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We will annihilate MDC - generals promise Mugabe

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:46

HARARE - Robert Mugabe held a secret meeting with his military junta
after last week's AU meeting in Egypt, at which the generals assured him
that they would 'target and eliminate the MDC from the political map in

According to credible sources within the Zimbabwean security forces,
the junta heavies - Constantine Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuru, Perrence Shiri,
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Paradzai Zimondi - have drawn up a comprehensive
operation to take place at cell, ward, district, province and national
Interestingly there is no mention in the report of the presence of CIO
boss Happyton Bonyongwe at the meeting.
Sources say the plan is to target and eliminate selected MDC MP's so
that the other MPs are forced into hiding and after 21 days of being absent
from parliament, forcing by-elections to be held. These will be rigged to
regain ZANU (PF)'s majority in parliament.
The junta also discussed killing all critical journalists from both
the public and private media to silence independent voices - even those
working for state-owned media who did not toe the line.
The plan was aimed at crippling the MDC and forcing it into a
government of national unity where it will be swallowed by ZANU (PF). The
operation was scheduled to begin on Monday this week.
The over-confident generals assured Mugabe that no country in the
world could invade Zimbabwe as their state of preparedness was second to
none in Africa.
Analysts say the information demonstrated that the Mugabe regime was
not sincere about negotiating a peaceful resolution to the crisis and was
determined to continue waging war against the people of Zimbabwe.
The sources identified the following people as being key hitmen in the
Assistant Commissioner Martin Kwaimona, Chief Superintendent Musvita,
Superintendent Linda, Superintendent Chikerema, Chief Inspector Mukudu,
Chief Inspector Tigwere, Superintendent Mumba, Inspector Ngazi, Inspector
Insepector Muzondiwa, Supt Remegio Utsiwembanje - Officer Commanding
Police Protection Units (PPU) Projects, Supt Absalom Mudzamiri - DISPOL
Minor PPU Tomlinson Depot, Ex-Supt Nyawani - now with the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe, Inspector Patric Maramba - Officer In Charge Tomlinson Depot,
Inspector Marufu - 2nd IC Parliament, Inspector Mbokochena - Officer
Commanding PPU, Assistant Inspector Jongwe - PPU Tomlinson Depot, Assistant
Inspector Madziwana - PPU Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI),
Assistant Inspector Muranganwa - PPU PISI, Assistant Inspector Ndangana -
PPU State House, Assistant Inspector Maguma - PPU State House, Sgt
Nyamunaki - PPU PISI, Sgt Muridzo - PPU Transport, Sgt Madzinga - PPU
Willovale, Sgt Chikazaza - PPU State House, Sgt Deremete - PPU State House,
Assistant Inspector Mudonhi, Sgt Mudzova, Sgt Jaji, Sgt Sharara, Assistant
Inspector Mutendamambo, Constable Tarise - Armourer, Constable Matara,
Assistant Inspector Matienga - Armourer Police General Headquarters.

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Witnesses describe how campaign of violence was designed

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 13:49
Coercion, intimidation, beating, displacement - these were the
terrifying words behind codename CIBD, a military operation designed to keep
Mugabe in power.
The Washington Post revealed the cold-blooded planning that went into
the campaign of terror after being given access to written records by a
participant of several private meetings attended by Mugabe in the period
between the first round of voting and the run-off.
In the three months between the March 29 vote and the June 27 run-off
election, ruling-party militias, under the guidance of 200 senior army
officers, systematically brutalised the Movement for Democratic Change. By
election day, more than 80 opposition supporters were dead, hundreds were
missing, thousands were injured and hundreds of thousands were homeless.
The notes and interviews make clear that Zanu (PF)'s military
supporters, who stood to lose wealth and influence if Mugabe bowed out, were
not prepared to relinquish their authority.
After March 29's results started to become all too clear, Mugabe
supporters began erecting 2,000 party compounds across the country that
would serve as bases for the party militias. The beatings with whips,
striking with sticks, torture and other forms of intimidation began. On May
5, in the remote farming village of Chaona, 200 Mugabe supporters rampaged
through the streets and left seven people dead.
At the funerals, opposition activists noted the gruesome condition of
the corpses. Some in the crowds believed soldiers trained in torture were
behind the killings, not the more improvisational ruling-party youth or
liberation war veterans.
The death toll mounted through May, and almost all of the fatalities
were opposition activists. Police in riot gear raided opposition
headquarters in Harare, arresting hundreds of families that had taken refuge
Even some of Mugabe's stalwarts grew uneasy, records of the meetings
Vice President Joice Mujuru, a woman whose ferocity during the
guerrilla war of the 1970s earned her the nickname Spill Blood, warned the
ruling party's politburo in a May 14 meeting that the violence might
backfire. Notes from that and other meetings, as well as interviews with
participants, make clear that she was overruled repeatedly by Chiwenga, the
military head, and by former security chief Emerson Mnangagwa.
On June 20, Mugabe's militias arrived in Manomano. Some carried AK-47
assault rifles.
Forced to drink herbicide
About 150 militia members, some carrying the rifles, circled the
Chironga family home. Gibbs Chironga fired warning shots from his shotgun,
relatives and other witnesses recalled. When Gibbs Chironga emerged, a
militia member shot him with an AK-47, said Hilton Chironga, his 41-year-old
brother, who was wounded by gunfire. Gibbs died soon after. His brother,
sister and mother were beaten, then handcuffed and forced to drink a
herbicide that burned their mouths and faces, relatives said.
Two days later, as Mugabes militias intensified their attacks,
Tsvangirai dropped out of the race.
On election day, Mugabe's militias drove voters to the polls and
tracked through ballot serial numbers those who refused to vote or who cast
ballots for Tsvangirai despite his boycott.
The 84-year-old leader took the oath of office two days later, for a
sixth time. He waved a Bible in the air and exchanged congratulatory
handshakes with Chiwenga, whose reelection plan he had adopted more than two
months before, and the rest of his military leaders.

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Negotiating with lucifer

By Prof. John Makumbe | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 9, 2008 19:59

Bravo! Well done MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai for snubbing Thabo Mbeki
when he tried to re-start his futile mediation circus last week-end. It
would have been a disaster if Tsvangirai and his team had turned up at the
dubious meeting. The venue of the meeting was clearly indicating that the
MDC was going to be in second, if not third place. It would have been an
admission that the one-horse race of 27 June was a legitimate contest that
was won by the geriatric Zanu (PF) leader.

It would have constituted recognition of Robert Mugabe as the
legitimate head of state in Zimbabwe. Further, for Tsvangirai to have turned
up for the fruitless meeting would have been a betrayal of all the people of
Zimbabwe who were killed, raped, beaten up and whose property was destroyed
by the Zanu (PF) militia and the state coercive apparatus in the past eight
weeks in the name of Zanu (PF). It is unfortunate that the Mutambara group
decided to turn up for the silly meeting, much to their embarrassment.

I doubt very much that there had been any consultations between the
two MDC formations prior to the holding of the ridiculous Mbeki meeting.
There are those who hold the view that by boycotting the meeting, the MDC
(Tsvangirai) party was in danger of sidelining itself. Nothing can be
further from the truth. On the contrary, by attending the circus, the
Mutambara faction ran the risk of being accused of being aligned with the
devil incarnate, Zanu (PF).

There are some people who even hold strange fears that the Mutambara
faction might now throw in its lot with Zanu (PF), as well as instruct its
MPs to support Zanu (PF) in both houses of the legislature. While that
possibility exists, it would still be a futile exercise since no Zimbabweans
would ever accept any arrangement that leaves Robert Mugabe as head of state
and Zanu (PF) as the ruining party in Zimbabwe.

For any real negotiations to begin, the MDC's pre-conditions must be
met to the last letter. These are, inter alia, the violence has to stop; all
MDC supporters that are under arrest must be released, and all charges
against them dropped. Anything short of these conditions must not be
accepted by the MDC. If the stupid run-off was a legitimate electoral
process, then Mugabe can go ahead and rule the country for the next five
years. What is the need for negotiations? Where in the world do people go to
elections and then after the publishing of results they start to negotiate?
Mbeki must first come clean on the run-off rubbish.

Does he recognize the 27 June one old man dance as a valid contest? If
he does, then what is the purpose of the mediation process? If the 27 June
nonsense was nothing but a farce, then Mbeki has to state that
categorically, and thereby justify the need for negotiations and mediation.
We are very much aware that violence is still going on in many parts of the
country, especially in the rural areas.

There are still a lot of MDC supporters that are still living in the
bush, up the mountains and away from their homes. Mugabe is trying to give
the impression that all is now well in Zimbabwe, but that is not at all the
case. Indeed, the invasion of the South African and US embassies in Harare
by some of the victims of Mugabe's violence is ample evidence that violence
is still rampant throughout the country.

The MDC cannot be expected to sit down at the table to negotiate with
Lucifer while their supporters are still being haunted by Lucifer's wild
dogs, the Zanu (PF) militia. The JOC has a lot to answer for what is going
on in Zimbabwe.

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Civil servants stop going to work

Zimbabwe Guardian

Dyke Sithole

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:01:00 +0000

AS the economic situation continues to worsen in Zimbabwe most civil
servants have stopped going to work as they have run out money for

Four months ago the public service commission introduced 'unannounced up
wages' for civil servants - a system which has seen government employees
being paid at least twice a month.

"Half the members of staff at Mahlahleni Primary School have not been
attending work since Monday saying they are awaiting additional payments as
before to enable them to travel to work," said Mrs. Gumbo, a teacher at the

"It however seems the measure might have been a campaign gimmick for
President Mugabe which could have been stopped after he won the presidential
run off on June 27."

Prices of basic supplies and services have continued to increase with
commuter omnibuses now charging Z$15 billion for a single trip, while the
average wage of civil servants is about Z$200 billion.

Most Zimbabweans are hoping a solution to the nation's crisis will soon be
found through talks currently being held by the two major political parties.

Last week President Thabo Mbeki the Sadc-appointed mediator conducted the
first meeting in Harare which for the first time was attended by President
Mugabe and members of a formation of the opposition MDC led by Prof Arthur

MDC-T delegation did not attend the meeting, but a second similar meeting is
scheduled to be held in South Africa next week, where both formations of the
MDC are said to have confirmed they will attend.

"Unless the meeting next week comes up with a way forward, the people of
Zimbabwe will continue to suffer and this time the government seems to have
run out of ideas on how to temporarily cover up some of the problems as they
have been doing in the past," said Godfrey Dube, a deputy headmaster at a
primary school in the city.

He said the situation was being worsened by some key players in the economy
who continue to increase prices unreasonably to cripple the government and
force the Zanu PF government to give in to opposition demands.

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No Need to be Optimistic About Proposed New Zimbabwe Talks, Analyst Says


By James Butty
Washington, D.C.
10 July 2008

There are reports that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF
party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will hold new
round of talks this week in South Africa. This was revealed Wednesday by the
lawyer for MDC secretary general Tendai Biti during a court hearing in
Harare to seek the return of Biti's passport.

Earlier this week, Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said
President Mugabe was ready to form a unity government. But he did not say
what role MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai would play in such government.

The proposed talks come on the heel of the recent African Union summit
calling on both the Zimbabwe government and the opposition MDC to form a
unity government. Herman

Hanekom is a current affairs specialist with the Africa Institute of South
Africa. He told VOA the talks, if held, would be a continuation of the old,
failed talks.

"The information as I had it about four hours ago is that Tendai Biti, upon
court order, in Harare, Zimbabwe has been given back his passport and his
bail conditions were amended to allow him to attend these talks if they do
take place in South Africa this coming week. Now these talks are not, as far
as I'm concerned, new talks. It's merely a continuation of talks that got
took place between the MDC and ZANU-PF prior to the election under the
auspices of President Thabo Mbeki," he said.

The proposed talks come on the heel of the recent African Union summit in
Egypt calling on both the Zimbabwe government and the opposition MDC to form
a unity government.

Hanekom said the proposed talks are not a new mandate for South African
President Thabo Mbeki to mediate that talks aimed at ending Zimbabwe's
political crisis.

He described as flowery language comments earlier this week by Zimbabwe
Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi that President Mugabe was ready to
form a unity government with the opposition.

"Absolutely flowery language! Formation of a unity government under whose
leadership, Mugabe's? Big question mark! How legitimate he is. There was no
mention by the Zimbabwe foreign minister, who incidentally I think is
illegal at the moment as his function stopped on the 29th of March. But
nevertheless he did not say what kind of role Mugabe is prepared to cede to
Morgan Tsvangirai in such unity government. So let there be no optimism
unless there's clarity on that on what Mr. Tsvangirai's role will be,"
Hanekom said.

Reacting to the Sham el-Sheikh African Union summit recommendation for a
unity government in Zimbabwe, MDC leader Tsvangirai reportedly said he
wanted to see either United Nations or African Union observers at any future

Hanekom said it is important for the MDC to have faith in any South Africa
mediated talks.

"What is a very important issue in the entire fiasco that is taking place at
the moment, to what degree will the MDC have faith in the South Africa
mediation without a representative of the African Union present as they have
clearly indicated after Sham el-Sheikh that they are prepared to continue
with Thabo Mbeki as the mediator but they do want another party present that
is not attached to South Africa at all but to the African Union. And that is
another key issue because the past has proven time and again that from the
mediator side certain things were said that later were proved not to have
been true," Hanekom said.

He said the fact that MDC secretary general Tendai Biti was given his
passport indicates that not all judges in Zimbabwe are politicized as the
police and military are politicized.

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Zimbabwe torture victims speak out

SBS, Australia
Thursday, 10 July, 2008

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Zimbabwean exiles vow to return

SBS, Australia

Thursday, 10 July, 2008

Zimbabwean exiles in South Africa are becoming increasingly frustrated by
the impasse in their country, and are threatening to take the law into their
own hands.

Last week, Brian Thomson brought you the story of Patson Murimoga, an
activist for the opposition MDC party, who fled Zimbabwe after being
attacked with an axe and faces certain death if he returns to his homeland.

On the move, yet again. Just when things seemed like they couldn't get any
worse for Patson Murimoga, they have. The caretaker in the block of flats in
which he's been staying has objected to the fact that so many exiled
activists are living there, and he has to move out.

PATSON MURIMOGA, ZIMBABWEAN EXILE: I have got food, I have got blankets, I
have got my clothes, but I don't have a place for myself to stay.

Patson cuts a sad figure on the streets of Pretoria. He is still deeply
traumatised by the attack he endured.

When we met him last week, he had just one day left on his visa. He told us
that the people who assaulted him would kill him if he returned to Zimbabwe,
so we helped him to extend his stay, but it was only a temporary reprieve.

PATSON MURIMOGA: Sometimes I end up thinking it would be better for myself
to commit suicide because I can't live. The situation is bad.

Patson carries baby clothes given to him by a South African who felt sorry
for him, but he has no way of getting them to his wife. Because of his
injuries, he can't even work illegally. He is beginning to run out of hope.

PATSON MURIMOGA: Whom can I tell my problem? I can't tell even my father. I
can't tell even my brother. There is no-one who can help me here in South

It seems like almost every Zimbabwean exile here has a sad story to tell.
Three million have fled to South Africa over the past 10 years, many
narrowly escaping with their lives.

The young activists who'd taken Patson in lost friends and family in the
run-up to the election.

They carry with them pictures of those who died.

MAN: He was killed, finally killed, on May 10.

Some of them even have copies of the official paperwork ordering their

MAN: 'Elimination' means to be killed. That is the term they use.

As they struggle to survive, the activists here in South Africa say they
feel completely abandoned.

WISEMAN MAYENGEZA, ZIMBABWEAAN EXILE: There are about 30 civil society
organisations here in South Africa which purport to represent the victims of
Zimbabwe, and, up to date, even the MDC doesn't pay even a cent here.

But still, they stand by their leader, fiercely supporting his refusal to
enter a government of national unity with the people who tried to kill them.

WISEMAN MAYENGEZA: We are going to pursue the struggle regardless of how we
are feeling and how we are neglected, we don't mind, but we will go back to
fight for a new political regime in Zimbabwe, and let me tell you, Robert
Mugabe will not last even for six months. We are going there. We know what
we are going to do, we are going to mobilise, and this time, I am sorry, we
might be forced to revenge.

Patson may be less animated than some of the other activists, but he does
agree with their argument.

PATSON MURIMOGA: After killing us, they say we should have to make a
government of national unity. A government of national unity for what?

Since fleeing Zimbabwe, Patson has been unable to contact his wife and he
doesn't know if and when he'll see his baby. But, like the rest of the
Zimbabwean activists in exile here, he says he has no regrets. In Pretoria,
Brian Thomson, World News Australia.
Source: SBS

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Pan-African Campaign of Solidarity for Zimbabwe

On Saturday 12 July 2008, following a call by CIVICUS: World Alliance For Citizen Participation, Amnesty International and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP), citizens of Africa will unite to express their solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe who are suffering persistent violations of their rights. Saturday represents the launch of a Pan-African Campaign of Solidarity for Zimbabwe, and will be followed by events continent-wide.

The widespread killings, torture and intimidation of the political opposition that characterised the presidential election run-off on June 27 cannot be condoned under any circumstances. “By flagrantly and consistently violating the values upon which present day Africa is premised, Mr Mugabe has done great disservice to the people of Zimbabwe and the continent. We believe it is the responsibility of all Africans to urgently put a stop to Mr Mugabe’s anti-democratic activities” said Kumi Naidoo Honorary President of CIVICUS. 
“The widespread killings, torture and assault of perceived opposition supporters must come to an end in Zimbabwe. Concrete action is long overdue and African leaders must end their silent acquiescence,”
said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
In this hour of crisis, the people of Africa stand together with the people of Zimbabwe. “We urge African leaders to call for space to be opened up so that civil society can play a role in tackling Zimbabwe’s current crisis – we are needed now more than ever as millions of people face hunger through growing food insecurity brought on by mis-governance.” said Adelaide Sosseh, GCAP Co-chair based in The Gambia.

Saturday’s Pan-African events will express the concern of people continent-wide for the situation in Zimbabwe, and demonstrate the unity with which Africans stand against the violations committed against Zimbabwe’s people. It represents the beginning of an Africa-
wide campaign at the grassroots level, allowing African voices to speak out about njustice in Zimbabwe. 
For further information, please contact: 
Anupama Selvam
+27 11 833 5959 ext. 107
Joe Donlin
For media queries:  
Nastasya Tay
+27 73 266 0493

For Amnesty International: 
Chris Cymbalak 


Campaign Resources:

There are a growing number of African voices speaking out against the suffering in Zimbabwe and demanding action from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and individual African governments. The types of action that they are calling for include: 

  • Appointment of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the recent human rights violations and abuses  
  • Posting of human rights monitors to report on the current situation
  • Urge a solution to the present political crisis and deep divisions amongst the people of Zimbabwe in the spirit of reconciliation and dialogue 
  • Restoration of the independence of the judiciary and accountability of security forces and law enforcement agencies 

There will be a range of activities taking place across the African continent on Saturday 12 July 2008, organised by local civil society organisations and concerned citizens. The expressions of solidarity that they will be making include:  

  • Organising vigils outside the Zimbabwean embassies  
  • Assembling outside government buildings or Houses of Parliament urging national governments to play a more active role on Zimbabwe 
  • Meetings with heads of state, parliamentarians or local governments to urge action on Zimbabwe (SEE Open letter: Africa stand up for Zimbabwe)
  • Publishing articles or letters in the national or local press on violations of human and people’s rights in Zimbabwe 
  • Organising press conferences with civil society representatives, government representatives and other experts on Zimbabwe 
  • Issuing a press releases urging action on Zimbabwe 
  • Directing people to sign a petition or take an e-action 
  • Presenting memorandums or submissions to the African Union, Southern African Development Community and national governments 

GCAP/CIVICUS statement on Zimbabwe

Amnesty International statement on Zimbabwe

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Why Tsvangirai is not helping Zimbabwe crisis

Business Day

10 July 2008

Thami Mazwai

MANY still recall the Robert Mugabe who won his country's independence on
the lofty principle of the right of Zimbabweans to choose their own
government. He threw his support behind SA's struggle on the same principle.

Today, Mugabe unleashes unimaginable brutality on his fellow Zimbabweans as
he rejects a government they chose. Murder, detention, rape, arson and
looting are the order of the day. Aid agencies are persecuted, thus denying
people food and other basic necessities.

Has the real Mugabe been disrobed , now standing before us naked, in
renunciation of the principles he purportedly fought for? His lack of
scruples, even stealing votes in a one-horse race, is breathtaking.

This happens just after the African Union (AU) has accepted Mwai Kibaki as
president of Kenya, even though he also stole the election, and the real
winner had
to be accommodated in a so-called government of national unity, with Kibaki
still calling the shots.

A similar scenario appears to be the only solution in Zimbabwe. To add
insult to injury, Mugabe demands that Africa and Tsvangirai first recognise
him as president.

However, the many who rightfully demand that Mugabe be removed must also
deal with two other issues that muddy the water. The first is Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai , and the second the
European Union (EU), the UK and the US and, linked to this, Tsvangirai's
relationship with this axis.

Tsvangirai has not yet shown the mettle of a true leader. In fact, he
appears to be the joker in the pack rather than a president in waiting. Was
it not more a case of Mugabe losing the election than that of Tsvangirai
winning ? Was it not simply that Zimbabweans had had enough of Mugabe and
would settle for any alternative?

For instance, instead of Tsvangirai capitalising on his triumph in the first
round and mobilising his forces, he sulked and skulked between the skirts of
African and world leaders. At the weekend, he boycotted a meeting with
Mugabe and President Thabo Mbeki, as if Mugabe
would be the poorer for it. If he had a point to make, he went about it the
wrong way. You do not snub mediators when mediation is your only hope.

He has made his installation everybody's problem but his. He seems to
believe he should simply be anointed. He has indulged in tirades against
Mbeki, the very man responsible for the amendments to Zimbabwe's electoral
laws that ushered in the transparency that ensured there was no rigging this

The previous system allowed the Mugabe-appointed Zimbabwean Election
Commission (ZEC) to alone run the election and then announce the winner. The
transparent election produced a shock. As a ZEC, terrified of Mugabe, sat on
the results, Tsvangirai took to Botswana, SA and Kenya.

He had to be elbowed home to fight the runoff. He virtually sneaked into the
country as he feared being "assassinated". Then he holed himself up in the
Dutch embassy, to the embarrassment of his reluctant hosts, because he saw
police heading towards his house.

This is not to suggest Mugabe's militia would think twice if given the
opportunity to deal with him. But Tsvangirai is not the first leader to have
faced this threat, and will not be the last. Other leaders have handled such
threats, perceived or real, far more diplomatically than he has.

The other complication relates to the EU, UK and US. The quicker they move
to the sidelines, the better for Zimbabwe. Let them impose sanctions but
stop dictating the terms, pace and outcome of negotiations still to come. On
the other hand, the need for a hands-off attitude must not blind us to the
fact that we promised the Group of Eight proper governance in return for
them funding Nepad projects. We must not want to have our cake and eat it

And are the EU, UK and US not aware that Tsvangirai is seen as their puppet?
There is justifiable concern that former colonisers will grab any
opportunity to slink in and continue their rape of Africa. Thus, the
question uppermost in people's minds is: from where comes the money that
enables the MDC to fight elections, go to court at the drop of a hat and fly
Tsvangirai all over the world?

The promise of billions in aid by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and
for displaced farmers, also conjured up images of a former colonial landlord
returning. This has now complicated the situation and guaranteed Mugabe his

Thus, many of Africa's leaders do not as yet see Tsvangirai as a potential
colleague. However, none of us can choose a president for Zimbabwe.
Regardless of the complications, Zimbabweans have spoken. Pressure must
intensify as mediation is stepped up. Above all, Africa must never ever give
in to Mugabe's demand for recognition. This would make a mockery
of the African renaissance and we would never outlive the shame.

a.. Mazwai is on the staff of the University of Johannesburg.

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Negotiations or war, says MDC

The Citizen, SA

09/07/2008 21:43:39


JOHANNESBURG - A vocal war has erupted between Zimbabwe's political rivals
over governance this week.

This became evident yesterday after the (MDC) Movement for Democratic Change's
factions censured each other and Zanu-PF about the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Arthur Mutambara of the MDC minority said there were only two options for
Zimbabweans, namely: "Pick up arms of war and drive out Robert Mugabe," or
"negotiate an all-inclusive political settlement".

"These are the only choices. We need to be decisive in our analysis and
strategic thinking... The only sensible and conceivable way forward is
through national dialogue among all the key civic and political
stakeholders, in pursuit of a political agreement," said Mutambara.

But MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the party was "gravely disturbed" by
"malicious" statements to the effect that if there was no Government of
National Unity, there would be a civil war.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the party remained committed to a
peaceful, negotiated solution to the Zimbabwean crisis, but a catalogue of
acts of "bad faith" by Zanu-PF continued to "poison" the environment for

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Zimbabwe: "One Hell of a Crisis"

Boston University
July 10, 2008

BU prof reflects on the collapse of his homeland
By Chris Berdik
In the nearly three decades Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe, his reputation
has gone from liberation hero to brutal tyrant.

Zimbabwe's economy is in shambles, with high unemployment and
hyperinflation. Following Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms,
agricultural production has fallen, leading to food shortages in a country
once known as the region's breadbasket.

And yet, Mugabe maintains his grip on Zimbabwe. Late last month, he was
sworn in for a sixth term as president, a post he's held since 1980, the
year the country won independence from white colonial rule. He won 85
percent of the vote in a runoff election he called after refusing to concede
his loss to the opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, in an election this

In the weeks leading up to the June 27 vote, the opposition, and many
international observers and journalists, accused Mugabe's henchmen of
violence and voter intimidation. Indeed, Tsvangirai dropped out of the race,
saying he wanted to avoid further bloodshed.

The crisis in Zimbabwe may be just now coming to a head, but it's been
decades in the making, according to Marthinus Daneel, a School of Theology
professor of missiology (a mix of theology and social science), who splits
his time between Boston and his native Zimbabwe. Daneel has been researching
the traditional religions of Zimbabwe since the 1960s, and he has developed
theological training programs for ministers of the different forms of
indigenous Christianity included in his research. In recent decades, he also
led efforts to link these religious groups to initiatives for positive
social change, including tree planting to fight Zimbabwe's rapid
deforestation, improved maize cultivation methods for subsistence farmers,
and HIV/AIDS education in a country where approximately one in five adults
has the virus, according to the World Health Organization.

Daneel risks being charged with treason for criticizing Mugabe - indeed, the
white colonial regime once accused Daneel of treason for refusing to take up
arms against the black liberation struggle. Still, he spoke with BU Today
about the crisis in his native land by phone from Pretoria, South Africa,
where he is visiting family before returning to Zimbabwe next week.

BU Today: How would you describe the situation in Zimbabwe?
Daneel: Obviously we're in one hell of a crisis. I'm talking from the rural
perspective, because I move around amongst the rural people I've worked with
for many years. They have very few medicines, such as antiretrovirals. The
clinics aren't operating properly. Our money's worth nothing, because of
out-of-control inflation.

A lot of people out in the villages are simply hungry. They're subsistence
farmers, and if they're in the opposition party, then they don't get enough
food. Most of the commercial farms that have been given away to the
so-called war vets - the cronies of Robert Mugabe - are not functioning
well, and a lot of them are held by politicians who are not farmers. So you
would never guess that we were once considered the breadbasket of the

But I know and relate to the people on the ground level, and I saw their
expectations building before the first election. And then as these
atrocities spread, they became even more determined and were very
disappointed when Tsvangirai pulled out. They felt that the deaths had been
in vain, whereas Tsvangirai thought he had to pull out to stop the killing.

These seem like problems that have been years in the making.
It was long in the making, and it should have been countered. But how do you
do that if you've basically got one dominant party? So you end up with a
dictatorship, and when you have that kind of a situation, a lot of the
economy and the natural resources of the country are exploited for a
privileged group and not for the population.

Is this a crisis for the entire region of southern Africa?
Yes. The silent diplomacy of South African President Thabo Mbeki is
something I have really very little time for. Zimbabwe is largely dependent
on South Africa for its economy. For example, Mbeki has been giving huge
amounts of electricity to Mugabe at the expense of the taxpayers of South
Africa. But because Mbeki is trying to cover for Mugabe, he has not
criticized all the murders, torture, and killings that have taken place.

He has the power and the clout, if he wants to use them, to tell Mugabe,
"These are the conditions and play ball or else we're closing the taps."
Mugabe would be on his knees.

Are African leaders shying away from standing up to someone they regard as a
fellow freedom fighter against colonial rule?
There has to come a time when you say, "Look you're one of us, but you're
way out of line." But right now, whenever they hear of sanctions coming from
Europe or America, they throw a blanket over the African Union and say,
"Keep your hands off of Africa." Look at what has happened at the African
Union meeting in Egypt - there were some African leaders who have come out
and criticized Mugabe, and that's a little better than before. But the only
consensus they were able to come to was that Mugabe is still the president
and needs to negotiate with Tsvangirai. And with those shallow graves of the
tortured, maimed, and killed people of the opposition party lying all over
the country, what kind of negotiations can there be?

Mbeki argues for a negotiated settlement in which Mugabe would agree to
share power with Tsvangirai. Do you hold out hope for a power-sharing
government in Zimbabwe?
I'm skeptical. I've seen the way things are done here, and I really doubt it
will be a fair solution at all. And I think Tsvangirai has had enough. I
think he will not subject himself unless there is real pressure from the
outside for Mugabe to make real compromises and recognize Tsvangirai's
opposition party as a legitimate political party. Now, I'm not a politician.
I'm not in the opposition. But this is probably why Mugabe acts as he has,
because he realizes that the country is in the process of pretty much
rejecting his leadership.

The international observers have indicated that in that first election,
Tsvangirai won a clear majority, and I think it's quite likely there will be
uprisings and civil unrest until we get a real possibility of another
election on even terms. The real problem with negotiating now is that the
power is held by the generals, who are the same people who massacred 20,000
Zimbabweans in the early 1980s. They want desperately to retain their
privileged positions and to avoid prosecution for their crimes. Thus,
negotiations will fail because these generals will never give up power.

Do you believe Americans and Europeans generally don't pay much attention to
Africa unless there's mass starvation or a bloodletting?
I do feel that there is a certain neglect, but it's also understandable.
After all, there's no oil here, you know. That's a cynical observation. But
I've seen a lot of Western-backed development schemes, including ones I've
been involved with, fall apart because of rivalries and other problems on
the local level, where people get some leadership and responsibility and
forget about the project itself. They want to accommodate their extended
family and the clan. And they do so at the expense of the greater population
that could benefit from the project. That breaks your heart time and time
again. And I think this has happened so often that people in the West

Still, Africa ultimately will have to lift itself and be counted in the
world. I think that as mutual respect grows between Africa and the West, and
people start to understand the continent, it will improve slowly. The love
of the continent is there in so many of us, but at the same time, it's
Africa that has to help itself. It's going to be many generations until the
backlash against colonialism has healed to the extent that it's not the
fellow freedom fighter that matters. It's the guy who's for real freedom,
instead of his own benefit, and who is prepared to build up the country and
the continent. When that sensibility takes over, this country and continent
will rise, I hope.

How has the current crisis affected your work?
Well, I'm down to people looking after the house, including an adopted
African grandson who lives on the premises with his wife and takes care of
the place. Some African staff are living there. But the teachers and others
have gone. I can do follow-up research and so on. But it is also the
question as to whether one wants to live with that kind of risk.

And I ask myself whether I want to continue living there, whether it's
responsible to my wife and others for me to continue living there. Can I
sell the house? Maybe, maybe not. You can't take your money out, and if you
sell for Zimbabwe currency, never mind how many zillions you're going to get
for it, you can put all that money in a wheelbarrow and go throw it in a
fire and then steal the wheelbarrow, because that'll be worth more than that
worthless money.

My heart says stay, and hope, and be identified with the people as I've done
over the years. But my head says, just get out of there. I've lived through
other violent times. I had a sister who was shot in the legs in an ambush
during the liberation struggle. I was in one ambush when they hit the car of
the mayor of my town, who was directly behind my vehicle. Another friend of
mine, a minister, was just shot like a dog next to the road. These things
did happen, and some of it can happen again when you get chaos, and then it
will be too late if you're inside.

What keeps you there?
It's the life I've been living. I also don't want to be in exile. I want to
live in Africa, because I love this part of the world. My sympathy lies with
the people here. They are poor, and you can pick out those who are suffering
with HIV/AIDS and are on their last legs. But it's amazing that at our
ceremonies of graduation, they put on their only good clothes and they come
and dance. They make an effort to come out and celebrate life. I complain
about the cost of diesel and the economy and whatever, and these people who
are virtually dying come out and celebrate like you can't believe. They've
taught me more than I have taught them about living and celebrating life
while the light of day is still here. And that has been a great privilege.

The country, the continent is wonderful, beautiful. I've had the privilege
of living here for quite a while and camping out next to that massive river,
the Zambezi, where you hear at night the honking of the hippo and the lions
walking and talking to each other and growling. That orchestra - it's the
continent talking to you. And if you've done that a number of times, it gets
into your blood. It's part of you, and you don't want to be rid of it,
because this continent sits inside you.

Chris Berdik can be reached at

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End aid to Zimbabwe, end tyrant's rule

Arizona Republic

Jul. 10, 2008 12:00 AM

With regard to your editorial "End this tyrant's rule" in Tuesday's

I am utterly amazed that politicians worldwide including the United Nations,
the African Union, Group of Eight, U.S. administrations over the last 20
years, and many others seem to overlook the fact that Robert Mugabe operates
under the childhood saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words
will never hurt me."

All we hear, time and time again, from those condemning Mugabe are words,
words, words. "Condemn," "strongly condemn," "support sanctions" (blah,
blah, blah) while the people of Zimbabwe are brutally beaten and killed.
Does this remind you of the world standing by on the sidelines while
watching the slaughter in Rwanda of over 800,000 people?

Mugabe is thumbing his nose at the world and enjoying every moment of his
despotic hold over what was once the breadbasket of southern Africa and a
wonderful country. While welcoming with open arms U.S. aid to feed the
people of Zimbabwe, he plunders and steals the country into economic ruin.

Stop U.S. aid to Zimbabwe! If Congress had passed the Zimbabwe Democracy Act
2000 (sponsored by Sen. John McCain), maybe, just maybe, Mugabe's rule could
have been shortened. - Hal Cope,Scottsdale

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Satirical view of African tragedy

Thursday, 10 July 2008

. Howick and Pakuranga Times

His Excellency is in Love, plays at the Salvation Army Hall, 369 Queen St,
on July 19 at 6.30pm. Tickets $20, ph: 021-132-8722.

AFTER your work has been banned in Zimbabwe from threats of riot police,
putting on a play in Auckland is less formidable.

The heavy handed response last year to Stanley Makuwe's work was enough to
convince the Pakuranga resident that his plays might be better done here

As the post-election crisis continues in Zimbabwe, Mr Makuwe has staged a
second political satire with fellow Zimbabweans from the theatre group
Padare, to run in Auckland this month.

Moonlighting as a playwright and writer, Mr Makuwe works days as a mental
health nurse at Middlemore Hospital.

Zimbabwe is never far from his thoughts as he tunes into internet radio
stations banned in his homeland, or talks by phone with close family members
still living there.

"It's hard for everyone because we have families there and think of them all
the time," says Mr Makuwe. "We're just hoping for negotiations. This can't
go on forever."

His new play charts the decline of a dictator as the nation crumbles.
Director Sam Mudzanire and most of the actors are Zimbabwean, while the lead
is played by Rwandan Francois Byamana, who has also experienced political
instability first hand.

He was among the refugees holed up in a hotel during the 1990s Rwanda
crisis, a story made famous in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

The African drama group's name, Padare, means "fireside storytelling".
Formed in February, it's theatre that harks back to the ancient tradition of
stories told to young people around the fire, stories the tribe needs to

"This is art," says Mr Makuwe. "We're crying for the whole of Africa,
because everywhere there are these problems. This is to give voice to the

His roots as a writer go back to a childhood spent in the Shurugwi district
of Zimbabwe.

After a late application saw his hopes dashed to train as a journalist, he
became a nurse in the capital Harare.

Six years ago, just after the 2002 election when Robert Mugabe once again
took power, Mr Makuwe departed with his wife for a life in New Zealand.

"We left right on the edge when things were starting to fall to pieces," he

A year after arriving they had a daughter. Only then did Mr Makuwe turn
seriously to writing, prompted by a hospital colleague with literary

Having begun, recognition wasn't too far off. One of his short stories, Life
in a Third World Mortuary, was runner-up in a 2005 BBC African writing

He added it to other stories in the collection Under This Tree (a Newstalk
ZB book of the week). It inspired his first play The Dead Shall Rise Again,
a kind of political zombie story.

The dead rise to protest, march to the state house to stage a coup against
the president and eventually kill him, whereupon he's sent to hell to face
the souls of the dead once more.

In 2007 the play was highly commended at the International Playwrights
Competition, arousing the interest of Zimbabwean director Cont Mhlanga, who
was establishing protest theatre in the country.

The performance had been publicised and was ready to run last year, but at
the last minute was pulled when police threatened to send in forces if it
went ahead.

"They said the riot police were on standby," says Mr Makuwe.

He then realised his plays would not be able to go ahead in his native
country, so has since marshalled the creative forces of the local African
community to stage his work in New Zealand.

His Excellency also features dance by the South African Zulu troupe, Taste
of Africa.

It appears the work of Padare is just beginning, with performances scheduled
for Wellington and possibly Christchurch and further plays to come.

"This is the first African theatre group in New Zealand," enthuses Mr
Makuwe. "We can't stop now, we've made history. [People] should know these

Where is it on?

His Excellency is in Love, plays at the Salvation Army Hall, 369 Queen St,
on July 19 at 6.30pm. Tickets $20, ph: 021-132-8722.

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Africa is giving nothing to anyone -- apart from AIDS

Irish Independent

Thursday July 10 2008
No. It will not do. Even as we see African states refusing to take action to
restore something resembling civilisation in Zimbabwe, the begging bowl for
Ethiopia is being passed around to us, yet again. It is nearly 25 years
since Ethiopia's (and Bob Geldof's) famous Feed The World campaign, and in
that time Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million to 78 million

So why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic
demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is none. To be
sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.

One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of another
wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the camera, which yet
again, captures the tragedy of . . .

Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially.
Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have
stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there. The wide-eyed
boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic,
Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.

There is, no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and
dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system; but I do not know what it
is. There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like

It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well,
the self-righteous, letter-writing wrathful, a species which never fails to
contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral
superiority. It will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish
life, like John O'Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I
admire enormously. So be it.

But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our
own Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no comparison. Within
20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30pc. Over the
equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and
the Lockheed Hercules, Ethiopia's has more than doubled.

Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere, over the
rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, Kalashnikov-toting,
khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts.

Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually

hyperactive indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive
because of help from the outside world.

This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense.
Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the next president
of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap water
on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against infection. Needless
to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic
wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea etcetera.

Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the way
that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters. Japan, China,
Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th
century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of

They are now -- one way or another -- virtually all giving aid to or
investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush
pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.

Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing
catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population of Ethiopia
will be 177 million: The equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today,
but located on the parched and increasingly protein-free wastelands of the
Great Rift Valley.

So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult
population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally
devastated and economically dependent country?

How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation
today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger,
violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed
children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it
might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity. But
that is not good enough.

For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has
sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.

It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is inspiring
Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost
complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the
most efficacious forms of population-control now operating.

If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would
otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts. Oh
good: then what?I know. Let them all come here. Yes, that's an idea.

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