. It is the common MDC supporter
or sympathiser who lost his life or limbs or home or relatives in remote
Mutoko, Guruve, Gokwe and Zaka.
Many of them will remain nameless victims, and their crime, hoping for a
better Zimbabwe through MDC.
This is the burden Tsvangirai carried on behalf Talent Mabika, Tichaona
Chiminya, Tonderai Ndira, Light Nyoni and many others who died chanting
slogans for him; this is the burden he carried on behalf of the persons who
have lost relatives to known ZANU PF thugs who will never be prosecuted;
this is the hope he carried for everyone who has been made a poor
billionaire by the corrupt economic policies of the current regime; this is
the truck load - actually, country load - that he carried for Zimbabwe and
our neighbours who have had to accommodate us as refugees.
And at the time of reckoning, at that time when he was closest to dethroning
the emperor, he claims he discovered some conscience, some morality, and
quit the race!
And the load we had entrusted, he took with him to the Dutch embassy. Am I
being totally blind to fail to understand those who have praised his
2) Relationship between the individual and the struggle
Maybe we can push the argument a little further and say that after all,
Tsvangirai, like the rest of us, is a free individual who has the right to
participate or not participate in the political process, including choice of
party and elections.
It is not too difficult to find some section of the Zimbabwe Constitution or
some article of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights or the
International Bill of Rights to support this.
I totally agree with this line of thinking. The only problem is that
Tsvangirai contested the March 29 elections as the leader of the MDC.
Because no one garnered the absolute majority required by law, he moved into
the run-off election as the leader of the opposition.
He had appeared on television with Mutambara and Gibson Sibanda indicating
that for the elections, both MDCs were working together with Tsvangirai as
the presidential candidate.
The problem is that by taking his personal decision to withdraw (there is no
evidence that this was a decision by the whole opposition movement), he
thereby withdrew the whole opposition movement from the election.
An analogy could clarify the issue. If Obama were to quit the election now
in July, the Democratic Party would quickly replace him, perhaps with
Senator Hilary Clinton, and elections would go on in November.
If he were to quit after the Democratic Convention, his running mate would
probably continue the struggle and represent the party. If he were to quit
after being elected president, America would not suddenly become the
leaderless country; he would be automatically replaced by the
vice-president, and the Speaker of Congress is next in the succession line.
An interesting example is that Governor Mel Carnahan of Missouri died on
October 16, 2000, and it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. He
contested the election in early November as a dead man and beat John
Ashcroft (who was later appointed Attorney General by George Bush). Carnahan's
widow was appointed to the Senate seat won by her dead husband; the
Democrats had won that seat.
A political party or national government is an institution that ought to
continue whether certain individuals are available or not. America did not
die with George Washington just as Zimbabwe's liberation did not die with
Herbert Chitepo or Josiah Tongogara, however important their contributions
It is said that Ndabaningi Sithole faced a difficult question when he had to
attend to his daughter surgery overseas when the liberation movement had
been bombed and needed him. He chose his daughter, and those in the know say
it was one of the final straws that led to his replacement.
The point here is that we should be able to separate Tsvangirai, the
individual, from the opposition movement that he represented. If he indeed
felt that he could not be part of an election that was tainted with dead
bodies, broken limbs and burnt buttocks, it would have been fine for him to
withdraw as an individual. This is different from saying that MDC withdrew
from the election.
I am sure if the issues were clear, Thoko Khupe would have taken over the
torch. If she was in cahoots with her boss or the torch was too hot for her,
the succession would go on until maybe Chamisa or Mudzuri represented the
The issue at stake is the emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe, the people's
movement for democratic change, and that process is separate from an
Tsvangirai may have formed the MDC but it is not his private company where
his daily oscillations are synonymous with the people's movement.
Gibson Sibanda, Welshman Ncube and others who co-founded the party have
ceased to be of relevance in the MDC. No individual is indispensable to a
people's movement, and Tsvangirai's withdrawal should never have been
interpreted as an MDC withdrawal.
To further clarify the point, the issue of separating Tsvangirai, the
individual, from the people's movement did not arise because of the five-day
notice he gave. If Tsvangirai had announced in 2007, that he was not going
to contest the presidential election, the MDC would have chosen another
candidate. If he had indicated that he was withdrawing from the MDC
presidency, I am sure there are many who would have been happy to replace
If he tried barring a replacement candidate for the presidential elections,
the MDC would have split again. This is what happened in 2005 over the
In essence, this debate of the individual versus the movement failed to take
off because Tsvangirai withdrew in the last minute and by the time
implications were making sense in our heads, the old uncle was already
taking his 6th oath of office.
One could ask, 'what was so pressing to warrant the last minute withdrawal?'
If I am not mistaken, ZANU PF started killing people who it disagreed with
in 1963 - and their songs even praise, ZANU ndeyeropa.
Specifically, violence to MDC has been ongoing since 2000 with spikes
especially around elections.
The biggest mass displacement of people happened with the land revolution,
but Tsvangirai and the MDC contested both in 2000 and 2002.
Don't get me wrong; I distaste violence and hope that one day the
perpetrators will be brought to justice.
But for Tsvangirai, it seems as the most face saving excuse of all. Was he
anticipating mass killings in the five days before elections, more killings
than had already happened? If that is the case, he should have told us so.
We are left with the painful conclusion, and perhaps the right one, that
Tsvangirai just panicked and withdrew from the race. The worst was that he
did this when he was the only opposition man standing, and with him went the
There was even no time to pressurise Mugabe into abandoning the elections or
start transitional or government of national unity talks.
If he had made this decision soon after the announcement of the March 29
results, he would have gone into talks with the upper hand. Now, we will
have to rely on what foreigners can do for us.
3) Process of Withdrawal
The last point I wish to make is that there are indeed instances when it is
not appropriate to proceed with elections. Whether this was the case in
Zimbabwe, I am not sure. But the issue here is that there is nothing
secretive about taking a decision not to contest elections.
Participating or not participating in elections is different from strategic
spying or war decisions that can be compromised if known beforehand. Even
under such circumstances, there are procedures for making sure the organs of
the state are aligned on the decision.
In my opinion, the MDC should have clearly demanded what it considered
reasonable conditions for participating in elections, and even set a
deadline that if the conditions were not in place at least one month before
elections, it would not participate. This would put pressure on ZANU PF, and
all MDC provinces would be aligned to the resolution.
Without belabouring the point, it seems Tsvangirai made a unilateral
decision to pull the party out of elections. The national leadership was
ignorant, the provinces were oblivious, and the masses clueless that this
was even a possibility. The result was that everyone was surprised.
As soon as the dust settled, Mugabe continued his campaign and collected the
presidency on a silver platter. The MDC masses that had been harassed and
beaten up by ZANU thugs could not do anything; their only weapon for
fighting ZANU PF bullets - through MDC ballots - had been lost.
The international community continued its demonisation of Mugabe albeit let
down; for if there was no other contestant in the elections, did they really
expect Mugabe to lose or cheat.
And Tsvangirai, the architect of the decision, admitted himself into the
Dutch embassy for a week, and then discharged himself home uneventfully.
I have found it difficult to understand Tsvangirai's decision: if one were
to clearly write down all possible outcomes of participating and not
participating, the risks were much higher in not participating (Mugabe wins
a one man race) and the benefits least (delegitimise an already
On the other hand, participating opened up the real possibility (even if it
was small as some argue) of winning the election again, and the worst
outcome would be losing (but with all the international sympathy and
pressure on Mugabe who would be accused of rigging).
Any rational thinker would probably conclude that Tsvangirai made a stupid
decision. Worse, he tried to justify himself with some nauseating legal
opinions that are only good for the press. If he had a legal case, he should
have made his withdrawal decision early enough to rush to the High Court and
seek declaring the run-off illegal before it occurred. Any legal challenges
he may pose now are to a sitting president and will wither away with time,
similar to the challenges he attempted after 2002. The legal process is long
and tortuous and can be subverted at many levels.
As I watched the old uncle being corronated by Justice Chidyausiku, I knew
the legal opinions were nothing more than inactionable rumblings.
The worst defence for Tsvangirai's actions is that with the way ZANU PF had
beaten people, he would have lost anyway. What is better - to guarantee loss
by withdrawing from the election altogether, or to lose while fighting?
Which is the better moral position for all the masses that had been tortured
and raped by ZANU PF?
And worse, the best possible outcome from international pressure on Mugabe
is to re-conduct the election i.e. Tsvangirai has to jump that same hoop
that got him terrified if he is to ever get to State house.
But it is not Tsvangirai alone; the whole country has to jump that hoop if
meaningful change is to occur.
Yet ZANU PF now has a tried and tested strategy - if villagers are beaten
hard enough, their president will quit the race! Tsvangirai squandered our
first meaningful chance at change, or even just a learning opportunity for
the problems of run-off elections.
What I have posed here is a challenge for frank dialogue. I am sure some
will label me ZANU PF, MDC Mutambara or of the Nyati Mavambo Project.
Fortunately, I am neither.
Some will stress that I am an armchair revolutionary writing from the
comfort of the US or UK. That is true. I however doubt that this will make
all my arguments irrelevant. I am just interested in stepping up the debate
and seeking understanding from those who do.
How, for example, will we be convinced to put all our eggs in Tsvangirai's
basket in the future if he has this capacity to unilaterally buckle from
elections last minute?
To misuse a colleague's joke, never trust the withdrawal method.
Goramukoko Mubayiwa, J. D. can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org --†
Santa Barbara News-Press
July 9, 2008 1:17 PM
I'm in South Africa for a few days, and today in Johannesburg I paid a visit
to Abel Mutsakani, a Zimbabwean journalist in exile. Abel is the editor of
ZimOnline, an independent newspaper covering Zimbabwean politics. Before
that he was a top editor in Harare at the Daily News, a popular independent
daily - and the only one in recent history in Zimbabwe - until Robert Mugabe
shut it down in 2003.
One night 12 months ago Abel was parking his car outside his home on the
outskirts of Joburg when three men approached him. Abel put his hands up and
was about to offer the men his wallet, even his car, when one of the men
shot him. They all fled, without taking anything, leaving Abel bleeding
outside his home. The bullet went through his left elbow, entered his chest,
miraculously avoided his vital organs and settled somewhere by his right
News accounts at the time reported that Abel battled for his life. Today
he's made nearly a full recovery, in time to cover one of the most important
stories of his career.
A Durban, South Africa-based activist who referred me to Abel said that the
assault last July 23 was an assassination attempt, plain and simple. Why
else would they have just shot him, without stealing anything? ''Mugabe's
people are everywhere,'' another Zimbabwean activist living in Joburg told
me. ''They can pay someone to kill you for 300 rand (about $40).''
Abel himself isn't so sure. While it's not difficult to ascribe murderous
tactics to the Mugabe regime, as Abel pointed out, this is Johannesburg,
perhaps one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Carjackings,
burglaries, armed muggings and rape are common - perhaps not completely
unexpected in a place with such a huge gap between the wealthy and the
wanting, but deeply disturbing nonetheless. The streets go suddenly empty
after dark, when middle-class residents retreat behind the concrete walls
that surround their residences. The government has made some progress in
fighting crime, but anyone who spends any time here is struck by the
overwhelming sense of fear that falls over the city at dusk. (Read one
resident's experiences here.)
So despite feeling little affection for the government that shut down his
newspaper, and threatened him so often that he was forced to flee to South
Africa, Abel is more reluctant than most to blame his near-death experience
on the Mugabe regime. Random violent crime is the thing that he hates most
about South Africa. Zimbabwe being a police state, of course, there's
virtually no such thing as a ''random'' crime.
''Ahh, this Joburg,'' Abel said as I was leaving. ''You're safer in Harare -
if you don't say anything bad about Robert Mugabe.''
Shashank Bengali covers Africa for McClatchy Newspapers. E-mail him at
Zimbabwe: Post 27 June
A record 19 minutes after the announcement of the results of a 'sham'
election, Robert Gabriel Mugabe was sworn in office for a five year term,
his sixth since 1980.† With this domestic inconvenience sorted he flew to
Egypt to meet with 51 heads of state from the African Union.† The meeting of
these birds-of-the-same feather produced a wish washy resolution on Zimbabwe
urging Mugabe to engage the opposition, aware that Mugabe knew all too much
about their own 'stolen elections'.
Mugabe has done it again as he did it once before when facing two contenders
in the 1996 elections. But this time the global focus is much more sharply
on Zimbabwe, thanks to a vibrant and people centred media alongside a
plethora of other factors too many to articulate without losing focus on the
critical question of what next.
For starters between the time I write this article and you read it, Mugabe
will appoint 'a cabinet' of some sort and rattle on as he always has in the
media about their skills for the job and the agenda before them.† Shortly
afterwards, the Minister of Justice will through the Clerk of Parliament
indicate when the full Parliament will be sworn in and addressed by that
same Mugabe who cannot delay the inevitable.
On the very first day of the cabinet meeting, chickens will come home to
roost when the chosen few will find the coffers are empty.† There will be no
running capital and huge challenges in finding any money for† the Defence,
Health, Education, Local Government, Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, and
Foreign Affairs' budgets,† It does not take rocket science to prove that the
coffers are empty. Inflation has risen beyond the 10 000 000% mark, a bottle
of coca-cola cost Z$58 billion last Saturday and the British pound sterling
traded at Z$90 billion while the Kiwi hit Z$35 billion. There is no money in
Zimbabwe and the centre cannot hold. In South Africa's central bank governor
Tito Mboweni's words, 'the wheels have long fallen off'.
While pondering on what to do or where to raise loans, even Mugabe's so
called loyalists will soon demand payment in real currency(I bet even China
will not help). From the Joint Operations Command that orchestrated the
violence post March 29, remuneration will be required in US dollars. When
they are not paid the middle rank of the armed services will balk and it won't
stop until even Mugabe's very own maids will need payment in foreign
No one will want anything to do with a valueless currency not worthy of the
paper on which it is printed. Even the so called militias dotted all over
the country would be daft to accept payment in a form that does not enable
them to buy anything from the time when they walk into empty shops.
Zimbabweans have escalated downwards from 'billionaires to trillionnaires'
A leading political science academic at the University of Zimbabwe, Dr John
Makumbe sums it up, 'Mugabe can rig as many elections as he wants but cannot
rig the economy'.
The economy is sinking Mugabe's regime. It will drive him to the negotiating
table in pursuit of the legitimacy he does not have but needs to unlock
international capital. This is where the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) has leverage over Mugabe. He desperately needs the MDC who already
have the international support to finance the rebuilding of Zimbabwe's
Never in the history of Mugabe's regime has it been so clear the MDC are
calling the shots. All the MDC needs is to polish up a unity pact, be firm
and resolute and learn from the 1987 Unity Accord.† In the Accord which he
wrote, Mugabe literally swallowed the then opposition led by Joshua Nkomo,
ZAPU PF, establishing a de facto one party state with dire consequences that
are so obvious even to those of us born in 1980!
The economy alone will force all political parties to the table. Who ever is
the mediator will pale in significance behind the gravity of the matter at
hand.† Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will
continue to feel the heat as more and more Zimbabweans flood their borders
and do anything and everything to land food for a day. A sinking Zimbabwe
will drag down these neighbouring states.
At the United Nations and in the African Union, diplomacy will continue to
be exercised as leaders desperately seek a face saver. Time is not on anyone's
side as eyes begin to focus on the 2010 soccer world cup to be held in South
Africa. A collapsed Zimbabwe threatens the security and the image of a
nation anxious to prove its strength on the world stage.
A new Zimbabwe is on hold but surely on her way this year in 2008.† The 2009
Black Caps tour to Zimbabwe must not go ahead.† The evidence is solid -
Mugabe's regime will crumble faster the more he is isolated.
It's the economy, stupid!
Mandla Akhe Dube is a Christchurch based Zimbabwean journalist concerned
about events at his homeland. He is General Secretary of Save Zimbabwe
Campaign NZ and Vice Chairperson for the Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum.