By Opheera McDoom 1 hour, 22 minutes ago
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - The African Union called on Tuesday for a
national unity government in Zimbabwe after the widely-condemned re-election
of President Robert Mugabe in a poll scarred by violence.
A summit of the pan-African body, which had been divided over what to do
about Zimbabwe, adopted a resolution calling for Mugabe to enter
negotiations with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who withdrew from the
election because of violence.
The resolution fell short of the much tougher statement wanted by some
African nations but it was a rare AU intervention in an internal political
dispute and an unprecedented rebuff to Mugabe, previously feted as a
Before the two-day summit ended, Zimbabwe's neighbor Botswana called for
Mugabe to be barred from both the AU and southern African regional body
It was the toughest public statement from one of Zimbabwe's neighbors since
Mugabe was sworn in on Sunday following a one-candidate election condemned
by monitors and much of world opinion as violent and unfair.
"In our considered view... the representatives of the current government in
Zimbabwe should be excluded from attending SADC (Southern African
Development Community) and African Union meetings," Botswana Vice President
Mompati Merafhe said, according to a text of his remarks.
Botswana said Mugabe's participation in African meetings "would give
unqualified legitimacy to a process which cannot be considered legitimate."
It said the government and opposition must be treated as equal in any
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has also called for Mugabe, 84, to be
suspended from the AU after an election which extended the veteran leader's
The Botswana statement underlined the deep rifts both within Africa as a
whole and among Zimbabwe's neighbors.
Regional power South Africa, the designated mediator in Zimbabwe, has
resisted open condemnation of Mugabe. The summit called for SADC mediation
The AU summit in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh was dominated by a deepening
political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, whose once prosperous economy is
racked by the world's highest rate of hyper-inflation, food and fuel
shortages and 80 percent unemployment.
Mugabe addressed the final session of the two-day summit, senior delegates
Tsvangirai withdrew from the poll because of the violence. He said Mugabe
loyalists had killed 86 of his supporters in the Movement for Democratic
Summit delegates said earlier the leaders were divided between those who
wanted a strong statement about Zimbabwe and others who were reluctant to
publicly censure Mugabe.
The adopted resolution was submitted by a security troika of SADC comprising
Tanzania, Swaziland and Angola, which had called for the vote to be
Negotiations look like being difficult despite the pressure applied by the
summit, which called on the two sides to refrain from action that "may
negatively impact on the climate of dialogue.."
Mugabe's spokesman rejected ideas being floated for a Kenyan-style
power-sharing deal and opposition Secretary-Tendai Biti, who was jailed for
two weeks before the vote, said earlier there was no chance of negotiations.
"Kenya is Kenya. Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe. We have our own history of evolving
dialogue and resolving political impasses the Zimbabwean way. The Zimbabwean
way, not the Kenyan way. Not at all," Mugabe spokesman George Charamba said.
Biti said Mugabe's decision to go ahead with the June 27 election "totally
and completely exterminated any prospects of a negotiated settlement."
Biti added that no talks were taking place between the opposition and ruling
(Additional reporting by Cynthia Johnston and Daniel Wallis in Sharm
el-Sheikh, Paul Simao and Marius Bosch in Johannesburg;
Writing by Barry Moody; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)
Tuesday, the Zimbabwean government rejected suggestions for a Kenya-style
unity government with the opposition and rebuffed Western criticism of a
disputed election victory of President Robert Mugabe, saying, "They can go
hang a thousand times."
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the African Union leaders' summit
at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where tension is mounting
against the presence of Mugabe, Zimbabwe's presidential spokesman George
Charamba said Kenya was not Zimbabwe and that there was no need for a unity
Mugabe is expected to address the summit later in the day amid differences
over the crisis in his country.
Charamba questioned the West's credentials to speak about the situation in
He also attacked Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's calls for military
action on Zimbabwe and for its expulsion from the African Union, saying he
is not qualified to speak on Zimbabwe as his hands 'drip of blood'.
Odinga, as the opposition leader of Kenya's orange democratic movement, had
to fight for months with President Mwai Kibaki to get a role in the Kenyan
government. He recommended Zimbabwe's suspension from the AU until Mugabe
allows 'free and fair elections' in the country. He also warned against the
AU recognizing Mugabe as a legitimately-elected president.
Thokozani Khupe, the vice-president of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change, who was denied entry into the summit conference center,
held a news conference Tuesday to urge African leaders to snub Mugabe.
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tue Jul 1, 2008 8:16pm BST
PARIS (Reuters) - The European Union will only accept a Zimbabwean
government headed by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, French Foreign
Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country has taken over the EU presidency,
said on Tuesday.
Kouchner's comments were broadcast after the African Union called in a
summit for a national unity government in Zimbabwe following the
widely-condemned re-election of President Robert Mugabe in a poll scarred by
"The European Union will accept no government other than a government led by
Mr Tsvangirai," Kouchner told France 2 television.
"We are the French presidency. With the (European) Commission, we are
clear -- the government is illegitimate if it is not led by the head of the
opposition, Mr Tsvangirai," Kouchner said, adding that the second-round
ballot, which Tsvangirai pulled out of, was a "farce".
Kouchner called on the African Union to recognise Tsvangirai as the
country's legitimate leader.
"The African Union should not accept anything other than the leadership of
this representative of Zimbabwe's people," he said.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy and Laure Bretton)
Afrol News, Norway
afrol News, 1 July - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has been a big
spender of banknote paper due to the country's extreme inflation and
constant need to print new and bigger banknotes, will not be provided with
more paper from today. This was announced by the Bank's German supplier,
which has given into Berlin boycott calls.
The Munich-based company Giesecke & Devrient GmbH today decided "to cease
delivering banknote paper to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with immediate
effect," according to a statement forwarded to afrol News. The company says
it has taken this step "in response to an official request from the German
government and calls for international sanctions by the European Union and
"Our decision is a reaction to the political tension in Zimbabwe, which is
mounting significantly rather than easing as expected, and takes account of
the critical evaluation by the international community, German government
and general public," explains Karsten Ottenberg, Chairman of the Management
Board and CEO of Giesecke & Devrient.
In delivering banknotes and banknote paper, the Bavarian company is subject
to strict rules defined by the World Bank. The company in the statement says
it continues to "rely on the political and moral assessment provided by
international trade regulators."
The latest update on Zimbabwe's incredible inflation is that it has soared
to an incomprehensive 9 million percent, rising 7.3 million percentage
points from May to June. These are the figures from Zimbabwe government's
official statistics agency, the Central Statistical Office (CSO). The
government however stopped issuing inflation statistics in February this
With this hyperinflation, Zimbabwean banknotes are losing value by the
minute. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe thus has been forced to print new
Zimbabwe dollar bills at a speedy paste, adding an extra zero on a regular
basis. Within short time, however, banknotes get a lower value than the
paper they are printed on, in a literary meaning.
With the cancellation of supplies of banknote paper from Germany, the Harare
Reserve Bank will have to look for other suppliers that could ship cheaper
paper of less quality to Zimbabwe; an option that seems logical as the risk
of falsifications is closing into zero. Or the bank could stop printing
Zimbabwe dollars, which also makes sense as the population is moving away
from the non-trustable currency, rather trading in goods or foreign
According to the latest official figures, one US$ now trades more than 12.2
billion Zimbabwe dollars. On the black market, however, US dollars trade
several times that rate.
Zimbabwean authorities recently have indicated that a redenomination of the
Zimbabwe dollar is imminent. For that, however, new banknotes will have to
be printed, and banknote paper will have to be bought. It is not likely that
any foreign producer will accept a payment in Zimbabwe dollars for such
By staff writer
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP)--Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe didn't
object to an African Union resolution on Tuesday that called for a
power-sharing deal between his country's political foes, Egypt's foreign
"We didn't hear Zimbabwe say 'no' to the resolution. They did not object to
the resolution," ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told reporters in the Red
Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where African leaders wound up a two-day
"Mugabe didn't leave before the resolution was adopted. He said there is an
ongoing dialogue with (the Democratic Movement for Change) as we were
speaking," he said.
The A.U. summit adopted a resolution calling for dialogue between Mugabe and
the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and for the creation of a national unity
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 July 2008
Posted to the web 1 July 2008
MDC Vice-President Thokozani Khupe said African leaders are aware there is a
'big problem' in Zimbabwe that urgently needs to be dealt with before it's
Speaking to Newsreel from Johannesburg, on her way back home from the AU
summit in Egypt, Khupe said 40 African leaders supported the MDC victory in
the March elections. Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he won outright
against Robert Mugabe, but was denied victory by election officials who
manipulated the figures. The MDC also wrestled control of parliament after
winning 100 seats, while 10 others went to the MDC faction led by Arthur
Mutambara. One went to an independent and Zanu-PF got 99 seats. Of course it
did take government 5 weeks to release the figures so the Zanu PF loss could
have been even greater.
'Everyone is aware that Zimbabwe is burning, that Zimbabwe is on fire and
that it is important to save it before it is destroyed completely,' Khupe
The MDC vice-president was leading a five-member party delegation on a
lobbying expedition to the AU summit. The delegation was able to meet at
least 40 Heads of State who sympathised with the MDC.
'We spoke to the African leaders who understood our problem. We took joy
from the fact that during a foreign ministers' conference, a lot of
delegates wanted the Zimbabwe issue resolved urgently. This was after some
countries unsuccessfully tried to block the issue from being put on the
agenda,' Khupe added.
South Africa, Gabon and Eritrea had lobbied other foreign ministers to stop
them discussing the crisis, while recommending that the crisis should only
be dealt with by the SADC bloc.
'What surprised us was that so many foreign ministers stood up and demanded
that the Zimbabwe issue be dealt with once and for all. They felt the crisis
had dragged on for a long time and that it was time African leaders came up
with a solution,' she said.
The MDC is pushing the AU to appoint an envoy who will help Thabo Mbeki
mediate talks between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe to create a
transitional government and prepare for fresh elections. The MDC beat
Mugabe's Zanu-PF in municipal, district council and parliamentary elections
in March, the first time the regime hasn't held a majority in those branches
of government since independence in 1980.
But even though Mugabe might have come under pressure behind close doors,
the AU leaders were very careful not to criticise him publicly. The
international community, and Zimbabweans, have been extremely disappointed
by this approach. The credibility of Africa is clearly on the line here and
if the leaders do not take a much firmer approach to Robert Mugabe, the
entire Southern African region will be negatively affected.
By Gerald Harper ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 1, 2008 ⋅
Botswana has become the first African country to publicly declare that it
will not recognize Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe and called for the
African Union on Tuesday to exclude Zimbabwe from its meetings because a
disputed election did not give the government legitimacy.
“In our considered view, it therefore follows that the representatives of
the current government in Zimbabwe should be excluded from attending SADC
and African Union meetings,” Vice President Mompati Merafhe said.
It has emerged that during the closed door session on Tuesday evening, the
Vice President of Botswana Mompati Merafhe said for all the reasons outlined
in the reports of the observer missions of SADC, the AU and the Pan African
Parliament, his country “does not confer legitimacy on the government of
Merafhe proceeded to call for the exclusion of the “representatives of the
current Zimbabwean ‘government’” from all future SADC and African meetings,
saying their participation “would give unqualified legitimacy to a process
which cannot be considered legitimate.”
Botswana also added its voice on Thabo Mbeki’s mediation efforts,”The
personalities for the mediation process should be acceptable to both
parties. It is also Botswana’s strong view that the mediation process must
treat both parties as equals,” Merafhe said.
Senegalese President Abdulaye Wade spoke for more than an hour, saying that
the second round was void and that he had tried to convince Robert Mugabe
not to go through with the poll.
The Nigerian,Swaziland,Senegal,Tanzania and Kenya delegation echoed Botswana’s
view, saying they too would refuse to recognize 84-year-old Mugabe as
Zimbabwe’s sixth president.
Italy on Monday became the first Europen country to cut diplomatic ties with
Zimbabwe,recalling its Ambassador Mario Bologna.Other 15 Europen countries
are expected to follow suit.
Canada last week unveiled sanctions against the Zimbabwe government,and
hinted it might also severe its diplomatic ties.
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 July 2008
Posted to the web 1 July 2008
The pressure on Robert Mugabe to end his violent regime is mounting
following last week's "sham" election, with a growing number of
international leaders and businesses disassociating themselves from the
On Friday, as the one-man poll got under way in Zimbabwe, Germany said it
had asked a Munich-based firm to stop supplying Zimbabwe with paper used for
banknotes there. A development ministry spokesperson told a news conference
on Friday that there was "serious concerns" that the firm's supplies are
"providing additional support to the system in Zimbabwe, which from our
point of view is not acceptable". Zimbabwe's financial collapse has seen
Mugabe's government responding to runaway inflation by printing more and
more banknotes, of ever higher denominations.
Meanwhile, after Mugabe was sworn in for his sixth term as president
following his "landslide victory" in the run off elections, Italian
officials announced on Monday they had recalled their Zimbabwean ambassador,
for consultations. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini ordered
Ambassador Mario Bologna home, just days after he called for all European
Union diplomats to be withdrawn from Zimbabwe in a protest against Mugabe's
The ministry said in a statement that a decision to pull out all EU
ambassadors would reflect the policy of "complete firmness and disapproval
that is shared by the international community".
The Italian ministry praised the EU's work in Zimbabwe but said withdrawing
the bloc's ambassadors would have "political significance" and urged other
EU governments to follow Rome's example.
At the same time, British supermarket giant, Tesco, which buys up to Â£1m
worth of goods from Zimbabwe each year, announced that it would stop
sourcing products while the political crisis persists there. The
announcement came a week after the group said it would be "irresponsible" to
cut support to small farmers under the current conditions.
Supermarkets have been criticised for selling produce from the country,
where millions are starving under the Mugabe regime. Tesco was among a
number of British retailers who sell vegetables ranging from sugar snap peas
to fine beans, all sourced from Zimbabwe. The firm said it had taken the
"difficult decision" to cut trade "until there is an end to the current
A spokesperson said: "We also attach a very high priority to ensuring that
this decision does least harm to the workers and their dependants who have
supplied us from Zimbabwe. We cannot continue to support them through trade,
but are urgently finding ways to support them by other means".
The retailer said it could not ignore the escalating crisis and the feeling
among the international community that further action was needed to increase
pressure for change.
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
1 July 2008
Posted to the web 1 July 2008
Ramped up pressure from the West, especially the U.S. and Britain, is having
a perverse effect on African leaders gathered in Egypt. The harder the West
leans, the more they circle the wagons around Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe feels so comfortable among peers at the African Union summit at Sharm
El-Sheikh that his spokesman Monday told critics to "go hang", and his
bodyguards shoved a British reporter asking pesky questions to the
Thus far most African heads of state attending the meeting have remained
mum, at least in public, about Mugabe's re-election, which Washington calls
a "sham" and the AU's own election monitors have criticised sharply.
"The vote fell short of the African Union's standards of democratic
elections," the monitors announced Monday in Harare, suggesting that
"constructive dialogue" between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai is the best way forward.
Nelson Mandela and his select group of elder statesmen also weighed in
Monday, urging the AU to declare the Jun. 27 election illegitimate, appoint
a special envoy to pursue "robust mediation", and pressure the Mugabe
government to respect human rights and withdraw its recent ban on activity
by humanitarian groups.
Mandela formed a group of "Elders" last year to "speak loudly and freely"
about current events. Other elders include former U.S. President Jimmy
Carter, Brazil's former leader Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Mozambique's Graca
Machel and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
In their statement yesterday, the Elders noted that: "The crisis in Zimbabwe
affects all Africans. And the fate of all Zimbabweans is on our conscience."
Underlining the regional commitment to good governance and the rule of law,
the Elders stressed that AU "leadership is needed at this pivotal moment. It
can help Zimbabwe return to the greatness that inspired so many of us during
its proud history."
Zimbabwe's history is precisely the sticking point for many African leaders,
who recall with respect Mugabe's role in overthrowing British-ruled Rhodesia
in 1980. Since that time, Mugabe has ruled the country without a break.
His most vocal supporter at the AU meeting, Gabon's Omar Bongo, is the only
African leader holding onto power longer -- since 1967.
A few heads of state, including Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga, have
spoken out in favour of a negotiated settlement between Mugabe and the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but thus far neither the AU
nor the Southern African Development Community has taken a formal stand on
the recent election.
South Africa, which under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki has long
pursued the failed strategy of "quiet diplomacy", has now adopted a public
stance calling for dialogue.
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Zuma Dlamini told African leaders gathered in
Egypt that: "Zanu-PF and the MDC must enter into negotiations which will
lead to the formation of a transitional government that can extricate
Zimbabwe from its current political challenges."
South Africa has been hesitant to criticise Mugabe due to the help received
by the ruling African National Congress while pursuing its own goals of
self-determination over many years.
But the flow of some 3 million impoverished Zimbabweans across the border
has begun to provoke tension and social unrest in South Africa, reflected in
several recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence.
Elsewhere in Africa respect for Mugabe's earlier accomplishments, combined
with widely shared distaste and anger over colonial rule, have helped to
make leaders wary of criticising him.
Rumours about what the AU will do abound. One report suggests that the
leaders will condemn violence and call for dialogue, but stop short of
criticising the results of the runoff election.
The MDC, which won more votes than Mugabe's ZANU-PF during a March election
but failed to receive a majority, pulled out of a planned run-off just days
before it was held, citing widespread violence against members of the
opposition. Thus last Friday's poll was transformed from a run-off into a
walkover by Mugabe, who claims to have won 85 percent of the votes cast by
42 percent of eligible voters.
Although calls for a power-sharing arrangement are growing, the key question
is how a unity government would take shape.
Many in the West look to the détente reached after violently disputed
elections in Kenya last December. But neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai appear
willing to take the back-seat in a unity government.
In a statement from his jail cell Tuesday, MDC second-in-command Tendai Biti
vehemently denied that talks between the two parties are taking place,
calling reports to that effect "malicious".
On Friday, Tsvangirai told an African radio station that he has no intention
of becoming a "junior partner" in Zimbabwe's government after winning the
Mugabe, meanwhile, cites Friday's election as his mandate to continue in
power -- despite numerous reports on Zimbabwean voters being forced by
intimidation and violence to go to the polls.
Nonetheless, South Africa's Business Day reported today that Mbeki's envoys
are hard at work in Harare, trying to broker a power-sharing agreement
acceptable to the two parties and the AU, and are "on the verge" of a deal.
Washington is also calling for mediation and negotiation, but has other
plans as well. Yesterday U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay
Khalizad warned that the U.S. will continue pressing for multilateral
sanctions against Zimbabwe in the U.N., but may also impose stricter
According to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, such sanctions could
include a travel ban on government officials, economic sanctions aimed at
depriving the regime of external funds, and possibly an arms embargo.
July 1, 2008
HARARE (AFP) - Robert Mugabe's holding of a one-man election has killed off
any prospect of a negotiated political settlement in Zimbabwe, the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change's number three leader said
"While the MDC has pursued dialogue in a bid to establish a government of
national healing before June 12, the sham election on June 27, 2008, totally
and completely exterminated any prospect of a negotiated settlement," the
party's secretary-general Tendai Biti and chief negotiator said in a
Biti, who is currently on bail on treason charges, said suggestions that the
MDC had been holding talks with Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and were on the verge
of agreeing to form a national union government were false and malicious.
"There are recent widespread reports that Zanu-PF and MDC are talking and
are about to conclude an agreement to form a government of national unity.
Nothing could be as malicious and as further from the truth," he said.
"As a matter of fact there are no talks or discussions taking place between
the two parties and most importantly, there is no agreement in the offing."
Speaking to AFP, Biti described the vote as "an exercise in madness".
"It showed us we were dealing with people who were not ready for dialogue.
Before June 27 you could say everyone was a loser because they could argue
they did not win the 29th of March election so it was a give and take
"Now we have made it clear that June 27 would lock the arteries of
Asked if that meant there could be no further dialogue, he replied:
"Dialogue to achieve what?"
Mugabe, leader of the former British colony since 1980, was sworn in for a
new five-year term as president on Sunday after going ahead with a run-off
ballot despite the withdrawal of MDC leader and first round winner Morgan
Biti was the MDC's chief negotiator in a mediation process between the
opposition and ruling party presided over by South African President Thabo
Mbeki but which has made little headway.
He was arrested on treason charges on June 12 as he stepped off a plane at
Harare airport having flown back from South Africa to campaign for the
run-off and kept on remand for a fortnight.
Biti's comments seem to contradict recent statements from Tsvangirai who
indicated in newspaper interviews at the weekend that he wanted to hold
talks with Mugabe and even held out the possibility of the veteran leader
remaining as a ceremonial head of state under a rewritten constitution.
At his inauguration on Sunday, Mugabe put out feelers to the MDC by saying
he wanted to hold a dialogue which could "minimise our differences and
enhance the area of unity and cooperation".
The MDC's chief spokesman Nelson Chamisa reacted warily by saying it was
hard to reconcile his comments with the violence on the ground but
nevertheless said a negotiated settlement that leads to free and fair
elections is "our only exit out of the crisis".
Tsvangirai decided to pull out of the run-off after a wave of deadly attacks
on MDC supporters that he blamed on pro-Mugabe thugs. The MDC leader was
also detained by police on five occasions during the course of the run-off
campaign and even had his campaign buses impounded.
SW Radio Africa (London)
1 July 2008
Posted to the web 1 July 2008
We received reports from Chiredzi and Zaka constituencies that ZANU PF
officials and militia have continued to assault innocent villagers, accusing
them of voting for the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the Presidential
Chiredzi farmer and activist Gerry Whitehead said ZANU-PF youth militia have
embarked on a witch hunt for 20 people at Mkwasine Estate, who they claim
voted for Tsvangirai. Several people have been beaten and harassed.
Whitehead said Major Edward Msimeki and a war veteran named Mutemasango, are
hunting for the Chiredzi South Parliamentary candidate Joseph Chirove. It is
believed that they want to kill him for being the leader of the MDC in that
area. The 2 also tried to abduct the councillor for Ward 15 Chiredzi, but he
was lucky and escaped through his bedroom window.
The outspoken farmer said Lands officials, along with local A2 settlers,
have now stolen 6 tractors and 2 cane loaders from the yard of his
Engineering Company in Chiredzi. He reported this to the Chiredzi police but
they said that they could not interfere. They referred him back to the Lands
officials, who are the ones recruiting A2 settlers and looting from the
Whitehead said: "This is daylight robbery and there is not a thing I can do
A group of about 12 MDC officials who were forced to go into hiding and have
lost their jobs, passed through the Chiredzi area this week. They told local
MDC officials that they do not have any means to survive while they are
fleeing from state sponsored violence.
Many MDC officials and supporters have been victimised in ways that are not
being documented. The party is struggling to assist as many of them as
possible, but they say they are overwhelmed and in need of some assistance
July 1, 2008
By Daniel Howden in Harare
HARARE - 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 Mahindra 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."
If ever there was a reason for military intervention!! In view of Mugabe's
welcome in Sharm - this is one of the many ghastly accounts of reality in
Zimbabwe which surely the world cannot ignore.
By Trymore Magomana | Harare Tribune Correspondent | Tuesday, July 1,
Zimbabwe, Harare--- In a revelation of the emerging thinking in
ZANU-PF, now that the election is over, George Charamba came out Tuesday and
gloated that 'detractors' of the current Zimbabwe government can go hang and
that there was no way Robert Mugabe will step down from power.
Charamba, who is the official spokesperson for Robert Mugabe, made his
comments when the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the majority party
in Zimbabwe's House of Assembly, indicated that contrary to the widely held
perception that ZANU-PF and MDC were in talks for a government of national
unity, there were negotiations between the two parties.
Leaders at the AU summit, in its second and final day Tuesday, have
been unwilling to publicly criticize Mugabe and instead are gently pushing
behind the scenes that he accept some sort of power-sharing agreement with
But Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba sounded resistant to proposals
about sharing power and told reporters that the 84-year-old Mugabe would not
"He's a few days into office and you expect him to retire, do you? ...
Five days have expired, not even a week after. ... Why is the issue of the
retirement of the president of Zimbabwe such an obsession for the West?" he
"He has come here as president of Zimbabwe and he will go home as
president of Zimbabwe, and when you visit Zimbabwe he will be there as the
president of all the people of Zimbabwe," Charamba told reporters.
The United Nations has "made it clear" that dialogue between Mugabe
and his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, is necessary, U.N. Deputy
Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told reporters at this Egyptian Red Sea
"It is the hope of the U.N. that the African Union and African leaders
will get their act together to address this issue," she said.
The United States, Britain and other European countries have widely
condemned Zimbabwe's runoff. The U.S. is pushing for more financial and
travel sanctions against Mugabe supporters and is urging the U.N. Security
Council to impose an arms embargo.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the African Union to
reject the result of the runoff, and France says it considers Mugabe's
Charamba had harsh words for Western pressure: "They can go hang. They
can go and hang a thousand times."
He also demanded that Zimbabwe be left to determine its own future.
"The way out is the way defined by the Zimbabwe people free from
outside interference, and that is exactly what will resolve the matter," he
In Zimbabwe, there also were strong doubts about an agreement, even as
Tsvangirai left the Dutch Embassy, where he had fled for safety after
announcing his withdrawal from the runoff because of state-sponsored
violence against his supporters.
During public speeches at the summit's opening Monday, most AU leaders
spoke of the "challenges" Zimbabwe is facing and none said anything harsh
But Jendayi Frazer, the assistant U.S. secretary of state for African
affairs, said she believed that in private, the leaders were going to "have
very, very strong words for him."
Key African leaders have long had close ties to Mugabe, renowned as a
campaigner against white rule and colonialism and Zimbabwe's ruler since its
independence in 1980. They are also reluctant to be seen as backing the
West - former colonial rulers - against a fellow African.
Meanwhile, Egyptian security ramped up restrictions Tuesday on
journalists covering the summit after a British TV crew got into a verbal
exchange with Mugabe the previous day. Many reporters were not allowed to
leave the press area.
The confrontation began when British network ITN approached Mugabe
outside the conference hall and asked how he could regard himself as
president. The Zimbabwean leader responded that it was on the same basis as
Brown's being the British prime minister. Mugabe then said the reporter
asked "stupid questions." TV footage showed Mugabe's guards pushing the
As the situation stands in Zimbabwe right now, with inflation at 8 000
000 %, and unemployment at 95% percent it is hard to imagine that this
ZANU-PF government will last another day. But, if the past is to be an
indication, as long as Mugabe's friends are doing okay, it is possible that
Robert Mugabe will serve his sixth term to its completion. It is business as
usual for ZANU-PF leaders and supporters. -- Harare Tribune News.
July 01 2008 at 08:23PM
Harare - As African Union (AU) leaders meeting in Egypt continued to
debate a solution to Zimbabwe's political crisis white farmers in the
country continued to be chased off their farms, despite an order from a
regional court protecting them from eviction.
AU heads of state were meeting for a second day in the Egyptian resort
of Sharm el Sheikh for a summit overshadowed by Zimbabwean leader Robert
Mugabe's controversial reelection as president last week in elections he
Three African observer teams, including a 40-strong AU team, have
concluded the election, which was characterised by violence and was
boycotted by the opposition, was undemocratic.
Despite Mugabe coming under growing international and African
condemnation, state-backed youth militia continued their attacks on
supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.
South Africa's Business Day newspaper reported that the remaining few
white farmers in the country were packing their bags following renewed
attacks by the militia, also called war veterans, at the weekend.
Among the victims of the latest attacks are farmer Mike Campbell and
his family, who had obtained an order from a regional court protecting them
from eviction under the government's controversial land reform programme.
The elderly Campbell, his wife and his son-in-law were abducted for
several hours and beaten, with the husband and wife sustaining broken bones,
the Justice for Agriculture (JAG) group in Zimbabwe reported.
The attack came despite the tribunal of the regional political body,
the Southern African Development Community (SADC), ordering the Zimbabwean
government to halt the eviction of Campbell's farm, pending a full hearing
in Zimbabwe on the legality of the land seizures.
In March the tribunal extended that protection to a further 73
farmers. Their case is due to be heard in the Namibia-based court later this
month. - Sapa-dpa
By Louis Weston in Harare
Last Updated: 8:39PM BST 01/07/2008
Battered and bruised, his face covered in cuts and his ear grossly swollen,
an elderly farmer still swore not to abandon his legal fight against Robert
Mugabe, despite the beating from his thugs.
Mike Campbell, 75, is the lead plaintiff out of a group of 77 suing Mr
Mugabe at the regional Southern African Development Community tribunal in
the Namibian capital Windhoek, seeking to have Zimbabwe's seizures of
white-owned land illegal.
The proceedings, known as Campbell v Mugabe, are a clear challenge to the
Zimbabwean leader, and as his 're-election' in a one-candidate race was
announced Mr Campbell, along with his wife Angela and son-in-law Ben Freeth,
was abducted by a gang of Zanu-PF supporters and all three savagely beaten
for several hours.
"It just makes me want to go more," he said defiantly in his hospital bed in
Harare, where he is being treated for concussion, a broken collarbone, and
"I know that our case is a thorn in the government's flesh. It's an
embarrassment to the president. Anything that's an embarrassment to the
president pleases me greatly.
"What option have we got? We can choose two ways of handling it, either run
away or you stick it out. I think we have got to the stage where we are very
close to the turning point on the sticking it out bit."
Mr Campbell, who arrived in Zimbabwe 34 years ago from South Africa, where
an ancestor of his, a captain in the Dutch East Indies Company settled in
1713, described the country's decline as "such a tragedy".
"Mugabe has used his position to remain in power in a racialist way," he
said. "Mugabe keeps on playing this race card, he knows it's a good one. He
wasn't like that at the beginning. There are some good guys in Zanu-PF but
they have been horribly misled.
"He has turned the whole thing around and turned them into a bunch of
Mr Campbell has no memory of the assault, but Mr Freeth, 38, described how
when the three were dumped tied up on the ground at a militia camp, there
were "probably 50 or 60 people all singing Chimurenga songs and kicking us",
referring to the war against Ian Smith's regime.
Over and over again, they were told they would be killed. "They seemed to be
pretty serious about it," he said. "I was thinking, 'well if they are going
to kill me then we all have to die at some stage. I know where I'm going,
I'm a child of God and Jesus by His blood has saved me, so I will be with
Him today'. So I wasn't actually fearful, the fear was taken out of me,
"We just carried on praying though this whole thing. When they didn't kill
me in some ways it was quite a relief, I have got three young children and a
wife to look after."
Nonetheless he has a seriously injured eye, bruising, and a large bandage
around his head is testament to the severe concussion he suffered.
As they were driven away from the camp, the gang demanded that Mr Campbell
sign a declaration he was abandoning the SADC tribunal case, he added. "His
fingers were broken so he couldn't do anything so they got my mother-in-law
to sign a thing withdrawing the case," he said.
"They said if she did it then they wouldn't kill us, so under extreme duress
she signed it."
But he too will continue with the case. "We're obviously concerned about
what's happened but we feel it's important to try and bring law and order
back into Zimbabwe," he said.
"As Zimbabweans all we want to do is be able to live in peace, it doesn't
matter who we are, whether white farmers, black farmers, people in town, we
all just want to be able to live in peace. What's happening at the moment is
THE HORRORS OF ELECTIONS IN ZIMBABWE
State sponsored violence and lawlessness prevail.
As I write almost all of our workers have been at a pungwe since 1 pm on
Monday [it is now thursday]. They have now been told to go to another one on
the other side of us so it looks as though they have another night of ZANU
PF slogan chanting. They were not allowed to sit down once all night and
that there were no fires. We tried to get SADC observers there but they were
blocked by the ZANU PF youth.
Ronnie Nyamandu tried to get away because he had been an opposition
supporter but 50 ZANU youth were sent to catch him and he was beaten very
badly. Our workers say they do not know if he will make it. His mother had
her house burnt and has been told to dig the grave. He is tied up and we can
not get observors or police there.
Everywhere these pungwes continue and beatings appear to take place at all
of them. At many of them they are evidently being baptised in water into the
names of the spirit mediums of Kaguvi and Mbuya Nehanda and then are made to
roll in the dust backwards and forwards.
Our workers have been put in groups of ten which they have to vote in at
specified polling stations. None of them can vote until all ten are there.
I went to Chegutu police again yesterday about some information that we were
given by some nuns. They said that they had word that we were to be evicted
through Minister Webster Shamu who is the Minister of policy implementation.
Chegutu police through Assistant Inspector Sasa refused to take the report
about that or about any of the pungwes taking place around us at the moment
and refused to give us police men to find our workers or stop the beatings.
David Drury tried to get the information to the Commissioner of Police but
his offices would not accept his letter either yesterday!
Gilbert Moyo is still at large in the area having been involved in numerous
illegal evictions, severe assaults, thefts, whole scale lootings of
tractors/ vehicles/ furniture etc., stealing of a lot of guns and ammunition
from farmers, stocktheft; crop theft etc.
I asked Chegutu police yesterday if there was a warrant out for his arrest.
They said "not yet." In the last few weeks he has evicited the Etheredges;
the Rogers; the Ferreiras; the Nicholsons; the Merideths and has been trying
to evict the Jouberts for the last 3 days. He appears to have been acting
for the A2 beneficiaries with the complicity of the police. The Seamans have
also been evicted and SPCA can not even get near to feed the dairy cattle.
Wayne Seamaen in despair shot his dogs and has gone to Soth Africa.
And so this evil madness goes on. Our workers are told pungwes will continue
after elections too because they will forget ..
Please continue to pray and do whatever else you can.
It gets worse. Yesterday, Sunday 29 June 2008 Gilbert Moyo went with a gang
of some 20 thugs armed we hear with firearms and proceeded to beat up Mike
Campbell and his wife Angela, and Ben Freeth. They all sustained severe head
injuries and Ben may have lost an eye. Mike has a broken collar bone and his
wife had something hot forced into her mouth which was badly burnt.
Then the three were abducted and Mike Campbell's son followed the vehicles
to see where they were being taken. They fired at him hitting the
windscreen, his headrest and a headlight but thankfully not him apparently.
The remaining Chegutu farmers continued to search for the three abducted and
discontinued their unsuccessful efforts at 10.00 pm. At about midnight Ben
telephoned someone to collect them. The three had been thrown out of moving
vehicles and Ben had managed to crawl to a dwelling where he was given the
use of a cell phone. The three are in the intensive care section of the
We have just heard that they will be alright and that the farm is still in
one piece. Apparently the police have arrested eight of the thugs but not
Gilbert Moyo who has fled.
Information on the election coming in from Tsholotsho was that there was
only one SADC observer vehicle seen in the town itself, but none in the
outlying areas. All the election officials appeared to be party stalwarts
and the Officer in Charge of one of the rural police stations was saying how
pleased he was that the election was uncontested since he had been given a
farm which would otherwise have to be returned to its owner. Voting was much
quieter than in the election in March with only 100 to 200 voters at polling
stations which last time round had 500. Voters in the Bemba area were
separated into males and females with the females told to vote at Dlamini
and Mabanda (up to 20 kilometres distant from their places of residence) and
only the males instructed to vote at Bemba. You may speculate on the reason
On one of the farms left operating in Matabeleland workers, some settlers
and some wives were taken away for what they were told was training at
Llewellyn Barracks. They were gone for five or six days but the delicate
matter of what they were put up to has not yet been divulged. By next week
we should know.
Overall, there seems to be an air of unnecessary madness creeping in,
especially in parts of Mashonaland. They have achieved that which they set
out to do but continue with thuggery that now has less purpose than ever
before. Reality is beyond the comprehension of thugs whose horizons only
seem to stretch as far as the next condoned theft. The ramifications of what
this assault on the Campbells spells out for the government case in Windhoek
is seemingly beyond the understanding of police, politicians and thugs
SADC TRIBUNAL ASKED TO DECLARE ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT IN CONTEMPT
We have no further news on the urgent application that has been made in the
SADC Tribunal to have the Respondent in the Campbell case (the Government of
Zimbabwe) ruled in contempt of the Tribunal order for interim relief
accorded Campbell and his 74 Joinders/Interveners.
MR. PRINCE MACHAYA'S UNDERTAKINGS ON BEHALF OF GOVERNMENT.
We repeat the undertaking recorded in last week's issue to highlight how
hollow it is.
For at least the second time, Mr. Prince Machaya has undertaken on behalf of
his Principal, the Respondent, the Government of Zimbabwe, that they will
scrupulously adhere to the provisions of the Interim Relief granted to
Campbell and his Interveners. Here is what he said this time around. We have
copied from the Tribunal transcript: -
Having said that my Lords, there is an issue arising or there are issues
arising out of the provisional orders that were granted by the Tribunal at
the last hearing and in the main Campbell matter in December and the issue
is with regard to compliance with those orders. I say so because I was made
aware this morning that there has been no compliance at least in two
respects by the Respondent.(Here he is referring to the conviction and
sentencing of Theron and Fick, both from Beatrice) I would like to
categorically inform the Tribunal that I had not been aware of any cases of
eviction of any of the Applicants that our advice and recommendation to the
Respondent was that there should be no evictions and that there should be
compliance with the order of this Tribunal. I am aware however that there
have been prosecutions of some of the Applicants and I have drawn it to the
attention of our Acting Attorney-General. I've also drawn it to the
attention of the Minister of Justice and the Minister responsible for Lands
that there is a need to comply fully with the order of the Tribunal and the
last I heard when I had the audience of our Minister of Justice on Thursday
last week was that he was going to table the matter with our Cabinet at its
meeting on yesterday's date and he was going to confirm with me over the
telephone on the issue of the required compliance with the order. Our
Minister of Justice concurred in my discussion with him that Respondent had
an obligation to comply at the international level with the orders of this
Tribunal and that he was going to inform his Cabinet colleagues accordingly.
BULAWAYO, 1 July 2008 (IRIN) - Martin Gurajena*, like many other opposition
activists forced to flee Zimbabwe's ongoing political violence, has a
difficult choice to make: when will it be safe to go home?
Gurajena, 48, his wife and four children, are among 20 families being
sheltered by a church in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. The militia of
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party - young men with a reputation for brutality -
had driven them out of Mberengwa, in the central Midlands Province, because
they were members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision not to contest the presidential
run-off election against Mugabe on 27 June, on the grounds that too many of
his supporters had already been killed since the first-round poll on 29
March, was a heavy blow for Gurajena.
"I had prayed and hoped that Tsvangirai would win, and I could return back
to my village to rebuild our home that was burnt down by ZANU-PF supporters.
But after he pulled out of the elections my heart sank. As it is right now,
my livestock are scattered all over, as I did not get a chance to collect
the livestock when I escaped - I was warned that I would be killed if I
delayed," Gurajena told IRIN.
He was clearly torn by deciding whether to go back or not. He said he felt
an emotional responsibility to the people he had left behind, but he was
also aware that he was still a target for the militia; even if they had a
sudden change of heart, his own chief, whom he described as a staunch
ZANU-PF supporter, might not allow him to resettle.
"My whole life is ruined, so what will happen to me and my family? We ran
away from ZANU-PF militia and there is no way I can go back there ... the
violence taking place across the country is terrifying, and they are still
beating people in Mberengwa - I cannot go there."
"I might forgive, but I will not forget"
Martha Hove, a widow and a mother of four, was a polling agent for the MDC
during the 29 March elections. She shut her eyes as she recounted how she
had been driven out of Mberengwa by militia, led by "war veterans" who
torched her homestead and beat her, the scars of the assault still visible
on her face.
"It was by the grace of God that I survived the attack - the war veterans
wanted to kill me. I don't think I will return to Mberengwa. I will have to
relocate with my family to another district, even in Matabeleland [in the
south of the country] if the people accept me." Hove is of the majority
Shona ethnic group; Matabeleland, with Bulawayo its capital, is
"I might forgive, but I will not forget what they did to me. Those that
attacked me are well known people to me; they are my neighbours, but they
turned into animals when they were beating me," said Hove. Mberengwa has
historicaly been a hardcore ZANU area.
Useni Sibanda, the national co-ordinator of Christian Alliance, a grouping
of church organisations taking care of people displaced by the violence in a
network of safe houses, said the number of victims was still rising.
"Currently we are not even thinking of relocating these people, as we are
still receiving more victims of violence. Once the violence subsides, then
we can start looking at options of relocating them or allowing them to
return to their original villages," he told IRIN.
Sibanda would not say how many people his organisation was sheltering, but
said hundreds of families had been displaced and were being accommodated by
well-wishers in Bulawayo. He added that if the violence continued the
churches would be unable to cope.
According to the MDC, close to 90 party officials and supporters have been
killed since March, and thousands made homeless. Party spokesman Nelson
Chamisa said a transitional "government of national healing" was urgently
needed to allow the country to reunite.
"The reason the MDC is calling for a government of national healing is to
allow a process for people to forgive each other to take place. As it is,
there is no way these people will live in harmony with the same people that
wanted to kill them yesterday," he said.
The MDC was working with civil society organisations on an audit of homes
and property lost during the election period, and would then approach the
international community for financial aid to help with reintegration,
Gurajena still thinks of home. "Some of my neighbours were also attacked,
and stories are coming through from the village that some were killed. I
need to go back so that I know who has died and who is still alive," he
said. "Mugabe has won [the presidential run-off], so the war veterans should
allow us to go back and rebuild our homes and let us continue with our
* Not his real name
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe shrugged off calls for his resignation today as his
chief spokesman told Western critics to "go hang".
His political opposition also took a hard line on power-sharing, further
reducing prospects of a quick resolution after last weekend's run-off
election in which Mugabe was the sole candidate.
Leaders at the Egyptian AU summit, in its second and final day, were
unwilling to publicly criticise Mugabe and instead gently pushed behind the
scenes that he accept some sort of power-sharing agreement.
But Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba dismissed prospects of sharing power
and said that the 84-year-old would not step down.
"He's a few days into office and you expect him to retire, do you? ... Five
days have expired, not even a week after. ... Why is the issue of the
retirement of the president of Zimbabwe such an obsession for the West?" he
"He has come here as president of Zimbabwe and he will go home as president
of Zimbabwe, and when you visit Zimbabwe he will be there as the president
of all the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
The United Nations has "made it clear" that dialogue between Mugabe and his
rival Morgan Tsvangirai is necessary, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose
"It is the hope of the UN that the African Union and African leaders will
get their act together to address this issue," she said.
The United States, Britain and other European countries have widely
condemned Zimbabwe's run-off. The US is pushing for more financial and
travel sanctions against Mugabe supporters and is urging the UN Security
Council to impose an arms embargo.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the African Union to reject the result
of the run-off, and France says it considers Mugabe's government
Charamba had harsh words for Western pressure: "They can go hang. They can
go and hang a thousand times."
He also demanded that Zimbabwe be left to determine its own future.
"The way out is the way defined by the Zimbabwe people free from outside
interference, and that is exactly what will resolve the matter," he said.
In Zimbabwe, there also were strong doubts about an agreement, even as Mr
Tsvangirai left the Dutch Embassy, where he had fled for safety after
announcing his withdrawal from the run-off because of state-sponsored
violence against his supporters.
Tendai Biti, no. 2 in Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party,
dismissed speculation that his party and Mugabe's ZANU-PF were about to
conclude an agreement to govern together.
"Nothing can be as malicious and as further from the truth," he said. "As a
matter of fact, there are no talks or discussions taking place between the
two parties and most importantly, there is no agreement in the offing."
During public speeches at the summit's opening yesterday, most AU leaders
spoke of the "challenges" Zimbabwe was facing and none said anything harsh
But Jendayi Frazer, the assistant US secretary of state for African affairs,
said she believed that in private, the leaders were going to "have very,
very strong words for him."
Key African leaders have long had close ties to Mugabe, renowned as a
campaigner against white rule and colonialism and Zimbabwe's ruler since its
independence in 1980. They are also reluctant to be seen as backing the
West, former colonial rulers, against a fellow African.
Meanwhile Sir John Holmes the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian
affairs, said he was very concerned for up to four million Zimbabweans who
have become increasingly dependent on food aid.
"We expect a poor harvest again in Zimbabwe," Sir John said, referring to
the crop of winter wheat due in the coming months.
Zimbabwe's main harvest in April was already at a record low mainly because
of lack of rain, untimely delivery of seeds and a shortage of fertiliser.
July 01, 2008, 18:00
Security at the African Union (AU) meeting in Egypt has been beefed up after
an altercation between journalists and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe's security had to use force to ward off hordes of journalists. The
journalists were questioning Mugabe's right to attend the AU summit. The
media made a further attempt today to speak to Mugabe, but they were denied
Meanwhile, Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba has criticised a call by
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga to suspend Mugabe from the AU.
Charamba also said Zanu-PF and the MDC will continue negotiations. "We are
not offering anything beyond . Morgan (Tsvangirai) must come to the talks
with his own mind, not the mind of (George) Bush and . (Gordon) Brown."
Charamba also told the West to back off from Africa's problems.
Meanwhile, ordinary Zimbabweans have called on their political leaders to
put the needs of the country ahead of political ambition. Aid agencies there
have asked government to allow them to resume humanitarian work following
the elections. So far they have had no response.
Although Charamba has ruled out a power-sharing agreement, Zimbabwean
politician Jonathan Moyo says Zanu-PF's failure to secure a parliamentary
majority compels Mugabe to accommodate the opposition somehow.
Today UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also focused his comments on
Zimbabwe's deepening crisis. "The situation in Zimbabwe has great
implications, not only to the people and government in Zimbabwe, but it has
a greater implication in the region and the democracy of the African
continent. It is also very important to maintain the credibility of
democratic rules in Africa as a whole."
Tsvangirai pulled out of the Zimbabwe run-off election which was held last
Friday, and stated that some of his members would be killed should he make
himself available. Mugabe was then elected unopposed as the new president in
Monsters and Critics
By Clare Byrne Jul 1, 2008, 16:19 GMT
Johannesburg - After eight years as mediator in Zimbabwe, during which time
the southern African country has gone from breadbasket to basket case, South
African President Thabo Mbeki's credibility is on the line.
The hardened rhetoric from the two sides to Zimbabwe's political impasse
Tuesday showed the national unity government touted by many, including South
Africa, as the best solution to the country's woes, is still a far-off
President Robert Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, declared he didn't
understand the meaning of the term 'unity government' while the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) declared a negotiated settlement was no
While Mugabe was still open to talks with the MDC, Charamba told reporters
at the African Union summit in Egypt, he would do so from the position of
rightfully-elected elected president.
The MDC, on the other hand, refuses to recognize Mugabe's victory in last
week's one-man poll and are demanding the starting point for the talks be
Tsvangirai's victory in the first round of voting in March.
These intransigent noises contrast with a report in a South African
newspaper that Mbeki is 'on the verge of a Zimbabwe unity deal.'
The deal, Business Day said, would see Mugabe and Tsvangirai work together
to implement previously-agreed reforms that Mugabe reneged on earlier this
year, including a new draft constitution. It was not clear which of the two
politicians would be leader in any such arrangement.
The report came amid mounting pressure on Mbeki from the African Union to
produce a breakthrough, given calls by the MDC for the AU to intervene.
Mbeki's appeasement of Mugabe through the five-week wait for the results of
the March election and a state-backed campaign of terror against opposition
supporters has incensed the MDC.
By the time Mugabe was sworn in as president for another five years on
Sunday, 86 MDC supporters had been bludgeoned, burnt or tortured to death
and millions of Zimbabweans had been cut off from emergency aid in a swipe
by Mugabe against 'pro-MDC' NGOs.
Hardly a ringing endorsement for Mbeki, but the South African leader still
believes, according to his biographer Mark Gevisser, that his close
relationship with Mugabe makes him the best man for the job of mediator.
'He sees himself in many ways as Mugabe's son. He believes that gives him a
very particular leverage,' says Gevisser.
'He generally believes he's the only who has the ability to get close to him
and talk some sense into him.'
But the risks for Mbeki, whose legacy after nine years as president has been
badly dented by his head-in-the-sand attitude to his country's HIV/AIDS and
crime epidemics, are high, says Gevisser.
Mugabe would, as in the past, likely agree to negotiations but renege on any
agreement at the last minute as part of the stalling tactics he has used to
keep himself in power for 28 years.
If Mbeki fails, analysts say, the status quo will likely prevail in Zimbabwe
until the end of his presidency in April next year, when he is likely to be
succeeded by African National Congress president Jacob Zuma.
Zuma has been far more critical of Mugabe and owes his ascendancy to the ANC
leadership in part to the trade union movement, from which the MDC stems.
By Staff | Harare Tribune Correspondent | Tuesday, July 1, 2008 11:42
Zimbabwe, Harare -- They are the president's hatchet-men. Without
them, Robert Mugabe would not last a day longer in office. Welcome to the
world of Emmerson Mnangagwa, General Constantine Chiwenga, Augustine
Chihuri, Paradzai Zimondi, Perence Shiri and Gideon Gono. This junta, the
Joint Operations Command (JOC), controls Zimbabwe.
When Mugabe lost control of parliament and it became clear that he was
also losing the presidency to Morgan Tsvangirai after the poll on March 29,
these six men hurriedly assembled around their octogenarian leader.
In the weeks following, they camped at State House to give their
leader the support he needed. They assured him that they were not about to
surrender the country to an "imperialist stooge".
For five weeks, the announcement of the presidential election results
was stalled while they plotted.
Their first port of call was the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. They
accused its officials of inflating Tsvangirai's share of the vote in
exchange for "British-paid bribes" and ordered the arrest of many electoral
officials on these trumped-up charges. They ordered recounts in 24
constituencies, hoping these would reverse the takeover of parliament by the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
None of their charges stuck. The recounts only confirmed the
opposition's victory. But, though they could afford to let go of parliament,
there was no way they were going to let go of the presidency as well.
So they unleashed the infamous Operation Makavhoterapapi (For whom did
you vote?) in preparation for the presidential runoff, which had become
necessary because neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai had mustered an outright
majority in the first presidential poll.
Through a well-organised campaign of violence involving uniformed
police and soldiers and thousands of Zanu-PF youth militias, they assured
Mugabe that they would keep Zanu-PF in power. They have surely passed the
The first indication that the JOC meant business came soon after March
29, when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe as its chairman.
The British government was spot-on this week when it identified these
six as the brains behind the mayhem in Zimbabwe.
British government sources warned that action was likely to be taken
against the six by accusing them of running the bloodstained election
campaign aimed at keeping the Zimbabwean president in power.
A source said: "These six are running a regime within a regime. They
are trying to run the election campaign as a military exercise rather than
as a civilian process."
These are Mugabe's hatchet men:
If there should be an indictment in an international criminal court
for the genocidal massacre of at least 20 000 Ndebele in southern Zimbabwe
in the early 1980s, it would have to be that of Mnangagwa, 61, who was
minister of state security at the time.
He has also been named in a United Nations report as being among the
Zimbabweans responsible for the widespread looting of the mineral resources
of the Democratic Republic of Congo during Zimbabwe's military deployment
there to prop up the regime of Laurent Kabila in the late 1990s.
Mnangagwa is all but assured of succeeding Mugabe when the latter
eventually decides to go. His close relationship with Mugabe dates back to
the days of the liberation struggle.
Shiri is the 53-year-old head of the Zimbabwe air force and a veteran
of Zimbabwe's independence struggle.
While Mnangagwa co-ordinated the work of the security forces in
Matabeleland in the early 1980s, Shiri was in charge of the crack North
Korean-trained unit, the Fifth Brigade, which did the killings. His
activities with the Fifth Brigade are well documented by the Catholic
Commission for Justice and Peace, which has compiled a report on the
He acquired two large farms, one in Bindura, the other in Marondera,
seized from whites ostensibly for the landless, toiling masses, and is
fabulously wealthy from the pillaging of minerals by generals in the Congo.
The findings of the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry, instituted in
1982 to investigate the atrocities of the brigade, were never made
public. The inquiry is reputed to be one reason why Shiri, Mnangagwa and
other army generals would never allow Mugabe to cede power to the
opposition. The commission's report would likely be the basis of a criminal
Chiwenga is the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Force, which has
spearheaded the campaign of violence that has led to the deaths of 86
people, the displacement of more than 200 000 and serious injuries to 10
000. It was Chiwenga who selected the senior officials, who took charge of
the terror campaign, on the basis of their loyalty to Mugabe.
The only person to match Mugabe's rabid anti-opposition rhetoric is
this 55-year-old commissioner-general of the Zimbabwe police. At press
conferences, at which he does not wear his police uniform, one would be
excused for thinking that he was Mugabe's deputy in Zanu-PF.
A longtime commissioner of the Zimbabwe police, Chihuri was promoted
to "commissioner-general" recently as a thank-you for converting Zimbabwe's
once promising police force into a military wing of Zanu-PF.
Under Chihuri, the Zimbabwean police turned a blind eye on violence
against the opposition. Police officers say they are under instructions to
arrest any opposition official who turns up at a police station to complain
about Zanu-PF inspired violence.
Chihuri was the brains behind Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out
trash), which was condemned by the UN as a violation of international law
after it left nearly a million people homeless.
Zimondi, the director of the Zimbabwe Prisons Service, is also a
retired senior air force officer.
Together with Chihuri, Shiri and Chiwenga, he has made it clear that
he will never salute a "sell-out", referring to Tsvangirai.
Zimondi personally leads the campaigns for Mugabe in barracks and
police camps, and is credited with creating a campaign to force army and
police officials to support Mugabe in early postal ballots. The ballots were
filled out in front of designated army and police superiors.
The MDC has declared that, on assuming power, the first person it will
arrest is this man, the chief of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
A close family friend of Mugabe, with whom he frequently holidays in
Malaysia, Gono is also Mugabe's personal banker and the man believed to know
most about where the millions stolen by Mugabe and the military chiefs are
stashed in Asia.
He sits on the JOC to ensure the provision of money for all agreed
projects for sustaining Mugabe in power. War veterans and ruling party
militia cash their pay cheques at the central bank.
Gono has kept Zimbabwe's money-printing machines running at top speed
and is blamed for the country's hyper-inflation, calculated by banks at more
than 14 million percent.
Though he has expressed mildly dissenting views occasionally, Gono's
loyalty to Mugabe and the First Family remains unquestionable.
By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ July 1, 2008 ⋅
It has emerged that South African mediators approached Welshman Ncube of the
MDC faction led by Arther Mutambara
Mugabe’s strategy could be to reinforce his grip on power by including one
of the factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a coalition.
Welshman Ncube, confirmed that South African mediators have been in contact
since the election’s final round last Friday.He told UK Telegraph.
“The mediators have been consulting all parties to see whether there are
conditions for resuming the dialogue,” he said. “The mediators have not
talked about any substantive issues, only for the need for all parties to
sit down and negotiate.”
“You need to get all the parties to sit down and find a way to solve the
political crisis,” he said. “Mugabe only holds power because of coercion and
violence. You need to reconcile the coercive instruments held by Zanu-PF
with the popular will of the people.”
Last week the faction’s spokesperson Gabriel Chaibva attended Mugabe’s
inauguration ceremony which the MDC led by Tsvangirai boycotted despite the
invite and repeated calls.
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 11:11
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has learnt that the
Treasurer of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Ladistous
Zunde, has gone missing and the union is fearing for his life.
Mr Zunde has been in hiding since Friday 27 June 2008 after unknown
people visited his home, tried to abduct his son and harassed his wife. The
same visitors have been visiting his house on several occasions in three
cars one of which has a registration number AAC 2022.
According to PTUZ, on Monday, 30 June 2008, the visitors became
aggressive demanding access to Zunde's house and sensing danger, the union
decided that Zunde leave Harare. However since he left Harare in a bus,
nothing has been heard about Zunde as his phone continue ringing without
The ZCTU is informed that other strange visitors in a Zanu PF car also
visited PTUZ offices in Bulawayo, 400 km from Harare, looking for the union
office secretary. Fortunately she was not in the office.
PTUZ has since closed its head office in Harare saying lives of its
officers was in danger.
July 1, 2008 12:49
July 1, 2008
HARARE - The leader of the breakaway faction of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Professor Arthur Mutambara, has fired spokesman Gabriel
Chaibva for allegedly defying party protocol.
MDC secretary general Prof Welshman Ncube confirmed to The Zimbabwe Times
Tuesday that Gabriel Chaibva, secretary for Information and Publicity, had
been relieved of his duties on Monday a day after he attended President
Robert Mugabe's inauguration at State House without authority from the
Chaibva has been immediately replaced by Edwin Mushoriwa. Before the latest
appointment, Mushoriwa was secretary of Economic Affairs.
"Chaibva is no longer our spokesperson," Ncube told The Zimbabwe Times.
"Edwin Mushoriwa is our new spokesperson with effect from yesterday."
Ncube said the MDC-Mutambara fully supported Tsvangirai's withdrawal and
there was no way any official from the grouping could have attended Mugabe's
Mugabe extended invitations to both MDC mainstream leader Morgan Tsvangirai
and Mutambara to his inauguration. Both snubbed the invitation. Other key
officials in the Mutambara MDC who received invitations to the inauguration
were Ncube, Paul Themba-Nyathi, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Fletcher
Dulini-Ncube and Gibson Sibanda. They all turned down the invitations.
Chaibva is the only official from the Mutambara MDC who attended Mugabe's
swearing-in for a new five-year term on Sunday immediately after the
announcement that Mugabe had won the controversial election. His rival
Tsvangirai boycotted the election.
Chaibva declined to comment on his dismissal.
"I am not talking about this at the moment," Chaibva told The Zimbabwe
Times. "I will be addressing a press conference at the Quality International
Hotel at 9am tomorrow."
In an interview conducted at State House and broadcast on prime time
television both on Sunday and Monday, Chaibva said: "President Mugabe has
come back to office whether we like it or not. Victory is sweet and defeat
is bitter, but as leaders we must learn to accept both and work for the good
of the people. So in a small way, we are sending our message that it is time
for a new spirit to govern the manner in which we engage each other."
Chaibva's remarks prompted a strong reaction from opposition lawmakers, who
criticised the spokesman for "sleeping with the enemy".
Mutambara was said to be "apoplectic with fury", and overrode pleas by his
deputies that Chaibva be cautioned. He charged that there were serious
ideological differences and declared that "Chaibva's move to sup with the
dictator is unforgivable, more so for a high-ranking official in the party,"
In the March 2005 parliamentary election Chaibva lost his seat in the Harare
South constituency to Zanu-PF's Hubert Nyanhongo. Harare South became the
only constituency to be held by Zanu-PF in Harare since the emergence of the
MDC in 1999.
In a parliamentary by-election in April 2006 Chaibva polled a paltry 504
votes in a constituency with 45,000 voters. This weakened his status as
spokesman and prompted derogatory references to Zimbabwe's fleet of
ramshackle French-built Peugeot 504 vehicles, each time he spoke.
Tuesday, 1st July 2008
Maurice Gerard 4:18pm
Post-election drama, Harare thrives once more. Market women back to selling
vegetables on the street; businessmen in second-hand suits talking loudly
into their mobile phones. Queues stretching round the block to use the
cashpoint. The earnest business of survival begins for Zimbabweans once
A Zanu-PF source informed me earlier today that Mugabe allies are
negotiating informally with the opposition MDC over a unity government. The
sticking point, as always, is Mugabe. "When will the Old Man go?" chorus the
urban masses. The South Africans are pressing hard for official
negotiations. But is hard to see the MDC agreeing until violence against
their supporters stops. "It is about leverage," said the source, a former
Zanu PF politician. "Mugabe wants to let the MDC know that in the
eventuality of negotiations he is still boss."
Retribution is ongoing in the north-east; there are reports of MDC members
being made - after the poll - to attend the infamous pungwes, compulsory
government indoctrination sessions. If they refuse they are beaten. But Zanu
itself is increasingly divided. One of the less reported aspects of the
three month terror campaign since the March 29 poll was the intra-Zanu
violence - brainwashed 'Green Bomber' troops beating recalcitrant
supporters. The future is increasingly fragile. The US and the EU are
threatening trade sanctions. The foreign based mining companies - Mugabe's
principal revenue stream - are under pressure to scale down their
operations. Regional African leaders are fed up. Still Mugabe refuses to
budge. But beneath the veneer of normality in the capital there is deep
uncertainty. Go into any shabeen and amidst the low-sitting bar tables and
bottles of Castle lager the talk is of what-will-happen-now?