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Zimbabwe rivals tentatively begin talks on political crisis

International Herald Tribune

By Barry Bearak Published: July 11, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: Zimbabwe's governing party began preliminary discussions with
the opposition on Thursday in an effort to settle a political crisis in
which both sides have staked a claim to the nation's presidency.

But in a statement late in the day, Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition
leader, said the talks, in Pretoria, South Africa, could not lead to genuine
negotiations until state-sponsored violence stopped and 1,500 of his
supporters were freed from prison.

He denounced efforts by President Robert Mugabe's government to portray the
meeting as a negotiation imminently leading to a settlement, saying the
governing party, ZANU-PF, was "being disingenuous and exploiting the plight
of the Zimbabwean people for political gain."

Tsvangirai was in an awkward position. For the past two days, his party, the
Movement for Democratic Change, has issued categorical statements that it
will not take part in any kind of talks until its conditions are met. The
government's announcement that talks were in the works was a "figment of the
dictator's imagination," read one opposition statement. But Thursday,
Tsvangirai nevertheless sent emissaries to Pretoria.

Both sides have mentioned the need for some sort of unity government, though
ZANU-PF demands that President Mugabe remain on top while the opposition
insists on Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai outpolled Mugabe in a March election, but withdrew from a June 27
runoff, citing the continuing violence and leaving Mugabe the sole
Thursday's meetings may indeed prove to be nothing more than
finger-pointing. But the fact that any discussions are occurring is
something of a victory for the regional mediator, South Africa's president,
Thabo Mbeki, a Mugabe ally of long standing whom the opposition has accused
of bias in the mediation. Mbeki traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, last
weekend but failed to get Tsvangirai to meet with Mugabe.

Neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai has come to Pretoria. The opposition is
represented by its secretary general, Tendai Biti, recently freed on bail on
treason charges, and its deputy treasurer general, Elton Mangoma. The
ZANU-PF negotiators are the justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, and the
labor minister, Nicholas Goche, according to Zimbabwe's state-run newspaper,
The Herald.

By most accounts, the bloodletting continues in Zimbabwe. In the predawn
hours on Monday, hundreds of people displaced by earlier violence were
attacked at a rehabilitation center near Harare. Victims blamed the ZANU-PF
militia for the violence.

"Where do I go now?" asked an opposition campaigner contacted by phone. He
was afraid to have his name appear in the newspaper. "Someone who escaped
with me was killed. I don't know what to do or where to go. This city is too
small for me now, and there is no protection."

Weeks ago, charitable organizations were ordered by the Mugabe government to
stop helping the country's poor and the hungry. Church groups and other
volunteers are hastily trying to step into the breach. The number of
displaced people is estimated in the tens of thousands.

"We're feeding a thousand people - men, women and children - and that's just
a small part of the displaced," said a volunteer in Harare who was afraid to
have her name published. "People - white and black - have been very generous
with what little they have: money, toothbrushes, oil, soap, whatever. We can
feed people, but we can't help them if the government is going to root them
out and attack them."

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Zimbabwe talks enter second day


Friday, 11 July 2008 06:09 UK

Talks between Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change are due to resume in South Africa.

On the first day of talks, the MDC set a series of pre-conditions for
the opening of formal negotiations.

They include the release of more than 1,500 political prisoners and an
expanded mediation team.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has delayed voting on a package of
sanctions against Zimbabwe.

In a letter to the UN, the Zimbabwean government said any new
sanctions risked starting a civil war in the country.

This is the first meeting between Zanu-PF and the MDC since June's
run-off poll, which President Robert Mugabe won unopposed after the MDC
pulled out because of violence.

South Africa President Thabo Mbeki is leading mediation efforts.

But MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has issued a statement saying the
talks do not amount to formal negotiations.

It is a first step, correspondents say, but Mr Tsvangirai insisted
that MDC representatives were merely setting out the conditions under which
talks could take place.

He added that nothing could happen while Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF
party "continued state-sanctioned violence and repressive legislation",
which he said was "designed to silence the Zimbabwean people".

Mr Tsvangirai also demanded an expanded mediation team that included a
permanent African Union (AU) envoy.

Deep divide

Both the government and opposition in Zimbabwe are under pressure from
the AU to start a process of dialogue on forming a government of national

Last week, Mr Mugabe accepted the need for negotiations but demanded
that he must first be recognised as president by the opposition.

The BBC's Peter Greste in Johannesburg says the fundamental gaps
between the two sides remain as wide as ever, so the talks appear driven
more by international pressure than any willingness to compromise.

While Zimbabwe's deputy information minister, Bright Matonga, has
brushed off talk of UN sanctions as irrelevant, our correspondent says,
there is considerable pressure from influential African presidents like
Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

But Mr Mugabe has a long history of shrugging off such pressure and
maintaining his grip on power, our correspondent adds, and there is no
evidence he is ready to change.

Sanctions push

Meanwhile, the US and the UK are pushing for a travel ban and assets
freeze on President Mugabe and 13 of his allies, and an arms embargo.

Ahead of an expected UN Security Council resolution, the European
Parliament has called on European countries to impose more economic
sanctions against members of Zimbabwe's government.

The parliament in Strasbourg said travel restrictions on businessmen
who financed Mr Mugabe's government should be among the new measures.

It also said the banks that provided loans or invested in Zimbabwe
should be exposed. The vote is non-binding.

The UN Security Council is due to meet in New York to discuss a draft
resolution on Zimbabwe, despite several African leaders saying they oppose
sanctions, including South Africa.

Mr Mbeki reportedly told G8 leaders earlier this week that UN
sanctions could lead to civil war.

South Africa is currently on the UN Security Council but does not have
the power of veto.

Mr Tsvangirai won the first round of Zimbabwe's presidential elections
on 29 March, but official results gave him less than the 50% share needed to
avoid a run-off.

Since March, the opposition says more than 100 of its supporters have
been killed, some 5,000 are missing and more than 200,000 have been forced
from their homes.

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Zimbabwe warns that sanctions may spark civil war

Yahoo News

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer Thu Jul 10, 11:33 PM ET

UNITED NATIONS - Zimbabwe warned the U.N. Security Council Thursday that the
sanctions it is considering could push the African nation toward civil war.

Zimbabwe's U.N. mission also said in a letter to the council that the
punitive measures proposed by the U.S. and Britain against President Robert
Mugabe's government could turn Zimbabwe into another Somalia, a Horn of
Africa nation where warring factions have clashed for the past 17 years.

The letter, which was released to the media, said the sanctions would lead
to the removal of Zimbabwe's "effective government and, most probably, start
a civil war."

The mission blamed Britain and the U.S., claiming they're obsessed with
regime change and are "determined to ignore real, entrenched, fundamental
and enduring issues that lie at the heart of Zimbabwe's internal politics."

Western powers are pushing for a vote this week on an arms embargo and
financial freeze on Mugabe and top officials in his government in response
to Mugabe's violence-marred re-election. The U.S. and France say they have
the nine votes that are required for the 15-nation council to pass the

South Africa, a council member, has led the opposition to the sanctions,
arguing it is not a threat to international peace and security, and
therefore not a proper matter for the council to take up. The U.S., Britain
and France say it is.

Russia has threatened to veto it, and China also has opposed sanctions; both
have veto power on the council, like the U.S., Britain and France. But
Russia and China also could let the sanctions resolution pass by abstaining
from the vote.

Mugabe pushed ahead with the June 27 runoff despite the opposition candidate
Morgan Tsvangirai pulling out of the race because of state-sponsored beating
and killing of his followers.

The council has repeatedly chastised Mugabe's government, saying the
violence made it impossible to hold a free and fair election. U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has been deeply involved in trying to
resolve the crisis, also strongly criticized Mugabe's regime.

Ban told reporters Thursday the issue of sanctions was a matter for the
council to decide, but the election "has implications beyond Zimbabwe: it
has credibility of democracy in the region and democracy in Africa as a

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Zimbabwe In 'Low-Level Civil War,' Says South African Think Tank


By Patience Rusere
Washington DC
10 July 2008

A South African research institute said Thursday that a "low-intensity civil
war" is unfolding in Zimbabwe as members of the embattled opposition
Movement for Democratic Change fight back against alleged ruling ZANU-PF
perpetrators of post-election political violence.

But the Human Sciences Research Council report added that a full-scale civil
war is unlikely as President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF holds a "virtual
monopoly over coercive power."

A senior MDC official dismissed the report, saying the party was committed
to non-violence and was not organizing retaliation for attacks that have
killed some 112 MDC members.

Human Sciences Research Council Researcher-Director Peter Kagwanja, an
author of the report, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for
Zimbabwe that South African-led mediation should be stepped up to keep
Zimbabwe from sliding into wider conflict.

Deputy Organizing Secretary Morgan Komichi of the MDC formation of Morgan
Tsvangirai said the party remains committed to nonviolence whatever the

The report emerged amid news reports and rumors that the ruling party and
military were preparing for an even harsher crackdown on opposition leaders
to pressure the opposition to accept its terms for a government of national
unity led by Mr. Mugabe.

The Los Angeles Times quoted ZANU-PF sources as saying the violence is
likely to mount as the regime boosts pressure on the opposition. The
state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Dixon Mafios, ZANU-PF youth
chairman for Mashonaland Central province, as urging militants there to
remain vigilant against Western enemies seeking to control the country.

Security and Intelligence Secretary Giles Mutsekwa of the Tsvangirai MDC
formation told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the opposition has obtained
evidence that ZANU-PF has developed what he called "hit squads" to eliminate
senior opposition figures.

Sources in Mashonaland Central province reported renewed violence in the
Shamva South and Shamva North constituencies, saying hundreds of MDC
supporters have fled their homes.

They said a woman severely burned four weeks ago when ZANU-PF militia pushed
her into a fire on which she was preparing her supper died in Harare
yesterday from her injuries

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Opposition takes up arms as Zimbabwe slides into civil war

The Scotsman

Published Date: 11 July 2008
By Fred Bridgland
FRUSTRATED supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in
Zimbabwe have begun arming themselves to fight back against ruling party
security forces and militias, leading research organisations said yesterday.
The country has never been as close to civil war as it is now, following the
controversial one-candidate election of 27 June, in which Robert Mugabe was
returned to power for another five years, says the report, entitled Saving

The report is to be published today by South Africa's publicly funded Human
Sciences Research Council, based in Johannesburg, and the Africa Policy
Institute, based in Nairobi and Pretoria.

Kwandiwe Kondlo, the chief of the council's democracy research programme,
said the failed electoral process was "a recipe for civil war because there
is no yielding ground. A low-intensity war has begun and the situation is
getting out of control."

He said violent retaliation was not MDC policy, but localised "democratic
resistance committees" had been established to counter the violence of
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. "Hell is being let loose," he said. "We do know
almost certainly that some of them (MDC supporters] have begun
(military-style] training.

"The culture of violence that comes from Zanu-PF is gradually becoming part
of the culture in the MDC."

The MDC said that the confirmed death toll of its supporters since the first
election, on 29 March - in which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai outpolled Mr
Mugabe by 47 per cent of the total vote to 43 per cent - has risen to 110.

The latest person to die was a 70-year-old woman who was beaten and thrown
on to a fire in the nickel-mining town of Bindura, the MDC said. She was
attacked by Zanu-PF militiamen in June but died only yesterday from
"terrible burns."

More than 1,500 people, including MDC lawmakers, remain in police custody, a
party spokesman said.

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Why Mugabe and His Foe Are Talking


Thursday, Jul. 10, 2008 By MEGAN LINDOW

Despite Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change holding its
first talks with representatives of President Robert Mugabe's government on
Thursday, there's no early end in sight to the country's political
stalemate. The meeting in the South African capital, Tshwane (formerly
Pretoria) was aimed at pursuing a power-sharing agreement, to resolve the
increasingly violent deadlock that has followed the widely discredited June
27 runoff election through which Mugabe claimed reelection following the
withdrawal of the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai amid a torrent of violence against
his supporters. The talks reflect mounting international pressure on both
sides to achieve a compromise.

Tsvangirai enjoys widespread international legitimacy for having won the
country's first round of presidential elections on March 29, and the
European Union has signaled that it will only recognize a Zimbabwean
government led by the opposition leader. But despite having finished behind
Tsvangirai in that vote, Mugabe holds the the key cards - the security
forces and instruments of government are in his hands, and he has shown no
qualms about using them to bludgeon his way back into power. There are no
serious prospects for Mugabe being topped on the streets any time soon. In
recent weeks, the opposition alleges, the state-sponsored violence that has
gripped the country since March has escalated, with the regime now
apparently bent on weakening its rivals to the point where they will be
forced to accept the junior role in any new unity government.
Mugabe has said that he is willing to form a unity government, as has been
demanded by the African Union. Without international recognition, Mugabe has
precious little hope of reversing Zimbabwe's economic free-fall, and the
international community is insisting that the opposition's election victory
be recognized. But Mugabe's terms for unity are that the opposition must
first recognize him as president. And he appears willing to use his monopoly
on the instruments of violence to press his case - his supporters are
currently focusing their violence against MDC parliamentarians, who won a
legislative majority in the March election but are now hiding in fear of
their lives.

"In the short term,from a power perspective, the current Zimbabwe elite is
holding the cards," says Steven Friedman, director of the Center for the
Study of Democracy in Johannseburg. "It's essentially trying to find a way
to appear to be giving up some power, while keeping it all." To some, the
fact that the MDC is even talking to Mugabe, right now, shows the limited
options available to the opposition. Tsvangirai had last weekend shunned
talks with Mugabe and South African President Thabo Mbeki, the African Union
mediator the opposition accuses of being overly indulgent of Mugabe. Still,
on Wednesday, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, who faces charges of
treason, was given back his passport by a court order so that he could
attend the talks in South Africa. "The onus is now on Morgan Tsvangirai and
the MDC to do what they can to be part of the process if they want to, not
the other way around," says Norman Mlambo, a chief research specialist at
the Africa Institute of South Africa.

The MDC's vacillations about whether or not to negotiate with Mugabe reflect
tensions within the party over whether to seek a quick end to the political
crisis, or to pursue a longer-term strategy, says Friedman. "I think they
are participating in the talks because of this dilemma," he says. An MDC
source told Reuters that the talks were only a precursor to real
negotiations: "This is where we are going to talk about issues of violence
and it is from these discussions that the MDC will decide whether to engage
in full negotiations," the source said. The MDC's key terms for a unity
government are an end to violence in order to allow fresh, credible

Although the international community has vociferously denounced Mugabe's
regime as illegitimate - and this week the G-8 agreed on a sanctions package
to present to the UN Security Council (although Russia appeared later to
backpedal) - only Zimbabwe's neighbours are in a position to apply direct
pressure on the regime. And while support for Mugabe is waning within the
Southern African Development Community and the African Union, the latter
body still insists that the solution to the crisis is a government of
national unity, rather than a transitional government to prepare for fresh
elections. And that leaves Mugabe plenty of wiggle room. Sanctions,
meanwhile, are more likely to hurt ordinary Zimbabweans than the regime,
analysts say, and make them even more dependent on the state. The leadership
would, however, feel the pain if their access to foreign exchange was cut.

As gloomy as the MDC's short-term prospects appear, some argue that they
will improve rapidly as the isolation of Mugabe's regime grows - for the
simple reason that without the support of the opposition, Mugabe will be
unable to avert his country's economic collapse. With inflation estimated to
at least 2 million percent, there's a growing prospect that mounting
discontent among the rank and file of the security forces could destabilize
the regime. At some point, says Friedman, the rate at which violence damages
the opposition will be eclipsed by the impact of economic collapse and
political pressure on Mugabe.

"I think the regime is in more of a fix than the MDC is," says Francis
Kornegay, a senior researcher at the Center for Policy Studies in
Johannesburg. "With time, the upper hand and the advantage tilts more
towards the MDC, and it's a question of how they use that advantage."

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Address Mugabe With Force

New York Sun

By JAMES KIRCHICK | July 11, 2008

As its electoral crisis drags onto an agonizing fourth month of stalemate,
Zimbabwe has proven to be one of the world's most intractable political
conflicts. After 28 years of uninterrupted rule, President Mugabe has
succeeded once again in stealing an election.

Since receiving less votes than his opponent, the Movement for Democratic
Change's Morgan Tsvangirai, in the March 29 presidential election, Mr.
Mugabe let loose a campaign of intimidation, violence, forced relocation,
and murder against his political opponents. The international community yet
again has proven ineffective in its protestations; for years they have
imposed sanctions on top regime officials in an effort to weaken the regime,
but to no effect.

In the editorials and columns denouncing Mr. Mugabe, the Zimbabwean tyrant
is often described as the "prototypical African Big Man." And in many ways,
he is. Mr. Mugabe treats his people with utter impunity. He defiantly snubs
the West. However, policy makers who want to end his rule should stop
thinking of him as just another African dictator. In order to craft a policy
for dealing with him, it may prove best to think of Robert Mugabe like we do
of Islamists.

Mr. Mugabe, of course, is not an Islamist. He is a devout Catholic, educated
in Catholic mission schools, and once considered becoming a priest. Nor does
he threaten anyone other than his own people. But his twisted political
philosophy - a personalized variant of extreme African nationalism - is akin
to a fundamentalist religion.

Mr. Mugabe genuinely believes that he is fighting racism and colonialism, 28
years after Zimbabwe became independent of white minority rule. Though there
are hardly any whites left in his country anymore, Mr. Mugabe continues to
rail against their pernicious influence and he always attacks the MDC as a
tool of foreign imperialists.

If the MDC takes over the reigns, Mr. Mugabe alleges, it would be no
different than Ian Smith rising from the dead to resume his place as Prime
Minister of Rhodesia. Which is why Mr. Mugabe will never agree to a policy
that allows the MDC to assume power. The opposition party won the March
parliamentary elections, in results that Mr. Mugabe did not officially
dispute, but the new parliament has yet to be seated.

Like Islamists, Mr. Mugabe invokes heavenly backing for his cause. "Only God
who appointed me will remove me," he said in a speech last month, "not the
MDC, not the British. The MDC will never be allowed to rule this country -
never ever," he said, adding, "How can a ballpoint pen fight with a gun?"
This has been Mr. Mugabe's modus operandi since he was a revolutionary

In Zimbabwe's first, supposedly democratic election in 1980, Mr. Mugabe
threatened to continue his civil war against the cooperative black-white
government of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia unless his party won. From the genocide of
Ndebeles in the 1980s to the seizure of white-owned farms in 2000, it has
been the same ever since.

Unlike many other tyrants, Mr. Mugabe is not in the dictatorship racket for
riches. True, he recently built himself a $20 million mansion, and he
frequently takes his wife, Grace, on shopping sprees around the world. Yet
the amassing of money and other luxuries is not the reason why he sought
power in the first place, nor is it the reason he keeps it today.

Mr. Mugabe is an ideological tyrant in the mold of the late leaders of the
Taliban or the Mullahs in Iran; to label him as an opportunist is to
underestimate what motivates him as well as his staying power. For most of
his time as Zimbabwe's president, Mr. Mugabe has led an austere life. It is
for this reason that it will likely prove impossible for the international
community to buy him off.

The most crucial sense in which Mr. Mugabe resembles an Islamist is the way
in which the international community should deal with him. There is no
accommodation with militant Islamists. When America was attacked on
September 11, 2001, no one believed that we ought to have negotiated with
Osama bin Laden. America and its allies sought the destruction of Al Qaeda
and delivered an ultimatum to states that supported terrorism: end your
support or pay the consequences.

In dealing with the Iranian nuclear project, European leaders are united
with America in the belief that military force should always be on the
table, looming in the background as the worst possible option.

In the case of Zimbabwe, military intervention has never been an option. But
if an external actor had credibly threatened force against Mr. Mugabe
earlier, it's unlikely we would still be debating how to get rid of him.
It's not too late. The threat need not come from America or Great Britain;
indeed, it would be most effective were it to come from neighboring South
Africa, Zimbabwe's economic lifeline. The Zimbabwean army is small, ill
equipped, and demoralized.

Yet for reasons that are by now well familiar - sympathy for a former
liberation hero, aversion to the power of the labor union movement in the
region - the government of South Africa is unlikely to take such a drastic
step or even threaten it. That is truly unfortunate. For if history has
taught us anything about Robert Mugabe, it's that, like Osama bin Laden,
there simply is no negotiating with him unless it's conducted at the end of
a gun.

Mr. Kirchick, who has reported from Zimbabwe, is an assistant editor of the
New Republic.

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Twisted logic of Zanu(PF) apologists

Business Day

11 July 2008

Aubrey Matshiqi

THE day Robert Mugabe ran off against the will of the Zimbabwean people in
the June 27 one-horse race, I said "elements of the left are mediating the
Zimbabwean crisis through narrow and paranoid conceptions of threats posed
by imperialist agendas".

I added that "the people of Zimbabwe are faced with a repressive regime
hiding behind the false consciousness of a pseudo-anti-imperialist
discourse". Zanu (PF) are not the only ones afflicted by this false

There is a growing queue of apologists whose intellectual output is in the
service of Zanu (PF), and its favourite mediator, President Thabo Mbeki.
They argue that the Zimbabwean political and economic crisis must be blamed
on the imperialist designs of countries such as Britain and the US.
According to this logic, Zanu (PF) should be seen as a bulwark against
imperialism and neocolonialism. They even insinuate that opposition to
Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) is "counter-revolutionary" and the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has been co-opted by racists and imperialists.

Were this to be true, it would still not detract from the fact that the
primary problem facing Zimbabweans is that of authoritarian rule by a former
liberation movement that has betrayed the revolution. It is, therefore, Zanu
(PF), Mugabe and the securocrats who run the country who are actually the
lackeys of imperialism.

As the South African Communist Party put it: "At the heart of the crisis in
Zimbabwe has been a degenerating Zanu (PF), characterised by use of the
state as a means to accumulation by elites located in the state, the
consequent abuse of state resources, gross mismanagement of the economy,
thus leading to a growing gulf between the government and the people."

DURING the liberation struggle, the material circumstances of the people
impelled them to act in defence of the revolution while the material
conditions they face today force them to act in defence of democracy. To
argue that those Zimbabweans who gave the MDC a parliamentary majority in
the March 29 election did so under the influence of imperialism is
ideological and racial scavenging of the worst kind. When I write about the
options facing the MDC, I do so as one committed to democracy. I do this
although I sometimes think of the MDC as a sheep in wolf's clothing because
of what at times appears to be chronic strategic ineptitude.

Instead of becoming left-wing apologists, we must defend the right of the
MDC to oppose Zanu (PF) and respect the choice made by Zimbabweans in March.
In the words of African National Congress national executive committee
member, Pallo Jordan, we must remember that "Africa waged a century-long
struggle against colonialism and apartheid precisely to establish the
principle that governments should derive legitimacy through the consent of
the governed". No amount of ideological posturing or sycophancy can
undermine this truth.

There is nothing "leftist" or "revolutionary" about preventing a
democratically elected MDC from taking office. What is revolutionary is
intellectual engagement in the service of freedom despite the existence of
racist and imperialist agendas that will always be with us. Like Jordan, we
must invoke the words of communist Rosa Luxemburg: "Freedom is always and
exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Not because of any
fanatical concept of 'justice' but because all that is instructive,
wholesome and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential
characteristic, and its effectiveness vanishes when 'freedom' becomes a
special privilege."

The best defence against imperialism is freedom for the people of Zimbabwe.
This includes accepting that Mugabe and Zanu (PF) did not win the March 29
election. Furthermore, western governments must not be our moral compass or
benchmark. As Africans, we must set a higher standard.

.. Matshiqi is a senior associate political analyst at the Centre for
Policy Studies

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MDC abandons Harvest House

July 11, 2008

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - The opposition MDC has indefinitely shut down its main headquarters
at Harvest House in Harare's central business district citing an upsurge in
political intimidation by government.

MDC insiders say the party was forced to vacate its headquarters a week ago
due to repeated raids by the police.

"We shut down our headquarters a week ago," an MDC source told The Zimbabwe
Times Thursday.

"It is because of the continued raids by police who continue to confiscate
important documents from us and some of our equipment."

The source said party officials had been forced to relocate to secret
locations where they could continue pursuing party business without facing
the risk of arrests by the police.

Party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa denied his party has closed down its main

"It is not true. Who is your source?" that is all he could say.

But The Zimbabwe Times has not been able to access the MDC headquarters
since then as its doors have been locked for the past week.

The closure of the six floor structure has also affected private tenants who
rented other floors for business purposes.

Until last month, the building was home for more than two months to almost a
thousands victims of political violence who fled the countrywide to seek

However, there are unconfirmed rumours the MDC, which had kept the premise
operational in spite of the raids, was forced to eventually desert its
headquarters on the advice of sympathetic members of the Central
Intelligence Organisation, who warned of further raids.

"Two CIO agents visited the headquarters with a list of MDC MPs and
councilors who have been listed as prime targets," an MDC official said on
condition of anonymity.

It is reported the two agents later discovered they were in fact being
trailed by their colleagues and were forced to hide within the party
headquarters to escape identification.

The MDC says more than 1 500 of its supporters have been arrested and jailed
for alleged political violence.

More than 100 party activists, as well as their offspring and relatives are
said to have died at the hands of vindictive militants sponsored by
President Mugabe's Zanu-Pf party and government since the 84-year old leader's
shock defeat by MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai on March 29.

Tsvangirai, however, failed to secure the 50 percent required to avoid a
run-off election.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the race five days before the June 27 election
re-run, citing massive intimidation on his party's officials and supporters.

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Mugabe welcomes banned COSATU official

July 11, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE, July 10, 2008 - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has hosted South African
National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mentashe despite being on
the list of trade unionists banned from entering Zimbabwe.

Mentashe was declared a persona non grata by President Mugabe's regime in
2005 when he was part of a COSATU fact-finding mission following the torture
and assault of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) leadership,
including the labour body's secretary general Wellington Chibhebhe and
president Lovemore Matombo. Independent medical doctors who attended to
Chibhebhe, Matombo and thirteen other ZCTU trade unionists produced medical
report indicating that their injuries were consistent with torture.

Chibhebhe sustained a crack skull and broken arm as a result of the brutal
assault by the police and other state security agents while in custody.

However, local trade unionists were shocked on Wednesday to see a beaming
President Mugabe feting the ANC secretary general despite his name appearing
among people listed as persona grata.

While Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, declined to comment on the status
of Mentashe when approached by The Zimbabwe Times, government sources said
the Zanu-PF officials waived the ban to Mentashe to meet with President
Mugabe and other members of the presidium.

"They pretended there was no issue," said a government source privy to the
issue. "It was going to be an embarrassment if he was turn-away at the
airport. His name is still among the 16 members of COSATU banned from
entering the country," said the government source, speaking strictly on
condition he is not named.

Mentashe, previously a high-ranking member of the powerful ANC ally COSATU,
was elected the ANC's new secretary general at the Polokwane conference last
December which ushered in new leadership under the controversial Jacob Zuma
at the expense of President Thabo Mbeki.

COSATU has been at loggerheads with President Mugabe's brutal clampdown on

At the weekend, COSATU blocked the Beitbridge border post in protest over
President Mugabe's fraudulent re-election during the controversial
presidential run-off held on June 27.

Mentashe traveled to Zimbabwe with the ANC vice president Kalama Monlathe.
Other government sources claimed that barring the ANC secretary general
would have strained further relations between South Africa's ruling party
and Zanu-PF.

President Mugabe is thought to be desperately seeking recognition from ANC
president Zuma, who, however, has expressed concern over his fraudulent
re-election during the presidential run-off in which President Mugabe was
the sole candidate after Morgan Tsvangirai of the popular MDC, withdrew.

In Harare the ANC delegation first meet with Vice President Joice Mujuru,
then Vice President Joseph Msika before meeting President Mugabe at the
Zanu-PF headquarters.

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Moyo backs Mugabe, dismisses Tsvangirai

July 11, 2008

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Professor Jonathan Moyo, the controversial legislator for
Tsholotsho North constituency, has dropped a political bombshell.He
dismissed Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai as lacking
leadership qualities, while fiercely defending the legitimacy of President
Robert Mugabe's controversial re-election on June 27.

Moyo, who was reported by the Zimbabwe Independent last week to be earmarked
by Mugabe for the post of Minister of Information and is widely regarded as
harbouring presidential elections of his own, dropped another bomb shell. He
charged that MDC treasurer Roy Bennett, now living in exile in South Africa
and business tycoon, Strive Masiyiwa also based in Johannesburg in exile had
hijacked the MDC. He described the two men as the major fund-risers of the

Moyo said he does not rule out the prospect of rejoining Zanu-PF. He said it
was his democratic right to choose whom to associate with.

He then launched a broadside at the Western powers for what he described as
"a display of too much fascination with Zimbabwe's internal politics".

Moyo, who was sacked from government and Zanu PF for standing as independent
candidate in the 2005 general elections, described as scandalous a
suggestion made by Tsvangirai in his letter of withdrawal. The MDC leader
said that the post-March 29 political violence was unprecedented in Zimbabwe's
electoral history.

"This statement in my view is rather scandalous because it seeks to falsify
history," Moyo said to journalists at the Quill Club, Thursday evening.

"Many of you would recall that the period leading to the 1985 elections was
and remains the darkest period in the political history of this country.

"It's a period in which this country was under a state of emergency. In
three provinces of Matebeleland plus in the Midlands we had a whole military
brigade deployed there. And in those provinces there was a six-to-six curfew
but people still voted in the general elections of 1985."

Moyo said Tsvangirai should have taken after the then opposition PF-Zapu
leader, Dr Joshua Nkomo, who never pulled out of the elections because of

It is estimated that up to 20 000 of Nkomo's supporters were massacred by
President Mugabe's Fife Brigade. Nkomo has stated in the past that his own
father was one of the victims of the Gukurahundi atrocities.

"There is no electoral violence of the kind that the PF-Zapu was subjected
to which we have seen in this country," he said.

"There is nothing to be gained in political terms by counting dead bodies in
order to turn that into a political manifesto."

He said Tsvangirai should not seek to regain lost political ground by
calling for the invasion of Zimbabwe. He suggested that the MDC leader
should, instead, emulate Nkomo who chose to bury the hatchet by forming a
government of national unity with Zanu-PF. Nkomo was at one stage forced to
flee from persecution by the Mugabe government. He lived in exile for a
while in the United Kingdom and on return embarked on long-drawn out
negotiations with Mugabe which resulted in the signing of a unity agreement
in December 2007.

Ironically, Moyo went on the offensive on the very day talks between Zanu-PF
and the MDC were revived in Pretoria.

Said Moyo, "Tsvangirai's withdrawal seemed to hold the electorate in
contempt on the grounds that it is not mature enough to withstand political
violence and intimidation and, therefore, it cannot be trusted to vote its

The former political science lecturer turned politician said Tsvangirai's
pull-out had, in any case, failed to stop the violence for which purpose it
was conceived.

Then he went for the jugular. He accused the MDC leader of subordinating his
party's decision making process to its "fund raisers", Masiyiwa and Bennett.

"I believe that the decision-making process in Tsvangirai and the MDC is now
firmly in the hands of the party's fundraisers, namely Strive Masiyiwa and
Roy Bennett," said Moyo.

"This is now creating problems for Tsvangirai, creating problems for the
so-called kitchen cabinet for the MDC which in the past was making decisions
for the MDC and creating problems for the structures."

Moyo shocked journalists when he suggested that President Mugabe was the
ideal candidate to lead the proposed Government of National Unity (GNU)
between Zanu-PF and MDC.

He argues that the 84 year old leader enjoys "the legal legitimacy" that was
occasioned by Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the run-off poll.

"The question of the legal legitimacy of the President is a done deal and
also the need for a GNU is necessary. President Mugabe has the legal
legitimacy as Head of State," he said.

"In fact, by withdrawing from the race at the eleventh hour, Tsvangirai
voted for Mugabe alone.

"There is an attempt to say that lets use the 29th of March result of the
presidential election in the discussions of a GNU. That cannot be the legal
position. Morgan Tsvangirai entered the run-off because no one won the
presidency on the 29th of March.

Perhaps more startling was Moyo's unquestioning support for President Mugabe's
utterances that power obtained through the electoral process is inferior to
that obtained through the liberation struggle.

"The gun was important in our history once," Moyo said. "It was important to
make the pen permanent. But when the pen risks reversing the gains of the
liberation struggle at a time when those who fought for that liberation are
still alive, you risk conflict. You don't have to be rocket scientist to see
that. These guys spent their time out there (in the war)."

By now Moyo exuded the countenance of his heyday as Minister of Information
around 2002, when he virtually single-handedly rescued Mugabe from the
throes of defeat by Tsvangirai.

"It is important for the pen to be able to play its permanent role in the
democratic process," he said. "It's important that there be entrenched
mechanisms that will not allow the pen to become an enemy of the history of
the country and the heritage of the country.

"The gun was held by people who are still in charge of this country. It
makes logical sense the gun is more important than a pen. It's very
important to note that we are operating in a country whose background is
still dominated by people who liberated it.

"Britain is trying to use the pen to stake its political interests in our
country. If a former colonial power tries to take advantage of the pen it
certainly invites the gun. Where does Britain get the audacity to make
Zimbabwe its business?"

He said the UN ironically refrained from prescribing solutions for the
Kenyan post election situation in December last year but had chosen to do so
in Zimbabwe.

"There was violence, worse violence than we have seen and in Zimbabwe they
have taken a shocking approach.

"When people take decisions, you ask yourself is this decision the kind of
decision I would support when I am alone taking a shower or this would shock
my conscience.

"We can't have the EU saying we won't recognize a government led by so and
so but we will recognize a government led by so and so; on what basis? One
day they say we want to use the 29th of March as the basis. Well for
goodness sake, it did not produce results, it's a non issue.

"Each time the Americans and the British make noise about our politics, they
definitely annoy nationalist Zimbabweans."

He said he was grateful that Russia and China had opposed the proposed
sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Said Moyo in reference to Tsvangirai, "There is everything wrong with a
Zimbabwean who runs against the founding father of a country with the
support of its colonial power."

If the March 29 elections should stand, he argues, Zanu-PF should also have
a say as it lost the parliamentary seats but won the overall vote.

"Why would you treat a party that had the popular vote as having been
walloped in a landslide?" he said.

While he played the part, Moyo denied rumours that he was preparing to
rejoin Zanu-PF. He however said he does not rule out that possibility.

"There is no point in pretending that we are what we have never been," he
said, "I don't think that Zanu-PF has animals.

"I think that all of us know that one of the guaranteed fundamental freedoms
in this country is freedom of association. And that right is not delegated
to anyone. This is one right that we all have and should enjoy."

"And I have not delegated mine and I reserve the right to exercise it

"So I don't believe that I really owe anyone an explanation as to what party
I am joining or rejoining. The only people I owe such explanation are of
course members of my family."

During the just ended electoral period government effectively withdrew the
right of association from a substantial percentage of Zimbabwe's electorate
when it banned rallies organised by the opposition.
Moyo went on to attack Western powers for what he said was too much
fascination over Zimbabwe's politics.

"The fascination and interest that the G8 members in general, Britain and
America in particular, have in our election is dangerous," he said.

"The idea of going to the United Nations Security Council to seek sanctions
against a set of individuals on account of a disputed presidential election
is deplorable in the extreme.

"The United Nations of all organizations is the one which has members that
conduct the funniest elections. They are overdoing it and they are creating
problems for the MDC."

Moyo said he was now "really impressed" by South African President Thabo
Mbeki's mediation, saying he had helped avert a higher risk of an all-out
conflict in Zimbabwe.

"The person who helped calm down these emotions is Thabo Mbeki," Moyo said.
"He is playing a crucial role.

"It is not useful or strategic diplomatic engagement to make public
statements denouncing a head of state when you are still in opposition. It's
not good diplomacy.

"We cannot put ourselves in a situation where we have the luxury of
condemning Mbeki when we are behaving badly ourselves and say he is

"The basic issue is that it's for Zimbabweans to solve the problems. Not for
any foreigner even Mbeki," he said.

In the early 1990s, before he went to live in exile in Kenya and South
Africa, Moyo was in the forefront of and shot to prominence through
denouncing Zimbabwe's head of state, Mugabe. He was appointed Minister of
Information in 200 and became Mugabe's most ardent defender until the two
parted company acrimoniously in 2005.

Then he reverted to the role of Mugabe critic; that was until last night
when he revealed his new political stand-point.

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Zimbabwe massacres, Mbeki an accessory

July 11, 2008

By Rose Maindiseka

The Mugabe regime's on-going widespread massacres may not be on the same
scale as the wholesale slaughter of Tutsis by Hutu militias in Rwanda in
1994 but the atrocities are similar in that in both cases, timely
intervention, which could have saved lives and ended human suffering, was

In a report issued in 1999, an international panel of experts led by former
Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson censured the United Nations and the
world body's leading member countries, particularly the United States, for
failing to prevent and end the Rwandan genocide in which almost a million
people were butchered and more than two million others were displaced.

The report, commissioned by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who at
the time of the atrocities headed the UN peacekeeping department, was
critical of him and his predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali for making "weak
and equivocal decisions in the face of mounting disaster."

The report was equally critical of the United States government, then headed
by Bill Clinton and represented at the UN by Madeline Albright, for
persistently playing down the problem, thus sending the wrong signal to the
Security Council, which as a result failed to demonstrate the political will
that was called for to avert the catastrophe that shocked the world. Both
Annan and Clinton acknowledged and apologized for their roles in setting the
tone for international inertia during one of the darkest periods in the
history of modern Africa.

"On behalf of the United Nations I acknowledge this failure and express my
deep remorse", said Annan, who described events in Rwanda as "genocide in
its purest and most evil form". He accepted the damning report as thorough
and objective and was obliged to visit Rwanda to apologize in person in
response to demands from the Rwandan government. Likewise, Clinton expressed
regret during a tour of Africa, for the international community's failure to
heed the Rwandan people's desperate calls for help.

But despite the vows that were made following this betrayal of the people of
Rwanda that "never again" would genocide be allowed to take place and
continue because of foot-dragging on the part of those with the moral
obligation and capacity to intervene, history has repeated itself in
situations such as the one raging in the Darfur region of Western Sudan,
mainly because of the Khartoum regime's intransigence. A similar resort to
one-upmanship for the sake of self-preservation has been seen over a longer
period in Zimbabwe where the lives of innocent people have been sacrificed
since the advent of the state-instigated farm invasions spearheaded by war
veterans in 2000. Politically motivated violence, perpetrated mainly by
state agents and ruling party militias, which continued in the run-up to the
parliamentary elections held the same year and the disputed presidential
poll in 2002 is now firmly entrenched.

The Mugabe regime's governance has become openly murderous with unexplained
murders and abductions of innocent Zimbabweans being regularly perpetrated
with impunity. This insane killing spree culminated recently in the
retributive massacres that the government resorted to in the aftermath of
Robert Mugabe's defeat in the March 29 presidential election.

And despite Mugabe's demented claims to have won in the June 27 debacle when
he contested the election against himself after the leader of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the race,
state-sponsored violence continues to this day. The privately owned Sunday
newspaper, The Standard, quotes the MDC in its latest issue as reporting 12
of its supporters to have been killed since the roundly condemned run-off,
which Mugabe was reported by state media to have won by a landslide of 85
percent of the vote. The question that begs an answer, however, is if Mugabe
won the one-horse race so convincingly, why is the violence continuing?

The one person from whom Zimbabweans feel most justified to demand an answer
must be South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, who for almost a decade now
has masqueraded as a peace broker with all the answers when in reality he
has only been effective as a stumbling block. Through his ineffectual "quiet
diplomacy", his muddled reasoning, denial of realities and downright
collusion with the Mugabe regime, Mbeki has played the same role of drowning
the urgent SOS from the people of Zimbabwe that the UN and the US were
slammed for with respect to Rwanda.

I submit here that Mbeki's complicity is more inexcusable because his
persistence in downplaying the tragic situation in Zimbabwe and sending out
the wrong message about the perpetrators of the atrocities to the rest of
Africa and the world at large, has allowed a less complex problem that would
have been resolved a long time ago, to steadily escalate under his watch.

If I were a prosecutor in the trial of the perpetrators of the mass murders
in Zimbabwe, I would regard Mbeki as an accessory to the crimes through his
blatant aiding and abetting of the Mugabe regime. A thread running through
the unnecessary loss of lives and the untold suffering of the people of
Zimbabwe over the last eight years is Mbeki's collusion with the government,
which he has displayed each time different stakeholders have been determined
to take the bull by the horns so as to end the crisis. The South African
president's theatrics have included throwing tantrums at the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja in 2004 when he fought like a
lioness defending its cubs to oppose Zimbabwe's continued suspension from
the club and at the United Nations, African Union and Southern African
Development Community summits where he has persistently thwarted any
attempts to place the Zimbabwean problem on the agenda.

To enable his friends in Harare to buy more time, Mbeki has fended off
fellow African and world leaders with endless claims of "imminent"
breakthroughs resulting from his mediation efforts, which have never
materialized. The South African leader has never cared about the human
dimensions of the Mugabe regime's tyranny and has sought to view the
situation purely at an academic level as though it were a mathematical
problem or laboratory experiment. He has never felt outraged by the fact
that opposition supporters, small babies and women being randomly killed and
maimed are defenceless flesh and blood people being pitted against the might
of the state.

The more than 100 Zimbabweans killed so far in the retributive violence
unleashed by the Mugabe regime in the aftermath of the March 29 presidential
election and the June 27 run -off need not have lost their lives if Mbeki
had not misled the world with his declaration that there is no crisis in
Zimbabwe. But even now that the crisis can no longer be concealed following
the AU summit in Egypt, Mbeki is still doing his utmost to prolong human
suffering in Zimbabwe by opposing moves by the UN and the G8 to take tougher
measures against the Mugabe regime, which is openly waging a genocidal war
against the populace.

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How ZANU-PF intends to force the MDC into a GNU

By Tawanda Takavarasha | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 10, 2008 19:01

Zimbabwe, Harare--The ZANU-PF government plans a renewed, energized
crackdown on MDC leaders, parliamentarians and activists in the coming days,
sources say.

Despite increasing international pressure, with the Security Council
expected to vote overnight on targeted UN sanctions on President Robert
Mugabe and 13 of his cronies, the sources warned that political violence is
likely to intensify.

The crackdown would be aimed at pressuring the opposition to accept a
government of national unity led by Mr Mugabe, said senior ruling party
sources, who asked to remain anonymous.

The ruling Zanu-PF party wants to take the dominant role in a unity
government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The regime set up 900 command bases where opposition members were
taken and intimidated into voting for the ruling party. One base commander
said the new crackdown will be launched from the bases, targeting key
opposition members.

The MDC has made the disbanding of ZANU-PF militia from these bases
one of their deamdns before any negotiations for a GNU take place.

A senior ruling party source said Zanu-PF youth militias had been
primed to attack opposition figures in coming days.

Ruling party operatives "will spontaneously respond to force the MDC
to withdraw some of their conditions for the talks (on a unity government)",
he said. "It will happen as if the top office doesn't know but the word has
been sent out that this is how they're expected to respond."

The opposition says 100 activists have been killed since March.
Hundreds remain missing, presumed dead or in jail, while thousands more have
been assaulted or tortured.--Harare Tribune News

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Tsvangirai: No talks with ZANU-PF, merely consultations

By Morgan Tsvangirai | Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 10, 2008 22:41

Zimbabwe, Harare--Over the past ten days, I and my party have stated
categorically that there are no negotiations between ourselves and ZANU PF
currently taking place.

In addition, we have stated that no such negotiations can take place
while the ZANU PF regime continues to wage war on my party and the people of
Zimbabwe. This position has not changed.

There is a meeting currently taking place in Pretoria at which the MDC
is represented by Secretary-General, Tendai Biti, and Deputy
Treasurer-General, Elton Mangoma.

Their presence at this meeting is solely to present the conditions
under which genuine negotiations can take place and the mechanism under
which these negotiations will be conducted as defined by the AU resolution.

The lack of these conditions and an agreed framework in which
negotiations can take place were the reasons for the MDC not attending the
meeting between President Mbeki and Robert Mugabe last Saturday.

Those persons portraying this meeting as the beginning of negotiations
between the MDC and ZANU PF are being disingenuous and exploiting the plight
of the Zimbabwean people for political gain.

In addition, portraying these talks as negotiations also undermines
the resolution of the African Union, the statements made by the G8 leaders
and the current process underway at the United Nations Security Council, all
of which are designed to pressure the ZANU PF regime to desist from its
campaign of violence against the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe.

At present the state-sanctioned violence and repressive legislation
employed by the regime is designed to silence the Zimbabwean people.

We in the MDC are committed to finding a peaceful, negotiated solution
to the Zimbabwean crisis and we will take every opportunity to clarify our
position and to allow the voice of the Zimbabwean people to be heard.

Our conditions for partaking in negotiations remain:
1) The immediate cessation of violence and the withdrawal and
disbanding of militia groups, paramilitary camps and illegal road blocks.

All structures and infrastructure of violence must be disbanded.
Amongst other things, war veterans, youth militia and others encamped on the
edges of our cities, towns and villages need to be sent home and be
reintegrated into society.

2) The normalization of the political environment, including the
release of the more than 1 500 political prisoners, cessation of political
persecution and allowing the currently besieged MDC leadership to conduct
business and travel without hindrance.

3) The reinstatement of access by humanitarian organizations to the
people of Zimbabwe in order to provide food, medical and other critical
services through out the country.

4) Parliament and Senate must be sworn in and begin working on the
people's business.

5) The mediation team is expanded to include an AU permanent envoy.
Until the above conditions are in place no negotiations can take place on
the substantive issues facing Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean people. --Harare
Tribune News

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Peter Ndlovu axed for attending MDC meeting

By Philip Mangena ⋅ ⋅ July 10, 2008 ⋅

Zimbabwe’s political polarization has reared its ugly head in soccer after
speculation that former warriors captain Peter Ndlovu has been left out of
the national team because he attended an MDC meeting in Johannesburg,South

It has emerged that last month a senior ZIFA official was overheard vowing
that Ndlovu would never play for the Warriors because of his “association”
with wrong people in Johannesburg.

But ZIFA chairman Tendai Madzorera dismissed those allegations telling state
media,”Sport and politics do not mix. Players are free to their own
political beliefs as long as they do not bring that to the national team.

“As ZIFA we are clear and so are FIFA. No politics in sport and we uphold
that to the word and when the board sits next, we will talk about it again.
People have different ideologies and as football administrators we do not
have to interfere,” said Madzorera.

Senior ZIFA officials have always had strong ties to ZANU PF,its past
chairman Leo Mugabe was Mugabe’s niece and its CEO Henrietta Rushwaya before
her appointment worked in the office of Vice President Joseph Msika but with
no specific job title resulting in speculation that she was a Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent.

She was also the co-coordinator of the Warriors Fund-Raising Committee which
is chaired by politburo member Tendai Savanhu.

In February this year she contested ZANU PF’s primaries in Gutu against
incumbent Shuvai Mahofa.

Ndlovu, who has 100 caps to his name and the highest scorer for Zimbabwe
with 39 goals, last featured for the Warriors in a 2008 African Cup of
Nations qualifier against Morocco last year.

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Gono's Interview with the Herald





11 JULY, 2008

Q. Dr Gono, the June 27 run-off is over and while the political players are
still talking about the talks on a possible way forward for Zimbabwe, the
general populace has shifted its focus to the reeling national economy whose
negative impact on ordinary people is now too severe. As Governor of the
RBZ, what would you say is the way forward now in terms of reviving the
economy under the prevailing national, regional and international
conditions? Can you also give a detailed background to the origins of our
current difficulties and at the same time commenting on the views proffered
by some analysts who allege that our problems started with our interventions
in the DRC as well as payments made to our War Veterans in 1997/1998

A. Our economy has been under siege for almost 10 years now since the time
we began the land identification exercise as a precursor to the land
re-distribution programme in 1997.

That process (land identification) drew adverse reaction from the West,
especially Britain, who went on to adversely influence the World Bank, IMF,
ADB, as well as other Paris Club lenders not to support Zimbabwe financially
and technically.

Although two other factors are cited by the economic historians as having
been partly influential to the genesis of our current state of affairs and
the two factors are the DRC war where, as part of our responsibility and
contribution to regional, continental and international peace and security,
we went into that country as part of a regional coalition of states to
defend its sovereignty and the payment of unbudgeted gratuities to the war
veterans in 1998. To date, the impact of these two events is often
conveniently exaggerated and therefore I will not dwell on these two factors
as they remain peripheral to the main causes of our situation today.

On the exogenous side are the sanctions that are being applied against the
country as a result of the factors I have already cited above as well as,
currently the steep rise in the price of oil and other forms of energy, the

global warming phenomenon which has produced unpredictable weather patterns,
which have brought about frequent droughts and floods detrimental to crop
production, and animal husbandry, especially in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe
in particular.

These irregular weather patterns have given rise to the current world as
well as Zimbabwe food shortages. To this end strategies will have to be
devised in order to deal with these external factors, and plans are afoot to
do so.

Under endogenous factors, our economy has remained hostage to the lack of
unity and lack of one vision among political players in the country, the
diminished presence of economic patriotism showing itself in the form of the
indiscipline and get-rich-quick mentality by most economic players in the
country; in the public and private sectors of our economy.

All these factors have led to the introduction of a raft of extraordinary
measures on the part of Government, through its various arms; such as the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Grain Marketing Board and other institutions
under Government's control in an effort to survive. Some of those
extra-ordinary interventions have flown in the face of conventional
economics, while others have, by coincidence, conformed to economic
convention or textbooks theories.

In dealing with the challenges before us, especially under a tightened
sanctions regime, it will be necessary that pragmatism and reality operate
side by side, with technocratic interventions that run side by side with
political idealism.

Having said this, however, there are two fundamental background points
arising from your question that must be understood and underscored.

In the first place, and contrary to the propaganda that is often repeated
even by some political groups in the country, that western economic
sanctions have been targeted only at some individuals in or believed to be
associated with the ruling Zanu PF, it is now common cause that ordinary
people in the cities and rural areas are in fact the helpless victims of
these illegal sanctions which are specifically designed to cause human
suffering by precipitating a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe which could
trigger a generalised conflict to justify international intervention.

This is being done in the vain hope that economic sanctions would provoke
Zimbabweans into turning against their government.

In the second place, the time has come for all of us to understand that our
national economy does not exist in a vacuum nor does it exist as another
world separate from our national politics.

The economy and politics are inextricably intertwined such that it does not
make sense for anyone to expect the RBZ to somehow fix the national economy
and turn it around for the better while political players continue to play
bickering games over the way forward.

Therefore, I cannot imagine let alone proffer any way forward in terms of
reviving the economy given the current situation that is not based on and
informed by a political economy of national unity. As such, the only way
forward for our country is for Zimbabweans to come together and to speak
with one voice to foster a national consensus that puts the country's
interests first.

For sometime now my team and I at the RBZ have been calling for a social
contract and a spirit of national healing as the pillars of the way forward
not just in our national economy but also in our national politics.

Against this backdrop, we have been saddened to see how the outcome of the
harmonized elections held on March 29 has led to unprecedented political
disharmony in the country. That cannot be good for the economy.

And so, the prevailing the disharmony is very dangerous for our national
survival and we need to confront it with an audacious commitment to national
unity. For that to happen, the political players across the political divide
need to stop being players and start being leaders who do the right thing
for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.

I honestly believe that our political leaders know what is right for
Zimbabwe and what remains is for them to seek it with urgency or risk being
judged very harshly by history and posterity.

Q. What do you expect to be the bottlenecks and the challenges facing the
nation as it seeks to turnaround the economy?

A. You know, we are in an extraordinary situation requiring extraordinary
measures. The business-as-usual approach will not do in this situation.

This is because the core issues are no longer about the conventional
economic bottlenecks many of which are very well known not least because
they have been highlighted in virtually all of my monetary policy statements
since December 2003.

Yes, we have to attend to conventional bottlenecks such as foreign exchange
reforms, removing pricing distortions that have adversely affected producer
viability and we need to revamp the financial position of public utilities
while continuing the fight against inflation among other urgent measures.

And even more critically, the current global instability of food prices
dictates that we treat national food security as our number one priority and
thank God we are well positioned to deal with this challenge because of the
considerable success of our ongoing historic and now irreversible land
reform programme.

But, in my respectful view, the major if not the only bottleneck in our
efforts to turnaround the economy is the absence of the required political
will among key national leaders and stakeholders to do and say the right
thing for Zimbabwe and its people.

As a nation, we have become too factionalized while some among us have
become too foreign oriented in their actions and pronouncements. You cannot
have a thriving and vibrant economy in such a situation even with the best
of efforts and intentions from the Reserve Bank.

Q. The United States has drafted a resolution that is now before the United
Nations Security Council seeking, among other things, to freeze personal
assets and seeking to extend and internationalize the current limited travel
ban against not only you but President Mugabe and six other top Government
officials. What do you make of this move by the US administration that is
supported by the majority members of the G8 given your pivotal role in
trying to turnaround the economy?

A. While I respect the fact that sovereign countries have a right to take
measures in pursuit of their national interests, I have failed to understand
how the world's most powerful nations have been so blinded by the British
government which has a hidden agenda in Zimbabwe over the land reform
programme they wish to reverse and they have found it within their top
priority to make Zimbabwe's domestic affairs on internally disputed
elections their international business to the point of seeking such
misplaced and ill-conceived sanctions against Zimbabwe.

It is a fact that many members of the United Nations, including the United
States itself under its current President, have for one reason or another
held presidential elections with disputed outcomes that have been judged by
some observers to be neither free nor fair but which, although internally
controversial, have not posed a threat to international peace and thus have

warranted international intervention in terms of chapter seven of the United
Nations Charter.

As I see them, the ongoing efforts instigated by the British government and
led by the United States at the United Nations to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe on account of a disputed presidential election would set a very
dangerous precedent which would itself be a very serious threat to
international peace. Conversely, the fact that there are some Zimbabwean
political groups or individuals that are supporting those efforts is a clear
threat to national unity and stability.

Therefore, while the move you mention at the United Nations is predictable
given what we have experienced over the last few years from the same
quarters, it is nevertheless quite sad to see that the countries seeking
economic and other sanctions against Zimbabwe have abandoned all diplomatic
pretence to neutrality and have decided to be part of the so-called
Zimbabwean problem by taking partisan positions in support of particular
Zimbabwean political players against others instead of bringing them
together. Instead of preventing conflict, they are fomenting it and that is
very sad to see.

By the way, it is very instructive to note that the anti-Zimbabwe sentiment
in the G8 is so full of personal hatred of our national leadership that
would lead a neutral

observer from outer space to mistakenly conclude that the Government is
sitting on a deadly nuclear arsenal that is a threat to world peace when the
matter at stake is merely a disputed presidential election which has not
provoked any unrest in the country beyond press statements from some
aggrieved political quarters.

Indeed, the disproportionate and over the top focus on Zimbabwe by the G8
and their surrogates at the United Nations and elsewhere has led some amazed
neutrals to observe that if the G8 were to pursue their 2007 US$25 billion
pledge to fight poverty and promote development in Africa by 2010 with the
same zeal, vigour, enthusiasm and single-minded determination as they are
pursuing the Zimbabwean leadership on account of a domestic affair over a
disputed presidential election, there would be tremendous progress in
realizing the United Nations goals of development across Africa.

At the end of the day, the gist of the matter though is that any sanctions
against Zimbabwe and from whatever international forum, and however
disguised, will only lead to more suffering of the already suffering
ordinary people. It seems to me irresponsible that the United Nations
Security Council should even bring itself to entertaining such moves whose
only impact would be to widen and deepen the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe
at a time when the United Nations should be at the forefront of solving the
very same crisis in a non partisan manner.

Even so, I remain optimistic that the current wave of irrational excitement
over Zimbabwe gripping some members of the G8 and their surrogates will
sooner rather than later give way to reason, especially within the United
Nations Security Council.

I believe that many rational voices in the United Nations and indeed within
SADC and the African Union now realize that punitive economic sanctions and
other measures whether personalized or not can only deepen and spread
conflict in Zimbabwe at a time when there are now hopes on the horizon for a
negotiated home-driven settlement to which His Excellency President Robert
Gabriel Mugabe has committed himself and the government. I have faith in
SADC mediation led by President Thabo Mbeki and I hope the international
community will stop sowing divisions and support his efforts.

Otherwise, it should be clear to anyone who cares about the tense situation
in the country that Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans do not need punitive economic
sanctions or other divisive measures from the United Nations, rather, they
need constructive support to bring about national unity and to lay the
foundation for national healing and economic prosperity.

Q. With the support of its British counterpart which is coordinating and
leading the current propaganda onslaught against Zimbabwe, the US government
has targeted you alleging that you are "responsible for funding repressive
state policies." What is your comment on this allegation?

A. That statement alone is enough to demonstrate that something else is
going on here beyond what meets the eye. If the laughable allegation was
that I am using my own personal funds to underwrite the alleged repressive
State policies, one would pause and reflect for a moment. But I am the
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which is a State institution and I
have discharged my responsibilities from that perspective and in accordance
not only with the laws of Zimbabwe as enacted by both ZANU (PF) and MDC
Legislators, but also international banking practice. Of course, I do not
expect all leaders to understand banking and economics especially Central
Banking but I expected a bit more understanding of the subject matter from
former Chancellors of Exchequer and Harvard MBA graduates!

If the expectation at play here is that I should somehow work against the
State or use my office to subvert it or be somehow disloyal to the State,
then I should make it clear to anyone with an interest in this matter that
no such a thing will ever happen. Never.

The reference to "repressive State policies" is a political opinion and not
a fact. Besides, the Government of Zimbabwe is entitled to formulate and
implement its own policies that it advances during elections and it is only
the electorate in Zimbabwe that can support or reject those policies. It is
not the business of the British or American government to tell the
Government of Zimbabwe what policies to implement or not to implement.

It is now clear that there are some elements within the international
community who want to abuse their positions at the United Nations to induce
a rebellion in Zimbabwe by publicly supporting certain groups and
individuals who are doing their bidding in the country while threatening and
demonizing others who are seen as obstacles to that bidding.

As far as I am concerned, as Governor of the Reserve Bank, I stand ready to
do what I believe and know is right for my country without fear or favour
given the public mandate entrusted on me in terms of my employment contract.
I take my instructions from my principals in Government and not from anyone
in London, Washington, New York or anywhere else outside Zimbabwe.

If this earns me any punishment or personal hatred, then so be it. What I
know and I believe every other fair minded person knows is that the Reserve
Bank of

Zimbabwe has since 2003 taken extraordinary measures to help Zimbabweans
across all sectors of the national economy in a transparent manner to enable
them to survive the consequences of illegal sanctions. I and the RBZ team
will never shy away from helping out where we can and that is a matter of
national responsibility and pride.

Q. Governor, there are strong indications that now that the run-off is over
and President Mugabe came out the winner, more sanctions targeting the
economy will be imposed against the country. Can our economy take any more
battering from more and broader economic sanctions?

A. I have already made it clear that this whole discourse of sanctions is
misplaced because sanctions always and everywhere affect the most vulnerable
people in society than anyone else. This is food for thought for those bent
on forging ahead with what can only be seen as an evil sanctions agenda. The
idea that somehow the threatened sanctions would help ordinary Zimbabweans
is not even a joke. It is shameful and disgraceful and an act of serious
intellectual dishonesty that screams for debate by all fair minded persons.

While the difficulties that would result from further sanctions should not
be underestimated or ignored, the

fact remains that Zimbabwe will not die because of the threatened sanctions.
If anything, those who have imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and are
now threatening more, and those locally who are supporting the sanctions,
will never ever win the popular favour of Zimbabweans. About that I'm

Otherwise, our economy has a capacity to survive but that capacity can only
be triggered by our collective willingness as Zimbabweans to put our country

The sanctions will succeed in the interim if we remain divided as a nation
and if there are some among us who want to make cheap political capital from
being used by the western countries as their instruments or weapons of

I must say though that in the long run, our economy and our nation will
prevail and that those who think they can make political careers out of the
misery of ordinary Zimbabweans shall live to regret their deeds.

Q. What mechanisms are there in place to fight the sanctions? In other
words, how can we beat or bust the sanctions?

A. These sanctions that you are talking about are real and they are not
coming from angels above or from our earthily friends. They are coming from
enemies of Zimbabwe who are determined to trigger a humanitarian crisis in
our country purely for political reasons in pursuit of their hidden agendas.

In that regard, it would foolhardy to go up Mount Kilimanjaro and shout from
its top the measures that are in place or will be in place to bust the
sanctions. If we did that, then we would not know what we are doing let
alone understand the challenges at hand.

All I can say here is that Zimbabwe is standing at a historic moment such
that the salvation of our country now lies not only on the determined will
of all Zimbabweans but also on our collective ability as a nation to better
organize ourselves to extract value from our God given natural resources
which may be the reason our country is attracting hostile attention from
those who want to impose sanctions.

Swift and radical measures need to be taken to invoke a much quicker supply
side response in order to avert further deepening and widening of the
economic crisis. It is for us to know what these measures are or will be and
to implement them for our enemies to find out after the fact.

Q. The Government through the RBZ has come up with the idea of the "People's
Shops." How far have you gone in setting up these shops and how sustainable
is this initiative?

A. Well, the term "People's Shops" is a populist one and understandably so.
But there is some very serious strategic thinking behind it. Among ordinary
people, especially the vulnerable elements, the availability of basic goods
and commodities at affordable prices is the key to the revival of our
national economy.

It is for this reason that as the Reserve Bank, we have found it necessary
to relieve the strain of the illegal sanctions especially among the
vulnerable groups in our country in the rural and high density urban areas
by putting in place a "Basic Goods Accessibility Programme" (BGAP).

Under this programme, targeted support is being given to the producers of
basic commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, soap, matemba, salt, maize
meal among others. These products are then supplied to targeted groups,
through the so-called People's Shops, at affordable prices. This programme
has started nationwide on a pilot basis and so far it is going on very well
and we have no doubt about the sustainability of the programme because it is
based on good business sense.

Q. Some economists are saying this idea of the "People's Shops" is
inflationary. What is your comment?

A. The same economists have said the same thing about any and every
intervention we have made to alleviate the suffering of ordinary people in
our country. I guess as economists it is their duty to point out the obvious
without necessarily looking at the nuances and long term policy objectives
being pursued.

Helping out suffering people may indeed be inflationary in the first
instance but that kind of intervention is not inflationary in the long run
if it is done in structural terms to stimulate productivity, provide food
security, create employment and generate income as intended.

The basic point is that we are not living in normal times. Ours are
extraordinary times requiring extraordinary measures and I cannot wait for
the day the economists you are talking about will realise this fact.

Q. Still on inflation, there is general belief that the RBZ has given up the
fight against inflation. Dr Gono is the fight still on or we have postponed
that fight to another day in future?

A. That fight will remain until victory is achieved. That is our policy
objective. What should be understood though is that fighting inflation in
polarised political environment and in an economy under growing illegal
sanctions cannot be a textbook affair.

Therefore, when we scale up our proactiveness and adopt extraordinary
measures to deal with extraordinary situations, that does not mean we have
abandoned our main objective to fight inflation as our number one enemy, it
simply means we need to be strategic in that fight which I have no doubt we
will win sooner rather than later if we act together as Zimbabweans with a
common heritage and a common destiny.

Q. Governor, the people of Zimbabwe are searching for hope. They have been
living under economic hardships for over five years now. While their
resilience has been amazing considering the hardships they've faced, one
wonders whether that resilience will last for any much longer. Is there
light at the end of the tunnel and if so, what is it that should keep
Zimbabweans hoping that better days are coming?

A. Yes, indeed, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I see it in the
eyes of ordinary people I meet everyday who tell me that they are relieved
elections are over and that

the composition of the elected Parliament dictates that Zimbabweans work
together in a spirit of national unity and for the common good of the
country. So the hope in the eyes of the people is shining the light on the
urgent need for national unity and national healing.

More importantly, I see the light at the end of the tunnel when in his
inauguration speech President Mugabe' called for national dialogue and
national unity to find a common ground across the political divide. I was
really touched by the self-evident sincerity and pragmatism of that national

I believe that President Mugabe's call will be well received by everyone,
especially those in opposition politics, with important roles to play in the
political process and that reception stands to create tremendous
opportunities for the much needed economic recovery of our country.

So the key lies in the ongoing dialogue under the SADC mediation led by
President Mbeki and I have absolute faith in the nationalism, patriotism and
commitment of those participating in it and I don't believe for a moment
that they will let Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans down simply because they cannot
afford to.

Q. In conclusion, what can you tell the Nation and the world, especially
those championing sanctions against the country, the President, yourself and

A. History is awash with actions that have been taken, guns fired, people
going to war and people killed or injured on the basis mistaken identity,
false intelligence, rumour, stage-managed events, misrepresentations and
outright lies on the part of those seeking to achieve sinister agendas which
cannot or would not be accomplished if the true situation and facts are
presented for all to see and interpret for themselves.

In the same vein Harare has been dubbed, the rumour capital city of the
world, particularly when it comes to smearing individuals and the Government
with falsehoods, and unfortunately outsiders never take time to verify or
check those stories.

Only yesterday we had a story in a reputable US newspaper, The New York
Times, admitting that they had been fed with lies until they tried to verify
the story and that is when it emerged that they had been taken for a ride by
a financially stricken lady who was hoping to get financial sympathy!

We also have cases of scribes who will write anything in order to be awarded
scholarships or residence permits abroad on account of faking threats to
their lives from the Zimbabwean so called "system" for alleged "nasty
revelations" of Government misdemeanours. Others are internet
lie-contributors doing so under pseudo names for the sake of earning US$50
or US$100 a month depending on how juicy their stories are. So, in short my
appeal to the outside world is that they should verify, verify and verify
again stories from Zimbabwe before swallowing hook, line and sinker the
stories they receive and act upon.

Of course, I am not defending anyone who murders another person; I am not
defending anyone who tortures another person or anyone who perpetrates
violence on any other person or property for whatever reason. Such people
must be punished, by and dealt with through the laws of the land after
establishing the real facts on the ground, regardless of who the perpetrator
of such murders, violence or torture is.

Ultimately for me, I would like the whole world and Zimbabweans in
particular to know that I want to be counted as one of those patriotic sons
of the soil who was there for my country, stood for and by my country and
countrymen/women at Zimbabwe's hour of maximum danger, its hour of maximum
need and not one who hid behind a finger or heap of lies, or under the desk

the country needed men and women to uphold its laws, preserve and promote
peace and stability through whatever modest efforts I am able to make, and
contributed to the preservation of the Nation's legacy as defined by our
present and departed heroes and heroines of our liberation struggle.

Saka, sanctions or no sanctions, Governor Gono will stand for, and by
Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans at all times. Never doubt that!


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'Torture chief a South African'


11/07/2008 07:11 - (SA)

Julian Rademeyer, Beeld

Johannesburg - A senior Zanu-PF politburo official implicated in torture,
kidnapping and a secret plan to harass and drive out opposition supporters
in Zimbabwe is a South African citizen.

This is despite the fact that dual citizenship is outlawed by the Zimbabwean

Joshua Teke Malinga, 64, a former senator and mayor of Bulawayo, is a member
of President Robert Mugabe's inner circle, and has been accused of
establishing a "torture centre" near the Bulawayo central police station.

He also is accused of being one of the authors of a document setting out
"covert operations to decompose (sic) the opposition" during recent
presidential run-off elections.

'Dirty tricks' operations

The "action plan" drafted by senior members of Zanu-PF in Midlands province,
called for supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change to be harassed
and driven out of Zanu-PF strongholds.

Other dirty tricks operations included declaring "no-go areas" for the MDC
in rural parts of the country, and writing threatening letters to
"resettled" farmers purporting to come from the MDC and "harassing" them in
MDC T-shirts so that they voted to defend their land.

South Africa, however, would have no jurisdiction to act against Malinga -
who, like dozens of other senior Zanu-PF officials, has business ties to
South Africa and owns property here - for crimes committed in Zimbabwe.

The wheelchair-bound Malinga, who owns three sectional-title units in
Hillbrow, was until recently a director of the Secretariat of the African
Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD), a Cape town-based organisation
that champions the rights of the disabled in Africa.

After queries from Beeld, however, the organisation announced that Malinga
had been booted off the board.

South African by birth

SADPD's chief executive officer Kudakwashe Dube said the organisation
"dissociated" itself from Malinga's political activities and condemned "in
the strongest possible manner the violence that is prevailing in Zimbabwe".

He said the present board was "in the process of being replaced". Malinga
had served with the secretariat since 2004.

Dube said: "We condemn the implementation of a discredited run-off
'election' and the harsh economic and political conditions that disabled
people are experiencing."

He said the organisation did not have programmes running in Zimbabwe because
of the "unstable and unacceptable" political situation there.

The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that Malinga, who is on
international sanctions lists in much of Europe, the United States and
Australia, is a South African citizen by birth and is listed on the
Population Register.

Detained at airport

"The department does not require citizens to disclose their occupations so
the department would have no record that Mr Malinga was a politician in
Zimbabwe," said spokesperson Siobhan McCarthy.

In 2002, Malinga and his wife were detained after they tried to board a
flight to New York at Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom.

They were subsequently deported for violating European Union sanctions
banning top Zanu-PF officials from travel abroad.

Malinga claimed the deportation order was a "violation of my human rights as
a disabled person".

In March this year, SW Radio Africa - which broadcasts to Zimbabwe from
London - reported that Malinga "is thought to have sanctioned two separate
abductions of MDC activists".

'Supplying drugs daily'

Last month, The Zimbabwean newspaper, reported that Malinga had established
a "torture centre" in Bulawayo. According to the report, "several MDC
members have been kidnapped and taken there to be tortured".

"Malinga is understood to be supplying the youth militias with opaque beer
(masese) and drugs on a daily basis."

Malinga denied the charges saying the "centre" was merely a "temporary"
Zanu-PF office.

After last month's one-man election, Malinga was quoted as saying that
"nobody on this earth" could stop Mugabe.

Malinga did not respond to e-mail questions sent to him by Beeld.

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Little time to rescue Zimbabwe, says Brown

The Scotsman

Published Date: 11 July 2008
GORDON Brown yesterday warned that "time is short" for the international
community to agree tough sanctions on Zimbabwe and avert a humanitarian
The Prime Minister hopes a commitment he secured from the G8 summit in Japan
will translate into United Nations sanctions against the country's
discredited president, Robert Mugabe, and 13 of his henchmen.

Two days of negotiations are under way at the UN security council in New
York but it is feared that Russia or China could use their veto to block
financial and travel sanctions and a ban on selling weapons and military
equipment to the African nation.

Mr Brown told MPs yesterday that he hoped sanctions - and sending a UN envoy
to Zimbabwe - would lead to Mugabe being deposed or forced to stand down. It
was "important the whole weight of the international community" supported
efforts to force him out.

"I believe time is short for that, so it is important that the UN pass its
resolution as soon as possible, and I hope that all countries and all
continents will get behind it," he said. "This is an emergency in terms of
humanitarian aid."

David Cameron, the Tory leader, praised Mr Brown for putting Zimbabwe at the
top of the agenda. "The key is to translate those words at the G8 into an
effective UN resolution," he said.

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Pioneers of Zanu-PF's policies are now its prey

Business Report

July 4, 2008

By Terry Bell

The bitter reaction yesterday of a Zimbabwean trade unionist in Harare went
as follows: "[Zanu-PF members] seem to have won. They claim to have won, but
still the beatings have continued."

He and several of his fellows bewailed the fact that the contribution and
suffering of the labour movement tended to be ignored. They argued that the
issues and the positions of the various parties in the conflict in Zimbabwe
had become confused in the public mind.

Although this is not widely publicised, it is certainly true that the trade
unions have been among the greatest losers in the repression and violence
across the Limpopo. They have also provided much of the impetus and policy
direction for the opposition, quite apart from playing the key role in
establishing the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has been particularly
targeted in recent months. Union research reveals that nearly 5 000 teachers
have been assaulted, with 600 hospitalised as a result of beatings. The
homes of at least 230 teachers have been razed.

The general secretary of the PTUZ, Raymond Majongwe, who has twice suffered
beatings and electric shock torture, was reported missing yesterday. On
Wednesday afternoon a group of men raided his Harare home.

A union official said: "We do not think they found him, but we do not know
what has happened to him."

PTUZ treasurer Lad Zunde was also not home when a group of men arrived on
Wednesday evening to say they had called to "take him to a funeral".

The persecution of the unions is no recent phenomenon. The Zimbabwe Congress
of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and most of its affiliates have been prime targets of
the state ever since Morgan Tsvangirai, then the general secretary of the
ZCTU and now the leader of the opposition MDC, led the federation on an
independent course from the Zanu-PF government.

A ZCTU official said: "Yet we were fighting the very things [President
Robert] Mugabe now claims to be opposing."

The unions, which were initially linked to the ruling party, opposed the
liberal economic policies pursued by Mugabe on the advice of the World Bank
and International Monetary Fund.

In 1996, at the same time that the trade union federations in South Africa
were drafting their alternative economic policy proposals, the ZCTU produced
a document titled Beyond Esap (the economic structural adjustment

Like the South African labour movement's Social Equity and Job Creation
document, Beyond Esap presents more thoroughly considered policy positions
than anything put forward by the government. The ZCTU also drew on the
experience of South Africa's reconstruction and development programme which,
at that stage, had not yet given way to the macroeconomic reform programme
of growth, employment and redistribution.

Beyond Esap argues for the establishment of a tripartite - labour, business
and government - forum, such as the national economic development and labour
council, to consider and confirm government policies. Its demand that "land
redistribution should be given the highest priority" came at a time when the
Mugabe government was doing little about redistributing land.

Among the most battered of all the Zimbabwe unions - the agricultural
workers- there is demand for the establishment of farm worker co-operatives.

A co-operative supporter said: "But first we have to survive before we can
start to talk about that."

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Our position on Zim remains unchanged, says Mulongoti

Zambia Daily Mail


GOVERNMENT has said the hospitalisation of President Mwanawasa has not
changed its position on the Zimbabwean political crisis.

Chief Government spokesperson, Mike Mulongoti, said in Lusaka that Dr
Mwanawasa could have spoken out on the crisis in Zimbabwe if he had attended
the African Union (AU) summit.

"We believe that President Mwanawasa could have raised his voice on these
issues. We can't just change things now because the man is in hospital," he

Mr Mulongoti who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services
said there was no need for Africans to shy away from problems in the region.

"I challenge you fellow Africans on whether you can proudly talk about your
countries. Ask yourselves whether you have been able to contribute to
democracy in the region," he said.

And United States of America (USA) ambassador to Zambia, Carmen Martinez,
says her Government will continue providing humanitarian assistance to
Zimbabweans even if it does not recognise President Robert Mugabe as a
legitimate leader.

"The United States provides emergency food assistance to more than one
million people in Zimbabwe and HIV/AIDS treatment to more than 40,000

We will continue to provide this assistance. Our sanctions have always
targeted at Mr Mugabe and his associates, never at the Zimbabwean people,"
Mrs Martinez said.

She said this in her response to a press query on the Zimbabwean political
crisis yesterday in Lusaka.

Mrs Martinez said the USA does not recognise President Mugabe's government
as legitimate.

"As a result, the United State of America is developing sanctions against
the Mugabe regime," she said.

Mrs Martinez said the Zimbabwean government allegedly ran a "sham" run off
election in which those who would have voted against Mr Mugabe were afraid
to do so because they knew they would be brutalised.

"It is a tragedy that Mr Mugabe's dark deeds are casting a shadow on the
continent," she said

Mrs Martinez said there were good democratic African leaders who were trying
to institute democratic reforms and who understood the threat of instability
in the Southern African region posed by the escalating violence and economic
crisis in Zimbabwe.

She said many of those African leaders had spoken out in strong terms
recently calling for a solution that would allow for Zimbabweans to be safe
in their own country.

And out-going British High Commissioner to Zambia, Alistair Harrison, said
the decision on whether to suspend Mr Mugabe from the Southern Africa
Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) lay with the members
of those organisations.

"We welcome the fact the AU acknowledged the African observer mission's
reports which were clear that the election was not free and fair and their
recognition of the violence that marred the election and the fact the crisis
has wider regional implications as we have been arguing for some time," he

Mr Harrison said his country however supported AU calls for further
mediation within the region, but believed that the AU and United Nations
(UN) had a clear role to play in supporting the initiatives.

"The UK condemns the actions of the Zimbabwean authorities in pressing ahead
with a sham election.

We consider that the systematic use of state-sponsored political violence
and intimidation, the restriction of democratic space and the clampdown on
free media resulted in an environment, which was neither free nor fair.

" We do not accept the legitimacy of any government that has does not
reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people and strongly urge the Zimbabwean
authorities to work with the opposition to achieve a prompt, peaceful
resolution of the crisis," he said.

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