Catherine Philp in Harare
Witnesses to the incident said that
two of the Europeans, one of whom was carrying a digital camera, intercepted
Mugabe upon leaving the conference room and they engaged him in discussions. Suddenly, the source added, one of the
Europeans raised his voice without any perceptible reason, while the other one
kept filming quietly. The President’s bodyguard, at this stage, intervened, trying to
repel the European, who had come closer to his boss, but he was ignored by the
European, who kept heckling the Zimbabwean president, forcing him to retrace his
steps back into the conference room. It was at this point that a third European emerged and he in turn
heckled Mugabe, who resigned to fate before the intervention of an Egyptian
security guard who came in between the trio. Following the Egyptian security guard’s intervention, the
Zimbabwean President joined others in the room while the three Europeans quietly
returned to their place, the source said. Panapress .
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Monday had a heated exchange with three Europeans, whose identity or profession were not disclosed, as they accosted him on his way out of the plenary session of the on-going African Union heads of state summit.
Witnesses to the incident said that two of the Europeans, one of whom was carrying a digital camera, intercepted Mugabe upon leaving the conference room and they engaged him in discussions.
Suddenly, the source added, one of the Europeans raised his voice without any perceptible reason, while the other one kept filming quietly.
The President’s bodyguard, at this stage, intervened, trying to repel the European, who had come closer to his boss, but he was ignored by the European, who kept heckling the Zimbabwean president, forcing him to retrace his steps back into the conference room.
It was at this point that a third European emerged and he in turn heckled Mugabe, who resigned to fate before the intervention of an Egyptian security guard who came in between the trio.
Following the Egyptian security guard’s intervention, the Zimbabwean President joined others in the room while the three Europeans quietly returned to their place, the source said. Panapress .
July 1, 2008
By Jonga Kandemiiri
30 June 2008
Zimbabwean opposition officials said Monday that deadly political violence
against members of the Movement for Democratic Change had continued
following the run-off election Friday in which President Robert Mugabe
claimed victory and was inaugurated on Sunday.
The opposition sources said a woman was murdered Sunday in Buhera South
constituency of Manicaland province torture at a ruling party militia camp
at Mutiusinazita. In the community of Headlands, Manicaland, MDC sources
said militia murdered four members last week.
In Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, parliamentarian-elect Shepherd Mushonga said
opposition members have been unable to bury three members killed last week
as militia are controlling movement in the area. He said two of those
murdered were forced to drink poison as their families looked on.
In Mashonaland Central, sources said Bindura lawyer Ernest Jena, who
represented detained opposition activists, was abducted from his offices
last Tuesday and was still missing.
Information Officer Luke Tamborinyoka of the Movement for Democratic Change
party of former presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe 5,000 opposition members are
The Citizen, SA
Published: 30/06/2008 21:07:29
JOHANNESBURG - Robert Mugabe plotted his "win or war" campaign long before
the March election, say two members of the Southern African Development
Community observer mission.
Dianne Kohler-Barnard and Manie van Dyk, both of the Democratic Alliance,
said Friday's sham run-off election bore the fruit of his atrocious
Both documented accounts of the atrocities which were meted out by Mugabe's
Zanu-PF militias on Zimbabweans to ensure victory.
One shopkeeper told of how the MDC had been driven out of Zaka in
Mashonaland and made to flee for their lives after watching a man being held
down while Zanu-PF militia cut off his feet, and then his hands. The man
bled to death.
"The aim was to drive the Movement for Democratic Change out of the
province. The voting station I observed showed just two MDC votes, which
means they succeeded," said Van Dyk.
Polling stations in Manikaland province were manned by the losing Zanu-PF
candidates from the March election instead of the highly respected teachers.
MDC chairman of Manikaland, Patrick Chitaka, told them that half of the MDC
polling agents had been killed or arrested.
He also said at Zanu-PF rallies, MDC supporters were forced to join Zanu-PF
and beat their own members, some of them to death.
DA leader Helen Zille today appealed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
to have Mugabe tried for crimes against humanity.
Monday, 30 June 2008 22:07
Several Catholic priests have been assaulted by supporters of Zimbabwe's
ruling party and at least one house belonging to the Church has been burned
down, a Jesuit spokesman said.
St Anthony's mission house in Zaka, in the Masvingo Diocese, was home
to a few priests before it was destroyed in the violence that preceded the
country's June 27 runoff presidential election, said Jesuit Father Oscar
Wermter, who runs the order's Zimbabwean communications office in the
capital of Harare.
Many priests in rural areas as well as at least one in Harare have
been assaulted in the crackdown against the opposition to President Robert
Mugabe, Fr Wermter said today.
"Very serious threats" also have been made against priests and other
Church workers, he said.
Some parishioners have been "put under pressure to attend ruling party
rallies instead of Mass on Sundays," Fr Wermter said, noting that "the
pressure differs from place to place."
The Zimbabwean Jesuits' June newsletter reported that the priests who
have been threatened "cannot operate freely" and a few "had to be removed
temporarily from their posts for their own safety."
Some priests "cannot go to remote outstations, or outstation lay
leaders tell them not to come because of the instability," the newsletter
An unknown number of Church members have been killed, seriously
injured or forced to flee, while others have had their homes destroyed,
according to the report. The Catholic Development Commission, which runs
food programmes in the country, and other Church groups "are trying to give
assistance to displaced persons, regardless of whether they are members of
the Church or not," the newsletter said.
"Sadly, there are some active Catholics, not only among the victims,
but also on the side of the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity,"
the Jesuit publication added.
By Daniel Howden in Harare
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
As Robert Mugabe sought recognition from African leaders yesterday, his
police have been arresting the "dangerous" opposition agents that Mr Mugabe
accuses of fomenting violence in the country.
Mrs Chigoro is one of them. She is considered such a threat she is being
kept under armed police guard at a Harare hospital.
Seventy years old, her injuries are so horrific she can no longer lie on her
back or walk unassisted.
She can only huddle in a claw-like shape. The appalling chemical burns that
have removed her lips and melted her right cheek come from an industrial
weedkiller she was forced to drink. The widow can eat no solids and survives
with the aid of a saline drip.
Her crime was to survive the death squads that have roamed the rural areas
of this bankrupt and terrified country. The police, armed with AK-47s, have
been stationed on her ward to stop her from telling her story.
Gibb Chigoro, her son, had known that he was at risk. He was the first
Movement for Democratic Change candidate to win a council seat in the ruling
party stronghold of Mashonaland Central. After the first round win, he had
watched the militia, police and army let loose on opposition supporters,
with scores killed, thousands beaten and 200,000 displaced.
The chaos arrived at the Chigoro house on Friday, 20 June, one week before
the run-off election.
An armed mob of some 250, led by the son of the defeated Zanu-PF councillor,
Robson Dhlamini, approached the house demanding to see the MDC man. Inside
was Mrs Chigoro, two of her sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Gibb armed himself with a pistol before going outside. After threats, shots
were fired by both sides until the councillor was hit in the shoulder and
the calf. Once on the floor, they set upon him with iron bars, his mother
recalled, breaking his arms and legs. The rest of the family received the
same treatment. Her other son, Hamilton, was shot in the leg before his arm
and face were smashed with the bars.
The old woman was not spared. "They hit me on my back and ribs. As they beat
me, they said to me: 'Did you think you could get away with betraying your
country? You, old woman did you think you'd get away with this?' I saw them
shoot my son again before I fainted."
When she came to, she found that the brutally beaten family had been dragged
to a clearing in the village.
In a ritual humiliation that has been repeated throughout Zimbabwe, Gibb was
forced to renounce his party and insult the MDC leader. Then they called for
volunteers from the village to execute him. She did not recognise the man
that pulled the trigger.
Murder complete, they were put back on the pick-up - one of the hundreds of
new Mahandra vehicles with no number plates that have been purchased by the
bankrupt state and issued to the death squads.
Another stop was made to shoot dead Hama Madamombe, a well known local MDC
supporter, and abduct his brother.
The surviving family was transported to the Tetra farm about 30 miles away,
one of the thousands of commercial farms seized by the Mugabe regime. It now
belongs to the notoriously violent Chigwada brothers, Effluence and Shami,
who have set up one of the Zanu torture camps there.
By the time they arrived at the camp, it was dark. The beatings that had
begun mid-morning started again. No one remembers how long they went on.
But when their torturers grew tired they brought out the bottles of
Paraquat - a Chinese-manufactured herbicide, used to kill weeds.
It has become a weapon of choice in Zimbabwe's political terror campaign and
the militia have been instructed to dip their sticks in it before beating
The four terrified survivors were then forced to drink it. Mrs Chigoro
remembers her son, Hamilton, telling her not to swallow the burning liquid.
A doctor described the effects of Paraquat: "It's absorbed through the skin,
the heart rate plunges and it attacks the nervous system. It acts on skin in
a similar way to ammonia."
The message not to swallow failed to reach the brother of the murdered MDC
supporter. He died in agony.
Miraculously the daughter, Susan, was able - despite critical injuries - to
drag herself out of the camp in the night and find a police station that was
willing to act on her pleas and go to the farm to rescue her mother and
Their ordeal did not end there. They were shadowed by their assailants from
the camp and Susan was later arrested by police who have been ordered to
co-operate with the torturers.
Three armed police from Mashonaland now stand guard over mother and son who
were transferred to a hospital in Harare. Both face being rearrested if they
survive their injuries.
Shepherd Mushonga is their local MP - one of only two MDC winners in his
region - he has also been in hiding but has tried to document their ordeal.
He said of the torturers: "Armed by the state, ordered by the state, they're
getting away with murder. If the world does not learn of what happened it
will happen again. This is the tip of the iceberg."
"One of the reasons for the viciousness in this area was that Zanu thought
it had total control until the March upset. We won and we have paid the
consequences in broken bones. This is war against defenceless families."
Mrs Chigoro said: "I have been through the liberation war but I never
believed I would live through something like this. I never saw anything like
what has happened to my family."
MONTREAL, June 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders today
condemned the arrest of seven Zimbabwean and foreign journalists during the
run-off presidential election that was a foregone conclusion on 27 June.
of them are still being held.
"In its negotiations with Robert Mugabe, the African Union should remind
the outgoing head of state that journalism is not a crime", the worldwide
press freedom organisation said.
Police arrested British freelance photographer Richard Judson and
Zimbabwean freelance journalists Regis Marisamhuka and Agrison Manyenge on
polling day and they are still being held without charge at a Harare police
Tumaole Mohlaoli and Elelewani Ramphumedzi, respectively journalist and
cameraman on privately-owned South African television e.tv, were arrested on
the same day in the southern border town of Beitbridge. They were freed
negotiations with South African police, after spending one night in custody.
Freelance journalist Frank Chikowore and cameraman Edgar Mwandiambira,
who were arrested close to the Mhofu primary school in the Highfields
of Harare were released after voting ended, also without charge. They were
first taken to Southerton police station before being transferred to a
"In a Zimbabwe that is mired in an unprecedented crisis, independent
witnesses are seen as enemies of the presidential party", Reporters Without
Borders said. "Arrests have become the rule and the Zimbabwean justice
is bogged down in Kafkaesque political cases."
For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Secretary General,
Reporters sans frontières Canada, (514) 521-4111, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2008
By Shashank Bengali | McClatchy Newspapers
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Ngoni Bothwell Naite never told his family that he'd
become an activist. During Zimbabwe's bloody election season, when Naite
volunteered to guard the home of an opposition politician who'd been
targeted for kidnapping, his mother assumed that he was staying with
She learned the truth one morning last month, when her 27-year-old son's
body was found dumped beside a cluster of shops after a government militia
raided the politician's home. There was a fist-deep gash in his forehead,
his front teeth had been knocked out, a bullet pierced his right armpit and,
she learned later, his genitals had been mutilated, as if smashed repeatedly
with a hammer.
Naite's mother, her head bowed, said she understood why her youngest son had
kept his political life a secret. "In this country, in this election,"
Emilia Dzvairo said, "I would not have let him do it."
Zimbabwe's election may be over - President Robert Mugabe claimed victory
Sunday and was immediately sworn in for another five-year term - but the
human toll of one of the most brutal political campaigns in recent memory is
still being calculated. Opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists think
that government militias killed scores of people and abducted perhaps
hundreds of others as Mugabe decimated a popular opposition party and
extended his 28-year rule over this crumbling southern African nation.
This wasn't an election, Mugabe's critics said; it was a war. And many in
Zimbabwe see it as evidence that hardliners and military leaders have
reasserted control over the all-powerful ruling party, known as ZANU-PF.
These extremists, analysts and former party officials said, include veterans
of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle and men who led the massacres of tens of
thousands of political opponents in the 1980s. In some of the nastier
pre-election tactics - beatings, torching of homes, forcing people into
"re-education camps" and demanding oaths of allegiance to ZANU-PF - many
Zimbabweans saw shades of past campaigns of oppression.
At a summit of African leaders in Egypt on Monday, South Africa, the
regional power, called on Mugabe to start talks with opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai on forming a unity government. But with extremists calling
the shots, experts said, Mugabe is unlikely to negotiate seriously with
Tsvangirai and probably would select a hardliner to succeed himself.
"The hardliners convinced him to ... win this election by whatever means,"
said Tiseke Kasambala, a senior researcher at the advocacy group Human
Rights Watch. "He let the army and the security forces do what they do best,
which is spread fear and terror throughout the country."
Despite plunging Zimbabwe into economic ruin - hyperinflation and serious
food shortages have forced a third of the population to flee the country -
the 84-year-old president appears emboldened. Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald
newspaper said that Mugabe "was prepared to face any of his (African)
counterparts disparaging Zimbabwe's electoral conduct because some of their
countries had worse" election records.
If extremists remain in control, "repression will continue, restrictions on
freedom of assembly will continue and economically Zimbabwe will get worse,"
Experts think that Mugabe briefly considered stepping down after Tsvangirai
won a plurality of votes in a first-round election in March. Several ZANU-PF
moderates - some of whom had quietly backed the failed candidacy of a third
candidate, former party official Simba Makoni - reportedly urged Mugabe to
form a transitional government with Tsvangirai.
That was when the party's powerful security chiefs stepped in, a former
Mugabe aide said.
Led by Emmerson Mnangagwa, a government minister who's been implicated in
military abuses of civilians in the Matabeleland province in the mid-1980s,
these men convinced Mugabe not to cede power. The security chiefs are known
to detest Tsvangirai - who didn't participate in the independence struggle -
and may have feared prosecution on war crimes charges.
"The freedom fighters emerged and decided there's no way we can give up this
country to someone like Tsvangirai," said the former Mugabe aide, who's
split with ZANU-PF and who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of safety
concerns. "So then it became about victory at any cost."
"Robert Mugabe is their passport to immunity," said John Makumbe, a leading
political analyst in Harare. "They need to stay in power."
Mnangagwa took over Mugabe's campaign for last Friday's runoff, which
resembled a military operation more than anything else. The International
Crisis Group, a research center, wrote in a recent report that the military,
youth militia and so-called war veterans - who claim to be former liberation
fighters but often are simply young government mercenaries - were deployed
across the country to "intimidate (opposition supporters) to vote for
ZANU-PF" and dismantle the opposition by "by targeting party leaders and
midlevel activists across the country."
The incident that killed Naite, the opposition activist, and three others
On June 17 in Chitungwiza, a bedroom community outside the capital, Harare,
Naite was among a small group holding a vigil at the home of a local
opposition official. According to witnesses, a group of young men chanting
ZANU-PF slogans tried to storm the house but Naite and others fought back,
driving the attackers away.
Shortly afterward, the ZANU-PF supporters returned with a mob of more than
100 militiamen. They were armed with guns and, according to a report in a
pro-opposition newspaper, accompanied by "four unmarked double-cab trucks, a
mini-bus owned by a known soldier and a Mercedes-Benz sedan belonging to a
"Our boys were just overpowered," said Martin Magaya, an opposition official
in Chitungwiza. "This was purely a military operation. You cannot call it
Kasambala, the Human Rights Watch researcher, said that military leaders now
might move to consolidate power and sideline the moderates who counseled
Mugabe to step aside. In a sign that ZANU-PF officials were rallying behind
Mugabe, Joyce Mujuru, one of the country's two vice presidents, who's widely
thought to have backed Makoni's independent presidential bid, lavished
praise on Mugabe at his inauguration Sunday.
"The victory we are celebrating today, your excellency, put to shame our
detractors who do not wish well for our country," Mujuru said, according to
The Washington Post.
Posted 5 hours ago
Vicious dictator takes power in sham election, and even Mandela is
quietZimbabweans can only despair after the sham runoff election preceded by
Robert Mugabe's government terrorizing supporters of the opposition party.
The vicious megalomaniac has effectively devastated his country, which is
now an economic basket case. Brutality, torture and murder are hallmarks of
his regime and millions of Zimbabweans have fled the country.
The stench of international hypocrisy pervades the wretched state of
affairs. The UN Security Council finally issued a statement expressing
concern about election campaign violence, but even that was watered down at
the behest of South Africa, Russia and China. Other countries outside Africa
have taken only token action claiming unctuously that the solution should
rest in the hands of Africans.
But apart from some minor huffing and puffing, the Africans can't or won't
act. In the latter category, we find South Africa's role particularly
That country's president, Thabo Mbeki, is fully in thrall of Mugabe,
seemingly incapable of criticizing a former liberationist comrade. Mbeki and
his African National Congress reject using South Africa's crucial economic
leverage to pressure Mugabe and oppose meaningful international sanctions.
They've forgotten if the world had not used sanctions, the apartheid regime
would still be in power.
Sadly, Nelson Mandela's silence has been deafening. The former South African
president made his first public comments about Mugabe only last week, noting
merely "the tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe.
This is the same Mandela who, not shy about giving forth on faraway
problems, excoriated President George W. Bush over Iraq in January 2003.
"What I am condemning is . a president who has no foresight, who cannot
think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."
Mandela said then.
But the tyrant next door perpetrating horrendous atrocities on fellow
Africans merits merely a "tragic failure of leadership."
Obviously, there's still reason to cry the beloved country and its
Ed Feuer is a Sun Media editor from Winnipeg.
June 30, 2008 at 13:51:13
by Skeeter Sanders
The Time Is Long Overdue for the World to Recognize the Fact That Zimbabwe's
Rogue President, After 28 Years in Power, Is Not Just Another Thug Dictator:
He's Also a Racist Who Hates White People and Anyone Else -- Even Fellow
Africans -- He Thinks Acts as Their 'Puppets'
By Skeeter Sanders
Zimbabwe's rogue president, Robert Mugabe, has finally exposed himself as
being what many in the West and even in the rest of Africa have feared the
worst about him. Not only is he a power-hungry dictator determined to stay
in power at any cost, but he's also a blatant racist -- every bit as
contemptuous of white people as the former apartheid regime in South Africa
was of blacks.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, came out of the
dictator's closet on Sunday when -- true to his vow that the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would never govern in his lifetime --
he was sworn in for a sixth term as president, two days after a one-man
runoff election denounced by African observers and much of the world as a
sham caused by violence and intimidation by his ruling party against his
The rapidly-convened ceremony was staged barely an hour after the country's
electoral commission declared he won a total of 2,150,269 votes against
233,000 for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who boycotted the runoff
but whose name still appeared on ballot papers.
Turnout was announced at 42.37 percent -- a steep plunge from the more than
78 percent turnout in the March 29 general election that saw Tsvangirai's
MDC take control of the Zimbawean parliament from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and
Tsvangirai coming out on top in the presidential vote over Mugabe, but
failing to avoid a runoff.
More than 131,400 ballot papers were rejected in the highly controversial
runoff, giving Mugabe more than 85 percent of the votes cast.
Results Draw Outrage From Rest of Africa, World. . .
The results were flatly rejected as illegitimate by observers from the
14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), who, in an
uncharacteristically sharp rebuke, said the election "did not represent the
will of the people."
"The pre-election phase was characterized by politically-motivated violence,
intimidation and displacements," Angolan Sports Minister Jose Marcos
Barrica, the head of the 400-strong team of observers, said in a statement.
It is indeed noteworthy that not a single African head of state attended
Mugabe's swearing-in ceremony, in sharp contrast to his previous election
victories. Mugabe -- who later flew to Egypt to attend an African Union
summit in the Red Sea port of Sharm al-Sheik -- could for the first time
face a cool, if not hostile, reception from other African leaders.
As this edition of The 'Skeeter Bites Report was being posted early Monday
morning, the summit's opening session -- closed to journalists -- had just
begun and the Zimbabwean crisis was to feature high on the agenda.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga of Kenya, among Mugabe's most vocal critics on
the continent -- whose own rise to power earlier this year came about as a
result of a power-sharing compromise with President Mwai Kibaki that ended
weeks of violence following a disputed presidential election -- called on
the African Union to send troops into Zimbabwe and labeled Mugabe "a shame
New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Sunday the African Union will lose
credibility if it fails to isolate Mugabe. "African states should impose
sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his illegitimate government in Zimbabwe
after the sham presidential runoff," the organization said in a statement.
In Washington, President Bush said Saturday the United States was working on
ways to further punish Mugabe and his allies. That could mean steps against
his government as well as additional restrictions on the travel and
financial activities of Mugabe supporters.
Bush also said he wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an
arms embargo on Zimbabwe as well as travel bans on Zimbabwean government
officials. The U.S. plans to introduce a resolution in the council this
coming week, but China -- which has veto power -- declined to either support
it or oppose it.
For their part, Russia, which also has veto power, and South Africa, which
doesn't, have said the situation is an internal matter.
. . .And Embarrassment for South Africa's Lame-Duck President Mbeki
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the regionally-appointed mediator for
Zimbabwe, has worked for a negotiated solution in the country but has seen
his own stature sink rapidly as he faced calls by Tsvangirai for him to be
removed from his mediation post over his policy of quiet diplomacy --
ironically, the very same policy that in the 1980s brought discredit to the
United States in its dealings with South Africa's former apartheid regime.
At his swearing-in ceremony, Mugabe lavished praise on Mbeki -- a deeply
unpopular "lame duck" who has less than a year remaining in his tenure as
president of South Africa and who already has lost control of his own ruling
African National Congress party -- with Mugabe saying Zimbabwe was "indebted
to his [Mbeki's] untiring efforts to promote harmony and peace."
Meanwhile, Mbeki's predecessor, Nelson Mandela, in a stunning indictment of
his old friend Mugabe, lamented at what he called " the tragic failure of
leadership in our neighboring Zimbabwe." Speaking Wednesday in London at a
lavish dinner celebrating his 90th birthday, Mandela's comment was as much a
slap at Mbeki's quiet diplomacy as it was about Mugabe's dictatorship.
It's Time to Say It: Zimbabwe Is Ruled By a Racist Dictator
Mugabe had declared opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai a puppet of former
colonial power Britain and of wealthy whites. In a comment that can only be
interpreted as a racist diatribe, Mugabe vowed that Zimbabwe "shall not
again come under the rule and control of the white man, direct or indirect.
Never, ever"-- even vowing to plunge the country into an all-out civil war
to stay in power had he lost Friday's run-off election.
Yes, this blogger -- an African-American -- is saying it openly and clearly:
Robert Mugabe is a racist. A black racist. Whereas other African
freedom-fighters against European colonial rule and later white-minority
rule in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe were seeking self-determination
for the black African peoples in those three countries, Mugabe was -- and
remains -- driven by something else: A deep-seeded hatred of whites and of
anyone else he perceived as aiding and abetting whites, such as Tsvangirai.
In that regard, Mugabe -- who in recent years has even sported a moustache
eerily reminiscent of Adolf Hitler's -- has more in common with the racist
white-minority regimes of Ian Smith in the former Rhodesia that Mugabe's
Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front ousted from power in 1980 and
of P.W. Botha in South Africa. Mugabe is as contemptuous of white people as
Smith and Botha were of blacks.
It is Mugabe's racist tunnel vision that colors everything he and his regime
does and lies at the heart of his defiance of world opinion -- especially of
the West. That Mugabe's attitude is shaped by his hatred toward whites has
been made over and over again in his 28 years in power.
He has frequently portrayed Tsvangirai as a puppet of former colonial power
Britain and wealthy whites, thousands of whom lost their land when he
launched a controversial program of farm expropriations at the turn of the
"Once again we want to make it clear to the British and Americans that we
are no one's subjects and will never be," said Mugabe."This country shall
not again come under the rule and control of the white man, direct or
indirect. Never, ever. The British rule has gone, gone forever. The white
man is gone, never, ever will this country be ruled by a white man again."
This blogger is not alone in branding Mugabe a racist. Other black critics
of Mugabe have long accused him of having racist attitude towards white
people. John Sentamu, a Ugandan-born Anglican archbishop of York in Britain,
calls Mugabe "the worst kind of racist dictator," for having "targeted the
whites for their apparent riches."
Almost thirty years after ending white-minority rule in the former Rhodesia,
Mugabe now accuses Britain of promoting white imperialism and regularly
accuses opposition figures to his government of being allies of white
Mugabe has even cited white European influence as an excuse for his brutally
violent campaign against homosexuals in Zimbabwe, accusing gay and lesbian
Zimbabweans of being "afflicted with a white man's disease," arguing that
prior to the British colonization of the former Rhodesia, Zimbabweans did
not engage in homosexual acts.
It's Time to Treat Mugabe the Same as S. Africa's Old Apartheid Regime
There can be no doubt by now that after 28 years in power, the 84-year-old
Mugabe doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks about him -- not the
international community, not his African neighbors, certainly not the
opposition MDC, certainly not the majority of the Zimbabwean people -- who
are suffering not only from brutal oppression from his dictatorship, but
also from the near-total collapse of their country's economy -- nor even
reformers within his own ZANU-PF party.
"Only God can remove me from office!" Mugabe boldly declared at a ZANU-PF
campaign rally prior to Friday's runoff.
Oh, really? At 84 years of age, Mugabe -- who, incidentally, was raised a
Roman Catholic -- would be wise to avoid invoking God. The Creator could
remove the dictator from the scene at any time and a lot sooner than he
thinks. Just ask Tim Russert.
And even if God doesn't remove Mugabe any time soon, the international
community could starve Mugabe out by imposing a total international
economic, diplomatic, cultural and sports boycott of Zimbabwe -- similar to
that imposed in the 1970s against South Africa.
Imagine Zimbabwe's athletes banned from the Olympics, its diplomats ordered
to go home, its products embargoed from foreign ports and foreign goods
(other than vital food and medical supplies) embargoed from exportto the
As far as this blogger is concerned, there is little difference between the
Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe and the former apartheid regime in South Africa.
The former is just as brutally racist as the latter.
Just as it was a sustained international economic boycott that eventually
brought an end to apartheid in South Africa, the time is now past due for
the world to treat the Mugabe regime the same way.
Published: 29 June 2008
BY Trudy Simpson
A ZIMBABWEAN church leader is calling on world leaders, the UN and the
African Union to send in a peacekeeping force to end violence in Zimbabwe.
"The situation there is very desperate and there is a need now for action.
We definitely need a peacekeeping force in there," said Pastor Qobo Mayisa,
secretary of the Council of Zimbabwe Christian Leaders UK.
Mayisi's parents and in-laws have been forced to flee their homes because of
widespread intimidation and violence.
Thousands have been injured and displaced in Zimbabwe, and more than 80
opposition supporters killed.
"This hurts me as much as it hurts those on the ground," said Mayisi. His
group held a rally on June 28 in London to pray for Zimbabwe and discuss
Mayisi added: "There has been a lot of talk but it has not led to changes on
the ground. The pulling out of the (Opposition) MDC means the death of
democracy in Zimbabwe."
Leader of the Opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai,
pulled out ahead of the June 27 run-off race against Mugabe for the
presidency on June 22.
He said a free and fair poll was impossible because of increasing violence
and intimidation from police and others loyal to long-time president Robert
Mugabe, who is determined to hold on to power.
Following Tsvangirai's withdrawal, world leaders verbally challenged
Mugabe's legitimacy and threatened UN action. Zimbabwe's African neighbours
also began consultations on the crisis.
Mayisi said he wanted them to go beyond "issuing statements."
He told The Voice: "What we need now is concrete support. That means putting
pressure on South Africa and Zimbabwe's other neighbours. We (also) need
someone in there to stop the violence."
By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Africa's leaders have failed publicly to condemn Robert Mugabe for stealing
Zimbabwe's presidential election by proceeding with a run-off vote in which
he was sole candidate at the height of an officially orchestrated
At a summit of the 53 member states of the African Union - in which stable
democracies remain a minority - Mr Mugabe was praised as a "hero" by the
veteran President of Gabon, Omar Bongo.
Although he was not addressed as "Mr President" by fellow summiteers
gathered in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the embattled Zimbabwean
leader was comforted by speeches in which few spoke out about the political
violence in his country. His most vocal opponent, President Levy Patrick
Mwanawasa of Zambia, suffered a stroke and was rushed to hospital on the eve
of the summit.
The summit host, President Hosni Mubarak, did not mention the Zimbabwe
crisis directly in his opening speech. Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of
Kenya, was a lone voice sniping from the sidelines in Nairobi where he
called for Zimbabwe to be suspended from the AU until "free and fair"
elections can be held.
Conference sources said that while African leaders were more outspoken in
private meetings, they declined to criticise Mr Mugabe in public. President
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda was said to have been "particularly unhelpful".
The summit is expected to wind up today with a call for dialogue between Mr
Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has urged the AU to
deny the Zimbabwean President the legitimacy he craves. The dialogue is
intended to produce a government of national unity or a transition to fresh
The US and the EU have branded the election a "sham". Britain fears that Mr
Mugabe will control the transitional arrangements unless they are conducted
under the supervision of Mr Tsvangirai, who came ahead of the 84-year-old
President in the first round of voting on 29 March. Lord Malloch Brown, the
Foreign Office minister for Africa, came away disappointed with his talks in
Sharm el-Sheikh, after the UN deputy secretary general, Asha-Rose Migiro,
warned the AU that it faced a "moment of truth".
Tuesday July 1, 2008
In his moving memoir of Zimbabwe's years of political and human decline, the
journalist Peter Godwin describes a queue of poor people waiting at the
supermarket to collect a few pennies for empty bottles they have scavenged.
They watch sullenly as beneficiaries of the regime, coming out of the other
door, load "their Pajeros and Range Rovers and Mercs with mountains of
It is a scene that vividly underlines the distance and the difference
between those who suffer and those who plunder in a divided society. That
distance has become even wider in the past few months as the resort to
physical force, and sometimes to extremes of horribly ingenious violence,
has become more frequent. Thus it is that the problem which Zimbabwe faces
today is not whether Mugabe himself will survive politically. He may, or he
may not, with the odds probably in favour of an early departure. But much
more important is whether the regime's long tail of one-party rule
apparatchiks, corrupted officials, compromised army and police officers,
avaricious black marketeers, co-opted lawyers, collaborationist clerics, and
vicious street-corner enforcers will remain long after he is gone,
undermining the country's chances of making a new start.
It is true that Zimbabwe needs an agreement on a transitional government in
which members of the old regime will for a time share power with the
opposition. That appears to be the only practical way forward, and it was
the preferred solution of most members of the African Union, as they
deliberated in Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday.
But the danger lurking behind the various proposals being canvassed is that
the wrong kind of deal could end by consolidating some of the most repellent
elements in the regime while absorbing and subordinating the opposition. The
fate of Joshua Nkomo's Zapu is worth recalling. This may be less likely if
Mugabe goes, but his departure would hardly guarantee that it will not
happen. Years of bad government form habits, and create constituencies of
interest, that are hard to change. They may even infect the opposition.
Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai want a deal. Tsvangirai, given all
that has happened, has been almost embarrassingly deferential in his recent
remarks about the Zanu-PF leader, but then both men are, in their different
ways, desperate. The election campaign has been essentially about the terms
on which they will talk. When they do, those with some influence over the
parties - Zimbabwe's neighbours, the African Union - should be clear about
one thing above all: Mugabeism without Mugabe would be the worst possible
The Times, SA
Foreign Desk and SAPA Published:Jul 01, 2008
SA will confer with AU on endorsing Mugabe
President Thabo Mbeki yesterday denied that he intends to recognise Robert
Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe.
A statement from Mbeki's office denied the claim as African leaders met in
the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh for an African Union summit that is
likely to be dominated by a heated debate on Zimbabwe .
a.. Africa's leaders were said to be divided over whether to recognise
Mugabe as Zimbabwe's leader following a controversial presidential run-off
election that was boycotted by the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, Morgan Tsvangirai.
By late yesterday, AU leaders were still locked in talks about Zimbabwe.
The run-off poll has been widely condemned internationally as a sham. The AU's
own election observers said the elections had not been free and fair, and
that view was backed by observers from the Southern African Development
But some of the AU's leaders backed Mugabe . Gabon's President Omar Bongo,
who has been in office since 1967, endorsed Mugabe and said his one-man
election race had given him a new mandate.
"He was elected, he took an oath and he is here with us, so he is president
and we cannot ask him more ," Bongo said.
But US assistant secretary of state for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, who was also
in Egypt, said she believed AU leaders would slam Mugabe for holding a
flawed election, the run-up to which left about 80 opposition supporters
dead and scores homeless."
"I believe the tradition of the AU summit is to reserve their strongest
criticism for closed-door sessions, particularly at the heads-of-state
level," she said.
Denying reports that Mbeki was planning to endorse Mugabe's "re-election",
the president's office said the government would be guided by the decisions
of the AU .
"The presidency wishes to emphasise that these reports do not emanate from
statements made by any South African government official .
"South Africa will consider the reports of the SADC and other observer
teams . and adopt a position together with other [AU] member states," Mbeki's
spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said.
The Times, SA
There are some in the AU who want a return to the dark days of the OAU
EDITORIAL: When the African Union came into being in July 2002 there was
much jubilation across the continent and abroad.
To many, the AU's formation marked the continent's break with an era during
which heads of state and one-party states could trample on the democratic
rights of their citizens without fear of being isolated or otherwise
punished by their sister countries. It was the beginning of an age of hope,
in which each AU country would be expected to abide by democratic
principles, such as holding regular, free and fair elections.
Some AU members went a step further by signing-up for a "peer review
mechanism" that opened them up to close and critical appraisal by their
fellow member states.
It was an era in which AU leaders such as President Thabo Mbeki could read
the riot act to the likes of Malawi's then president, Bakili Muludzi, who
tried to change his country's constitution and extend his stay in office.
Six years almost to the day since the AU was launched at a glittering
ceremony in Durban, the organisation's credibility and effectiveness are now
in serious doubt.
We have to wonder if the AU is just another old boy's club whose main use,
like its toothless predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, is to
protect the continent's political elite.
This doubt about the sincerity of the AU's commitment to safeguarding and
promoting democracy throughout the continent has lately been fuelled by its
failure to deal effectively with the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe.
AU leaders were yesterday locked in a summit in Egypt, where the Zimbabwean
crisis was discussed. Their actions after this meeting will go a long way
towards winning back their citizens' confidence in the AU. But, judging by
the comments of some of its leaders, who have backed Robert Mugabe's
government, there are still many in the AU who want to turn it back to the
dark days of the OAU.
Mon 30 Jun 2008, 21:08 GMT
* AU leaders unlikely to punish Mugabe
* U.S. pushing U.N. call for sanctions
By Cynthia Johnston
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, July 1 (Reuters) - African leaders are expected to
press President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday to negotiate with Zimbabwe's
opposition but are unlikely to punish his government for holding a
discredited presidential election.
Mugabe, 84, was sworn in for a new five-year term on Sunday after election
authorities announced he had won a landslide victory in a one-candidate
presidential run-off ballot condemned as violent and unfair by monitors.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the vote.
Most African leaders have trod a fine line on Zimbabwe's political crisis
with only a few criticising Mugabe, still seen by many in Africa as a hero
of the anti-colonial struggle.
The possibility of political violence in the aftermath of the election has
prompted the African Union to consider the crisis at its summit this week in
the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Mugabe is among the leaders attending the meeting.
Jean Ping, chairman of the African Union Commission and Africa's top
diplomat, told journalists on Monday that the Zimbabwe election would be
discussed on Tuesday.
A senior delegate, however, told Reuters the leaders would err on the side
of caution. "They will dodge the bullet. They won't expressly recognise him,
but they won't kick him out of the session."
The summit appeared to be opposed to a U.S.-led push at the United Nations
for strong sanctions against Mugabe's government, including an arms embargo.
The United States and Britain have imposed financial and travel sanctions
against the Zimbabwean leader and his top officials.
Conference sources said countries from east and west Africa wanted to take a
strong stand but Mugabe's southern African neighbours were divided.
Instead, they were moving toward a consensus on the need for Mugabe and his
ruling ZANU-PF party to negotiate with Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change, possibly with the goal of forming a unity government.
South Africa, which has mediated in talks between the two sides, favours
such an arrangement which could be modelled on the power-sharing deal that
ended post-election violence in Kenya earlier this year.
Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the presidential vote on March 29 but failed
to win an absolute majority.
The MDC leader reluctantly agreed to participate in the June 27 run-off but
pulled out less than a week before because of violence in which he said
nearly 90 of his followers were killed. He was arrested five times during
Monitors from Zimbabwe's neighbours in the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and the Pan-African parliament said the vote was undermined
by the bloodshed and did not reflect the will of the people.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai say they are ready for African-sponsored talks,
although the animosity between them and the issue of who would lead a unity
government may be insurmountable obstacles to an agreement.
Tsvangirai called on the summit leaders not to recognise Mugabe's
Zimbabwe's electoral commission said Mugabe won more than 85 percent of the
vote, almost doubling his score in the first round. (For further stories on
Zimbabwe please click [nL22313134]) (Additional reporting by Dan Wallis in
Sharm el-Sheikh, Gordon Bell in Johannesburg; Louis Charbonneau at the
United Nations; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 01 July 2008
JOHANNESBURG - The European Commission on Monday denounced President
Robert Mugabe's weekend re-election in a single-candidate poll as "an
exercise in power-grabbing" and urged the African Union (AU) to act against
the Zimbabwean leader.
EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel said in a statement that it
was impossible to accept Mugabe's win given conditions in the run-up to the
election that were marked by widespread political violence and gross human
rights abuses against the opposition.
"This victory has simply been an exercise in power-grabbing and is far
from the spirit of change and renaissance currently seen across Africa,"
Michel said in a staement.
Mugabe was the only candidate in the roundly condemned June 27
election after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out saying
political violence that he said had killed 86 of his supporters and
displaced 200 000 others made a free and fair vote impossible.
However Tsvangirai's name remained on ballot papers after electoral
authorities rejected his withdrawal saying he had been late in notifying
them of his decisiosn to quit.
"Once again, and together with my European partners, I call upon the
competent African organisations - notably the summit of the African Union to
find a political solution to this crisis," Michel said, adding that any such
solution should reflect the will of ordinary Zimbabweans expressed in
acceptable democratic conditions.
Michel spoke as AU leaders began meeting in Egypt on Monday while the
continental body's election observers denounced Mugabe's re-election saying
it did not meet standards.
Diplomats said AU leaders were pushing Mugabe to open negotiations
with the opposition and end Zimbabwe from sliding deeper into economic and
In a speech after being sworn in on Sunday, Mugabe appeared to extend
an olive branch to Tsvangirai saying he hoped dialogue with the opposition
would resume "sooner rather than latter".
Political analysts believe Mugabe ignored calls by fellow African
leaders, Western governments and the United Nations Security Council to call
off last Friday's vote because he wanted an election victory to strengthen
his hand in talks with Tsvangirai. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 01 July 2008
JOHANNESBURG - Canada has condemned Zimbabwe's one-man run-off election and
asked Canadian companies to divest from the southern African counrty in
solidarity with the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
In a statement released on Sunday, the day President Robert Mugabe was
declared winner of the controversial election and sworn in for another
five-year term, Canadian foreign affairs minister David Emerson condemned
the manner in which Mugabe's government handled the June 27 election and
announced immediate measures designed to restrict its relationship with
"The government of Canada encourages Canadian companies to voluntarily
divest from Zimbabwe, Emerson said and added that the country would however
continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe "through trusted
Canadian and international partners".
Mugabe was the only candidate in the presidential run-off election after
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out saying political violence
that he said had killed 86 of his supporters and displaced 200 000 others
made a free and fair vote impossible.
However Tsvangirai's name remained on ballot papers after electoral
authorities refused to accept his decision to withdraw a week ago on the
grounds of violence against his supporters. He has taken refuge in the Dutch
embassy since then.
The elections have received widespread condemnation from African observers,
African governments and Western countries who have called for the ongoing
African Union's annual meeting in Egypt to act against Mugabe.
Emerson said, "Canada today condemned the illegitimate and illegal actions
of the government of Robert Mugabe in the conduct of Zimbabwe's June 27,
2008, election, and has rejected the results of this election. As a result,
Canada will immediately put in place measures designed to seriously restrict
its relationship with the government of Zimbabwe."
The measures include restrictions on travel, work and study on senior
Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their families;
exportation of military hardware to Zimbabwe; and a ban on any aircraft
registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.
"The government of Zimbabwe's systematic use of violence and intimidation
represents a grave violation of human rights and democratic principles,"
"The citizens of Zimbabwe have been denied the opportunity to shape their
future through free and fair elections, and they remain in constant danger
of intimidation, injury and loss of life."
Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, is in the grip of a severe economic
crisis which critics blame on wrong polices by Mugabe such as his haphazard
fast-track land reform exercise that displaced established white commercial
farmers and replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately funded
The economic crisis that the World Bank has described as the worst in the
world outside a war zone is seen in the world's highest inflation rate that
analysts estimate at more than 1 000 000 percent, severe shortages of food
and every basic survival commodity. - ZimOnline
by Lizwe Sebatha Tuesday 01 July 2008
BULAWAYO - A leading international human rights body has urged the African
Union (AU) to impose punitive sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's
government after the veteran leader's re-election in a controversial
single-candidate election denounced by critics as a sham.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch also called on the AU to suspend
Zimbabwe after Mugabe ignored calls by African leaders, Western governments
and the United Nations Security Council to postpone the June 27 presidential
Human Rights Watch Africa director Georgette Gagnon said in a statement:
"African states should impose sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his
illegitimate government in Zimbabwe.
"The African Union should uphold its African Charter on Democracy, Elections
and Governance, by declaring the run-off unconstitutional as an illegal
means of maintaining power and suspending Zimbabwe from the African Union.
"The African Union should also impose punitive economic measures and other
sanctions against the perpetrators of an unconstitutional change of
government including Mugabe and the members of the Joint Operations Command
(a committee of securocrats that backs Mugabe)."
An AU summit kicked off in Egypt on Monday as the continental body's
election observers denounced Mugabe's re-election saying it did not meet
Diplomats said AU leaders were pushing Mugabe to open negotiations with the
opposition and end Zimbabwe from sliding deeper into economic and political
South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma told AU
ministers that neither Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party nor opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party could on its own
pull back Zimbabwe from the brink.
A negotiated settlement between the two protagonists was the best way
forward said Zuma, a line repeated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
who called for "some sort of negotiations between the parties".
Mugabe was sworn in on Sunday after a landslide victory in an election in
which he was sole candidate after Tsvangirai pulled out of the contest.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the election because of political violence that he
said had killed at least 86 of his supporters, displaced 200 000 others and
rendered a free and fair vote impossible.
However, Tsvangirai's name remained on ballot papers after electoral
authorities refused to accept his withdrawal saying he had been late in
notifying them of his decision to quit.
Human Rights Watch urged the AU to ensure members of Mugabe's government
accused of committing political violence were brought to justice.
"Human Rights Watch calls on the African Union to ensure that members of
Mugabe's government and security forces who are implicated in serious human
rights violations are excluded from any discussions about a possible
government of national unity and do not form any pat of such a government,"
the group said.
Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, is in the grip of a severe economic
crisis which critics blame on wrong polices by Mugabe such as his haphazard
fast-track land reform exercise that displaced established white commercial
farmers and replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately funded
The economic crisis that the World Bank has described as the worst in the
world outside a war zone is seen in the world's highest inflation rate that
analysts estimate at more than 1 000 000 percent, severe shortages of food
and every basic survival commodity. - ZimOnline
Mon 30 Jun 2008, 18:55 GMT
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States has prepared a draft text on
U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe that would ban arms sales and freeze assets
of specific individuals and firms after last week's widely condemned
But council diplomats said it will be difficult to persuade South Africa,
Russia, China and other U.N. Security Council members to accept a sanctions
resolution against Zimbabwe.
The seven-page text, titled "Draft Elements for a Chapter VII Sanctions
Resolution" and obtained in full by Reuters on Monday, says the council
would not recognize Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's June 27 re-election
and would impose an embargo on sales of arms or military hardware to Harare.
It asks the council to freeze the assets of and ban travel for anyone who
helped the government "undermine democratic processes" or supported
politically motivated violence.
The legally binding resolution would have the council "expressing deep
concern at the gross irregularities during the June 27 run-off presidential
election (and) the violence and intimidation perpetrated in the run-up to
the election that made impossible the holding of free and fair elections."
It also has the 15-nation council "condemning the continued beating,
violence and torture of civilians, sexual violence, and the displacement of
thousands of Zimbabweans, many of whom have been driven to take refuge in
The draft text condemns the "intimidation and violence directed against
supporters of the opposition political party, as well as the detention of
its leaders." It also demands that the government cooperate with
"non-partisan investigations of the political violence" between March and
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters he would probably circulate
the draft to the full council this week.
DIVIDED SECURITY COUNCIL
The Security Council is deeply divided on the issue of Zimbabwe and council
diplomats say that South Africa, which opposes the idea of sanctions against
President Robert Mugabe's government, has the backing of two powerful
veto-wielding council members -- Russia and China.
Elected Security Council members Indonesia and Vietnam, which usually prefer
to avoid intervening in what they see as other countries' internal affairs,
also appear to be supporting the South Africans, diplomats say.
Khalilzad said the "credibility of the council is at stake" because of its
statement a week ago that condemned the violence and restrictions on the
opposition because they made a free and fair election impossible.
"We spoke loudly and clearly, made demands that were ignored," he told
reporters. "If we do nothing, if there is no response, what does that say
about the council?"
Mugabe went to an African Union summit in Egypt on Monday after being
re-elected in a one-candidate election that was condemned by regional
monitors and many world leaders.
Envoys from Indonesia and Russia said they wanted the council to wait and
see what the AU summit produced on Zimbabwe before considering any action
the council could take. China's envoy told reporters Zimbabwe was an
Britain's U.N. Ambassador John Sawers acknowledged it was not clear if the
Western members of the Security Council would be able to persuade the full
council to adopt a sanctions resolution, but said they would try.
"I hope that there will be a climate whereby sanctions can be adopted by the
United Nations as well," he said. "That's what we'll be working for."
The council will also be looking to see what comes out of the AU summit,
Sawers said, adding that Britain would lobby the European Union to tighten
its own sanctions against Zimbabwe.
By Thomas Ndlovu
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
There is growing dissatisfaction in the ranks of Zimbabwe's opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) over an apparent lack of a strategy by
the party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, for confronting the Mugabe regime.
Senior party officials have said Mr Tsvangirai's leadership flaws and
"tactical miscalculations" are in danger of giving Robert Mugabe a lifeline
and prolonging the crisis. Senior MDC officials expressed disquiet over his
persistent failure to offer a clear direction.
"We haven't got a clear road map to end the Mugabe dictatorship other than
just crying to regional leaders for their intervention," said one official.
"In the rough and tumble of African politics, nothing has ever been achieved
by being a cry baby," said another associate of Mr Tsvangirai. "You ought to
get your act together and do what we all know needs to be done in this
continent to achieve power ... You confront your rival head on," the
Since pulling out of the presidential run-off, Mr Tsvangirai has been moving
in and out of the Dutch embassy to address the press, but without offering a
clear direction to his supporters over his party's next course of action.
The decision to boycott the presidential run-off was taken without
consultation, some officials revealed.
"In all probability, we would have all supported the decision to boycott the
poll if he had consulted us ... What we would have insisted on, however,
would have been a clear strategy about what to do next after the boycott. As
things stand now, there is no clarity on the way forward other than crying
for [the South African President, Thabo] Mbeki's ever-elusive help," said a
leader of one civic group.
"Even the decision to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy itself exemplifies
his unwise thinking, since this will only strengthen the perception created
by Mugabe that Morgan is in cahoots with Western powers," a party official
Internal critics of Mr Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist, say they are
unwilling to speak out for fear of being sidelined. Several of those
contacted by The Independent complained the party's decision-making
processes did not allow for open debate.
Mr Tsvangirai has been criticised by Zimbabwean bloggers for pulling out of
the run-off election: "You [Tsvangirai] are slowly letting the people of
Zimbabwe down. You should not be the one under pressure, that is for Mugabe.
But you are falling into his trap and playing his game," a blogger called
Chinja wrote on www.sokwanele.com.
One party official said: "He [Mr Tsvangirai] ought to inspire his supporters
to take to the streets [in civil disobedience]. His problem is that he is
too cautious. The masses are on his side, but they will only do so if he
leads them into that kind of action. They will not take to the streets if
they know their leader is in Dutch comfort."
Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
01 July 2008
Article by the Inkatha Freedom Party leader June 30 2008
My dear friends and fellow South Africans,
Mr Robert Mugabe's inauguration in Harare yesterday, if it was not deadly
serious, would go down in history as the most deranged piece of political
As the IFP participants in the previous observer missions to monitor
elections in Zimbabwe did in the past, every observer mission, including
those of SADC and the PAP, have rejected the result of this fraudulent
election. In no way at all did it reflect the will of the people. The IFP
supports the calls from SADC and the Pan African Parliament observer
missions that conditions be put in place for the holding of a free and fair
run-off as soon as possible. This should be made clear to Mr Mugabe in no
uncertain terms when he arrives in Egypt today.
An IFP member of parliament, Suzanne Vos, has reported to me that she
personally witnessed appalling intimidation and violence in the various
provinces of Zimbabwe where she had been assigned to observe not only the
Presidential run-off but various Parliamentary by-elections. The crimes
committed by the Zanu-PF thugs can only be classified in the same category
as Stalin's bloodthirsty crazed lieutenants in the former Soviet Union for
Ms Vos visited homes where elderly people (in one case a retired teacher and
his wife) had been brutally assaulted because the husband was a supporter of
On another occasion she witnessed a truck loaded with ZANU PF thugs openly
assault MDC supporters after they had left a meeting held on the private
property of an MDC Councillor. Even though two of the thugs present were
identified as being the sons of a former ZANU PF Senator (who had also been
identified as being among the assailants in the attack on the retired
teacher and his wife a few days previously) no arrests were made even though
Ms Vos reported her eye-witness accounts to the police.
After the closing of the polls, Ms Vos was situated alone at a polling
station at a rural school where the MDC had requested the presence of PAP
observers. Other members in her team in that area had spread out to cover
the counting as much as possible. During the day, while visiting 18 polling
stations in that Ward, MDC party agents had pleaded with the PAP observers
to "protect" them as they feared being murdered on their way home. Several
showed Ms Vos bruises on their bodies inflicted in previous "beatings" by
persons they said were "War Veterans".
Minutes before the ballot boxes were to be opened a group of men silently
entered the polling station blocking the door and forming a menacing line in
front of the election officials (who consisted of the principal of the
school and various teachers). Their presence was clearly unlawful and
Showing considerable courage, Ms Vos said the chief electoral officer
exorted the men to leave and quoted electoral law as to who was allowed to
be in the polling station during counting. He then pointed to the presence
of the Pan African Parliament observer. The men then slowly left.
Ms Vos was told the men were "War Veterans" and "Green Bombers" who had been
terrorising residents in the area.
Voters were told that "Operation Red Finger" meant they had to vote (and
show the red dye mark indicating they had done so) and then report to the
home of a local "War Veteran" nearby not only showing that they had voted
but they also had to write down the serial number on their ballot paper on
Ms Vos personally took the terrified MDC party agents away from the polling
station to a place where they said they would hide - an area in which the
burned out houses of MDC supporters were scattered throughout the township.
The party agents told Ms Vos they had not been able to sleep in their homes
for many weeks. The same stories of intimidation and destruction of property
were repeated to PAP observers throughout the country and is reflected in
the PAP Observer Mission's interim report.
Ms Vos also reported that she had to personally intervene with the
commanding officer of the police service in one area when MDC supporters
trying to hold a rally were threatened with the riot police - even though
they had obtained a High Court order permitting them to hold the rally.
The previous day, in the same area, Ms Vos had attended a rally held by
President Robert Mugabe where he told the audience that "a ball point pen
cannot compete with a bazooka... the MDC will never rule this country..."
Ms Vos observed hate speech in the State-controlled media against the
leadership of the MDC and open reporting of the war rhetoric which formed a
golden thread throughout the speeches of President Mugabe. Together with her
PAP colleagues she said she was "simply shattered" by the suffering of the
people of Zimbabwe. Their dignity in the midst of their plight was
awe-inspiring. Ms Vos said she was not once approached by beggars - when
citizens saw her PAP Observer Mission jacket they whispered: "Help us, we
are suffering... please help us" time and time again.
She has described to me how people are starving. The currency has been
rendered literally worthless. Citizens now describe their days starting from
zero... 0 0 1 means no breakfast, no lunch, a little food at dinner. 1 0 0
means some breakfast and no lunch or dinner.
But even as this appalling tragedy plays out, the entire Mugabe phenomenon,
cemented in stereotypes as it is, is baffling for many. Some in our ruling
party - but thankfully not many now - and outside lead us to believe that
the fiercest opposition to the Mugabe regime comes from the West, its
alleged stooges in the Movement for Democratic Change and the dispossessed
Today, I fear, few black South Africans would still not acknowledge that the
main victims of the regime's misrule have increasingly been ordinary black
Zimbabweans, Shona and Ndebele, urban and rural, even when an estimated
three million of those same black Zimbabweans live in exile among us. But
should we be surprised?
As our Northern neighbour slipped further into chaos in the late 1990s - and
I will not add to the countless accounts of the litany of misrule and
disasters that have befallen this, former, African jewel - Mr Mugabe's
tottering government has been buoyed by considerable populist support of the
Mr Mugabe continues to cannily justify his authoritarian misrule within a
discourse of redress for colonial injustice and imperialism. These
sentiments have resonated across Africa; large swathes of which feel
marginalised by the global economy and its mighty supranational institutions
and remain wedded to the Marxist narrative of the liberation struggle. When
Zimbabwe rebuilds and heals, as she will one day, we dare not ignore this
very real anger.
I watched Mr Mugabe's rousing welcome from many African delegates at the
World Development Summit in Johannesburg in 2002 - the same conference at
which he launched a scathing attack on Tony Blair and Britain's colonial
Two years later, at President Mbeki's inauguration, he received an equally
rapturous welcome from many Africans as he stood, immaculately tailored and
ramrod straight, in the hot autumn sunshine.
On one occasion, I said that something had to be done about Zimbabwe, at a
SADC meeting in Angola. This was after President Bush called on SADC to take
a decisive position. Not one minister agreed with me in public, but several
came up to me at teatime to express their private agreement.
But let us not paint this as an exclusively black-on-black error. The former
National Party government and human rights activists of all colours took a
long time before they started criticising Mr Mugabe. World leaders were no
different which is why the Matabele massacres went almost unnoticed, except,
of course, by the Matabele! Their spilled blood still cries out! Our failure
to speak up for Mr Mugabe's victims has a long history and may have
contributed to his sense of impunity.
And this is it. This is where we all, on this side of the Limpopo River,
have blundered. This is where lies our, South African, complicity in the
failure of Mr Mugabe's regime. We have let the situation in Zimbabwe
deteriorate so fast and so far without as much as a word of concern. Yet,
all along, those who march to the drum of freedom have celebrated human
rights, promoted reconciliation, and respected the rule of law and the
Given these obvious double standards in my own country, as an African, I
feel I am obliged to take some of the blame for Mr Mugabe's belief, fostered
by many ordinary Africans across our continent that he is right to hang on -
a truly tragic conflict of loyalty.
Yet for all its past neglect - and the wild cheers for Mr Mugabe -Africa's
stand on human rights is changing and those who once seemed beyond the reach
of justice may find that public statements of support from fellow leaders
will evaporate once they step down or are forced from power.
Accountability is on the march and better late than never. Let us hope it
comes soon to Zimbabwe. Tonight, those of us who are believers in God or a
Higher Being, should not only bow our knee and say a prayer for the
Zimbabwean people, we should ask for forgiveness for allowing such an evil
to be perpetrated on our borders.
God bless the people of Zimbabwe.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
This article first appeared in the Inkatha Freedom Party leader's weekly
online newsletter to the nation June 30 2008
Nation sports writer CHARLES NYENDE was in Harare to cover the Kenya-Zimbabwe Football World Cup qualifier a week before the controversial presidential election run-off that saw President Mugabe sworn in for another term.
There was a roar of disapproval. Suddenly, in unison, the fans started raining from the jam-packed stadium tens of thousands of glossy, full-colour magazines extolling President Mugabe’s achievements. The campaign literature had been distributed at the gates to all entering the stadium.
As the papers wafted down slowly in the swirling wind, some being blown onto the playing pitch, it was a spectacular show of what some of the people in Zimbabwe thought of their leader.
Just not right
I had arrived in Zimbabwe with the Kenya team a day before the match. The moment you enter Harare International Airport, you sense something is just not right. The airport is small and modern, glass and carpet. But it is eerily empty with little activity in the duty-free shops, the corridors and the lounges.
The workers in the airport appear distracted. You feel some sort of sadness or fear, or both. Zimbabwe was facing a presidential election rerun with President Mugabe having vowed never to hand over power to his opposition challenger Tsvangirai who had won the first round but missed out on an absolute majority.
The army, the police and ruling party militias were on the rampage against opposition supporters, with nearly a hundred having been killed and tens of thousands run out of their homes.
As I filled out the immigration entry form at the airport, I was struck by the requirement that I declare the foreign currency in my possession. In all my travels in Africa, Asia and Europe, this is the first time in ages I have come across such a requirement.
Maybe it is because I am here with the Kenya national team against the home side, for, mercifully, I am not asked to show the foreign money as I clear with immigration. It does not amount to much anyway.
The only bank changing currency into Zimbabwean dollars (Z$) at the airport indicates it is exchanging $1 for an astronomical Z$7.4 billion!
I salivate at the prospect of becoming an instant billionaire, but opt to carry out my exchange in the city in the hope of a better deal. It is a decision I later regret.
The black market rate in Zimbabwe is around $1 for Z$6 billion. Authorities, I am informed, have pushed the official rate higher than the street trade to attract much needed foreign currency.
We hit the street and I am amazed at the infrastructure and aesthetics of Harare. The roads are wide and smooth. Buildings are spruce. There is plenty of space, parks and gardens. It is a well-planned city, such a contrast to the chaotic Nairobi!
My taxi man, Bebe, informs me with pride that there are no slums in Harare. This is surely a result of the brutal government demolition of shantytowns in 2005.
The drive from the airport to town takes about 20 minutes. In a normal bustling African city, it could have taken much longer. But not here. There is hardly any traffic, vehicular and human. The city appears deserted.
Millions of Zimbabweans have fled to other countries because of the political situation.
“Most people chose to stay indoors. The situation is not good. There can be violence at any time particularly in the densely populated areas,” Bebe tells me.
There is little trading activity in the streets. Hawkers and roadside traders are scarce here. On a few streets, you come across green grocers selling vegetables and fruits. Business does not look brisk.
Interestingly, the only itinerant trader you see with frequency is the mobile phone airtime seller for the three providers — Econet, Telecel and Net-One. It is mainly carried out by young men who brandish the cards like priceless items.
Wireless telecommunication is one of the fastest growing industries in Africa. But in Harare, unlike Nairobi, Dar or Kampala, you will be hard-pressed to spot mobile phone shops. Getting a SIM card is near impossible despite the demand. One can hire or buy one on the black market for $100 (Z$600 billion, Sh6,200). Line congestion is common.
At the hotel, I pay for my accommodation in US dollars. It is a requirement for foreigners to settle their hotel bills in foreign currency, a notice on the wall proclaims.
At my first breakfast, I am served tea without milk, and not by choice.
“Sorry, we could not get milk today. Maybe tomorrow,” the helpful waiter said as he served me another cup of strong tea nonchalantly. I am only entitled to two slices of bread. I have no complaints with the rest of my meals though.
Ugali, called sadza, beef and chicken are available. Such a meal will set you back Z$40 billion at an average priced restaurant.
You will not see a starving person in Harare but, ironically, food commodities are scarce. Shelves in shops are empty. Long queues for bread are common. The bread costs Z$2 billion.
“Some people buy all the bread in the shop and then sell it at a higher price on the streets,” Bebe explains. I have no need to line up for bread, but I am forced to go to the black market for a newspaper. I fail to get the Z$200 million Herald, a government owned daily, at the news vendor. The security guard at my hotel manages to get it for me for Z$1 billion at the black market, five times more than the official price.
The askari tells me that there is a scarcity of print paper and that foreign papers, mainly from South Africa, are in higher circulation than local ones. Indeed, it is easier to get the Mail and Guardian of South Africa than the Herald even though it is the Government mouth piece.
Zimbabwe is reeling under hyper-inflation. On my first and second day, I was charged Z$10 billion per hour at the business centre in the hotel. On the third day, I was informed the rate had gone up to Z$30 billion per hour.
There is a joke here that when you enter a Harare bar, you order several rounds of beer at ago to avoid suffering a price increase in between rounds. Jokes aside, night life in Harare is almost non-existent. Most restaurants close early to allow their workers go home safely. Night spots are sparsely patronised.
A group of Kenyan visitors and I were the only revellers in one recommended town centre bar and restaurant. With a bottle of beer costing Z$16 billion, we could say we had drank billions at one sitting.
Because of the high inflation, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has kept on printing money in ever increasing denominations. The highest valued note is now Z$50 billion. Smaller denominations exist of Z$10 million, 100 million and 500 million.
If you get change in Z$10 million, a bag will be handy to carry the stack. A close look at the bank notes shows although it is legal tender, it actually carries an expiry date. I came across some notes of Z$200,000 discarded in the streets. Little wonder. They were expired (May 2008) and their value was also worthless. At the current rates, the notes were the equivalent of Kenya cents 0.2!
Every bank you pass by in the morning has long queues of people hoping to withdraw some money. The banks only allow a few billion Z$ to be withdrawn by people backed by Zanu-PF slogans.
For a person who has been following the political campaigns in Zimbabwe, I was struck by the lack of a visible opposition presence. Campaign posters and billboards of Tsvangirai were completely absent.
International media reports were heavy on the violence in Zimbabwe, but I never came across fighting.
I had, however, been warned not to walk on the streets with a camera or venture outside town. I needed little persuasion. Occasionally, youth in Zanu-PF bandanas could be seen on the streets.
Other images in the media showing Mugabe greeting ecstatic crowds at his campaign rallies pointed to a divided nation.
My impressions were captured by words from one of the Zimbabwe football players who travelled to Nairobi for the first tie against Harambee Stars.
“I was in Nairobi some years back. There is a lot of difference. You people have gone up. In Zimbabwe things have just been going down,” he said.