July 15, 2008
By Tendai Dumbutshena
FAILURE by the UN Security Council to pass a United States sponsored
resolution calling for sanctions against named members of Robert Mugabe's
regime in Zimbabwe has diminished prospects for a negotiated solution to the
crisis in that country.
Buoyed by the support he got from China and Russia who vetoed the
resolution, Mugabe will now play hard ball. United Nations sanctions would
have put pressure on Mugabe to take negotiations seriously. Without that
pressure he will insist on being recognized as legitimate president of
Zimbabwe as a precondition for substantive talks. Such recognition would
amount to an endorsement of the blood-soaked June 27 presidential runoff
election. A national unity government formed on this basis would be nothing
more than a continuation of the status quo with a few new MDC faces.
At any rate, given Mugabe's enormous powers, the composition of cabinet in
Zimbabwe is an irrelevance.
Opponents of UN sanctions argued that their adoption would have derailed
current talks between Zanu-PF and the MDC under South African President
Thabo Mbeki's mediation. What balderdash. Without the pressure of sanctions
and a powerful UN envoy on his back, Mbeki now has free rein to promote
Mugabe's agenda. Both Mugabe and Mbeki were afraid of strong UN involvement
backed by powerful industrialized countries. They know that talk of African
Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) involvement is
politically correct nonsense. The AU is a hopeless organization while SADC
lacks the gumption to face the Zimbabwe issue squarely.
Calls by the MDC for an AU envoy while understandable offer no real
An envoy representing a useless organization cannot be effective. As stated
in this column before, half of AU's leaders lack democratic legitimacy. They
have no moral authority to point a finger at Mugabe. Which leaves us with
SADC. The 13 member body has so far refused to yield to demands either to
replace Mbeki as its mediator or include others in an expanded team. The
field is therefore open to Mbeki. For eight years he has done nothing but
As Time's columnist Samantha Power recently wrote: '' Mbeki is not a
mediator. He is an ally to a dictator.'' Mbeki also feels triumphant after
the defeat of the US resolution. He feels vindicated. This will embolden him
to push Mugabe's agenda under the guise of mediation. He will seek to
sanitize the June 27 run off which was in essence a coup d'etat.
It is even doubtful whether expanding the SADC mediation team is the answer.
Who would comprise it? So far only Botswana has spoken out loudly and
unequivocally against the illegitimate Mugabe regime. There has been silence
from others. As a body SADC sent an observer team to monitor the June 27
poll. Its report was clear. The process was deeply flawed and could not be
accepted as a free expression of the will of Zimbabweans. Why did SADC not
pronounce on the findings of its observers? Why the deafening silence from
South Africa refuses to say whether it recognizes Mugabe's presidency or
not. In stark contrast following the 2002 disputed presidential poll Mbeki
was quick to recognize the outcome on the basis of an ambiguous report by a
South African observer group. So divided was the group that in the end it
failed to produce a final report. This did not stop Mbeki from sending his
then deputy Jacob Zuma to attend Mugabe's inauguration. This time he ignores
negative reports by all three African observer missions pleading the Fifth
What can realistically be expected from the other SADC countries?
Unfortunately the body's current chairman suffered a serious stroke on the
eve of the AU summit in Egypt at the end of June. He possibly, given his
encouraging comments leading to the run off, could have provided leadership.
His deputy, Rupiah Banda, now acting president, is a self-confessed admirer
of Mugabe. Should Mwanawasa be unable to return to office expect nothing
from Banda except fawning admiration for a man he recently said was one of
the greatest leaders produced by Africa. Lesotho's prime minister, Pakalitha
Mosisili said last week that it was not up to foreigners to confer
legitimacy on Mugabe. He made an astonishing statement that anyone who rules
Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the armed forces. In other words their
wishes are more important than those of the electorate.
The Angolans are in no position to lecture anyone on elections. Since
independence 33 years ago they have held only one dubious election.
Swaziland is run by a feudal monarch who treats its citizens like serfs.
Tanzania, Namibia and Mozambique are politically too close to Zanu-PF to
take a tough principled stand on the Zimbabwe issue. They maintain an
embarrassed silence. The current AU chairman Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete looks
out of depth on the international stage. He is a boy in a man's world.
Instead of taking a lead on the issue he confines his involvement to
answering questions from journalists.
President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo is too indebted
to Mugabe to get involved. He has not uttered a single word on the Zimbabwe
issue. Eternally grateful to Mugabe for saving his father from
Rwandese -backed rebels, he has recused himself from the debate on Zimbabwe.
Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika is another Mugabe admirer who
reportedly was given a farm in Zimbabwe .He is hopelessly compromised. He
has also got his own problems at home where the opposition is trying to
impeach him. Mauritius is largely irrelevant to the politics of the region
due to its geographical distance from the mainland.
Calling for enlarged SADC mediation is therefore not the answer. To counter
Mbeki's support for Mugabe the MDC must look into the South African leader's
own backyard. Mbeki no longer controls the ANC. On important domestic issues
he has been forced to change policies and positions. He can be forced to do
the same on Zimbabwe. The new ANC leadership has been openly critical of
Mugabe's conduct. Its alliance partners, the SACP and COSATU, long took
positions vehemently opposed to the fascism in Zimbabwe.
Significantly, the ANC's spokesperson, Jesse Duarte, said last week that it
would call for a new UN resolution on sanctions if Zanu-PF scuppered talks
with the MDC. This is where the MDC should concentrate its efforts without
abandoning engagement with concerned parties in Africa and the broader
Parliamentary power lost to opposition
Geoff Hill THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
CAPE TOWN, South Africa | The Zimbabwean government of President Robert
Mugabe is considering a third election before the end of the year to ensure
that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) loses its current
majority in Parliament.
This was told to The Washington Times by a senior member of Mr. Mugabe's
secret police, the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), who produced a
document he said had been discussed in the ruling party's highest
decision-making body, the Soviet-styled Politburo.
The officer, who was on a visit to Cape Town in South Africa, said he would
"disappear" if it was known that he had leaked the information, and spoke on
the condition of anonymity.
Talks between Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front
(ZANU-PF) and the MDC are set to resume Wednesday, part of a South
African-brokered effort to achieve a deal between the two parties.
Mr. Mugabe has declared his commitment to the negotiation process but is
demanding that he lead the government. He has not spoken about any plans for
another election this year. Repeated efforts to reach Mr. Mugabe's
spokesman, George Charamba, by telephone for this article were not
Human rights groups say that 114 people - most of them MDC officials - have
been killed in the past four months, while thousands have been tortured and
an estimated 200,000 displaced or rendered homeless.
"The violence you see on the ground, burning people's homes, killing MDC
[supporters], torturing people, all this will continue, so that Mugabe can
call another election and make sure the wins," the intelligence officer
said. "When that is done, he will set up a government of national unity with
the MDC as junior partner."
In a March 29 general election, Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF lost its majority in
Parliament for the first time since rising to power in 1980.
A presidential election on the same day gave MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
47.9 percent of the vote against 43.2 for Mr. Mugabe. Under the
constitution, a winning candidate must secure 50 percent plus one vote in
order to avoid a runoff.
The runoff election, which by law should have been held within 21 days of
the first vote, took place on June 27, nearly three months later.
Mr. Tsvangirai withdrew five days before the ballot, accusing the government
of killing his election monitors and making it impossible for him to
campaign. Mr Tsvangirai had been detained by police eight times in the
Mr. Mugabe proceeded with the election with himself as the sole candidate.
The ballot was marked by a low turnout, a high incidence of spoiled ballots
and allegations by observers that, in rural areas, people had been forced to
polling stations by armed militia. Mr. Mugabe was sworn in as president on
In London, Zimbabwean lawyer Gugulethu Moyo, who works with the
International Bar Association, said that Mr. Mugabe has the power to order a
"The constitution gives the president power to call a general election any
time he likes. He doesn't have to confer with anyone, and although by law
the longest a government can stay in office is five years, there is no
minimum term. He could do it tomorrow," she said.
The CIO officer said a second option under discussion was to jail or kill
enough MDC lawmakers to reduce the party's lead in the House, but this was
considered unworkable because it could take too long and would not provide a
sufficient margin for Mr. Mugabe's party.
Before the March election, ZANU-PF held a two-thirds majority in Parliament,
enough to change the constitution at will.
At the Group of Eight summit in Japan last week, member nations including
Britain, Canada and the United States refused to recognize the result of the
June presidential vote or Mr. Mugabe's position as head of state.
Several African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, Zambia and
Botswana, also have taken this stand.
From Harare, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was not surprised by the news and said
his party had been aware of discussions within the Politburo to regain its
parliamentary majority "by any means."
"There must be a reason behind the current terror, and it is possible that
ZANU-PF is trying to create a situation where they can hold yet another vote
on their terms," he said in a telephone interview.
"The violence we saw before the presidential election has continued. Every
day I get reports of MDC members who have been tortured or burned to death.
More than 1,000 of our polling agents are still missing from before last
"This is why we call upon all countries that value freedom to maintain the
pressure for a transitional government in Zimbabwe. Not a government of
national unity and never recognition of any regime that has put itself in
power by terrorizing the population."
Last week, the South African newspaper Beeld claimed to have seen documents
from sources within ZANU-PF laying out strategy for "no-go areas" where MDC
could not campaign or maintain party structures.
The newspaper said that a key organizer of the plan was former Bulawayo
Mayor Joshua Teke Malinga, 64, a member of Mr. Mugabe's inner circle, whom
the paper also accused of establishing a "torture center" near the Bulawayo
central police station.
In 2002, Mr. Malinga and his wife were detained at London's Gatwick Airport
as they tried to board a flight to New York after it was discovered that
their names were on a list of Zimbabweans banned from entering the United
States because of their links to Mr. Mugabe.
Mr. Tsvangirai has called for a transitional authority whose sole mandate
would be to restore the rule of law, disband government militias and arrange
fresh elections under control of the African Union or the United Nations.
On Friday, a U.N. resolution calling for global sanctions against Mr. Mugabe
and many of his senior leaders was defeated by vetoes from Russia and China.
South Africa lobbied against the motion, arguing that negotiations had not
run their course.
However, in a statement Monday, the ruling African National Congress (ANC)
said that Pretoria may support a similar proposal in the future, and in the
party's strongest condemnation to date, said that the ANC "unequivocally
condemns the violence, intimidation and political intolerance to which the
Zimbabwean people have been subjected."
|| Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 14, 2008 21:38
Zimbabwe, Harare-- In the last few days, the MDC and human rights organizations have confirmed , it has come to light that foreign mercenaries are joining ZANU-PF militia units in the rural areas, torturing, killing, raping, cutting tongues and beating MDC supporters and activists.
Sources at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe revealed that indeed there were foreign soldiers of fortune, whose services they are rendering to the ZANU-PF government the RBZ underwrites.
In the rural areas, eyewitness say they mercenaries move from village to village, with translators in two since they don't speak the local tongue.
Patrick Chitaka, the MDC chairman in Manicaland province in the east of the country, said the foreigners had been identified in the past two to three weeks supporting government-backed men.
Mr Chitaka said: "We have observed that some of the people leading the violence are foreigners because they speak a different language and they do not understand our local languages.
"Also the tactics they are using are not peculiar with Zimbabweans because they are cutting out the tongue, removing eyes and genital parts. We are not sure where they come from."
The claims were supported by human rights workers in Manicaland last night. A spokesman for one group who did not want to be named said observers on the ground had witnessed "tens, if not hundreds" of foreigners accompanying government-backed militias.
He said the soldiers were not from neighbouring countries but were more likely from farther north in Africa, possibly Rwanda, Kenya or Uganda.
Local people claim the irregular forces are Hutus from Rwanda, but the human rights representative said he could not be definitive. There are an estimated 4,000 Hutu refugees living in Zimbabwe, some of whom took part in the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
The spokesman said observers in two constituencies – Makoni South and Makoni West – west of Zimbabwe's third city of Mutare, had calculated there were up to 200 foreigners spread across both areas.
"There are between six and 10 foreigners in each base, and there are 20 Zanu bases in the two constituencies. They wear military uniform, carry guns especially shotguns which we think are Russian. They are cruel and brutal. Each unit has an interpreter who tells them what to do. People here live close to several borders and they know Portuguese from Mozambique and languages from Malawi and Zambia. They don't speak any of those or English.
"The tongues are from much farther up north – Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda."
Mr Chitaka added: "People are very scared of them because they know no bounds. They go house-to-house in MDC areas and beat people and force them to shout for Zanu-PF. The men then get their victims to beat their neighbours in the same way.
"They have gang-raped women and abducted them. People are missing but families are too afraid to look for them."-- Additional reporting by Ian Evans for the Independent/Harare Tribune News.
by Tamuka Ngwenya
Tuesday 15 July 2008
Zimbabwe - While the crisis in Zimbabwe continues to be high on the agenda
at the UN, EU , AU and SADC, the time for Zimbabweans in the diaspora to
play their part in applying pressure to the thugs masquearading as Heads of
State in Zimbabwe is now.
The UK is taking our plight to the EU in the coming days and it is only when
we are seen to be in the fore-front of helping find a solution can the
battle against tyranny be won.
Disenfranchised Zimbabweans in the diaspora have limited options of tackling
The government reaction to the last year's deportations of Zanu PF brats by
the Australian government clearly shows that they are rattled and shell
shocked at the prospect of further deportations of their children from their
western comfort zones.
ZimDaily this week takes the 'Fair Deal' campaign on Zanu-PF offcials family
members in the lands of the 'Imperialists' to a new level.
Buoyed by the successes scored in Australia last year and the numerous
enquiries from the EU, UK, Canada and USA, we officially re-launch the 'FAIR
DEAL' Campaign, under the banner "Mwana We Nyoka I Nyoka, Umntwana We Nyoka
yi Nyoka, A Baby Snake Is A Snake".
If the deportations of Gideon Gono and Augustine Chihuri's kids could cause
the panic and pandemonium displayed by the government in arresting and
charging MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the reported urgency to resolve
the Constitutional impasse in Sadc mediated talks, imagine how much impact
it would have if the estimated 300 Zanu-PF officials' kids are all sent
The re-launched Fair Deal campaign aims to fine tune, cross check and make
additions to the data already in our possession from last year's campaign.
We can only succeed with your help. This campaign is aimed at collecting
primary data to be used by the host governments of the Zanu PF chefs'
children. The sentimental nature of the issue will arouse emotions that
subscribers will be tempted to express. While those emotions are justified
they will not help the host governments' administrators track down the
children to be deported.
For that reason therefore we seek only substantive data that will help the
spoilt beneficiaries of our misery to be tracked down and sent back to their
parents who are not only stealing to finance the luxury of their siblings in
scarce forex while our children languish in a country without basic day to
day survival needs but are hanging on to power through hook and crook.
We will therefore allow postings that disclose the Names of the children,
family members their present educational institution, Country and Faculty of
study, pictures and the position of their parents in the Zimbabwe Government
There is some degree of urgency by some host governments to have the
information availed to them so that they can process the deportations and or
legal frameworks for the deportations to be effected.
Remember all these children are being financed by forex that the Zanu PF
chefs have stolen from our fiscus and as a good citizen you have a duty to
stop the bleeding of our county's economy by these people who deny us our
For example we have Pride Chigwedere, the son of the misinformed former
Education Minister Aneas Chigwedere - now a Headman in Wedza, hiding in
America, enjoying the western democracy and everything that comes with it
while our brothers and sisters are tortured, maimed, starved and made to go
through an appalling education system.
We appeal to anyone with information on these kids/family members to either
contact the editor, editor(at)zimdaily.com or post the details anonymously
below. Western governments are eager to extend the sanctions to these
This is a peaceful campaign bent at exposing the hypocrisy by Zanu-PF
Officals who claim to hate everything western and yet send their kith and
kin to the same countries they despise.
Our leaders should be accountable to us by knowing the extent of our power
over them. HELP US TRACK ALL THE KIDS WHEREVER THEY ARE ENSCONSED.
PLEASE NOTE: Only details requested should be posted below. Anything else
will be deleted. Alternatively you can anonymously e-mail the details to
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. ZimDaily is not
responsible for what they say. Please keep your comments short and sweet.
Obscene, tribalistic, racist, vulgar comments will be deleted.
Chiwenga's little twats
Chiwenga's little twats study here in the UK. Hartleypool College in
Gloucester. Chiwenga's is the keeping mugabe in power. If you fail to send
anyone at least send Chiwenga's Kids. They live in a mansion close to
Cheltennham and drive the latest BMWs. Where are they getting the money
Posted By Ravhumore , UK : Jul 15 2008 01:31 AM
SEND THEM HOME
Mumbengegwi's sons and famly in UK, USA, AND CANADA, FRANCE SEND THEM HOE
AND WITNESS WHATS HAPPENNING
Posted By TO HELL WITH zanu PF , USA : Jul 15 2008 02:00 AM
Dumiso Dabengwa's stepdaughter Ijeoma Dabengwa is living in London after
being in the States for years then travelling home on a fake passport, then
being arrested on return to the States, where she then spent some time in
prison. After completing her sentence she was to be deported back to Zim but
some strings were pulled and she was deported to the UK coz she claimed that
she would be killed if she went back to Zim. CAN U BELIEVE THAT !!!!! Also
there is thenjiwe Lesabe's son Nqo also living in London, who is busy
kuyiswa kushure nevarungu.
Posted By Zanu Hater , UK : Jul 15 2008 02:21 AM
there is a tafadzwa mupfumi here son of isau mupfumi zanu pf secretary for
transport .he braggs about recieving us dollars every month from his father
let them go nd learn at the africa university.tafadzwa is in malaysia
Posted By Chatunga Wa Matibili , Malawo : Jul 15 2008 02:21 AM
sources inform me that there is a rascal whose name was not on the list of
government officials children .One Audrey Fadzayi KAUKONDE...YES kana ka
Kaukonde is at Deakin University at the Geelong campus in Victoria
Australia.Please hatidi kusiya vanhu ...be efficient kwese kwamuri.
Moderator pass this on
Posted By Kaukonde Chifeve , Down Under : Jul 15 2008 02:22 AM
Tafadzwa and Chipo Moyo
July Moyo has two kids here in Australia vakasiiwa studying at the
university of Newcastle, son
Tafadzwa and daughter chipo. HAKUNA ANOSARA!
Posted By Ngasviende , Down Under : Jul 15 2008 02:24 AM
nqobizitha and Nobukhosi Malinga
They live in the UK. They are son and daughter of Senator Joshua Malinga.
This Malinga IDIOT is South African by birth and was recently reported to be
behind all the terror in Zimbabwe.
Posted By Feya Dhiri , UK : Jul 15 2008 02:25 AM
MAITA BASA MHANDUWE
I can't express the joy that I felt when I read about the deportations last
year. Vakomana makagona. Ngavaende kunaana baba vavo. GWINYAI CHIGWEDERE
Posted By Chatunga , UK : Jul 15 2008 02:26 AM
Tsaurai and Tinaye Hove
Tsaurai and Tinaye Hove. Kids of Richard Hove. Richard Hove imbavha huru mu
Cabinet ya Mugabe. Both are living in london. Tsaurai akarega ku deportwa
ini ndodzekera zvangu kumusha. Mupfanha ane Mukanwa makaora kunge bhurugwa
Posted By Mufesi Wa Tsaurayi , UK : Jul 15 2008 02:27 AM
Tsungai mwana wa Samere Mumbengegwi munodya naye ikoko London, isu
tichitambura vuno. Samuel Mumbengegwi is the Finance Minister who failed to
run tuckshops in Masvingo, ku Mucheke ne ku Rujeko. Tsungai is the same fat
ugly ** who appeared in a You Tube video dancing to some stupid rhumba in
her father's office. Ngaadzoke kuno timumutise
Posted By Tsungai Ngaadzoke , Zimbabwe : Jul 15 2008 02:28 AM
Dee Gara, daughter of Tony Gara is studying at the University of Western
Australia, Perth. Nice beautiful kid but why not study in Harare?
Posted By Keith Lewins , Perth , Australia : Jul 15 2008 02:30 AM
Is there in the UK last i heard he was studying medicine, should be a doctor
by now. Send that nigga home so that he practices at Pariyenyatwa or
Avenues. Enock Chombo is in Texas busy spending those ZANU PF benjamins
Posted By Chihuri Must payoff , Dallas Texas : Jul 15 2008 02:38 AM
Prince and Princess Mushowe
Mushohwe's kids from first wife Prince and Princess are in Europe. Prince
had a farm invaded on his behalf as well while he is in the west. Chris
Mushowe, communications Minister is a former CIO boss. He has fresh blood on
his hands. Prince na Princess vasati vadzokera ngavamamiswe first
Posted By Agnes , UK : Jul 15 2008 02:43 AM
Priscilla Jekecha anogara ku Manchester mu UK. ihama yepedyo ya Bob. I dont
know how they are related but they are very very close.
Posted By Tatambura NEM.HATA Dze ZANU IDZI , Manchester : Jul 15 2008 02:46
Fabisch is dead
He once carried the hopes of a nation. He was full of controversy. Yet he
was warrior. A Zimbabwean warrior . Let and gentleman allow me a moment on
this forum to mourn one of my all time favourite warriors coach.Ladies and
gentleman hats off to Fabisch.
Posted By Genuine Truth , //////// : Jul 15 2008 03:02 AM
Ariko somewhere kuTX basa rekuba mari dzemataxes ndiye mumwe, illegit kid
waMade send him home Gerald Muchando...
Posted By Muchinda ngaaende , New York, Stateside : Jul 15 2008 03:53 AM
keep it up guys nyorai every one vauye kuno titambure tese ndapota zvangu
Posted By minister right , zimbabwe : Jul 15 2008 04:14 AM
mwana komana wakangai ariko kukalamazoo Michigan USA. Tsvagai first name
yake mutiudze pano pazimdaily adzokere kumusha.
Posted By 228 million GMB , bujumbura : Jul 15 2008 04:21 AM
Whoever came with this idea is brilliant. Lets do all we can to be heard. I
hope this is not just one of the talk shows. I wonder how these people
eneded up where they are. These guys who have contacts with Zanu pf will
always feedback to their relations back in Zim government whatever we do
here. I sometimes wonder how these people happen to be alloewed in these
countries any where. In New Zealand we have John Nkomo' s son. We beleive he
must be a New Zealand citizen by now. He works as a fitter and i believe he
should have his residency revoked and be sent home. His father is high
profile Zanu pf member. His name is Zamile. He is a very good young man but
i believe he should also face the music. Hapana nyoka yakanaka, mwana
wenyoka inyoka. I was shoked to see this boy at one of the soccer
tournaments. Ngaadzokere kumusha.
Posted By Kiwi Fruit , Wellington. New Zealand : Jul 15 2008 05:05 AM
By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 14, 2008 ⋅
Russia’s Foreign Minister has told his Zimbabwean counterpart on Monday that
the country’s leadership and the MDC must show restraint to bring an end to
The ministry in a statement quoted Sergei Lavrov as telling Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi in a phone conversation that “all parties to the internal
conflict in Zimbabwe must demonstrate a constructive approach to ensure
stability and national accord.”
Russia went on to admit that there was violence but urged perpetrators to be
“It is also important to bring those responsible for cases of violence in
June to justice, and to take measures to ensure that such incidents to not
occur in the future,” the ministry said.
Lavrov told the Zimbabwean diplomat that Russia supports steps being taken
by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to
resolve the crisis.
On Friday, Russia and China used their UN Security Council vetoes to block
sanctions against Zimbabwe’s leadership, which under Washington’s proposals
would have included an arms embargo and travel bans for President Robert
Mugabe and his closest allies. The United States and Britain then accused
Moscow of reneging on a pledge made at last week’s Group of Eight summit.
However, a senior Russian diplomat told reporters on Monday that while the
idea of sanctions was discussed at the G8 in Japan, no specific measures
were agreed on.
The call to arrest perpetrators of violence will likely fall on deaf ears as
Zimbabwe’s police are highly politicized and unprofessional.In cases of
violence they only arrest MDC supporters mostly in cases where they are the
Deadly violence broke out over the weekend between police and ZANU PF
militia in Gokwe which left about five policemen nursing serious
injuries.The MDC is demanding that violence seize as pre-condition to talks.
By Nathaniel Hatirebwi Manheru I Harare Tribune News
Updated: July 14, 2008 14:26
The Junta in Zimbabwe received a shot in the arm when its "look east"
policy yielded the most rewarding political fruits at the United Nations
meeting in New York last week.
A motion to impose international sanctions against Mugabe and 13 of
his hardliners failed in the UN Security Council when it was opposed by
China and Russia, permanent members with veto powers supported by South
Africa and current Chair of the Council Vietnam.
Without Chinese and Russian opposition the sanctions motion would have
carried as it was favoured by nine of the 15 members of the Security Council
and only one member abstained from the vote. Ironically the minority vote
against carried echoing the political reality in Zimbabwe where the Zanu PF
minority Junta leader Robert Mugabe remains in office notwithstanding his
concession to loosing Presidential elections held on 29 March 2008 but only
declared on 2 May 2008.
The resolution would have imposed an arms embargo on the southern
African country and financial and travel restrictions on President Robert
Mugabe and 13 other officials. It would also have paved the way for a U.N.
special envoy for Zimbabwe to be appointed to oversee the negotiation
process to find a solution to the two decade old political and economic
paralysis in Zimbabwe. The exercise of veto powers by China and Russia over
the Zimbabwe sanctions motion is a crashing blow to democracy and it is
hoped that the 9 countries that had sponsored the motion will not lose heart
from this setback but will be emboldened to do all in their power to ensure
the crisis in Zimbabwe will be resolved.
Perhaps it may be time for the sponsors of the motion to pile pressure
on Russia, China and South Africa and Vietnam to actively engage Mugabe and
his Junta regime and cause expeditious resolution of the crisis through the
means they envisage other than the sanctions they opposed. The failure of
the sanctions motion will obviously feted in Harare by the Junta as a
triumph for Zanu PF and sovereignty over colonialism and imperialism
confirming the legitimacy of the illegitimate regime. Such premature
celebrations will be self delusional. The illegitimacy of the regime is not
in doubt among even the countries that opposed the sanctions motion.
Their opposition was premised on the grounds that there were less
punitive political processes spearheaded by the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and coordinated by the Africa Union (AU) that deserved a
chance to run their course before more punitive measures could be supported.
The motion could well find its way back to the UN Security Council in a very
short while when the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates as it is likely to
do with Mugabe at centre stage. The SADC initiative has been in place for
over a year now but has yielded nothing tangible to resolve the problem
because the legitimate results of the 29 March 2008 election were
circumvented by the military intervention to set them aside and replace them
by an illegal Presidential election run-off. Had this run-off election been
managed within the SADC and AU minimum standards for the holding of credible
elections the 29 March result would have been confirmed and the crisis
The Zimbabwe armed forces were however were enlisted by Zanu PF and
Mugabe to mount a violent election campaign and the judiciary was ordered to
play ball while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) the institution
legally charged with ensuring free and fair conduct of elections was stymied
and rendered purely an administrative backup for the militant intervention.
When eventually the ZEC was permitted to announce results of the 29 March
election they were strictly charged not to entertain scrutiny of their
figures which were not only falsified but fraudulent in that they supported
a run-off election that was out of time and unnecessary as Morgan
Tsvangirai, the winner of the 29 March stage had acquired the majority vote
sufficient to justify him being declared President. Tremendous pressure was
brought upon him to contest the illegal run-off from his Party, Sadc and AU
and he capitulated under protest to participate.
When he realised that the political space and landscape had become
militant and impossible for him to campaign freely, he made numerous pleas
to ZEC, SADC, AU and the UN to intervene and level the playing field in
vain. In consequence he withdrew his candidature of the illegal military
initiative to re-install Mugabe as President via the scam dubbed a run-off
election. Tsvangirai has come under heavy criticism from political
commentators for disrespecting the electorate and an ill timed pullout from
the 27 June sham of a Presidential election that was condemned by SADC, Pan
African Parliament (PAP) and AU observers and in consequence failed to
deliver legitimacy to Mugabe's claim of victory in that event.
No sooner had he been sworn in as President than he was back at the AU
doors seeking endorsement and recognition that was not to be forcing him to
go back to Zimbabwe and invite his main backer South Africa President Mbeki
to resume his unending mediation process in the country that has yielded
little if anything for the country but ensured Mugabe's detested stay in
office. Mbeki was snubbed by Morgan Tsvangirai who has not hidden his
distaste of the South African's partisan mediation tactics.
The point Tsvangirai drove home was that Mr Mbeki was and is a
dishonest mediator for if he was he would not have allowed Mugabe to call
for an illegal Presidential run-off election and then do nothing about the
violent campaign by Mugabe's military loyalists when he knew that the
accurate initial Match 29 result at his disposal did not justify the
outdated run-off. After the snub Thabo Mbeki was cornered at the G8 meeting
in Japan and conceded that Mugabe's re-election on 27 June and the current
Zanu PF Junta regime in charge of the country was contentious (illegitimate)
hence the reason he had embarked on mediation talks between Zanu PF and MDC
supported by the SADC and AU.
Legal expert opinion at hand confirms Mugabe's sixth term as President
of Zimbabwe is illegitimate as it was born out of an illegal process and a
flawed electoral process. Mugabe knew the electoral process was flawed and
his popularity had waned when he enlisted the military to save his and Zanu
PF's political demise. So far outside Zanu PF structures only Professor
Jonathan Moyo holds that Mugabe's election has legal legitimacy. But then
Prof Moyo is not a legal expert but a political scientist by qualification.
His opinion is that the political legitimacy of Mugabe's re-election is
facing a serious test for a variety of reasons hence the inevitability of
the Government of National Unity (GNU) to resolve the political contest. As
long as the GNU is envisaged to revolve around the outcome of the 27 June
event in the country it will fail to materialise and the desired
normalisation of the political and economic impasse will not materialise.
Mugabe is fronting the military interests while Tsvangirai is fronting
the general population interests. In as much as Tsvangirai's actions are
driven by party grassroots Mugabe is driven by the military. He is not in
charge the military commanders are. The lasting resolution of the impasse is
not in SADC EU/AU or UN but in those bodies ensuring the electorate of
Zimbabwe in its majority decision is respected. This can be achieved in many
ways but the GNU route is not one such way.
The surest way is to force the political parties into a settlement
where they will contest AU and SADC managed elections that are
internationally supervised where the Military will be confined to their
barracks and the police will maintain law and order. Mugabe has a reputation
of using these institutions to violently claim leadership of the country and
as long as the GNU proposal envisages him playing a key role the impasse
Only when the Army and Zanu PF militia has been tamed will it be
possible for the electorate to express their free will and that will not
materialise through a GNU led by Mugabe.
July 15, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Friends and family of the late Ambuya Miriam Mlambo, have described
as shameful and unacceptable the behaviour of Zanu-PF officials in virtually
transforming the popular radio personality's funeral ceremony last week into
a political function to score political points.
Ambuya Mlambo, a veteran radio presenter whose career as a broadcaster of
children's programmes on radio started in 1953, was accorded a state funeral
with full military honours at the Harare Provincial Heroes Acre last week.
This rare recognition of a citizen without liberation war credentials was
appreciated by many.
Friends and family members of the accomplished broadcaster have, however,
since complained that Zanu-PF hijacked Ambuya Mlambo's funeral wake and used
it to bash at political opponents through racially inflammatory language.
"They divided the mourners," said a relative who requested not to be
identified. "This was totally against Mbuya Mlambo's unifying personality
and her disdain for distasteful language.
"There were clear attempts by the few Zanu-PF politburo and central
committee members, government officials and ministers present to hijack
Mbuya Mlambo's legacy."
Some mourners took exception to the hooliganism displayed by Chipangano, the
Mbare-based Zanu-PF youth militia, as they barred known opposition figures
from delivering their condolence messages. Chipangano achieved notoriety as
they launched a reign of terror during the recent presidential election
"It is shameful and unacceptable for any politician or political party to
use a funeral ceremony to score political points," Ambuya Madzimure, a
long-time friend of the deceased, told The Zimbabwe Times in Shona. "During
funeral ceremonies, both the government and opposition politicians are
expected to put aside their political differences and pay tribute to the
deceased. The political leaders also have a responsibility to ensure that
their followers do not hijack funeral ceremonies."
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer, Happison
Muchechetere abandoned all pretence at professionalism and shouted Zanu-PF
slogans when he spoke at the burial.
"It was totally in bad taste and I am sure she was turning in her grave,"
said a neighbour, who declined to be named, adding "Ambuya Mlambo was
apolitical and embraced both MDC and Zanu-PF people."
First Lady Grace Mugabe, who led tributes at Ambuya Mlambo's humble home
along Vito Street in Mbare, seized the moment to draw favourable comparisons
between the deceased popular broadcaster and her own husband, President
Mugabe, saying they were of the same age.
Ambuya Mlambo died at 84, the same age as President Mugabe. Not to be
outdone was Harare Metropolitan governor and resident minister, David
Karimanzira, who insinuated that Ambuya Mlambo was a Zanu-PF cadre.
"Nothing can be further from the truth," charged the neighbour.
The only realistic speech was delivered by Ambuya Mlambo's daughter, Jean
Musengezi, who described her late mother as a humble woman who dedicated her
life to good family values.
A spokesman for Mbare Resident Trust protested the hijacking of Ambuya
Mlambo's funeral by an "expired regime which had no care whatsoever for her
while she lived".
July 15, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Zimbabwean teachers are demanding a monthly salary review of up to
$20 trillion or US$500 before July 22 their supposed next pay date or they
will down their tools indefinitely.
The teachers are citing mounting poverty, lack of food in the shops and the
prevailing tendency to charge for of goods in foreign currency, as
justification for their demand.
The latest demands for a high salary by teachers comes at a time when there
are reports that about 8000 teachers have resigned from service since the
beginning of the year. citing poor working conditions and remuneration, the
lowest in the sub-Saharan region.
The militant Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) told the Zimbabwe
Times at the weekend that it had sent a letter to the Public Service
Commission (PSC) outlining their demands.
"We have written to the Public Service Commission demanding a salary
increment of up to $ 20 trillion or US$ 500 before July 22 or we go on
strike," said Takavafira Zhou the PTUZ president. "The money that we are
being paid is not enough to buy the barest of basic commodities
Teachers are currently earn between $140 billion and $350 billion.
"Teachers are now worse off than they were before the last salary increments
because of the rampaging inflation which makes it even impossible to plan
for tomorrow," said Zhou.
Strikes staged by Zimbabwe's teachers as well as nurses and doctors for
better pay and working conditions have become routine in recent years, as
the country grapples its worst ever economic crisis.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of a debilitating political and economic crisis that
is highlighted by hyperinflation, a rapidly contracting GDP, and a shortages
of foreign currency, food and fuel.
A shortage of the now worthless local currency has further choked
Zimbabweans who are living on less than US$1 per day. Four out of five
people are out of work, while a quarter of the country's 12 million people
are in urgent need of food aid.
The crisis blamed on mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe has driven
thousands of skilled workers into neighbouring countries and as far as Greta
Britain and the United States in search of better pay and living conditions.
Zimbabwe employs about 108 000 teachers but educationists say the country
requires about 120 000 fully qualified teachers to ensure effective learning
According to PTUZ statistics 25 000 teachers left the country in 2007 alone.
To make matters worse the violence which gripped the country after the March
29 election has driven many teachers out of employment, particularly those
who were posted in rural settings. School children saw very little learning
this year as a result of the political and economic crisis which is
threatening to bring to a halt what was once Africa's most promising
A survey by the Zimbabwe Times revealed that there was virtually no learning
taking place in most schools in Harare with school children spending the
greater part of the day loitering in school grounds.
"We are not learning at all and our teachers are telling us to read on our
own. We did not write some of the end of term exams and the teachers are
telling us that they will use last term's marks," said a student at Girls
High School in central Harare.
Zimbabwe's education system, once revered as one of the best in Africa, is a
shadow of its former glory as a result of the severe economic crisis
currently ravaging the country that has seen government fail to pay
realistic salaries to teachers.
By Ed Johnson
July 15 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. said it will work with ``like-minded''
nations as it considers what steps to take against Zimbabwe, after China and
Russia blocked United Nations sanctions on President Robert Mugabe's
The Bush administration had proposed an arms embargo as well as a travel ban
and assets freeze on Mugabe and 13 of his officials to protest what the U.S.
and other governments called a sham presidential run-off election last
month. The motion was blocked July 12 by Russia and China, which said they
wanted more time for diplomacy to work.
The U.S. will talk with governments that backed the measure and ``other
like-minded countries in Europe and around the world to see what we might do
to keep the focus on the issue of Zimbabwe, the plight of the Zimbabwean
people,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in
Washington yesterday. ``If Zimbabwe continues down this road, it will
continue spiraling downward economically as well as politically.''
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday Britain will seek more sanctions
from the European Union against members of Mugabe's government.
The UN, the U.S. and European countries have said Mugabe's victory in the
June 27 run-off election was illegitimate. President George W. Bush
described it as a sham vote to extend Mugabe's rule over the country he has
led since independence from Britain in 1980.
Morgan Tsvangirai, who leads the opposition Movement for Democratic Change,
won more votes than Mugabe in the March 29 presidential election without
gaining the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off, according to the electoral
He pulled out of the rerun as the MDC said a state- sponsored campaign of
violence had forced as many as 200,000 people to flee their homes. The party
says 113 of its supporters have been killed since the March 29 ballot.
South Africa, Libya and Vietnam joined China and Russia in opposing the
U.S.-backed measure. Indonesia abstained. The nine other countries on the
15-nation Security Council, including France and the U.K., backed the
Countries who voted against the sanctions ``were on the wrong side of
history,'' McCormack said, according to a transcript.
Mugabe, 84, has presided over a decade-long recession in the African nation
where the inflation rate is at least 355,000 percent. Some 3 million of
Zimbabwe's citizens have fled to neighboring South Africa.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ed Johnson in Sydney at
Last Updated: July 14, 2008 21:01 EDT
July 15, 2008 By Kennedy Gezi I RECENTLY watched a documentary on the USA cable television station, HBO
Sports, which although based on American history, I found so moving and so
relevant to contemporary Zimbabwe, and even to some of the history of
Zimbabwe. So I thought I should share. We have all seen Robert Mugabe particularly as he spews his venomous
rhetoric usually against the imperialist Blair, Brown or Bush - Mmmm…. I had
never noticed that all of Mugabe’s primary foes have last names that start with
the letter “B”!!! I do not know when Robert Mugabe started to use the raised fist as part of
his dialogue, but I recall recently watching the powerful video, which was
posted on The Zimbabwe Times web site. During one of the scenes on the video,
filmed circa 1978, Robert Mugabe is seen raising his fist as he precides over a
Zanu-PF central committee meeting in Maputo. So, needless to say, Mugabe has
been lifting his clenched fist for many years now, as part of his political
dialogue. Without a doubt, Mugabe’s clenched and raised fist has become symbolic of his
image, but it is by no means, a unique signature of our beleaguered President.
The raised fist, has been a symbol recognized by many historically to symbolize
black-power. More accurately, the raised and clenched fist is often referred to
as the “Black Power Salute”. The term “black power”, is defined by the online encyclopedia (Wikipedia) as
referring to a movement by black people throughout the world. At the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City in Mexico, two black
Americans, Tommie Smith and John Carlos respectively won the gold and bronze
medals in the men’s 200-meter race. The awards ceremony that followed,
recognizing the men’s achievement, has been branded by some, as the most popular
Olympics medal ceremony of all time. The two men had planned that, should the win the race, they would stage a
silent protest on the podium. The two men planned to protest against the
injustices of the United States of America against the black people in that
country. Their plan had been to each wear a pair of black gloves, and black
socks, and for them to each raise a clenched right fist while on the podium, and
during the playing of the US national anthem. As it turned out, John Carlos had forgotten his set of gloves. Ironically
enough, the silver medal winner who was to share the podium with the two black
men was a white Australian called Peter Norman. Norman who supported the civil
rights movement, suggested to the two black Americans that they share the one
set of black gloves that was available. So as the USA national anthem began to play, Smith and Carlos began their
historic protest. Tommie Smith, wearing black socks, and having removed his shoes, bowed his head and
raised his clenched black-clad right fist, and John Carlos similarly bowed his
head and raised a clenched black-clad left fist. Peter Norman, in a sign of
solidarity with his black counterparts wore the then widely recognized Olympic
Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badge on his track top. Smith would later explain that the raised black right-hand fist symbolized
black power, while Carlos’ raised left-hand fist symbolized black unity.
Together, the arc formed by their raised right and left hand fists represented
an arc of black power and unity. The black socks (without shoes) represented black poverty in America. The two black men went on to pay dearly for their silent act of defiance.
They were immediately dismissed from the Olympic village and flown back to
America the following day. They were also banned from ever participating in the
Olympic Games, and faced death threats from white America when they returned
home. However, this silent protest also entrenched the two black men eternally,
in the history of the civil rights movement in America. Today, the two men are
widely honored for their act of defiance. The Black Power salute was also widely adopted by black America
there-after. One can only wonder what inspired the use of the clenched black fist by
Mugabe and now also by his wife, Grace. More importantly however, one can only
wonder what the clenched black fist symbolizes for Mugabe. Could the symbolism
be as noble as that of Tommie Smith and John Carlos……? And as we look forward to the upcoming 2008 Olympics Games in China, a
country known for vast human rights abuses, and its support for regimes with
dodgy human rights records, one wonders if we should look forward to brave acts
of protest by African sportsmen on the international podium that is presented by
the Olympic Games. In Zimbabwe Mugabe’s clenched fist has come to be associated with his
self-proclaimed “degrees in violence”.
July 15, 2008
By Kennedy Gezi
I RECENTLY watched a documentary on the USA cable television station, HBO Sports, which although based on American history, I found so moving and so relevant to contemporary Zimbabwe, and even to some of the history of Zimbabwe.
So I thought I should share.
We have all seen Robert Mugabe particularly as he spews his venomous rhetoric usually against the imperialist Blair, Brown or Bush - Mmmm…. I had never noticed that all of Mugabe’s primary foes have last names that start with the letter “B”!!!
I do not know when Robert Mugabe started to use the raised fist as part of his dialogue, but I recall recently watching the powerful video, which was posted on The Zimbabwe Times web site. During one of the scenes on the video, filmed circa 1978, Robert Mugabe is seen raising his fist as he precides over a Zanu-PF central committee meeting in Maputo. So, needless to say, Mugabe has been lifting his clenched fist for many years now, as part of his political dialogue.
Without a doubt, Mugabe’s clenched and raised fist has become symbolic of his image, but it is by no means, a unique signature of our beleaguered President. The raised fist, has been a symbol recognized by many historically to symbolize black-power. More accurately, the raised and clenched fist is often referred to as the “Black Power Salute”.
The term “black power”, is defined by the online encyclopedia (Wikipedia) as referring to a movement by black people throughout the world.
At the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City in Mexico, two black Americans, Tommie Smith and John Carlos respectively won the gold and bronze medals in the men’s 200-meter race. The awards ceremony that followed, recognizing the men’s achievement, has been branded by some, as the most popular Olympics medal ceremony of all time.
The two men had planned that, should the win the race, they would stage a silent protest on the podium. The two men planned to protest against the injustices of the United States of America against the black people in that country. Their plan had been to each wear a pair of black gloves, and black socks, and for them to each raise a clenched right fist while on the podium, and during the playing of the US national anthem.
As it turned out, John Carlos had forgotten his set of gloves. Ironically enough, the silver medal winner who was to share the podium with the two black men was a white Australian called Peter Norman. Norman who supported the civil rights movement, suggested to the two black Americans that they share the one set of black gloves that was available.
So as the USA national anthem began to play, Smith and Carlos began their historic protest. Tommie Smith, wearing black socks, and having removed his shoes, bowed his head and raised his clenched black-clad right fist, and John Carlos similarly bowed his head and raised a clenched black-clad left fist. Peter Norman, in a sign of solidarity with his black counterparts wore the then widely recognized Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badge on his track top.
Smith would later explain that the raised black right-hand fist symbolized black power, while Carlos’ raised left-hand fist symbolized black unity. Together, the arc formed by their raised right and left hand fists represented an arc of black power and unity.
The black socks (without shoes) represented black poverty in America.
The two black men went on to pay dearly for their silent act of defiance. They were immediately dismissed from the Olympic village and flown back to America the following day. They were also banned from ever participating in the Olympic Games, and faced death threats from white America when they returned home. However, this silent protest also entrenched the two black men eternally, in the history of the civil rights movement in America. Today, the two men are widely honored for their act of defiance.
The Black Power salute was also widely adopted by black America there-after.
One can only wonder what inspired the use of the clenched black fist by Mugabe and now also by his wife, Grace. More importantly however, one can only wonder what the clenched black fist symbolizes for Mugabe. Could the symbolism be as noble as that of Tommie Smith and John Carlos……?
And as we look forward to the upcoming 2008 Olympics Games in China, a country known for vast human rights abuses, and its support for regimes with dodgy human rights records, one wonders if we should look forward to brave acts of protest by African sportsmen on the international podium that is presented by the Olympic Games.
In Zimbabwe Mugabe’s clenched fist has come to be associated with his self-proclaimed “degrees in violence”.
July 13, 2008
KHARTOUM (BBC) - The BBC has found the first evidence that China is
currently helping Sudan's government militarily in Darfur.
The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese
province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005.
The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese
A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.
China's government has declined to comment on the BBC's findings, which
contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur.
The embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not
militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN
estimates that about 300,000 people have died.
More than two million people are also believed to have fled their villages
in Darfur, destroyed by pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia.
Panorama traced the first lorry by travelling deep into the remote deserts
of West Darfur.
They found a Chinese Dong Feng army lorry in the hands of one of Darfur's
The BBC established through independent eyewitness testimony that the rebels
had captured it from Sudanese government forces in December.
The rebels filmed a second lorry with the BBC's camera. Both vehicles had
been carrying anti-aircraft guns, one a Chinese gun.
Markings showed that they were from a batch of 212 Dong Feng army lorries
that the UN had traced as having arrived in Sudan after the arms embargo was
put in place.
The lorries came straight from the factory in China to Sudan and were
consigned to Sudan's defence ministry. The guns were mounted after the
lorries were imported from China.
The UN started looking for these lorries in Darfur three years ago,
suspecting they had been sent there, but never found them.
"We had no specific access to Sudanese government army stores, we were not
allowed to take down factory codes or model numbers or registrations etc to
verify these kinds of things," said EJ Hogendoorn, a member of the UN panel
of experts that was involved in trying to locate the lorries.
China has chosen not to respond to the BBC's findings. Its public position
is that it abides by all UN arms embargoes.
China has said in the past that it told Sudan's government not to use
Chinese military equipment in Darfur.
Sudan's government, however, has told the UN that it will send military
equipment wherever it likes within its sovereign territory.
An international lawyer, Clare da Silva, says China's point that it has
taken measures in line with the arms embargo's requirements to stop its
weapons from going to Darfur is meaningless.
"It is an empty measure to take the assurances from a partner who clearly
has no intention of abiding by the resolution," she said.
Ms da Silva said the BBC's evidence put China in violation of the arms
The UN panel of experts on Darfur has said it wants to examine the BBC's
The BBC found witnesses who said they saw the first Dong Feng which the BBC
tracked down being used with its anti-aircraft gun in an attack in a town
called Sirba, in West Darfur, in December.
"When it is shooting or firing there is nowhere for you to move and the
sound is just like the sound of the rain. Then 'Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!'"
said Hamaad Abakar Adballa, a witness in the Chadian refugee town of Birak.
The lorry's powerful anti-aircraft gun fired straight into civilian houses.
The gun carries high calibre shells that explode on impact, spreading hot
shards of metal and causing terrible wounds
Witnesses saw one hut take a direct hit from the gun:
"An intense wave of heat instantly sent all the huts around up in flames,"
one witness, Risique Bahar, said. "There was a lot of screaming."
In the attack on Sirba one woman was burnt to death, another horribly
Sudan's government has been accused by the United States of genocide against
Darfur's black Africans.
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) say war crimes by
Sudan's Arab-dominated government have included summary executions, rape and
Recently the conflict has deteriorated into more confused fighting, with
rebel and militia groups also fighting each other. Two hundred thousand
people have been displaced already this year.
Malnutrition rates are set to soar in South Darfur later this year due to
insecurity and drought.
Darfur's landscape is spotted with blackened circles representing the
hundreds of the villages that were burnt down by government forces and their
In these attacks Darfur's civilians have been hunted not just from the
ground, but from the sky.
Most civilians who tell stories of aerial attacks talk about Russian made
Antanovs and helicopter gunships.
Many also talk about fighter jets being used, but no-one has ever answered
the question of which type of fighter jets these are.
Kaltam Abakar Mohammed, a mother of seven, watched three of her children
being blown to pieces as they were attacked by a fighter jet on 19 February
in the town of Beybey in Darfur.
The BBC has established that Chinese Fantan fighter jets were flying on
missions out of Nyala airport in south Darfur in February.
Panorama acquired satellite photographs of the two fighters at the airport
on 18 June 2008, and its investigations indicate these are the only fighter
jets that have been based in Darfur this year.
When Kaltam heard the sound of fighting early that morning, she took her
children and ran.
"We start running near the well," she said. "We hid behind a big rock.
Something that looks like an eagle started coming from over there. It looked
like an eagle but it made a funny noise."
When the plane unleashed two bombs Kaltam's five-year-old daughter, Nura,
was dismembered from the chest up.
Her eight-year-old son, Adam, was killed instantly, as was her 20-year-old
Kaltam's 19-month-old grandson still has shrapnel in his head from the
fighter jet bombing. He cries a lot and often calls out for his mother, but
she was killed in the attack.
Kaltam's 13-year-old girl, Hawa, cannot grasp what she saw happen that day
to her brother and two sisters. She rarely speaks now.
The Chinese Fantan jets are believed to have been delivered to Sudan in 2003
before the current UN arms embargo was imposed on Darfur.
But the BBC has been told by two confidential sources that China is training
Fantan fighter pilots.
Sudan imported a number of fighter trainers called K8s two years ago - they
are designed to train pilots of fighters like Fantans.
"Clearly this is what they used to train for operations with the Fantans,"
said Chris Dietrich, a former member of the UN panel on Darfur.
International lawyer Ms da Silva says if China is training Fantan pilots,
this represents another Chinese violation of the UN arms embargo.
"The terms of the embargo cover not only just the supply of weapons,
military vehicles, paramilitary equipment. It also covers training any
technical assistance, so the training of pilots obviously falls within the
scope of the embargo."
There are strong economic ties between the China and Sudan.
China buys most of Sudan's oil and believes that what Sudan needs is good
business partners, help with development and a solid peace process in
Darfur, instead of confrontation and sanctions from the West.
So when China's President Hu Jintao visited Sudan in 2007 he wrote off
millions of dollars worth of debt and donated a multi-million pound interest
free loan for a new presidential palace to Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.
In April last year, China's military leaders pledged to strengthen
co-operation with Sudan.