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Gordon Brown turns to EU after failed Zimbabwe vote

The Times
July 14, 2008

Charles Bremner in Paris, Philip Webster and Jonathan Clayton
Gordon Brown vowed yesterday to raise pressure on Zimbabwe with European
help and denounced a Chinese and Russian veto against UN sanctions as

The Prime Minister voiced his indignation over the failure of the Security
Council vote after pressing European leaders for new sanctions against
President Mugabe. He spoke at a 43-nation summit in Paris that led to the
creation of a union between Europe and the Mediterranean nations of Africa
and the Middle East.

"I do not think the veto by China and by Russia can be easily justified," he
said. "I do not think it can be easily defended, given what we know is
happening in Zimbabwe." He added: "We should not lessen the pressure on this
regime. I believe we need to make a transition to democracy as soon as

Zimbabwe was not on the agenda at the gathering in Grand Palais in central
Paris but Mr Brown raised it with Mr Sarkozy, José Manuel Barroso, President
of the EU Commission, and several other EU leaders.

On Friday Russian and Chinese votes defeated a US-British resolution for a
global arms embargo and travel restrictions. After the embarrassing failure,
Mr Brown has decided to switch his priority to Europe. The European Union
has already imposed EU travel and financial sanctions on 131 individuals
connected to Mugabe's regime, under EU measures drafted in 2002. Britain
would submit the names of 36 people to be added to the EU's list of Zimbabwe
France, which holds the current EU presidency, is sympathetic to Britain's
case and would ensure that Zimbabwe is on the agenda at the next EU foreign
ministers' meeting, French officials said.

Britain's proposed sanctions would prevent the regime's family members and
relatives from travelling to the European Union and gaining access to money
in European accounts. Fourteen named individuals, including Mr Mugabe, were
on the UN resolution sponsored by Britain and the US.

In South Africa the collapse of the push for UN sanctions was greeted with
satisfaction and a little gloating over Britain's discomfort. If Mr Mugabe
was laughing, the blame should be laid at London's door for failing to heed
Africa's wishes, one diplomat said.

President Mbeki of South Africa, official mediator for Zimbabwe of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), has strongly opposed
sanctions against Harare.

There is anger in London at the behaviour of the Russians, who signed up to
sanctions at the G8 summit in Japan only a few days before the UN vote and
then failed to follow through. Mr Brown has made plain that he would return
to the Security Council if the mediation efforts in Zimbabwe fail. Ministers
criticised the Security Council for failing "to stand up for the democratic
rights of Zimbabweans".

President Sarkozy decided to put concerns over human rights and democracy
aside in launching his scheme for a Mediterranean union.

The arrangement is in effect a recasting of the EU's 12-year-old engagement
with the southern and eastern Mediterranean. The old process foundered over
the Middle East conflict and old rivalries between the southern states.

Mr Sarkozy's main achievement was to bring together dignitaries from rival
nations such as Israel and Syria, Algeria and Morocco and Turkey and Greece.
Bashar Assad, the Syrian President and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime
Minister, declined to greet each other but held indirect talks through
Turkey. After meeting Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, Mr Olmert
said that Israel had never been so close to reaching an agreement with the

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Europe regroups on Zimbabwe

New Zealand Herald

5:00AM Monday July 14, 2008

PARIS - European leaders were to hold urgent talks about Zimbabwe today
after plans to impose United Nations sanctions on Robert Mugabe's brutal
regime collapsed in disarray.

Russia and China used their vetoes in the UN Security Council to block the
measures - only three days after the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev,
signed a statement endorsing financial penalties against leading figures in

The British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, accused the Russians of
double-dealing, adding: "The Russians and Chinese were briefing in all sorts
of directions."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown would discuss the way forward in Paris
today with the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and European Commission
President Jose Barroso. It is understood that the Foreign Office and the US
State Department realised on Saturday that Moscow was backtracking.


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We should never expect justice from the UN - a club of tyranny and corruption

Daily Mail, UK

Last updated at 10:59 PM on 13th July 2008

So, Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council
resolution to impose international sanctions on key members of Zimbabwe's

The British government's entire diplomatic strategy on Zimbabwe has thus
ignominiously collapsed.

This is a particular humiliation for Gordon Brown after he thought he had
persuaded all the G8 countries  -  including Russia  -  to back punitive
measures against the Mugabe regime.

Was David Miliband outsourcing the problem of Zimbabwe to the UN?

Our Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, says he is 'very disappointed'. Is he
really that wet behind the ears? Just what did he expect?

Apart from what this denouement tells us about our worsening relations with
Russia, it has long been clear that the UN is the very last place to look
for action against despotism, terror or tyranny.

For sure, Zimbabwe presents clear enough cause for UN action. The sanctions
were proposed after Mugabe was 're-elected' as Zimbabwe's president in a
travesty of a poll in which extreme violence forced the opposition
candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, to withdraw.

This, in turn, took place against a background of systematic intimidation,
torture and mass murder of Zimbabwe's terrorised population by Mugabe's

The opposition says 113 of its activists have been killed since March. Last
weekend, another of its officials, Gift Mutsvungunu, was found dead in a
suburb of Harare. His body had been partly burned and his eyes gouged out.

Russia said, however, that there was no need for sanctions, which it
described as an attempt to meddle in the affairs of a member state which
presented no threat to international peace and security.

But Zimbabwe's terror regime presents a real threat to regional peace and

And, in any case, there is a moral requirement to act. If the UN doesn't
take action to prevent uncontrollable barbarism by one of its member states,
then what in heaven's name is the point of having the UN at all?

Of course, Russia and China are simply motivated by brazen cynicism and

Not only are they increasingly flexing their muscles, they also don't want
the UN poking its nose into their own human rights abuses.

Mr Miliband was hoping that outsourcing the problem of Zimbabwe to the UN
would relieve Britain of the task of doing something about a country for
whose terrible fate, after all, Britain bears a historic responsibility.

The slap in the face he has received in response is all the more stinging
because of the particular place the UN enjoys in the pantheon of
'progressive' politics.

Western progressives have come to believe that the nation state is
responsible for all the ills of the world, from prejudice to nationalism and

The only legitimate institutions are therefore trans-national ones which
purport to represent the brotherhood of man.

So trans-national bodies and doctrines, such as the UN, EU, International
Criminal Court or European human rights law, trump our own national
institutions and laws.

The UN was established after World War II with the most noble of aims, to
ensure that the world never again allowed the horrors of Nazism to happen.

But like all attempts to create Utopia, this produced instead a monster.

For the world consists of many wicked regimes. As more and more countries
joined the UN, its moral mission was turned on its head so that, by 2003,
only 75 UN members were free democracies.

The result is a UN characterised by endemic incompetence, corruption and
worse. It has repeatedly failed to prevent atrocities.

It did nothing to prevent genocide in Rwanda in 1994; it stood by while more
than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered in Srebrenica the following
year; and it sat on its hands for 20 years while Muslim militias committed
genocide in Southern Sudan and wiped out some two million souls.

One mission was dispatched to examine the killings in Darfur. When it
returned with a report criticising the Sudanese government, the UN's
grotesquely misnamed Human Rights Council refused to endorse it or accept
its recommendations.

The UN Development Programme has been authoritatively accused of fraud and
corruption. Saddam Hussein not only siphoned off some $10 billion from the
UN's oil-for-food programme, but the UN official overseeing that programme
was allegedly on the huge list of those receiving kickbacks  -  as was the
son of the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

A classified UN report detailed 150 allegations that UN peacekeepers and
staff sexually attacked and exploited war refugees in the Congo in exchange
for food.

Similar allegations of sexual misconduct by UN staff stretch back at least a
decade to operations in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The UN persistently ignores global abuses and supports their perpetrators

Astoundingly, it has passed not one resolution against despotic regimes such
as China, Russia or Cuba.

It has approved not one resolution against the Arab and Muslim state
sponsors of terrorism.

Instead, it displayed its contempt for the rule of law and the value of
human life by actually endorsing terrorism when, in 1982, it affirmed the
legitimacy of actions against foreign domination 'by all available means
including armed struggle'.

While thus ignoring or endorsing Arab and Muslim terror, it passes an
unending stream of resolutions against Israel, the principal victim of such
terror  -  but the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that
examines the actions of only one side.

Days before 9/11, the UN's 'anti-racist' conference in Durban turned into a
grotesque hate-fest against Israel and Jews. Now it is planning a second
such conference next year in Geneva  -  preparations for which are being led
by Libya and Iran, which denies the Holocaust and repeatedly announces it
intends to wipe Israel off the map.

Despite the fact that the UN's Human Rights Council was supposed to end the
abuses perpetrated by its predecessor, the Commission On Human Rights, the
continued domination of this Council by oppressive states means it is still
acting to suppress human rights.

Hence its recent outrageous decision to ban altogether any criticism of
Islamic sharia law, which is responsible for such abuses as women being
stoned to death for adultery or young men being hanged for being gay.

With the support of China, Russia and Cuba, the Organisation Of The Islamic
Conference  -  which represents the 57 Islamic states  -  forced through a
measure which requires the UN Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of Expression to
report anyone who speaks out against sharia law, on the grounds that such
criticism represents religious discrimination.

This Orwellian diktat is but the latest evidence that, far from upholding
freedom and human rights against their abuse, the UN is simply a club of

Yet, grotesquely, it is regarded as the supreme arbiter of international
affairs, without whose imprimatur it is illegitimate to act. The fear is
that without it the world will descend into anarchy.

But the dismal truth is that the UN is the principal engine for the
perpetuation of chaos, terror, misery and injustice across the world.

It is high time we abolished this obscene institution and created instead a
United Democratic Nations to promote freedom and justice.

The vote on Zimbabwe has implications going way beyond Africa. It is but the
latest wake-up call about the UN  -  and ignoring it means that the world's
ostensible concern for Zimbabwe and all such abuses are nothing other than
crocodile tears.

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The U.N. and Comrade Bob

Wall Street Journal

July 14, 2008; Page A16
As with Darfur and Burma, the depredations of Zimbabwe dictator Robert
Mugabe have become a target of the world's moral outrage. Also like those
two countries, the chances of anyone doing something about Zimbabwe are
falling into the diplomatic abyss that is the United Nations.

The Bush Administration has been prodding the Security Council to impose an
arms embargo and pass financial and travel sanctions that would pressure the
Mugabe regime to sponsor honest elections and stop killing democratic
opponents. The U.S. persuaded Burkina Faso, currently an African
representative on the Council, to sign on.

But at the moment of truth on Friday, Russia and China vetoed the sanctions
on grounds that they amounted to interference in Zimbabwe's internal
affairs. Libya and Vietnam joined Russia and China, no doubt as fellow
dictatorships that don't want outside attention on their domestic practices.
And in a display of bizarre solidarity with Mr. Mugabe, South Africa also
voted against the sanctions. (South Africa has long ago forfeited whatever
moral authority it had on world affairs from the Nelson Mandela era.)

As in Darfur and Burma, the pattern is the same: The world's media report on
a marauding regime terrorizing its neighbors or its own people. The world's
foreign policy elite express their dismay, with liberal internationalists
and European nations urging President Bush to "show some leadership" and "do
something" through the U.N. The Bush Administration does precisely that. Yet
in the event, China and Russia veto and nothing happens.

In essence, the U.N. has become a dictator protection racket. Intervention
by any country outside U.N. auspices is deemed to be illegitimate, as with
the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. But when a security problem is
brought before the Security Council, that committee of the unwilling
inevitably fails to act. The exceptions are when Russia, China or Europe
wants to use the U.N. as a tool to limit unilateral action by Israel or the

Barack Obama has been campaigning on the virtues of the U.N. and its
collective diplomacy, but we haven't seen any comment from his campaign on
this latest U.N. failure. Not that it would matter much if he did say
anything. Mr. Mugabe knows that the only action with any chance of
challenging his rule in Harare would be a U.S.-led intervention, and Mr.
Obama has said he really dislikes that sort of thing.

So the people of Zimbabwe are left to the brutal mercy of Comrade Bob.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Russia's veto
"incomprehensible" -- which only shows that he hasn't been paying attention.
At the U.N., it's business as usual.

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Zimbabwe Opposition Blames Government for Stalled Peace Talks


By Peter Clottey
Washington, D.C.
14 July 2008

Talks between Zimbabwe's government and the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have reportedly stalled after disagreement over
modalities for the talks. The talks, which are aimed at resolving the
escalating economic and political crisis, were adjourned after MDC
negotiators blamed the government of using ongoing violence to intimidate
its partisans. But the ruling ZANU-PF government denied the accusations and
reportedly said the talks would continue this week despite any setbacks. The
peace negotiations resumed after President Mugabe's government hailed the
failure of the United Nations Security Council to impose stiffer sanctions
on President Mugabe and the entire leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Nelson Chamisa is the spokesman for Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Harare that the situation on the
ground points to a deficit of goodwill being exhibited by the ruling

"I must say that the current position is that there is no agreement that has
been reached yet, and the reason for the problem is that ZANU-PF has
manifested an incredible catalogue of acts of bad faith. They have clearly
shown that they are not willing to be serious about the negotiations. They
are talking white, but in actual fact they are acting black. There is
violence in the country, persecution of our membership, our members of
parliament who are being pursued on trumped up charges, all those issues
militate against any kind of a meaningful dialogue. And as we are speaking,
the situation on the ground points to a deficit of goodwill on the part of
the ZANU-PF," Chamisa pointed out.

He said the opposition has found it unattainable to organize political

"I indicated that it is like the MDC is a banned organization because on the
issue of freedom of association, assembly and even expression has been
curtailed. It is not possible for us to organize our activists. It has
almost become impossible for Zimbabweans to go about doing their normal
political and even social business. So, under those circumstances it is very
difficult to indicate or say that MDC is free to hold activities of our
choice. And that is why we are saying the situation is so prohibitive and
inhibitive of MDC activities," he said.

Chamisa said the situation on the ground is grim.

"What you must appreciate and understand is that Zimbabwe is burning as we
are speaking. Zimbabweans are suffering. There is literally no food. People
are literally jobless and almost 99 percent unemployment rate, and the
situation is so dire and so extreme in terms of the humanitarian deficit. In
terms of the human rights abuses, we are caught in between a rock and a hard
place," Chamisa, noted.

He said the opposition seems to be fighting an uphill battle with dire
nature of situation on the ground.

"Zimbabweans would want us (opposition) to make sure that there is an
expeditious response their very challenging circumstances. But at the same
time, we also need to put preconditions that would ensure that that kind of
suffering is stopped. So, we are conscious and alive to the fact that we
need to put the necessary preconditions ahead of the peace talks. This is
why our contact has not been dialoguing in any manner. It has just been
consultations that are supposed to clear the course for a negotiated
settlement," he said.

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No painkillers, no visitors and no way out: Mugabe's hospital ward for MDC activists

· Patients with broken limbs and burns held prisoner
· Killings go on as president fights to hold on to power

Gondai Mtetwa, an opposition activist who is being held prisoner at Gokwe hospital, Zimbabwe

Gondai Mtetwa, an opposition activist severely burned by pro-Mugabe forces, held prisoner at Gokwe hospital, Zimbabwe. Photograph: Chris McGreal

Ward B3 of Gokwe general hospital looks much like any other in Zimbabwe's decaying medical establishments, denuded of medicines, equipment and doctors by the country's dramatic economic collapse.

But many of its patients are prisoners in a "torture centre" for abducted opposition supporters who, on the orders of the army, are denied painkillers and treatment for terrible injuries sustained at the hands of Robert Mugabe's henchmen.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says that at least 13 of its members are held in the ward. Medical staff say they are mostly kept prisoner in side rooms.

"They have all been heavily assaulted," said one of the staff. "Some are burned beyond recognition. Some have broken limbs. They are in serious agony. They have no drugs. They are not allowed to leave. When doctors from the outside tried to bring the medicines they were turned away. So were ambulances to take them to private hospitals with drugs. It is all on the orders of the army and Central Intelligence Organisation."

Zimbabweans with a first-hand knowledge of Ward B3 say an army major called Ronald Mpofu and a war veteran, David Masvisvi, have ordered medical staff not to allow the men held there to be moved or permitted access to outside doctors or visitors. Occasionally the prisoners are visited by intelligence officers who have photographed and threatened them.

Among those held on the ward is Nomore Jukwa, 23. A mobile phone picture smuggled out of the hospital shows burns over his upper body after an attack by Mugabe's Zanu-PF militia last week.

Another man, Gondai Mtetwa, is held in the same room. A picture shows his flesh left raw and exposed by severe burns down his back and left arm.

A lawyer, Capera Sengweni, gained access to the room with Jukwa and Mtetwa on Friday. "They are both in severe pain but Jukwa is very, very bad. He has no medication and they are not letting him leave to get treatment. They have locked them in the room with orders that no one is to see them," he said.

Others have been brought to the ward with axe wounds and broken limbs. The MDC says that more than 20 badly injured opposition activists are being held prisoner in similar conditions in four smaller hospitals in the area. Most of the men held against their will are victims of state-orchestrated violence that has continued against the opposition since the widely derided election that returned Mugabe to power a fortnight ago.

The MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, told the Guardian that the treatment of the men on Ward B3 is further evidence that the state-orchestrated campaign of killings, torture and abductions has continued after the election.

"We have been saying that the regime has been waging war on its own people and this is further proof," he said. "This is why it is so urgent that the African Union and UN move so urgently as every day that passes more innocent people are losing their lives in this orgy of violence."

Last week, Zimbabwe's mission to the United Nations helped stave off security council sanctions against Mugabe's regime by warning that they would "most probably start a civil war".

But the MDC says a state-orchestrated war is continuing against its activists and supporters to try to beat the party into a political agreement that would see Mugabe retain power. At least nine people have been murdered around Gokwe - traditionally a stronghold of Mugabe's Zanu-PF - since the election; scores are missing.

Only one of the prisoners on Ward B3 has been able to leave. Bigboy Chakazamba, an MDC councillor who was dragged from his home and beaten by Zanu-PF militia, walked out of Gokwe general on Thursday having persuaded the nurses that he was immediately returning to his rural home.

"They were using logs and steel bars and stones to break my bones. They left me unconscious," he said.

Chakazamba, 41, was held on Ward B3 with a fractured right arm, broken bones in his left hand and a broken nose. His arms were plastered shortly before he left but he received no other treatment.

"At home they thought I was dead. My brother bought a coffin and came to the hospital to collect my corpse. When he got there he found I was alive, but the nurses said he couldn't have access without permission from Major Mpofu," he said.

The MDC believes the men are being held to prevent them from exposing their injuries to the outside world, particularly those with burns.

A new opposition MP, Costin Muguti, unseated a well-known Zanu-PF official, Leonard Chikomba, who is a relative of Mugabe. After he lost the vote, Chikomba is reported to have said that Muguti would never sit in parliament. Muguti was arrested by the police and held for nearly three weeks. He says he was severely beaten. It was led by a man he believes to be an intelligence officer named Kuda.

"He said there is no more MDC in this constituency. MDC is finished here. They beat me with knobkerries [clubs] and sticks. They just wanted to cause damage to my head. I couldn't eat or talk for three days," said the MP. Muguti was dumped in a police cell and denied medical treatment for more than a week. He was finally released on Thursday.

"The police told me this is just politics. We are also under pressure to carry out certain orders," he said. "I am the only MDC MP from Gokwe. They have made threats against me. They have a belief that Gokwe is a Zanu-PF stronghold and I think they might even kill me to create a by-election."

Several attempts have been made to get treatment to the men on Ward B3 or move them to hospitals in Harare, but the military and CIO have blocked them.

The opposition persuaded a group of doctors from a foreign aid agency to visit the hospital to help the prisoners, but when they arrived they were directed to another ward and misled into believing they were seeing the abducted men.

Two ambulances dispatched to move the men to private hospitals in Harare were blocked, their drivers interrogated for 18 hours and then turned away.

Most of Zimbabwe's state hospitals are desperately short of medicines because of a lack of foreign currency to import them. But Sengweni said that by refusing to allow the men to be moved to private hospitals which do have drugs, or aid organisations to deliver medicines to the men, the military is deliberately keeping them in pain.

"To detain anyone in a government hospital right now is to deny them access to medication," he said.

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Remove Mugabe, don't cut deals with him

July 14, 2008
Tanonoka Whande

I MUST admit that seeing MDC faction leader, Arthur Mutambara, standing in
front of Robert Mugabe and grinning like a convict whose sentence had just
been commuted made me sick to my stomach.

How do some people do it?

Do they relieve themselves of their conscience in order to do those things
that would revolt even a dog that calls its own vomit a meal?

And yet it all started with Robert Mugabe.

Unsure of the effect his gimmick of planting Simba Makoni as a decoy
presidential candidate would actually yield, Mugabe called Makoni a
Makoni had done nothing to deserve such a label. He did not deserve it
because he was always Zanu-PF.

So, I sit here wondering if Mugabe can identify a political prostitute if he
met one, which he actually did but failed to recognize him.

And with the way he and Mutambara were holding hands and patting each other
on the upper arms, like a goalkeeper being congratulated for saving a
penalty, I could see that to some people, the nation does not matter.

Mutambara and Mugabe? Strange. But then, now more than ever, Mugabe needs
political prostitutes more than a man emerging from a 20-year jail term.
With the ever present sell-out of them all, Welshman Ncube, in attendance,
the "opposition party" was having a ball.

Followers of the Ncube/Mutambara MDC must be as confused as chickens trying
to escape from a snake in a locked henhouse. They do not know what they
ought to believe in or stand for. There is no ideology to protect, promote
or broadcast.
They are just made to follow a person.

Ncube and Mutambara are making themselves the biggest and most shameless
political prostitutes Zimbabwe has ever produced. Why do they always appear
to muddy the waters at critical times?

Ncube almost murdered the Movement for Democratic Change. And if it were not
for his mollycoddling Zanu-PF, there would not have been a run-off election
that demanded from us the lives of our fellow innocent Zimbabweans.

After installing Arthur Mutambara as "President of the MDC" and with the
help of Thabo Mbeki, the man who, behind Mugabe, has caused the deaths of
more Zimbabweans than anyone else, Ncube went to work for his masters and
diverted attention from Mugabe.

Thus, MDC factions spent most of their time hurling insults and abuses at
each other and using press conferences to deny what the other group had
Precious attention and time were diverted from campaigning against Mugabe,
with the spotlight on Ncube's group and its constant verbal abuse of
Tsvangirai and his followers.

Charges and counter-charges went flying as Mutambara's people forgot their
'mandate' and spent time bad-mouthing the wrong party and leader.

However, Tsvangirai prevailed because people saw Ncube and his group of
termites for what they were: destructive insects that chew a house from

Then came the elections and Ncube, knowing fully well that he had no support
even along tribal lines where he had hoped would keep him and his troupe
afloat, flirted with the idea of rejoining Tsvangirai and fight elections

Again, they were seen for what they truly are and the deal fell through.

Then Simba Makoni made a belated entry into the presidential elections race.
As soon as Makoni confirmed his participation, Ncube urged his poor abused
followers to back Makoni who kept refusing to denounce Zanu-PF but just
continued telling people that he was not running against Mugabe but was
running for the people, whatever it is he was trying to say.

Sure enough, Mutambara held "meetings" with Makoni resulting in his faction's
support and endorsement of Makoni.

In spite of that, Makoni got no more than eight percent of the presidential
vote and Mutambara, Ncube and their "top leadership" all failed to win
parliamentary seats.

Please don't go away. If you smell anything funny, it's because, we are
approaching the brothel.

Nevertheless, Tsvangirai triumphed but a run-off election was cooked up.
Ncube and Mutambara, once again, actually spent time scratching their heads
trying to figure out who to support in the run-off election: Mugabe or
They held "talks" with Tsvangirai's MDC but, in the end, would not tell
their followers to vote for Tsvangirai.

We can fill in the blanks, thank you.

Meanwhile, Mbeki was being embarrassed (as if he has any political decency
to care) by what was going on in Zimbabwe.

He lied, as usual, that he had the Zimbabwean issue under control.

But wherever he went, at home and abroad, Mbeki was confronted by his
ineptitude and failure exemplified by his pathetic stand on Zimbabwe.

So last week, like he has always done when going somewhere where he knew
Zimbabwe would be an issue, Mbeki went to Zimbabwe first before flying to
Japan for the G8 Summit.

As usual, the media was told a lot of crap that Mbeki had presented a plan
to Zimbabwe's political leaders "that would allow Robert Mugabe to remain as
a titular head of state but surrender real power to the opposition leader,
Morgan Tsvangirai, who would serve as prime minister until a new
constitution was negotiated and fresh elections held."

Mbeki keeps presenting the same rejected "solution" over and over again.

This time, we were told, the MDC party leadership "found itself in
surprising agreement with much of what Mbeki was proposing."

Then Mbeki flew to Japan to tell the world that he was "making progress" in

That's a load of manure. To my knowledge, it's only beetles that can use
dung to sustain life!

Tsvangirai denied agreeing to anything Mbeki brought.

He is even reported to have boycotted a meeting with Mbeki who went on to
meet with Mugabe.

Guess who else met Mbeki? Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube, of course!

Who they were representing, only God knows! But, yes, Ncube and Mutambara
were there too and we saw Mutambara laughing and holding hands with Robert
like two farmers overjoyed for having recovered their stolen herd of cattle.

You can always bet on Mbeki to negotiate with the wrong people and so there
it was, a photograph of Mugabe, Mbeki and Mutambara.

Behind Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara has turned himself into the most
educated political prostitute Zimbabwe has ever produced.

These two, must, of necessity, preach something that people can grasp and
believe in. I find it absolutely insane that Ncube and Mutambara can, at one
time, easily stand side by side with Morgan Tsvangirai, then with Simba
Makoni and then with Mugabe.

This nonsense must stop because they should have seen by now that their
behaviour not only perpetuates confusion in our politics but also prevents
the people from achieving their goal. They are helping Mugabe.

And, in case Ncube and his mites do not know, the goal right now is to
remove Robert Mugabe not to shake grubby hands and cut deals with him.

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S Africa hails veto of Zimbabwe sanctions

July 14, 2008

JOHANNESBURG (Sapa) - South Africa welcomed the decision of the United
Nations Security Council not to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, foreign
affairs said today.

Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said SA voted against the draft resolution, in
accordance with the African Union (AU) Summit of head of states and
government decision to "encourage President Robert Mugabe and the leader of
the MDC to honour their commitment to initiate dialogue with view to promote
peace, stability, democracy and reconciliation of the Zimbabwean people".

He said South Africa was facilitating talks between Zanu-PF, the MDC of
Morgan Tsvangarai and MDC of Arthur Mutambara, in Pretoria.

"It is our considered view that imposing sanctions would indeed have
impacted negatively on the current process among the Zimbabwean political
parties. In addition both SADC and AU have not called for sanctions," he

The AU summit in Egypt had appealed to states and all parties concern to
refrain from any action that could negatively impact on the climate for

The UN Security Council wanted to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe
including a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and other

Russia and China vetoed proposed sanctions on Zimbabwe's leaders, rejecting
U.S. efforts to step up punitive measures against President Robert Mugabe's
authoritarian regime after a widely discredited presidential election.

Mamoepa said the role of the international community at this juncture should
be to encourage the Zimbabwean political parties to deepen and consolidate
the current dialogue process, as facilitated by SADC

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It's high time we cut all African aid

Independent, Ireland

By World Vision Ireland

Monday July 14 2008

I read the article by Kevin Myers on Africa. I say, spot on, he has got it
dead right. I live in South Africa and cannot but agree with his analysis.

The West should stop being duped by Africa.

On the one hand we have brutal demagogues chanting "leave Africa to sort out
Africa's problems" in respect of the chaos in Zimbabwe and DRC and any
number of basket cases to the North, but they sing a different song when it
comes to demanding aid and handouts.

The West should stop all aid to Africa immediately. You will be astounded at
the change in attitude that will result.

Africa has the resources and the skills to become self-reliant; but it is
easier to rattle the stick in the begging bowl.

More aid has been poured into Africa over the last five decades than was
provided to Germany after WW2 as part of the Marshall Plan; what has been
the result?

Africa, with one or two exceptions, is a basket case, surely the time has
come for Africans to stop whining about past injustices and roll up their
sleeves and get on with it.

Nigeria and Angola are oil rich. Diamonds abound but everywhere there is
corruption and deceit in governing circles.

I am astounded at the reluctance of the West to take action against

What has been happening there is far worse than anything that ever happened
in South Africa under apartheid. I know -- I lived through apartheid and I
visit Zimbabwe frequently.

Is it because the West views blacks oppressing blacks as acceptable? This is
gross racism. The excuse that it is an internal problem, sounds like the
nationalist government in the old South Africa, where sanctions were applied
with alacrity.

It is time for the West, Britain and the USA in particular, to develop
something resembling a backbone and say this is far enough.

There has been too much indulgence of thugs like Mugabe and his cohorts.

Why attack the people of Africa?

Having spent the past three weeks reporting from Ethiopia, and having done
similar work in over a dozen Africa countries, some points for Mr Kevin
Myers regarding his piece 'Africa is giving nothing to anyone, apart from
AIDS' (Irish Independent, July 10).

Whatever about being criticised by the "self-righteously wrathful", Mr Myers
is embarrassingly-open to critique on basic factual grounds, as he commits
some howlers in attempting to reinforce his point. The Ethiopian-Eritrean
war that he somehow thinks has been "prolonged by a decade" was in fact,
fought between 1998-2000 i.e. it finished nearly a decade ago, and lasted
only two years.

As for malaria, nearly one million Africans still die every year from the
disease, presumably the type of "efficacious type of population control" Mr
Myers is so keen an advocate of. Perhaps Mr Myers should first read up on
Margaret Sanger, a proto-Nazi eugenicist and founding matriarch of the
modern population control movement.

But fear not, unless DDT is reintroduced, enough Africans will die from
malaria in the coming years to fulfil anyone's Malthusian fetishisms.

Of Ethiopia's 70 million plus population, around five million depend on
western food aid, which undermines Mr Myers' point about western food being
the driver of a doubling of Ethiopia's population since 1984.

Having been to Ethiopia, Mr Myers should know that "the wastelands of the
Great Rift Valley" are in fact a mixture of drought-prone aridity often
side-by-side with lush and fertile mountain and farming areas. Low
productivity is the result of antiquated farming techniques still practised
across the country, which, if improved, could go some way to feeding
Ethiopia's growing population.

Later, Mr Myers contradicts himself by describing Africa's "vast savannahs
and lush pastures", but then refers to Africa's "catastrophic ecological
degradation". Presumably, these two cannot exist simultaneously, at least in
any coherent intellectual argument.

That pedantry aside, the fact is Africa has not undergone any catastrophic
ecological devastation -- most of the continent is untouched by industry or
even large-scale agriculture.

As for the political systems that Mr Myers feels charity has sustained,
Africa's problem is a lack of political systems. This has given rise to the
corruption, tyranny and mis-governance that has blighted the continent, be
that during colonialism, or since, and which has subsequently resulted in
numerous failed states, not least Somalia, which Mr Myers also refers to to
make yet another confused point about Africa's people, who are the chief
targets of his diatribe.

The 1984 famine Mr Myers evokes was largely caused by the Marxist Derg
regime of the day, which withheld food from rebel areas, where the drought
of that time was hitting hardest. Nature caused the drought, but that regime
caused people to die. Mr Myers surely knows this.

Ethiopia is now embarking on a 23 million-hectare biofuels project,
targeting a lucrative and (in the US and Europe) heavily-subsidised sector
that the World Bank has slated as causing 75pc of the rise in world food
prices over the past two years. Another government-sponsored white elephant,
chasing the money while the people suffer -- that is the reality of much of

Mr Myers mangles the basics of political science by portraying civilians in
undemocratic countries, people with little money and less rights, to be at
fault for the failings of those who rule.

Life is not always worth preserving

While I'm sure that Mr Myers has received a barrage of criticism, let it be
said by this reader that he has struck a serious blow for free-thinking with
his article on Africa.

There is a big difference between realism and racism and Mr Myers grasps
that fact.

What we need is some prominent person to organise a series of concerts to
raise awareness of the problem of overpopulation in an unjust world!

Short of that, we need more public figures (like Mr Myers) to question the
lunacy of the proposition that life is an unqualified good in all

It isn't. Africa proves that. And he has made a compelling case for this
reality in his superb piece.

Thanks for brave article on Africa

I would like to thank Kevin Myers for writing this brave article and the
editors for publishing it.

While his argument will prove uncomfortable for many, I believe it weighs
most heavily on the conscience of the bureaucrats and their organizations
which have, through pride, neglect, and an absolute refusal to accept
critical review, only made Africa worse.

While the wealthy and powerful defenders of the status quo will cry racism,
hate, and bias -- the real crime here is ignorance -- their ignorance.

Mr Myers wants the final solution

Most people know that Kevin Myers has an agenda to be controversial.

It's how he earns his living. However, his recent article suggesting that
'Africa is giving nothing to anyone -- but AIDS' crosses far below the line
of what most people would consider basic human decency. A new low even for

Not all Africans are "Kalashnikov-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising,
permanently tumescent layabouts".

To suggest so is as racist and simplistic, as it is to say all Muslims are
members of al-Qa'ida or that everyone in Ireland in the 1970s and 80s was a
member of the IRA.

What about African world leaders such as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and
Archbisop Tutu -- have these people contributed nothing to the world? What
about Africans such as Haile Gabriel Selassie and Tirunesh and Ejegayehu
Dibaba -- world champions?

Should these people be wiped out because they are from Africa and we should
therefore presume that they have nothing to give to the world but AIDS?

Kevin Myers is proposing a version of Nazi Germany's The Final Solution.

Is he seriously suggesting that Ireland implement a version of this plan
whereby we refuse all help to Africa, leave people to die from preventable
diseases and thereby finally solve the 'Africa question in Europe'?

I don't think so and neither should anyone with an ounce of human decency or

- World Vision Ireland

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South Africa disgraced


James Myburgh
14 July 2008

Zanu-PF calls Mbeki "a leader par excellence" after UN resolution is sunk

On Friday our government brought dishonour upon our country. The South
African permanent representative to the United Nations, Dumisani Khumalo,
voted against a resolution in the Security Council which would have placed
an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, and which would also have sanctioned thirteen
key Zanu-PF figures - all directly responsible for the horrors we have
witnessed over the past few months.

On Saturday the Department of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying
that: "South Africa welcomes the decision... not to impose sanctions against
Zimbabwe including a travel ban and asset freeze on President Mugabe and
other individuals."

Despite Kumalo's vote against it, the resolution garnered the nine out of
the fifteen votes it needed. It failed to pass after Russia and China vetoed
it. This does not exorcise South Africa from moral responsibility. Our
government lobbied against the resolution and provided all the excuses those
two states needed to vote the way they did. If we had supported the
resolution - or remained neutral - it would have passed.

The proposed resolution demanded inter alia that the Government of Zimbabwe
"Immediately cease attacks against and intimidation of opposition members
and supporters"; "Begin without delay a substantive and inclusive political
dialogue between the parties with the aim of arriving at a peaceful solution
that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people and respects the results of
the 29 March elections"; and, "end immediately all restrictions on
international humanitarian assistance and support international aid
organizations' access to all parts of the country for distribution of food,
medical assistance, and other humanitarian aid." [Read full text here.]

It called for the appointment by the Secretary General of a special
representative to Zimbabwe who would assist with the negotiation process.
And would have required that all member states take "the necessary measures
to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Zimbabwe... of
arms or related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition,
military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for
the aforementioned."

The resolution would also have obliged member states to "prevent the entry
into or transit through their territories" of thirteen named individuals
responsible for the repression, abuse of human rights, disrespect for the
rule of law, and the undermining of democracy in Zimbabwe. All states would
have had to "freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and
economic resources that are in their territories on the date of adoption of
this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled,
directly or indirectly, by these individuals or entities."

As the British envoy to the United Nations John Sawer pointed out, the
resolution "would have put some countervailing pressure on the ruling
regime, to balance the appalling pressure and intimidation that they
continue to exert on the political opposition." Sawer noted that its'
scuppering meant the loss of various opportunities:

"We have missed the opportunity to impose a legal obligation on Mr Mugabe's
Government to end the violence and intimidation which have scarred Zimbabwe,
made normal politics impossible and which is de-stabilising the region... we
have missed the opportunity to strengthen the mediation efforts, giving them
the full weight of the international community by the addition of a United
Nations envoy... we have missed the opportunity to back up South Africa's
mediation efforts with something more than words. That is why the Resolution
included carefully targeted sanctions, aimed at those who have brought about
the current crisis, with a clear message that they would be lifted once an
inclusive political settlement is reached; and finally, we have lost an
opportunity to impose an arms embargo. The last thing Zimbabwe needs now is
more arms." [Full statement]

Most of the anger of Britain and the United States was directed at Russia,
which had indicated at the G8 that it would support the resolution but then
reneged on this commitment. China, apparently, just followed their lead.
However, in comments to the press the US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was
also harshly critical of the role played by the South African government.

It was particularly disturbing, he said, for South Africa "to be protecting
the horrible regime in Zimbabwe - a regime that is responsible for not only
a political crisis, but a humanitarian crisis in the country - and to work
with that regime to fragment the opposition to it. There isn't anything
serious going on with the negotiations. President Mbeki's effort so far has
been a failure." Mbeki, he added, seems to "be working hand-in-glove with
[Mugabe] at times." While Mugabe "uses violent means to fragment and weaken
the opposition", he said, Mbeki was pursuing the same ends by using
diplomacy to foster internal divisions within the MDC.

In his gleeful response to the defeat of the resolution Zimbabwe's
Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu confirmed much of Khalilzad's
assessment. He told AFP:

"We would like to thank countries that supported us at the United Nations
and we would like to tell them that we would not disappoint them as we would
address our problems ourselves. We would like to thank President Thabo
Mbeki, who is a leader par excellence as he has not yielded to international
pressure and to the machinations of the West led by Britain and United

For its part a clearly demoralised MDC noted the decision and expressed "its
gratitude to countries and organisations that continue to support the
Zimbabwean people in their struggle for freedom and stability."

Mbeki's stance was predictable. What was truly disappointing was that COSATU
and the new ANC leadership did not press for South Africa to reverse its
opposition to the resolution at the UN. If the ANC leadership can order the
dissolution of the Scorpions, or the installation of Kgalema Motlanthe as a
cabinet minister, then presumably they could have demanded a shift in our
government's stance at the UN. They did not even try.

On Friday this website noted that many individuals in the new ANC leadership
had come out in support of Mugabe in the early years of the crisis in
Zimbabwe, and it remained an open question whether when the same individuals
would "support the hard actions - such as targeted sanctions - needed to
effect meaningful change in Zimbabwe." On Saturday, the ANC National
Executive Committee said that it had had "deep reservations" about the UN
resolution and added that "The AU mandated dialogue should be given an
opportunity to succeed."

This failure to support real action against Zanu-PF has shown up the new ANC
leadership - and to a lesser extent, COSATU (which said nothing) - to be all
mouth and no trousers on the Zimbabwe issue. As a result of their inaction
weapons can still be legally sold by China to the regime; the money senior
Zanu-PF cadres have looted from that country will remain at their disposal;
Mbeki will remain sole mediator; the Zimbabwean people have been deprived of
hope; and, we have all been shamed.

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Mugabe needs incentives for reform, not sanctions

New Zimbabwe

By Mutumwa D. Mawere
Last updated: 07/15/2008 01:04:22
THE Russian and Chinese veto of a draft United Nations resolution sponsored
by the US and UK governments to impose an arms embargo against Zimbabwe and
an assets freeze and a travel ban on President Mugabe and 13 of his
colleagues was as predictable as it was inevitable given the composition of
the Security Council.

Naturally, President Mugabe must have been excited at learning that what he
considers to be a plot by his Western detractors to effect regime change by
any means necessary had failed.

Zimbabwe exposed the emergence of a new cold war at the world stage
characterised by a contestation on what kind of values ought to dominate and
inform global conversations on the role of the UN, in a world characterised
by a lack of universally agreed standards on how to handle absurd situations
as that prevailing in Zimbabwe where an incumbent is determined to cling to
power at all costs.

It would have been naďve to have expected Russia and China to support a
resolution whose long term implications on countries that do not fully
subscribe to democratic principles and values could be devastating and

If Mugabe was Chinese or Russian, there is no doubt that he would have been
considered a hero of the national democratic revolution. It would be absurd
to expect the Chinese and Russians to find anything wrong with what they
generally consider to be a domestic housekeeping issue.

The Chinese and Russians may not fully agree with President Mugabe's naďve
approach to democracy, in that he allowed the situation to get out of hand
by not successfully rigging the elections.

Former President Putin and now Prime Minister of Russia demonstrated that
succession can be manipulatively managed.

The Chinese political system is not capable of creating a person like Morgan
Tsvangirai and it is the case that they are not used to a situation where an
incumbent -- deeply rooted in an ideology where citizen choice is not an
operative word in political decision making -- is successfully challenged by
a person supported by the West.

If Tsvangirai was a Russian or Chinese opposition leader, his fate would not
lie in a negotiated settlement mediated by a foreign party.

By allowing the situation in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe is generally seen as
having betrayed the cause and creating a dangerous precedent for the club of
leaders who believe that equality, freedom and justice are luxuries.

The AU has not found any fault with the manner in which Mugabe handled the
run-off election and it is evident that he enjoys the support of many in
salvaging a situation that had gone out of hand.

Many of the people who support the notion of a government of national unity
are fully convinced that Tsvangirai does not fit the profile of what they
would like to see as a successor to President Mugabe.

In Africa, as it is in many developing countries, anyone who is disliked by
the West easily enjoys the support of those that seek to change the global
distribution of power and the foundation of the multilateral institutions.

The energy crisis has repositioned the Chinese and Russian brands.

The emergence of sovereign wealth funds as drivers of the global economy
suggests that the US and Europe must revise the manner in which they relate
to global issues including attempts to impose their value system in a world
where the powerful always have their way.

Mugabe will argue convincingly that if the George Bush and Tony Blair could
have their way in Iraq and Afghanistan, he should not be treated differently
in terms of suppressing and intimidating his adversaries.

Although China and Russia have not proved themselves as reliable development
partners to Africa, it is not clear how Zimbabwe will benefit from the
showdown on the sanctions issue particularly if Mugabe wants sanctions to be
lifted by the very countries who are opposed to his ways.

The fact that the targeted persons were all black, notwithstanding the fact
that the economy of Zimbabwe is still sustained and driven by companies
whose owners are domiciled in the West, leads many to question the motives
behind the push for sanctions whose real impact has more to do with
embarrassing President Mugabe and his colleagues than promoting real change.

The targeted sanctions have so far failed to produce the desired results. If
anything, they have helped bolster President Mugabe's assertion that
Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis is a creation of the West.

President Mugabe has not accepted that he bears any personal responsibility
for the economic decay and he still holds the view that his continued
leadership is indispensible to the survival of the nation.

It is instructive that Boniface Chidyausiku, Zimbabwe 's Permanent
Representative to the UN, greeted the blocking of the draft resolution by
saying: "It's a reflection of the rule of law in the United Nations that
nobody has monopoly on how things should be in the Security Council. Reason
has prevailed. Adopting this resolution will set a dangerous precedent and
will only serve to undermine the ongoing dialogue between the political
parties, and risks worsening the political and socio-economic situation in
the country, and will affect other countries in the region."

What may not be obvious to Chidyausiku is that it has been generally
accepted that the rule of law in Zimbabwe is now a luxury for a few who
believe that they are more Zimbabwean than others.

It must be accepted that the climate in Zimbabwe is now so poisonous that it
will take more than negotiations of the three political parties to restore
the country to normalcy.

Even the Chinese and Russians would agree that Zimbabwe needs to turn a new
page and the future of the country lies in a renewal of leadership.
It is now universally accepted that losing will never be part of President
Mugabe's vocabulary.

He knows no limit when it comes to the energy and tactics he will use to
stay in power no matter how distasteful.

President Mugabe is a natural warrior, never more energised than when faced
with a towering foe. That is when he gets in mortal combat, adopting the
archetype of an invincible warrior with the only testicular fortitude to be
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe came into the March 29 election confident and in the 27
June run-off emotionally scarred by the loss.

He must be bewildered and deeply hurt by the personal attacks on him and his
targeting as a "bad boy" when he thinks that he has been the best leader for

He has accumulated more than enough repressed anger to fuel him to go
through a 1000-year war oblivious of the damage his reign has on the country
he purports to love.

He remains unapologetic about his actions and must be angry to be accused of
human rights abuses by the West.

He genuinely believes that sanctions must be imposed on Bush, Blair and
Brown rather than on him.

To President Mugabe, war is an important metaphor. He believes that politics
is war and that war means any instrument, any tool, any means to achieve a
set end.

He is a fighter and regards the Security Council victory as a vindication of
the justice of his methods.

Is Zimbabwe's better day still possible with President Mugabe at the helm is
a question that should occupy the minds of Zimbabweans rather than the
Security Council.

The Zimbabwean case is an unusual one requiring a creative and innovative
way to release the country from its current political gridlock.

President Mugabe had calculated after the negotiated constitutional
amendments effected before the elections that he was going to win the
election and would then proceed to amend the constitution with a
parliamentary majority.

The current arithmetic of the composition of the new parliament does not
give him much room to manoeuvre, however.

As a crafty politician, he will argue that any negotiation must start from
the premise that he is the legitimate head of state and the March 29
election outcome had constitutional consequences including the run-off.

The outcome of the Security Council vote on sanctions may have the effect of
giving Mugabe new hope that he can have his way with impunity.

If he cannot get the sanctions to be lifted by the West, there may be no
real incentive for him to negotiate in good faith especially when he knows
that any outcome that may leave him with unfettered powers may not be
acceptable even to his friends in Africa.

Mutumwa Mawere's weekly column is published on New every
Monday. You can contact him at:

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Mugabe's murderous plan

Zimbabwe Today

The next steps in the elimination of the MDC opposition in Zimbabwe

While the laughable "talks" about a peaceful solution to the political
crisis stutter on, and while the general level of violence and fear ratchets
up across the country, the military junta behind Mugabe move on

At the end of last week the five main Junta leaders - Constantine Chiwenga,
Augustine Chihuru, Perrence Shiri, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Paradzai Zimondi -
held a secret meeting with their President.

Details of that meeting have been passed on to me by a sympathetic source
close to the junta. They reveal a comprehensive plan to, and I quote,
"target and eliminate the MDC from the political map of Zimbabwe".

The plan covers all levels of government - cell, ward, district, province
and national - and is backed by a general order to the security forces and
the militia to increase the every-day level of violence against opposition

One specific measure is designed to wipe out the victory which the MDC
secured in the recent elections, when they achieved a majority of seats in
Parliament. This is how it will work.

Successful MDC candidates are to be targeted, attacked and threatened until
they retreat into hiding or exile. When they have been absent from
Parliament for 21 days their seats can be declared vacant, and a new
by-election held. This time round MDC supporters will be cowed into voting
for Zanu-PF.

Part of the new plan also takes into consideration the unfavourable stories
that independent journalists have been leaking to the western media from
inside Zimbabwe. The solution to that problem, the Junta leaders told
Mugabe, is a simple one. Death - or the threat of it - to the journalists.

Action against some reporters has already begun, and several have taken
steps to protect their families, then gone into hiding. A colleague who
worked for the Zimbabwe Independent was recently abducted, beaten, and
threatened with death unless he revealed his sources within Zanu-PF.
Temporarily freed, he managed to cross the border to comparative safety in
South Africa.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, Britain and America are still
considering their options following the failure of their optimistic approach
to the United Nations Security Council. Britain is now expected to ask the
European Union to bring pressure on Zimbabwe.

Somehow I don't believe any action by the EU is going to have our dapper
president trembling in his made-to-measure shoes.

Posted on Sunday, 13 July 2008 at 21:54

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Outburst makes matters worse

Simon Tisdall
The Guardian,
Monday July 14, 2008

Simmering, long-suppressed British anger over the international community's
failure to curb Robert Mugabe's excesses burst into the open at the weekend.

The furious public finger-pointing at Russia, and to a lesser degree China,
after they vetoed a UN security council sanctions resolution on Friday
evening, is highly un°©usual. It will do little to help the cause of
democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe, and may actually set it back.

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, a relative newcomer to global
diplomacy, led the British charge, calling the Russian veto an
"incomprehensible" volte-face coming only three days after President Dmitri
Medvedev signed up to a tough-sounding G8 summit statement. Gordon Brown
waded in yesterday, saying the double veto could not be "easily defended",
and vowing to raise the stakes with further targeted EU sanctions against
those connected to the "illegitimate" regime.

Mark Malloch-Brown, the Africa minister, called Britain's decision to force
a UN vote a "high-stakes gamble". He claimed it had appeared to have a good
chance of succeeding. It did not succeed. John Sawers, Britain's normally
unflappable UN ambassador, described Russia and China's behaviour as
"inexplicable". He went on: "We view their decisions as deeply damaging to
the long-term interests of Zimbabwe's people. It has, in our view, harmed
the prospects for bringing to an early end the violence and oppression."His
US opposite number, Zalmay Khalilzad, questioned Russia's fitness to be a G8

This noisy, unprecedented letting-off of steam may help cover Brown's
embarrassment at having prematurely trumpeted a G8 deal on Zimbabwe, but
will complicate future collective efforts to tackle Mugabe. The prime
minister seems to have misjudged the situation or been badly advised.

He claimed to have successfully used "shock tactics" to bring the Russians
on board in Japan. But Moscow was never likely to shift its long-held stance
on non-intervention or its insistence that Zimbabwe's elections were an
internal matter. After all, Medvedev himself recently won power thanks to a
less-than-perfect poll. Moscow's response to British fury has been almost
mocking. It said the criticisms were "impermissible" and "uninformed".
Bilateral relations will now take another downward plunge. The tactic of
forcing a vote, which Britain knew by Friday it would certainly lose, now
looks counter-productive, as William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary,
suggested yesterday. Britain may look principled - but it looks equally
powerless. Inevitably, Mugabe's spokesmen have not stopped crowing about
what they see as a defeat for racist interventionism.

Brown said he would return to the UN if there was no progress on resolving
the Zimbabwe crisis. But the sanctions debacle has further damaged the UN's
reputation. It has also left the African Union split and the semi-comatose
"quiet diplomacy" of South African president Thabo Mbeki in the ascendant.
Yet even as the debris of this train wreck is sifted, it is hard to disagree
with Miliband that mediation efforts would have been strengthened, not
undermined, by a UN sanctions package. Likewise, Russia's legalistic
argument that Zimbabwe is not an actionable "threat to international peace
and security" is plainly risible. Mugabe's regime is a proven menace to the
health and well-being of Zimbabwe's people and the region as a whole.
Pretending otherwise is enough to make anyone angry.

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MDC asks court to order swearing in of councillors

Zim Online

by Lizwe Sebatha Monday 14 July 2008

BULAWAYO - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has
appealed to the High Court to order Local Government Minister Ignatius
Chombo to swear into office new councillors for the country's second largest
city of Bulwayo.

Chombo has dragged his feet on installing new councillors in Bulawayo and
other major cities, a move that would apparently confer control of the major
urban municipalities to the MDC after the opposition won the majority of
wards in council elections held together parliamentary and presidential
elections on March 29.

The MDC said in papers filed with the High Court that Chombo was in breach
of the Urban Councils Act after he failed to swear in new councillors a day
after they were voted into office as prescribed under Section 103 of the

"The situation cannot be allowed to continue because it is both illegal and
highly prejudicial to the applicant and Bulawayo rate payers. There is
urgent need for this court to intervene and bring normalcy to the affairs of
Bulawayo and its city council," the opposition party said.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

The opposition party that also won control of the capital Harare as well as
the major cities of Mutare, Masvingo Chitungwiza, Kwekwe and Chinhoyi said
in its application that the failure by Chombo to swear into office the
councillors for Bulawayo had ground municipal business to a halt.

Chombo, who to date has only sworn in councillors for Harare, was not
immediately available for comment on the matter.

The local Government Minister has in the past said he had delayed swearing
in new councillors to allow for the holding of last month's second round
presidential election that was controversially won by President Robert
Mugabe. He did not cite the law that he used to postpone installation of new
councils. - ZimOnline.

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Zimbabwe slams UK on visa requirement extension

Xinhua  2008-07-14 03:18:37

    HARARE, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabweans slammed Britain this week
for proposing to extend visa requirements for more African countries, New
Ziana reported on Sunday.

    Analysts said the move would affect trade between Britain and
Africa. They said visas should not be there. "The world in moving towards
the elimination of visas," said a commentator. "It is sad to see Britain
wanting to extend stringent requirements on other nationals."

    The move would prompt other countries to impose visas on foreign

    Britain said the visas were meant to curb crime and tighten
security for its citizens.

    Last week Britain announced that it could expand visa requirement
to 11 more countries to include Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho,
Mauritius and Swaziland.

    Other Southern Africa Development Community countries already on
the British visa list were Zimbabwe, Angola and Malawi.

    Nationals from more than 100 countries, making three-quarters of
global population, need visas to enter Britain.

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HENTOFF: More about Africa's Hitler

Washington Times

World leaders avoid confronting Mugabe
Nat Hentoff
Monday, July 14, 2008

The following is the second of two columns on Robert Mugabe:

When the summit meeting of African Union leaders assembled, the world's
question was on how it would deal with Robert Mugabe's relentless, brutal
re-election as Zimbabwe's President. As the summit began, the UN's deputy
secretary-general, Asha Rosa Mgivo, said: "This is a moment of truth for
regional leaders." Mr. Mugabe, she continued, has created "the single
greatest challenge to regional stability in southern Africa."

A few African heads of states agreed with her, notably Kenya's Prime
Minister Raila Odinga, who said of his reigning colleagues: "They should
suspend (Mugabe) and send peace forces to Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair
elections." This heretic was ignored, and the unscathed Mr. Mugabe,
"Africa's Hitler," was asked only to consider forming a power-sharing unity
government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. And the
United States, as of this writing, is pushing the U.N. Security Council to
impose garden-variety sanctions on Mr. Mugabe's swashbuckling government.

Even if those sanctions were not vetoed by China, Russia and South Africa
(which has disgraced itself through President Thabo Mbeki's appeasing
"mediation"), Mr. Mugabe's total control of Zimbabwe's military, judiciary
and his hordes of thugs will not be affected. As for the likelihood of the
dictator's "good faith" efforts to work with a unity government, the BBC
reported on July 4 that he has already taken care of the annoyance in the
first election (May 26) that gave the Movement for Democratic Change control
of the parliament. This was only a 10-seat majority for the MDC; and
ominously, as the African Union leaders were meeting, the members of the
legislature had not yet been seated.

That fragile majority is now broken. The BBC disclosed that the obstructive
10 MDC members are now in prison or otherwise charged and unavailable to
take their seats. This will require of course, bi-elections, which - as in
the runoff - will be supervised by poll watchers with clubs and some other
forms of Mugabe-style electioneering likely to cause the demise of
unpatriotic voters. The MDC, understandably, has many conditions before
negotiating for a "unity" government.

But what of the people of Zimbabwe in the wake of their liberator's smiling
return from the African Union summit? There has been little world press
attention on the millions who have not been able to flee from what Mr.
Mugabe is fond of calling "the Zimbabwean way" of governing. Due to a July 2
report from Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, by the United Nations' IRIN news
service, we have some sense of the result of the African Union's (and the
United Nation's) utter failure to be of any use to these people. Chamunorwa
Shamhu, an employee of one of the few nongovernmental organizations the
Liberator allows to function in Zimbabwe, says of his colleagues: "This is
no joke, people have been operating like zombies. People are listless,
dejected, have no interest in their work." This heavy pall is not limited to
that workplace.

IRIN News adds: "Psychologist Paddington Japajana said people appeared to
have symptoms akin to post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition associated
with horrific experiences.

"The condition manifests itself," Mr. Japajana said, "through profound
sadness, fear, depression, apprehension, failure to concentrate, failure to
participate in usual activities." Also quoted is Sharon Dube, "who has two
children and is a junior at an advertising agency." (Even in a wasteland
like Zimbabwe, there apparently is always a place for an advertising
agency.) Mrs. Dube, whose existence is of no interest to Mr. Mugabe - or,
for that matter, to Mr. Mbeki - says: "My children are growing up and they
need to eat, but my earnings are not able to sustain them. I have all along
had led a pretty decent life, but as things stand (in recent years), if the
hardships continue, the only option left to me would be prostitution." Also
revealing of the world's abandonment of what leaders running for office like
to call "the ordinary people," there are messages received by Jonathan
Clayton, a Times of London reporter who had been jailed in Bulawayo,
Zimbabwe's second-largest city, for sneaking into the country to cover the
first round of elections.

Text messages he now regularly gets from released former cellmates include:
"I am begging you Mr. Jonathan pliz (sic) help us ... We cannot stay in this
country any longer, it is a mad place now." In the June 30 Times of London,
Mr. Clayton writes: "My cellmates all had a naive belief that the outside
world would not stand by and watch President Mugabe cheat his way back to
power. They desperately sought reassurance. I never said what I truly
believed that once again Mr. Mugabe would get away with murder." But
elsewhere, life goes on. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican of California,
says of sportsman George W. Bush's attending the opening of China's Genocide
Olympics: "A president ... promoting democracy and human rights loses
credibility (attending) ceremonies of the Olympics in a country that is the
world's worst human-rights abuser." Not quite the worst - there are a number
of ardent competitors for this title. Mr. Mugabe may yet win that gold medal
while Zimbabwe's people wholly drop out of the news.

Nat Hentoff's column for The Washington Times appears on Mondays.

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Confusion over fate of Zanu PF, MDC talks

New Zimbabwe

Last updated: 07/15/2008 01:57:30
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party and the opposition failed last week
to agree a framework for talks to end Zimbabwe's crisis, the opposition said
on Sunday, but state media said negotiations would continue.

The first preliminary talks between the two sides since a disputed election
were adjourned on Friday night without agreement, a spokesman for the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said.

Election-related violence that has killed 113 MDC activists since the first
round of voting in March was continuing and this led to the talks stalemate,
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.

The MDC faction led by presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai and a
smaller grouping led by Arthur Mutambara began preliminary discussions on
Thursday with officials from Zanu PF under the auspices of South African
mediators in Pretoria, the South African capital.

"There was (no agreement). The matters are still outstanding. It's not about
the table discussions in Pretoria but about what's happening on this side of
the Limpopo (river)," Chamisa said.

"We still have to clear the course for meaningful talks."

Despite Chamisa's denials, Zimbabwean state media reports on Sunday
suggested an agreement had been reached on a way forward for negotiations.

The state-owned Sunday Mail said the parties had agreed on a "working
framework" which "paved the way for serious talks".

Following vetoes by China and Russia on a resolution that sought to impose
sanctions on Zimbabwe at the UN Security Council, the Mail reported
negotiators had tentatively agreed on terms for detailed talks.

The paper said Zanu PF and the MDC are to draft a memorandum of engagement,
which will be subject to approval by the parties' leaders.

The memorandum of engagement will set out terms for talks following Mugabe's
widely condemned one-man election, including the timeframe, the composition
of the negotiating teams and the agenda for discussions, according to the

A South African newspaper reported Sunday that Zanu PF and MDC negotiating
teams were set to meet again on Wednesday in Harare to sign a deal that
would lay the groundwork for further discussions.

The agreement would likely set out guidelines for negotiations that would
occur over a 14-day period, according to The Sunday Independent. -
Reuters/Staff Reporter

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Zimpapers fires worker over Makoni advert

July 14, 2008

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe Newspapers group (Zimpapers) has fired a worker who
had been on suspension since March after he published, without management
approval, an advertisement placed by independent presidential candidate,
Simba Makoni.

Milidzi Khupe was employed by the Bulawayo-based Chronicle as a foreman in
the production department. He was suspended, together with another
production employee, Zenzo Ngwenya on March 14 after he had approved the
publication, a day earlier, of an advertisement that Makoni had placed
during his campaign for the March 29 election.

"Khupe is no longer with us," said a Chronicle source yesterday.

"As you know, he was suspended in March and went for a hearing last month
and was found guilty of approving the flighting a Makoni advertisement
before it was seen by the editor of the newspaper. Khupe was fired but
Ngwenya was reinstated and is here with us."

The source said the advertisement came from Makoni's advertising agency late
after the newspaper editor, Brezhnev Malaba had knocked off.

So there was no-one to approve it before it was published on March 13, the
source say. It is an unwritten rule at the government-owned daily and other
public media outlets that all political advertisements must be personally
seen and read by the editor before publishing.

Management at Chronicle were said to have been furious at Khupe and Ngwenya,
who were on night shift and immediately suspended both.

The advertisement in question quoted excerpts from a story that had been
published in the Sunday News of March 9 2008, headlined: "Dr Makoni backers
asked to leave Zanu-PF".

The story was based on a briefing that President Robert Mugabe had received
from the Governor of Matabeleland South, Angeline Masuku in Gwanda during
his campaign for the March 29 poll.

Read the Sunday News story:

"The Governor and Resident Minister for Matabeleland South province, Cde
Angeline Masuku, told the President that the province was facing food
shortages because they received seed and fertilizers late and that their
farming activities were affected by the dry spell that followed. She said
private transporters were refusing to haul food to remote parts of the
province due to poor roads among other issues."

Makoni's campaign team reckoned there was political capital to make out of
this juicy part and crafted a full-page advertisement with the quotation
being given prominence. On top, the advertisement was marked at the top in
bold letters:

"We have failed" - (President) Robert Mugabe, at the launch of the ZANU-PF
manifesto 2008.

Sunday News, editor, Paul Mambo, was summoned to the Zimpapers head office
in Harare because the advertisement quoted a story carried by his paper.

He was questioned but escaped any sanction.

Since the March 29 poll, there has been a backlash on public media workers
who are perceived to have backed Makoni's presidential aspirations.

The biggest victim of the clean-up yet has been former Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Holdings chief executive officer, Henry Muradzikwa. He was fired for
allegedly supporting Makoni's candidacy by giving him a lot of airtime on
news bulletins.

At least five other workers at the public broadcaster were also fired,
including Newsnet editor-in-chief Robson Mhandu, who sources say was a
Makoni mole. Patrice Makova, who was the news editor, was also sacked.

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Sunday Mail lies to the world on MDC-ZANU(PF) reaching GNU framework

      By Grace Mlambo| Harare Tribune News
     Updated: July 13, 2008 17:22

      Zimbabwe, Harare--The Sunday Mail, joining in the bandwagon within the
state media of reporting feel good news when it comes to the ongoing talks
between the MDC and ZANU-PF, claimed today the two parties will sign an
agreement this week aimed at pushing the GNU talks forward.

      MDC denied the report, maintaining that it had not reached a
memorandum on the framework with ZANU-PF on how they would engage in the
government of national unity talks, sponsored by SADC, aimed at resolving
the humanitarian crisis in the country.

      The GNU talks are expected to resume this week led by Thabo Mbeki, the
president of South Africa who is the SADC appointed mediator between the two

      Nelson Chamisa, MDC spokesperson, said in an interview that the report
carried by the Sunday Mail originated from people within ZANU-PF who, in
daylight, talk white but act black at night.

      "There has been a manifestation of a deficit of goodwill from
ZANU-PF," Chamisa said, adding that the continued arrests and harassments of
the MP's of the MDC made it impossible for the party to sit down and talk
with ZANU-PF.

      "ZANU-PF has continued the persecution of our leaders and our
membership, people are being displaced across the whole country, ordinary
Zimbabweans being targeted, in this orgy of violence." He added that as long
as the conditions on the ground don't change, there is now way the MDC would
take part in GNU talks

      The ZANU-PF leaders, to buy time while they continue to dismantle the
MDC through violence, want the world to believe that the talks with the MDC
are moving forward, when in fact the converse is the truth.

      Reports this week have indicated that the ZANU-PF militia will forge
ahead with their campaign of violence across the country, an effort aimed at
weakening the MDC before the eventual GNU talks, whenever they would
happen-.-Harare Tribune News.

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