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Robert Mugabe thugs raid refugee camp

The Telegraph

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare and Sebastien Berger
Last Updated: 6:54PM BST 07/07/2008
Zanu-PF militiamen have raided a refugee camp housing hundreds of opposition
supporters supposedly under the protection of the Red Cross and United
Nations agencies, in an indication of Robert Mugabe's disregard for
international opinion.
The 400-strong group at Ruwa rehabilitation centre sought refuge at a car
park outside the South African embassy in Harare three weeks ago, before
Zimbabwe's one-candidate presidential run-off.

They moved to the site 15 miles south-east of the city after assurances for
their safety were given by the South Africans and the Zimbabwe Red Cross,
they said.

But around a dozen men in camouflage uniforms, some wearing balaclavas,
walked past a lone policeman on duty at the gate and attacked refugees
sleeping in a squash court.

"The screaming and the noise of what they were doing was terrible, I don't
even know how many were hurt, I couldn't see," said a 45-year-old man who
escaped from the camp.

He believes scores of people were injured and many, including women and
their infants, were kidnapped or fled into the bush to escape.

Most of the group are from rural areas who first sought protection at the
MDC's Harvest House headquarters in Harare, but after it was raided by
police several times moved to the position outside the embassy.

"We knew President (Thabo) Mbeki was mediating the situation and we thought
they would help us," said the man.

"We moved to Ruwa because the South Africans told us we would be safe, but
we are not safe."

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in
Johannesburg said it would issue a statement about the assault, but so far
had failed to do so.

Violence against MDC officials and supporters has risen in the last few days
and more than 1,500 officials and members are presently in detention,
according to the opposition party spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

Western condemnation of Mr Mugabe's "re-election" has been vocal, with a
draft UN Security Council resolution circulating calling for sanctions to be
imposed on the regime.

But his fellow African leaders have been notable for the weakness of their
response, and in some cases outright support.

David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, told an audience at the
University of South Africa today that Mr Mugabe had unleashed "a campaign of
unchecked brutality against his own people".

"He has turned the weapons of the state on his own people," he said.

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Refugees attacked, several dead in weekend militia raids

By Alex Bell
07 July 2008

As the numbers of displaced Zimbabweans continues to grow, the safety of
refugees has become a matter of serious concern after armed militia raided
two camps of people fleeing post election violence.

There have been reports that several people died after armed men stormed a
camp in Gokwe, but we have been unable to confirm the claims.

At the same time, another group of displaced victims also became targets of
militia thugs in Ruwa late on Sunday night. The group of 354 men, women and
children had been removed to the so-called place of safety after seeking
shelter at the South African embassy, in the week leading up to the sham
run-off poll.

The group of refugees had fled their homes in Epworth after the extreme
violence there and sought shelter and safety at the embassy in Harare. Their
removal to Ruwa was part of an agreement facilitated by South Africa's
ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lungisi Makalima.
Other organisations that supported the move include the Zimbabwean National
and the International Red Cross. The Zimbabwean Red Cross however is
unfortunately heavily compromised in its agreement to care for the refugees,
because of suggestions of links with Zanu PF.
The group were taking shelter at a state rehabilitation centre in Ruwa, and
despite promises by both embassy officials and the Red Cross that security
would be provided, the group were forced to set up their own security

Eight people were hospitalised after masked men with shotguns stormed the
shelter in Ruwa at around midnight and attacked the refugees. Another 14
people, mostly young men from the security patrols set up by the camp, are

Meanwhile, another group of refugees who sought shelter at the US embassy
last week have all been moved to charity safe houses and to a settlement
camp set up by embassy officials on private land.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Mugabe to eliminate MDC before August is out

By ZimbabweMetro | Harare Tribune News
July 7, 2008 13:28

Despite the much publicized talks between the MDC and ZANU-PF,state
sponsored terror is raging on and according to a plan by JOC the MDC has to
be destroyed completely.Metro has obtained information from Credible Sources
with the Zimbabwean Security Services.

Soon after arriving back from the AU Summit in Egypt, Mugabe met with
the ZOC , namely Chiwenga, Chihuru, Shiri, Mnangagwa, Zimondi and others. He
briefed them on: AU Position on Zim Botswana's position on Zim West Africa
(Nigeria) All anti-Zimbabwe sentiments worldwide Looming sanctions UN
Position Africa's position ZANU PF's increasing isolation from the rest of
the world.

The JOC's response was as follows: To target and eliminate the MDC
from the political map in Zimbabwe. This operation is to begin at cell,
ward, District, province and national levels. To target and eliminate
selected MDC MP's so that the other MPs are forced into hiding and after 21
days of being absent from parliament by-elections will be held and rigged to
regain ZANU PF's majority in parliament. Killing of all critical journalists
from both the public and private media to silence all independent voices.
Police internal security intelligence (PISI) have all the names of all the
MDC activists in the country so targeting them will not be a problem.

This is meant to cripple the MDC to eventually force it into a
government of national unity where it will be swallowed by ZANU PF and there
will be no MDC in the future. This operation is being coordinated now and
all logistics are being mobilized. The operation will begin Monday 7th July
2008 by attacking and abducting MDC refugees. The Junta assured Mugabe that
no country in the world can invade Zimbabwe as their state of preparedness
was second to none in Africa. It is obvious from this information that the
Mugabe regime is not sincere about negotiating a peaceful resolution to the
Zimbabwe crisis and is determined to continue to wage war against the people
of Zimbabwe.

Personnel Identified as being integrally involved in the past and
forthcoming violent operations: Supt Remegio Utsiwembanje - Officer
Commanding Police Protection Units (PPU) Projects Supt Absalom Mudzamiri -
DISPOL Minor PPU Tomlinson Depot Ex-Supt Nyawani - now with the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe Inspector Patric Maramba - Officer In ChargeTomlinson Depot
Inspector Marufu - 2nd IC Parliament Inspector Mbokochena - Officer
Commanding PPU Assistant Inspector Jongwe - PPU Tomlinson Depot Assistant
Inspector Madziwana - PPU Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI)
Assistant Inspector Muranganwa - PPU PISI Assistant Inspector Ndangana - PPU
State House Assistant Inspector Maguma - PPU State House Sgt Nyamunaki - PPU
PISI Sgt Muridzo - PPU Transport Sgt Madzinga - PPU Willovale Sgt
Chikazaza - PPU State House Sgt Deremete - PPU State House Assistant
Inspector Mudonhi Assistant Commissioner Martin Kwaimona Chief
Superintendent Musvita Superintendent Linda Superintendent Chikerema Chief
Inspector Mukudu Chief Inspector Tigwere Superintendent Mumba Inspector
Ngazi Inspector Bonyongwa Insepector Muzondiwa Sgt Mudzova Sgt Jaji Sgt
Sharara Assistant Inspector Mutendamambo Constable Tarise - Armourer
Constable Matara Assistant Inspector Matienga - Armourer Police General
Headquarters--Harare Tribune News

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ZANU-PF militia kills 20 post-June 27
By Trymore Magomana | Harare Tribune News
July 7, 2008 11:48

Zimbabwe, Harare-- Twenty opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters have been killed since Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe stood as the sole candidate in a run-off presidential election, the party said on Monday.

Workers at a factory in Chitungwiza about 25 kilometres east of Harare, go through the debris, after it was petrol bombed by suspected Zanu pf supporters, Monday, July, 7, 2008. The Factory which is owned by Wallace Madzimure, an opposition member of parliament was set on fire by ZANU-PF militia on Saturday evening in post election violence.
Photo: Harare Tribune

These revelations indicate that though Robert Mugabe won the election, the political violence opposition supporters and activits continues unabated, with the full blessing of the ZANU-PF leadership.

The latest casualties bring the overall number of party followers to have been killed since the first round of voting in March to 109, said a statement from the MDC, blaming the bloodshed on pro-Mugabe militias. It alleged the veteran president's supporters have "murdered 20 MDC activists, while thousands have been severely assaulted" since the June 27 election which Mugabe won by a landslide after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the contest.

"A total of 109 MDC activists have been murdered by ZANU-PF supporters," the statement added. The MDC had previously said that 103 of its supporters had been killed in politically-related violence since the first round of voting in which Tsvangirai beat Mugabe into second but fell short of an absolute majority.

In his pre-conditions for any government of national unity, Tsvangirai has said that "there must be peace, then negotiations" in allusion to the ongoing campaign of violence by ZANU-PF militia across the country.

Meanwhile, in Japan, G8 leaders called the crisi in Zimbabwe to be resolved. US President George W. Bush said Monday he was "extremely disappointed" with Zimbabwe's "sham" election, as world leaders pushed for sanctions against the regime.

"I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe, I am extremely disappointed in the election, which I labelled a sham election," Bush said on the sidelines of a summit of rich nations at this mountain resort in northern Japan.

France President Nicolas Sarkozy would back a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Mugabe's regime, which "tarnishes the image of all of Africa", a source close to the president said late Monday.

"We are in favour of sanctions against Zimbabwe through a UN Security Council resolution," the source told reporters in the spa resort of Toyako. The United States last week proposed a resolution that would slap sanctions on Zimbabwe and 12 of its citizens, including Mugabe. The draft is expected to be published next week. Germany was also clear at the G8 it wanted to see sanctions.

"We have made clear, I have made very clear, that the result of the election is not legitimate," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters. Germany "does not exclude more sanctions" against Zimbabwe, she said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Zimbabwe's parties to restore the "rule of law" and said he would take up the crisis with African leaders.

Ban, speaking to AFP on the plane taking him to the Group of Eight (G8) summit, said last month's election giving Mugabe a sixth term lacked legitimacy.

"Therefore I urged that political parties in Zimbabwe should work out an arrangement so that they can really bring back democratic rules, the rule of law and peace and stability in their country," Ban said in the interview. African leaders attending an expanded session of the G8 summit acknowledged the growing concerns about Zimbabwe but did not endorse Washington's call for new UN Security Council sanctions.

"I want to assure you that the concerns that you have expressed are indeed the concerns of many of us in the African continent," said African Union chief and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. "The only area that we may differ is on the way forward," said Kikwete, standing at Bush's side. Kikwete noted that the African Union at a summit last week adopted a resolution calling for dialogue between Mugabe and Tsvangirai and for a government of national unity.

"We are saying no party can govern alone in Zimbabwe and therefore the parties have to work together, come out to work together in a government and then look at the future of their country together," said Kikwete.

The United States has introduced a UN Security Council resolution that would impose new diplomatic and economic sanctions on Mugabe and his regime, including an arms embargo, a travel ban and a freeze on financial transactions. Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, chair of the three-day summit, discussed Zimbabwe with Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Brown, who has been outspoken over developments in the former British colony, told Fukuda it was "important to send a strong message to secure democracy in Zimbabwe," a Japanese government official said. Fukuda told Brown that he shared his concerns and replied: "It is necessary for the G8 to have firm discussions on the issue and consider measures."

G8 leaders told their African counterparts that Zimbabwe was "a major negative factor for the whole of Africa," another Japanese official said. While there were no clear objections to the G8 warnings, one African leader noted that putting pressure on Zimbabwe may worsen a confrontation between the ruling and opposition camps in the country, the officials said.--Harare Tribune News

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Body of abducted opposition worker found on Zimbabwe farm

Chris McGreal in Harare,
Monday July 7, 2008

The tortured and burned body of an opposition party worker has been found on
a farm belonging to an army colonel two weeks after the activist was
abducted while helping to protect the widow of a murdered human rights

The Movement for Democratic Change said the discovery of Joshua Bakacheza's
badly disfigured corpse came amid a renewed intensification of violence
against its officials and supporters, as the government attempts to break
resistance to President Robert Mugabe's victory in the widely condemned June
28 election.

At least 20 opposition activists have been murdered since the ballot. The
MDC said the escalation in violence was particularly targeted at its members
of parliament to try to overturn the party's newly won majority.

Costin Muguti, an opposition MP, was abducted from his home in Gokwe and
severely beaten by soldiers today before being handed to police who locked
him up on charges of violence. At least 11 other MPs are facing criminal
charges and scores have gone into hiding.

State security agents monitoring the home of the MDC leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, confronted guards at the house and threatened them with guns but
eventually left.

Near Harare, masked men attacked a centre housing about 350 people,
including children, who were victims of earlier political violence by the
ruling Zanu-PF and who had sought shelter at the South African embassy. The
South Africans had persuaded them to move to the compound near Ruwa with
assurances of their safety. The assault left at least eight people in
hospital and more than a dozen missing. The rest are now being housed at a

Bakacheza's body was found 30km from Harare with signs of torture gunshot
wounds. The MDC said he had been abducted by state security agents along
with another activist, Tendai Chidziwo, while the pair were helping to move
the family and furniture of Tonderai Ndirai, a prominent human rights lawyer
who was murdered before the election.

The men were taken to an interrogation centre, the MDC said. "Once there,
they tortured the two, asking questions relating to their involvement in the
MDC and then shot them both. Joshua was shot three times and died on the
spot, while Chidziwo is now recovering in hospital after he was shot once on
right side of the head. Good Samaritans assisted him after they found him in
a state of unconsciousness in the Beatrice farming area."

An army colonel owns the farm where Joshua's body was found.

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Deadly violence intensifying: Zimbabwe opposition

Yahoo News

by Susan Njanji Mon Jul 7, 11:47 AM ET

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe's opposition accused militias loyal to Robert Mugabe
of stepping up deadly attacks against its followers Monday as the veteran
leader faced more foreign criticism over his controversial re-election.

While US President George W. Bush again labelled the June 27 poll a "sham",
the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said another 20 of
its activists had been killed since the run-off, bringing the total number
of dead since the first round of voting in March to 109.

With Britain's top diplomat accusing Mugabe of unleashing "a campaign of
unchecked brutality against his own people," G8 leaders meeting in Japan
also heaped scorn on the Zimbabwean president and discussed imposing new

However one of Mugabe's top lieutenants in the ruling ZANU-PF party snapped
back that the outside world had no role to play in the crisis and should
"stop meddling" in Zimbabwe's affairs.

"ZANU-PF and state security agents have intensified violence on MDC
supporters across the country since the holding of the sham run-off," the
opposition party said in a statement.

As well as the 20 activists known to have died since last month's one-man
poll, thousands more had been severely assaulted, it added.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who beat Mugabe into second place in the first
round of voting, boycotted the run-off after scores of his supporters were
killed. He said last week that he would not take part in negotiations with
Mugabe's camp until the violence was halted.

With Mugabe insisting last Friday that there can be no dialogue until the
MDC acknowledges his re-election as president, the prospects of a
breakthrough looked dim despite the claims of ZANU-PF's chief negotiator
Patrick Chinamasa.

"We are confident that if we are left to discuss this matter as Zimbabweans,
we will find a solution sooner rather than later," he told state media.

But Chinamasa also warned Mugabe's Western critics they were harming rather
helping the prospects of progress towards a political solution.

"We appeal to foreigners and external forces to leave the resolution of the
Zimbabwe situation to Zimbabweans alone," Justice Minister Chinamasa told
the state-run Herald newspaper.

"Britain, the US and the EU, in particular, should stop meddling in our

Bush however renewed his criticism of 84-year-old Mugabe -- who has led the
former British colony since independence in 1980 -- saying he was "extremely
disappointed" with the "sham" election.

His comments came at a summit in Japan of the Group of Eight industrial
powers, also attended by South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is the
chief mediator on Zimbabwe, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban, speaking to AFP on his plane as he arrived in Japan, said Mugabe's
election lacked legitimacy.

"Therefore I urged that political parties in Zimbabwe should work out an
arrangement so that they can really bring back democractic rules, the rule
of law and peace and stability in their country," Ban said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meanwhile said new sanctions were to be
discussed at the three-day gathering.

During a visit to South Africa, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
said Mugabe had "turned the weapons of the state on his own people" and
called on the world to support fresh sanctions.

A limited package of sanctions, including a travel ban and a freeze of bank
accounts, was imposed on Mugabe and his inner circle by Western governments
after he allegedly rigged his 2002 re-election.

Mugabe has regularly blamed the sanctions for the economic collapse of the
region's breadbasket where inflation is now well into eight figures and the
most basic foods, such as bread and cooking oil, are scarce.

His critics say that Mugabe triggered the country's economic woes by
expropriating thousands of white-owned farms as part of a land reform
programme and say hyper-inflation is being fuelled by the non-stop printing
of money.

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G8 leaders turn on Mbeki over Zimbabwe failure

Times Online
July 7, 2008

Philip Webster and Richard Lloyd Parry, Lake Toya, Japan
President Mbeki of South Africa endured a rough ride at the G8 summit as
major power leaders called him to task for failing to bring Zimbabwe's
Robert Mugabe to book.

Mr Mbeki was among seven African leaders who joined a session at the Group
of Eight summit in Japan, where they were warned clearly that trade and
investment on the continent could be hit unless they acted to deal with the
"illegitimate" Zimbawean president.

Several leaders, including President Bush, were said to have directly
criticised Mr Mbeki, for his failure, as regional mediator, to rein in Mr
Mugabe. Mr Bush calling last month's election a sham, while Chancellor
Angela Merkel said that she would back more sanctions.

"There's growing support for sanctions against the Mugabe regime being
stepped up," Gordon Brown told reporters.

Tomorrow, the G8 leaders are expected to threaten even tougher sanctions
against Zimbabwe unless African nations take on a stronger role in
negotiations to remove him from power.
Mr Bush said Zimbabwe was discussed extensively at the meeting on the
northern Japanese island of Hokkaido but, according to the Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete, African leaders and the G8 differed over how to
respond to the crisis.

"The only area that we may differ is on the way forward. You see differently
but for us in Africa we see differently, but I think again there is still
room for us for discussions," said Mr Kikwete, who is also head of the
African Union.

"I want to assure you that the concerns that you have expressed are indeed
the concerns of many of us in the African continent," said Mr Kikwete, who
called again for a unity government in Zimbabwe.

His words masked deep divisions in today's meeting, and growing frustration
among European governments, including the British, at the role played by Mr

Mr Brown hopes that the G8 will call for tougher UN and EU sanctions, and
will back his call for a UN envoy to go to Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugabe was the only candidate in the June 27 run-off election after the
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out because of state-sponsored
violence against candidates and supporters of his the Movement for
Democratic Change.

British officials came close to saying that Mr Mugabe should go, insisting
that his election was not legitimate and pointing to the first poll in which
the MDC leader finished ahead.

As a South African, I am absolutely horrified by our president's
misjudgement on Zimbabwe. The crisis has deepened to the point where our
national security as risk. South Africa is now home to nearly 4 million
Zimbabwean immigrants, many of them illegal. The president seems not to care
about us.

John Bostock, Johannesburg, South Africa

How serious is the G8? If they cared enough pressure could be used to force
Mugabe out. I wonder if the G8 looked at the mutilated bodies, or saw
pictures of innocent people forced to drink liquids that burned out there
insides and blinded them. Oh, Zimbabwe has no oil, now I understand no

M. Hulton, Carol Stream, USA

While I agree that Mugabe is a dictator and a monster who has ruined his
country he is only one of several in Africa. We seem to pay special
attention to Zimbawe but there are many other equally nasty and illegitimate
regimes. Is it beacuse he claims to be democratic when he clearly is not?

Kevin Miller, Tonbridge,

Why do the G8 members want to impose their own solutions on Zim? Why are
Zimbabweans being treated as bystanders in the solution to their own
problems?Imposed solutions never work.

Davis, Manchester,

Talk, Talk Talk Talk ... when is one of these people, I cannot call them
leaders because none of the lead, going to stop talking and do something?
Mugabe knows they are all weak and he will do whatever he likes.

Lloyd, London,

The west loves justice, see Hollywood for proof. We are disgusted by Zanu-PF
and it has nothing to do with race, colonialism or white farmers. Murder is
a murder - no excuses. The west also loves soccer. Will the west want to
play soccer in Africa in 2010 if Zimbabwe is not free? No.

Eric de la Harpe, Reading, UK

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"Mugabe must be stripped of all power", Britain tells Mbeki

Independent, Ireland

Monday July 07 2008
Robert Mugabe must not be allowed to wield power from behind the scenes as
part of a new transitional government in Zimbabwe, Britain warned today.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has reportedly drawn up proposals that
would allow Mr Mugabe to remain as titular president and head of state while
handing over power to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

However Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in Johannesburg for talks with
South African leaders, reacted coolly to the idea of any continuing role for
Mr Mugabe as part of transitional settlement.

``We cannot be in a situation where in fact Mr Mugabe is able to control
things from behind the scenes,'' he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.

Britain, like other leading powers including the United States and France,
has refused to recognise Mr Mugabe's victory in last month's final run-off
for the presidential elections after Mr Tsvangirai pulled out citing the
brutal campaign of violence and intimidation against his supporters.

Mr Miliband said he believed that the original elections in March - which
were won by Mr Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change - still
offered the basis for a transitional settlement.

``We do have the first round which showed us the democratic will of the
people of Zimbabwe. They voted for change,'' he said.

``The opposition has a majority in Parliament and Mr Tsvangirai won the
presidential election, even though he didn't reach the 50% threshold that
would have negated that need for a second round.

``So there is the start of a democratic mandate. That is the basis for a
transitional government and I think that that is the basis for progress in

Mr Miliband said that he hoped Mr Mbeki - as the regional mediator - would
add an African Union delegate to his mediation team in order to strengthen
the drive for a transitional settlement.

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World leaders ready to slap more sanctions on Zimbabwe

Daily Mail

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:18 PM on 07th July 2008


World leaders raised the prospect of more sanctions against Zimbabwe on Monday unless quick progress is made to end a political crisis after a violent election that extended President Robert Mugabe's 28-year rule.

At a Group of Eight nations summit in Japan, G8 heads of state told seven African leaders at the gathering to deal with Mugabe or trade and investment could be hit on the world's poorest continent, a Canadian official told reporters.

G8 leaders slammed the poll on Monday, with President George W. Bush calling it a sham, while Chancellor Angela Merkel called it illegitimate and said she would back more sanctions.

G8 summit

Get in line: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berusconi, left to right, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Gordon Brown, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, U.S. President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President of European Commission Jose Manuel Durao Barroso

'There's growing support for sanctions against the Mugabe regime being stepped up,' British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters.

Bush said Zimbabwe was discussed extensively at the meeting but Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete suggested African leaders and the G8 differed over how to respond to the crisis.

'The only area that we may differ is on the way forward. You see differently but for us in Africa we see differently, but I think again there is still room for us for discussions,' said Kikwete, who is also head of the African Union.

'I want to assure you that the concerns that you have expressed are indeed the concerns of many of us in the African continent,' said Kikwete, who called again for a unity government in Zimbabwe.

G8 meeting

International pressure: Gordon Brown chats with South African President Thabo Mbeki

International pressure: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

International pressure: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe was the only candidate in the June 27 run-off election after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out citing state-sponsored violence against candidates and supporters of his the Movement for Democratic Change.

The United States also pointed to divergent views.

'There were differences. Not all leaders are there yet,' said Dan Price, assistant to the president for international economic affairs, said referring to sanctions.

'It is fair to say that, you know, not all African leaders are in a position to support sanctions at this time.'

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said there was discussion among some of the African leaders about a power-sharing agreement for Zimbabwe and what it would look like.

Asked how the White House would view a such a deal, Perino said: 'We're waiting to see what it would look like.'

But G8 leaders suggested their patience was short.

'The Mugabe regime is an illegitimate regime and it should not be tolerated. Public opinion in G8 countries questions why the world would tolerate such a regime and questions why Africa would tolerate such a regime,' a senior Canadian official quoted G8 leaders as telling their African counterparts.

'A number of G8 leaders drew attention to the fact that if Africa were to develop, more than just official development assistance was needed.

'It required trade, it required investment and the image of Africa was suffering because of what was going on in Zimbabwe,' he told reporters.

An African Union summit issued a resolution last week calling for talks leading to a national unity government in Zimbabwe.

But despite heightened African criticism, Mugabe, who attended the AU summit, seemed unchastened.

G8 leaders' wives

From left: Maria Margarida Sousa Uva Barroso, wife of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Laureen Harper, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Sarah Brown, wife of Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a model, Laura Bush, wife of U.S. President George W. Bush, Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and Kiyoko Fukuda, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

Merkel said she was willing to ramp up pressure on Mugabe.

'I have made very clear that I see the presidential election as illegitimate,' Merkel said on Monday.

'I do not rule out further sanctions against Zimbabwe.'

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged a quick solution.

'There was especially frank discussion underlining the damage that the current situation in Zimbabwe is making to the overall image of Africa and the need to find a quick solution for that very appalling and dramatic situation,' he said.

The G8's talks on Monday at a luxury hotel in northern Japan included leaders of Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

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Fears Grow for the Safety of Abducted MDC MP for Buhera South

SW Radio Africa (London)

7 July 2008
Posted to the web 7 July 2008

Tichaona Sibanda

There is increasing concern for the safety of the MDC MP for Buhera South,
who has not been seen or heard from since he was abducted outside the High
court in Mutare last week Tuesday.

The newly elected MP, Naison Nemadziwa was bundled into the back of a
waiting car and driven away, after he became involved in an argument with a
group of six men. The incident took place in full view of shocked passersby
after the MP had gone to the court to hear an electoral petition filed by
Joseph Chinotimba, the losing Zanu-PF candidate in the Buhera South

Elton Mangoma, the MDC acting treasurer-general, said having worked with
intensity in the last week to get information on his whereabouts, most party
officials in Manicaland were now seriously concerned about his safety.

'We are dealing with a rogue regime that can do anything, so obviously we
are all worried about his well-being.' Mangoma said.

Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC MP for Makoni South in the province, said they
identified one of his abductors as Zimbabwe National Army Colonel Morgan
Mzilikazi. The army officer, together with Chinotimba, has been waging a war
of post election violence against MDC activists in Buhera.

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Gruesome photos underpin MDC demands


    July 07 2008 at 03:55PM

As G8 leaders began meeting in Japan on Monday for talks on issues
including Zimbabwe, the country's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) repeated its demands for an end to political violence as a condition
for entering talks with President Robert Mugabe on a unity government.

Releasing gruesome photographs of the burnt body of a man the MDC said
was its missing driver Joshua Bakacheza, the party asked: "How does a self
respecting party enter into negotiations within the context of such level of

The MDC said Bakacheza was abducted in the Zimbabwean capital Harare
by 16 armed men in three trucks nearly two weeks ago.

He was abducted along with another MDC activist, Tendai Chidziwo, who
was later found on a farm and rushed to hospital with serious head injuries.

The photographs circulated by the MDC on Monday shows the body of a
man whose trunk is so badly burnt the flesh has melted off the bones,
revealing his rib cage.

According to the MDC, more than ten of its supporters have been killed
by pro-Mugabe youth militia since Zimbabwe's controversial June 27
presidential election, which the MDC, the West and a handful of African
countries have denounced as illegitimate.

Mugabe was inaugurated as president for a sixth term after running
uncontested in the election run-off that Tsvangirai boycotted.

The latest MDC fatalities bring to about 100 the number of opposition
supporters killed by Mugabe supporters since the first round of voting for
president on March 29 that Tsvangirai won.

As G8 leaders prepared to discuss the Zimbabwean impasse, for which
the African Union has prescribed a Kenya-style unity government, the MDC
repeated on Monday it would not recognise Mugabe as president, a condition
Mugabe gave last week for talks on sharing power.

"MDC does not recognise the 27th of June 'event' and accordingly does
not recognise the outcome, thereof," the MDC said in a statement, calling
again for the MDC's March 29 victory to be the basis for the talks.

At the weekend Tsvangirai boycotted talks with Mugabe brokered by
South African President Thabo Mbeki, southern Africa's mediator in Zimbabwe.
The leader of a smaller MDC faction, Arthur Mutambara, was in attendance.

Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said Tsvangirai ducked the meeting
because the MDC's conditions for talks had not been met. - Sapa-dpa

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Mugabe accused of 'unchecked brutality'


    July 07 2008 at 01:05PM

Pretoria - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Monday said
Robert Mugabe had "turned the weapons of the state on his own people" and
urged the world to support fresh sanctions against his regime.

In a speech at a university during a three-day visit to South Africa,
Miliband accused the 84-year-old Zimbabwean leader of unleashing "a campaign
of unchecked brutality against his own people."

"He has turned the weapons of the state on his own people," Miliband
told an audience at the University of South Africa.

He reiterated Britain's call for a "transitional government based on
the 29 March election".

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai finished ahead of Mugabe in the March 29 first round of the
election, but with an official vote total just short of an outright

 "For the British government, the way out is clear," said Miliband.

"We will argue this in the UN this week. There needs to be a
transitional government based on the 29 March election in Zimbabwe."

He added: "The world community needs to unite with the UN, not only to
condemn violence but to initiate further sanctions on the regime ..."

Tsvangirai pulled out of the June 27 run-off five days ahead of the
poll, citing rising violence against his supporters that left dozens dead
and thousands injured.

Defying international and regional calls to postpone the election,
Mugabe pushed ahead with the vote, which predictably handed him a landslide

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
1980, has said he is open to talks with the opposition but only if they
accept him as president.

The MDC, which also won a majority in parliament over Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party, insists it has a mandate to head up any government.

Miliband visited Zimbabwean refugees at a church after arriving in
South Africa on Sunday and warned that the crisis in the neighbouring
country was "infecting the whole of southern Africa".

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G8 leaders talk of more Zimbabwe sanctions

Yahoo News

By David Ljunggren Mon Jul 7, 7:37 AM ET

TOYAKO, Japan (Reuters) - World leaders raised the prospect of more
sanctions against Zimbabwe on Monday unless quick progress is made to end a
political crisis after a violent election that extended President Robert
Mugabe's 28-year rule.

At a Group of Eight nations summit in Japan, G8 heads of state told seven
African leaders at the gathering to deal with Mugabe or trade and investment
could be hit on the world's poorest continent, a Canadian official told

G8 leaders slammed the poll on Monday, with President George W. Bush calling
it a sham, while Chancellor Angela Merkel called it illegitimate and said
she would back more sanctions.

"There's growing support for sanctions against the Mugabe regime being
stepped up," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters.

Bush said Zimbabwe was discussed extensively at the meeting but Tanzanian
President Jakaya Kikwete suggested African leaders and the G8 differed over
how to respond to the crisis.

"The only area that we may differ is on the way forward. You see differently
but for us in Africa we see differently, but I think again there is still
room for us for discussions," said Kikwete, who is also head of the African

"I want to assure you that the concerns that you have expressed are indeed
the concerns of many of us in the African continent," said Kikwete, who
called again for a unity government in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe was the only candidate in the June 27 run-off election after
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out citing state-sponsored
violence against candidates and supporters of his the Movement for
Democratic Change.


The United States also pointed to divergent views.

"There were differences. Not all leaders are there yet," Dan Price,
assistant to the president for international economic affairs, said
referring to sanctions.

"It is fair to say that, you know, not all African leaders are in a position
to support sanctions at this time."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said there was discussion among some of
the African leaders about a power-sharing agreement for Zimbabwe and what it
would look like.

Asked how the White House would view a such a deal, Perino said: "We're
waiting to see what it would look like."

But G8 leaders suggested their patience was short.

"The Mugabe regime is an illegitimate regime and it should not be tolerated.
Public opinion in G8 countries questions why the world would tolerate such a
regime and questions why Africa would tolerate such a regime," a senior
Canadian official quoted G8 leaders as telling their African counterparts.

"A number of G8 leaders drew attention to the fact that if Africa were to
develop, more than just official development assistance was needed. It
required trade, it required investment and the image of Africa was suffering
because of what was going on in Zimbabwe," he told reporters.

An African Union summit issued a resolution last week calling for talks
leading to a national unity government in Zimbabwe.

But despite heightened African criticism, Mugabe, who attended the AU
summit, seemed unchastened.

Merkel said she was willing to ramp up pressure on Mugabe.

"I have made very clear that I see the presidential election as
illegitimate," Merkel said on Monday.

"I do not rule out further sanctions against Zimbabwe."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged a quick solution.

"There was especially frank discussion underlining the damage that the
current situation in Zimbabwe is making to the overall image of Africa and
the need to find a quick solution for that very appalling and dramatic
situation," he said.

The G8's talks on Monday at a luxury hotel in northern Japan included
leaders of Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and

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Zimbabwe says world must accept Mugabe


Mon Jul 7, 2008 3:13pm BST

By Nelson Banya

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe urged the world on Monday to accept President
Robert Mugabe's re-election and said any move to impose U.N. sanctions on
his government would hurt everyone involved.

This week, the U.N. Security Council is due to discuss a U.S. and
British-based proposal for financial and travel restrictions on Mugabe and
his top officials as well as an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

World leaders at a Group of Eight nations summit in Japan also raised the
prospect of more sanctions on Zimbabwe unless quick progress is made to end
a political crisis after Mugabe's re-election in a poll that drew global

"It is the UK that is pushing for sanctions, but isolating and demonising
Zimbabwe is not in the best interests of anyone. They should treat Zimbabwe
as a partner rather than an enemy," Deputy Information Minister Bright
Matonga said.

"The people of Zimbabwe made a decision on June 27 and that decision has to
be respected."

The sanctions are aimed at punishing Mugabe and his closest aides for
holding a presidential run-off election last month that was boycotted by
challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, who accused Mugabe of deadly attacks on his

Mugabe, 84, was sworn in for a new five-year term after election authorities
declared he had won a landslide victory. Britain, the United States and many
Western nations refuse to recognise his victory and view his government as

Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on Monday for the world to unite on
the sanctions proposal.

Tsvangirai won a March 29 election but failed to win the absolute majority
needed to avoid a second ballot. He withdrew from the campaign after
repeated attacks on supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change by
pro-Mugabe militia.

The MDC leader has refused to recognise Mugabe's victory and demanded that
violence be stopped and that the result of the March 29 elections be
accepted as pre-conditions for any talks with the veteran ruler's

The opposition accused Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF of terrorising MDC activists
and voters between the March and June polls. The MDC says more than 100 of
its followers have been killed in a crackdown by Mugabe's supporters. The
party said on Monday that one more body had been found.

Tsvangirai was arrested five times and his lieutenant, Tendai Biti, was
detained on a treason charge after returning to the country to participate
in the campaign. He could face the death penalty if found guilty.

A Zimbabwean court on Monday postponed proceedings against Biti until August
26. The MDC secretary general is accused of prematurely leaking the results
of the March elections. He is currently free on bail.

(Additional reporting by Muchena Zigomo in Pretoria and David Ljunggren in
Tokyo; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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Resolving the Zimbabwean Crisis, by Arthur Mutambara

It is Armed Struggle or All-inclusive Dialogue

By Arthur G.O. Mutambara

7th July 2008; Harare, Zimbabwe

The Stark Choices

Zimbabwe is facing a major political, humanitarian and economic crisis after
the illegal and fraudulent Presidential election on the 27th of June 2008.
The output of such an electoral process can only be an illegitimate
incumbent. There are two options for us as Zimbabweans: Pick up arms of war
and drive out Robert Mugabe or negotiate an all-inclusive national political
settlement. These are the only choices. We need to be decisive in our
analysis and strategic thinking.  Given our circumstances and history it
seems the only sensible and conceivable way forward is through national
dialogue among all the key civic and political stakeholders, in pursuit of a
political agreement. The immediate challenges include defining the
framework, format, timeline and terms of reference for that dialogue.
Thereafter, and more importantly, the question then becomes: What kind of
political settlement will lead to a democratic, justiciable and sustainable
resolution of the crisis?

The Political Settlement

In terms of the potential outcomes of the dialogue, there are three key
possibilities; an inclusive and stable government on the terms of
democratically elected citizens, a government of national unity involving
all key political players, and a transitional government tasked with the
mandate of supervising fresh free and fair elections. These are the
scenarios, or their variations or permutations, which could constitute a
political settlement in our country. Beyond the political agreement there
must be a comprehensive, drawn out and all-inclusive national healing and
rehabilitation program. This is very essential, given the extent of the
political polarization, physical devastation and psychological trauma that
our people have gone through in the last 3 months. There is also need to
quickly address the humanitarian aspects of the crisis, while putting in
place mechanisms to salvage, recover and stabilize the economy.

It must be emphasized that commitment to dialogue as a strategy of
resolution does not mean agreement to a particular negotiation format, nor
does it mean endorsement of a specific political outcome. All these matters
must be discussed and resolved as part of the all-inclusive dialogue
process. What is imperative for Zimbabweans is making up their minds on
whether they want an armed revolution or they want to talk to each other. It
is that simple. Of course if negotiations do not succeed there will be only
one option left to the people of Zimbabwe. We will fight.

Towards a Sustainable Resolution

Resolving the current national crisis through mediation and external
intervention must be understood as a short-term effort that must be
complimented by long-term and holistic processes driven by Zimbabweans
themselves. We need to start defining a common socio-economic-political
framework that we all defend as citizens irrespective of political
affiliation. This should be a shared framework in which we contest each
other for power and develop economic strategies to drive our country. There
must be some things we agree on in spite of our diverse political
associations. In addition to agreeing on the name of the country and its
boundary, why can't we have a constitution that we all defend and revere?
Why can't we have both a democratic culture and a political system, rooted
in issues-based plural politics, which we all celebrate and protect? Would
we all not cherish the day when Gideon Gono, Emerson Munangagwa and Joice
Mujuru spend 15 months in public debates in a party primary election to
determine the ZANU-PF national Presidential candidate? Surely, a similar
internal, protracted and public contestation in the opposition will enable
distillation of ideas leading to both high quality candidates and platforms.
Change must have both form and substance. This is the long term dream,
beyond the immediate crisis. Why can't we collectively develop a 20-30 year
national economic vision shared by all Zimbabwean political parties and
civic society? Why can't we just differ on strategies and tactics of
achieving the vision but not question the nature and existence of the
Promised Land?

There is need for Zimbabweans to embrace generational thinking and analysis.
The generation of Joshua Nkomo, Herbert Chitepo, Robert Mugabe, Jason Moyo
and Nbabaningi Sithole have a result; the Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980.
What is the legacy of Saviour Kasukuwere, Sylvester Nguni, Nelson Chamisa
and Priscilla Misihairambwi? What is their generational result they can
point to when they are 84 years old? We need to establish a multi-party,
all-encampsing generational agenda which must define us as Zimbabweans. Yes,
we should borrow and learn from other successful economies and cultures.
However, there must be local ownership and buy-in of the formulation,
construction and implementation of the socio-economic models. Making
Zimbabwe a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation should be the central
organizing mantra of our thinking. More significantly and specifically, if
our generation can make Zimbabwe a globally competitive economy in 20 years
time, in terms of GDP, per capita income, entrepreneurship, business growth,
exports, productivity, competitiveness, financial literacy, and quality of
life, that will be our cross-party generational result.

Yes, we must confront the Zimbabwean crisis and resolve it as a matter of
urgency. However, there is need for broader and longer term processes to
ensure sustainability of the resolution. Let us step up to the plate. We owe
it to ourselves and to posterity.

This is our generational mandate.

Arthur G.O. Mutambara

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Mutambara defends meeting Mugabe

By Violet Gonda
7 July 2008

The Mutambara MDC has come under fire after it emerged that the group met
with Robert Mugabe and South African President Thabo Mbeki in Harare on
Saturday. A meeting boycotted by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The leader of the MDC breakaway faction, Professor Arthur Mutambara, said:
"Our information was that Mr Tsvangirai was the one who requested that
meeting and secondly Mr Tsvangirai had confirmed his attendance at that
meeting, otherwise we would not have attended that meeting if we knew that
Mr Tsvangirai was not going to attend."

However, an official from the Tsvangirai MDC said a request had been made
for a meeting, but that was before the 27 June sham election. The Tsvangirai
MDC said Mugabe refused to have the meeting and went ahead with the run off

The Tsvangirai MDC official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
meeting was supposed to be between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, but for this
Saturday meeting Mbeki had gone ahead and invited the Mutambara MDC. "It was
very clear that Mugabe wanted a photo shoot opportunity and Thabo Mbeki
wanted to hoodwink leaders at the G8 summit that the parties were talking,"
the official said.

The Tsvangirai MDC added that it boycotted Saturday's meeting because
conditions for negotiations had not been met, which included an end to
violence and clarification on the issue of Thabo Mbeki as the sole
negotiator. Tsvangirai has in the past complained that Mbeki is not an
honest broker who favours the Mugabe regime.

There was an outcry from many Zimbabweans when they saw news photos of
Mutambara shaking hands with Mugabe at State House. The photos were used in
the state media as a PR opportunity.

Asked if going to State House was legitimising Mugabe, Mutambara responded
by saying: "That is nonsense. What is important is meeting. We want to make
sure that Zimbabweans get together. It doesn't matter where they meet. We
are not caught up on the rubbish around form. We are concerned about
substance. if Mr Tsvangirai is concerned about meeting in the State House we
can meet under a tree and discuss the matters of our country."

Some Zimbabweans had hoped the two MDC's would emerge as a united front
against the Mugabe regime but the gap between the two formations seems to be
widening. Although the two groups went to the negotiating table as one
before the elections, they contested the parliamentary elections as separate
entities and continue to differ on ideologies. While the Tsvangirai MDC says
it will only participate in negotiations when the violence stops, the
Mutambara MDC says you can't begin the discourse on violence if you don't

Mutambara says it is well documented that there is political illegitimacy in
Zimbabwe because of the fraudulent election held on the 27th June. He said
this leaves Zimbabweans with only two choices, either an armed struggle to
drive Mugabe out of power, or an all inclusive dialogue leading to a
political settlement.

He defended his party's decision to attend the meeting saying given the
history of Zimbabwe and the current circumstance the only option that is
viable is negotiations. "The issues about the format, the terms of
reference, the timeline, the type of mediation for that negotiation could be
resolved as part of the dialogue."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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NGO ban starting to bite

Photo: Obinna Anyadike/IRIN
Still banned
MASHAVA, 7 July 2008 (IRIN) - The ban on non-governmental organisation (NGO) activities in the lead-up to the second round of voting in the presidential ballot is beginning to bite, according to Zimbabwe's communal farmers, who are weathering the worst food shortages in living memory.  

Alleging political bias, the government suspended all NGO activities, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claims the ban was instituted to try and hide the political violence unleashed against its supporters after the 29 March general elections, in which President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF lost control of parliament for the first time since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Neither Mugabe nor MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was able to win 50 percent plus one vote in the first round of voting to elect Zimbabwe's president, necessitating a second round of voting on 27 June, from which Tsvangirai withdrew after more than 80 MDC supporters were murdered and tens of thousands of people displaced by violence, allegedly by ZANU-PF militia.

Hansen Chipembere, 60, a small-scale farmer in the Zvinyaningwe area of Masvingo Province, about 60km from the provincial capital, Masvingo, told IRIN: "We are an unlucky lot. This year has been the worst ever for us, and that is when authorities decide our benefactors (NGOs) should stop assisting. You can smell the hunger as you move around."

''This year has been the worst ever for us, and that is when authorities decide our benefactors (NGOs) should stop assisting.  You can smell the hunger as you move around''
He inherited the land from his father five years ago, but had worked the smallholding outside the old asbestos mining town of Mashava for 40 years. During that time, he had never witnessed such levels of crop failure as that experienced during the 2007/08 season.

The poor harvest is being blamed on a combination of heavy rains at the beginning of the planting season, followed by a prolonged dry spell, as well as the lack of agricultural inputs, such as fertilisers and seed, leaving farmers without food to feed themselves or any surplus to produce an income.  

Chipembere told IRIN that government's agricultural planners had consistently failed to heed the advice of smallholder farmers, which would have made them less vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather.  

His 50ha smallholding hugs Muzhwi dam, built at a cost of US$5.8 million a decade ago primarily to augment water supplies to the sugar estates in the Lowveld, 500km south of the capital, Harare, but also to irrigate communal lands.

"We can only watch and admire the scenery while we scrounge for food. That body of water could alleviate our plight," Chipembere commented. For the past three years he and other communal farmers have travelled to Masvingo to try and persuade agricultural planners to design an irrigation scheme suitable for their area.

"We were frustrated by the bureaucracy and gave up after spending a lot of money on bus fares, and investing a lot of time in trying to get the officials to act," Benjamin Guruva, a smallholder farmer whose plot borders Muzhwi dam, told IRIN. "We have the farming experience but have been completely left out of the government scheme."

Food promised

British cabinet minister Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, which promotes poverty alleviation and development in poor countries, has promised US$18 million to the World Food Programme to provide for the millions of people expected to require food assistance. Alexander also called on Zimbabwe to lift the ban on NGOs, so that aid could reach those in need and facing starvation.

The bulk of the funding will be used to provide food, but a proportion will be used to strengthen WFP monitoring systems to prevent political interference and ensure that the food is received by all those who require it.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) crop assessment forecast, released in June 2008, projected that about 5.1 million Zimbabweans will suffer food insecurity.

"The Mission estimates that 2.04 million people in rural and urban areas will be food insecure between July and September 2008, rising to 3.8 million people between October and peaking to about 5.1 million at the height of the hungry season between January and March 2009," the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission  to Zimbabwe said.

Zimbabwe's population is estimated at about 12 million people, but this does not take into account the more than three million people thought to have left the country since 2000 as a result of mounting economic and political instability.  


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Statement by the Botswana Observer Team of the SADC Election Observer Mission

Republic of Botswana - Office of the President


From: Dr. Jeff Ramsay
Coordinator- Government Communication and Information System
Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975338 & Facsimile: (267) 3957830.
Cell: (267)71318598.  E-mail:

Please find below the Statement by the Botswana Observer Team of the SADC
Election Observer Mission that was read out at this morning's Press
Conference Gaborone, which was also addressed by Hon. Minister of Foreign
affairs and International Cooperation (Statement Previously


On behalf of the Botswana Team that took part in the observation of the
Zimbabwe Presidential run off elections I would like to start off by
thanking the Government of Botswana for having given us the opportunity to
be part of the SADC Election Observer Mission otherwise known as SEOM.

Due to time constraints what we are going to present here today is a brief
summary of our report to the Botswana Government concerning our
observations, findings, and conclusions as we saw the situation on the

The main objective of our mission was to ensure that the Zimbabwe
Presidential run-off elections were held in accordance with the SADC
Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.  These principles
constitute on essential tool for determining the validity, integrity and
credibility of elections.  The expectation was that at the end we should be
able to make a determination as to whether or not the elections were free
and fair.  Briefly stated and to the extent material these principles are as

* Full participation of the citizens and political process
* Freedom of association
* Political tolerance
* Equal opportunity for all political parties to access the state media
* Equal opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for
* Independence of the judiciary and the impartiality of the electoral
institutional, just to mention but a few

The team which represented Botswana was made up of 50 persons drawn from the
three political parties represented in the National Assembly, Civic Bodies,
Civil Servants and Academics.

I believe ladies and gentlemen as you can see the team is well represented
in terms of gender balance, age and background.  All in all, the SADC
Observer Mission had 413 observers from 12 of the 14 SADC member states.
You will note that the number was quite large compared to the number sent in
the March 29 elections.  The Government of Botswana also availed 8 vehicles
to be used by the Mission.  The increase in the number was to allow for a
better coverage of the election process taking into account the nature of
these elections.  You will note with the benefit of hindsight ladies and
gentlemen, that this approach by Government has benefited the Mission and
SADC as well as all those concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe.
Because of the numbers, we were able to cover all the 10 provinces of
Zimbabwe and this gave us the opportunity to observe first hand what
transpired during the run-up to the elections.


Coming to the observations and findings I will start with the campaign


In terms of the SADC principles, contesting parties are entitled to
equitable access to the state controlled media.  We however observed that
the state media prominently featured ZANU-PF political advertisements and
messages to the exclusion of MDC-T.  In the few instances where reference
was made to the MDC - T in the state media, the messages were ZANU -PF
sponsored and intended to disparage, de-campaign and discredit the MDC-T.  A
case in point was a TV advertisement depicting Morgan Tsvangirai's head
alongside those of some three known heads of state from the Western world
and is entitled the Loser's club.  On inquiry by the observers as to why
MDC-T was not covered, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission responded by saying
ZBH which controls the state media declined to flight MDC advertisements on
the basis that they were uncomfortable with the language used.

I will now move on to the observations we made under the right to vote and
be voted for.  Voting in Zimbabwe is in two ways, there is postal voting
which is conducted some days prior to the actual voting day and the voting
that takes place on polling day.  Postal voting is intended for members of
the disciplined forces, foreign missions and any other applicant whose
nature of duty may take them away from their wards on polling day. Under
postal voting ZEC informed the observers that in the March 29 elections 8000
people had applied for postal voting, but that in the Presidential run-off
elections this number had increased to 64000.  The Observer Teams were
however, not able to observe the postal voting process because information
about it was not forthcoming from ZEC.  Even where the Observer Teams got
information about postal voting taking place they were denied access to the
polling stations by the Commanders at the Police Stations where most of this
postal voting was taking place. When the Observer Teams enquired about this
with ZEC we were informed that it was within the discretion of the
Commanding officers to either grant or refuse such authority.  Worth noting
however, was that the Observer Teams received reports that postal voting
took place in the presence, and under the directions of Commanding Officers
who instructed their juniors to vote for the ZANU-PF candidate or risk
losing their jobs.


The Team observed that the holding of rallies was a preserve of the ruling
ZANU - PF, whilst the MDC-T political rallies were systematically disrupted
by the ZANU-PF militia and youth.  For instance, on Sunday 22nd June 2008,
the Team witnessed first hand how a planned "star rally organized by Mr.
Morgan Tsvangirai  was  prevented from taking place by a group of youth
wearing ZANU-PF regalia armed with sticks, stones and sjamboks.  They chased
and indiscriminately beat all the people in the vicinity of the venue where
the rally was taking place.  All this was done in full view of SADC
observers including some members present here. Riot police passively
witnessed these attacks making no attempts whatsoever to intervene.  After
completing their task these youth retreated to the ZANU-PF headquarters
where they were treated to food.

Other incidents of politically motivated violence by the Team included the

People believed to be associated with the MDC-T party were subjected to
severe beatings, harassment, torture, killings and general threats of
violence.  The Police also appeared not to be enforcing law and order, and
the ZANU-PF youth and militia mounted illegal road blocks, forcing people to
attend ZANU-PF rallies and had bases where they tortured perceived opponents
under the guise of re-educating them.  In contrast ZANU-PF supporters
received the full protection of the Police as their rallies were never
disrupted nor did they report any incidents of harassment to the Observer


During the campaigns, the observer mission noted with concern the
uncompromising positions adopted by the contesting political
parties/candidates to accept the outcome of the electoral process.  The
MDC-T Presidential candidate Mr. Tsvangirai, on the one hand made it clear
that he will not accept a win by ZANU-PF Presidential candidate, Mr. Mugabe,
citing politically motivated violence among other things. On the other hand,
ZANU-PF President Mr. Mugabe made it clear at most political rallies and
meetings he addressed that he would not accept the outcome of the election
if MDC-T presidential candidate won.  His reasons were also supported by the
leadership of the party, the Military and Police Commanders.


The team observed high level of intimidation and politically motivated
violence that escalated with the approach to the run-off elections leading
to injuries to persons, internal and external displacements of people,
abductions, loss of property, loss of lives, theft and looting. In short,
the may hem observed by the team, had the effect of depriving the people of
Zimbabwe, the opportunity to fully participate in the electoral process.


Generally speaking there was an apparently calm atmosphere on voting day.
But beneath this calmness was a noticeable voter intimidation where voters
were required to record the Serial Number on their ballot papers and later
submit that information to functionaries of the ruling ZANU-PF.  One
actually came and asked where the serial number is. This was intended to
induce some voters into believing that the information pertaining to how
they voted would be accessible and used against them.

In some rural polling stations, Chiefs/Headmen were used to record the names
of their subjects who were then required, against their will, to go and
queue behind their chief / headmen on voting day and vote in a
pre-determined sequence.  In this way voters were made to believe that their
voting patterns were capable of being verified as to whether they indeed
voted for ZANU-PF. We noticed a high number of those who said they could not
read and write and in such cases they were  "assisted" by the Presiding
Officers in the presence of two other Polling Officers and a Police officer.


It is now common knowledge that on 22 June 2008 Mr. Tsvangirai announced his
withdrawal from the Presidential race citing among other things the
prevalence and escalating politically motivated violence.  It is also common
knowledge that ZEC did not accept his withdrawal from the elections arguing
that it was not in accordance with the Zimbabwe electoral laws and
regulations.  The bottom line however, is that for all intents and purposes
the election effectively became a one-horse race, pitting Mr. Robert Mugabe
against a non-participating Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai.  It is worth noting
however, that even after Mr. Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the race the level
of violence did not go down.  Voter harassment and intimidation, beatings
and displacements continued unabated.


The Team noted with that some Observers were subjected to harassment. On
different occasions, some members of the Team were chased away from rallies
addressed by ZANU-PF and prevented from carrying out their observer duties.
In some instances, Observers were threatened with violence and instructed to
leave such rallies.  The Team was in particular singled out for harassment
on account of perceptions that Botswana was anti-ZANU-PF.


The level of intimidation and political violence that escalated with the
approach of the June 27 Presidential run-off elections has been clearly
catalogued.  There were many victims of violence in the form of injuries,
displacements, abductions, loss of property, and loss of lives.  The
atrocities have been corroborated and constitute the necessary evidence to
conclude that the credibility and integrity of the election process was

Notwithstanding the apparent orderly conduct that prevailed on voting day,
the entire election process was marred by a wave of violence.  The Team
therefore concludes that the Presidential run-off election was not free and
fair and does not represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

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Leaders fail to agree over Zimbabwe

Financial Times

By Krishna Guha

Published: July 7 2008 19:14 | Last updated: July 7 2008 19:14

Leaders from the developed world and Africa failed on Monday to agree on how
to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe, which overshadowed a meeting between
the Group of Eight and seven African heads of state.

The African leaders resisted pressure from the US and Europe for sanctions
against the Mugabe regime, telling the western nations that they still saw
scope for African diplomacy to lead to a power-sharing accord.

Appearing at a joint news conference with President George W. Bush, Jakaya
Kikwete, president of Tanzania and chairman of the African Union, said: “The
only area where we may differ is on the way forward.”
Last week the African Union called on both sides in the Zimbabwe crisis –
President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change –
to come together in a national unity government. The call came after Mr
Mugabe declared himself the winner of a presidential election run-off on
June 27 which the MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, boycotted, citing
violence against his supporters.

Mr Kikwete said: “We are saying no party can govern alone in Zimbabwe and
therefore the parties have to work together.”

He assured Mr Bush that African leaders understood the urgency of dealing
with the crisis, saying: “The concerns that you have expressed are indeed
the concerns of many of us in the African continent.” Dan Price, US deputy
national security adviser for international economic affairs, told reporters
after the meeting: “There were differences. Not all leaders are there yet,
in respect of sanctions.”

The US and its European allies made it clear they would keep up the pressure
for a further United Nations Security Council resolution on Zimbabwe.

US officials said there was broad agreement with the African leaders on the
need to resolve the crisis.

Dana Perino, the chief White House spokesperson, suggested the US was still
open to an accord that respected the “will of the people of Zimbabwe” while
also sharing power between the two main parties.

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After the AU's Failure, What to Do About Zimbabwe?

Michael Wilkerson  | 07 Jul 2008
World Politics Review Exclusive

Nigerian author Wole Soyinka -- the first African to win the Nobel
prize -- famously described the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as a
"collaborative club of perpetual self-preservation." Part of the reason the
continental body re-branded itself as the African Union (AU) in 2001 was to
distance itself from the days, when the most brutal of dictators took a
break from killing the opposition and stealing state funds to mingle will
colleagues in fancy hotels.

As the African Union summit in Egypt closed July 1, its failure to
take any serious action on Mugabe's crumbling Zimbabwe was reminiscent of
the old days when the OAU simply looked the other way. After Zimbabwe's
blatantly unfair election, much was made of the opportunity for the AU to
prove its recently democratized values were more than words alone. The
organization's latest charter, adopted with the name change in 2001,
codified democratic principles like constitutionalism, separation of powers,
human rights, freedom of expression, and political pluralism. It even
strengthened the AU's power to intervene in member countries in "grave

Presented with undeniably grave circumstances in Zimbabwe and the
support of almost every Western power, the AU did nothing. Is anyone really

Yes, there was an official call by the AU for a government of national
unity in Zimbabwe, and a few leaders like the presidents of Sierra Leone and
Liberia vocally protested at the meeting. But these leaders, Ernest Bai
Koroma and Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, respectively, are from a different mold
than much of the AU crowd. Both lead new, improving democracies and came to
power not long after witnessing devastating civil wars in their countries,
which were unleashed by the kind of people the OAU used to condone.

Their courageous protests at the summit were backed by other
condemnations of Mugabe from afar by people like Kenyan Prime Minister Raila
Odinga and former South African leader Nelson Mandela. The courage of these
few leaders should be applauded. The sad thing is the AU was never really in
a position, morally or practically, to do anything about Mugabe.

As Guardian columnist Simon Tisdall noted in a June 30 column, Africa
retains an unfortunately high number of leaders who have been there for
decades -- some longer than Mugabe. The ugly human rights records of many of
these men would make it difficult for them to come down too hard on Mugabe
for moral reasons, international pressure or not. "Publicly defenestrating
Zimbabwe's self-declared president might create an uncomfortable precedent
for them," Tisdall wrote.

Practically, what could the AU do to coerce Mugabe? South Africa, the
only AU country that could exert serious military or economic pressure on
Zimbabwe has refused. Though the AU has sent peacekeepers to Darfur and
Somalia, those forces have been small and underfunded -- hardly sufficient
to deal with those disasters. Short of endorsing a force from the U.N. or
from a Western country (and none were volunteering) the AU was left with
little choice but to issue a grandiose statement. Still, this statement
could have condemned the elections or refused to recognize Mugabe's
presidency. But rather than confront Mugabe, the summit took the easy
choice. One step above nothing.

It didn't help that Mugabe still commands an almost unexplainable
respect from his days as liberation hero. Only last year at the AU summit in
Ghana, huge crowds turned out to hear Mugabe and his North African buddy
Moammar Gadhafi preach from the pan-African bible. Two of Africa's
longest-standing dictators, the two were brothers in arms in the fight for a
continental democratic ideal they've long before abandoned at home.

Like last year, the AU summit in Egypt largely proceeded with business
as usual. There were inspirational speeches and leaders were protected from
a crowd of reporters. Once again, the AU has left the question of what to do
about Zimbabwe open.

Finding a Way Out

Most of the discussion within the international community about that
question centers around three options: refusing to recognize Mugabe and
cranking up the sanctions; pushing for a unity government on the model of
Kenya; or intervening militarily. Obviously, much depends on Mugabe himself,
but if any negotiated settlement is to be reached two conditions are
requisite. First, any solution must guarantee an end to the violence and
persecution against the opposition MDC and its supporters. Second - and this
may surprise some -- Mugabe must be promised a way out.

In their superb collection of case studies about changes of leadership
in Africa, "Legacies of Power," editors Henning Melber and Roger Southall
explain the rules by which African leaders have historically operated: "If
they were not forcibly ejected from power, it was common for leaders to
remain in office, often citing their indispensability, cultivating an iconic
status, and even claiming that age could not wither them."

But the main focus of the book is to examine the circumstances under
which a growing collection of African leaders left power willingly. A key
lesson is that repressive leaders fear retribution. As the book says, they
"may have reasonable cause for expecting that their political opponents will
seek to humiliate if not prosecute them" after they leave office.

Dissatisfying as it may be, if he is to be convinced to leave, Mugabe
must be protected from punishment for his crimes by his own people or the
international community. If he is to ever actually leave, he will need a
guarantee of physical and material security. There is a precedent in
Zimbabwe. Despite the atrocities committed by Mugabe's predecessor,
apartheid leader Ian Smith, Mugabe never touched him. To free Zimbabwe again
28 years later, the country's current oppressor will need the same promise.

Michael Wilkerson is currently working in Uganda for the Independent

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Barclays called to "make a stand" against Mugabe

A News Release from the Office of...


Welsh Assembly Member for Wrexham
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99 1NA

For immediate release: 7th July 2008


A Labour Member of the Welsh Assembly has written to senior executives of a
major high street bank, calling on them to follow the example of Tesco and
take "make a stand" against the bloody regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe,
and suspend its operations in the country.

Wrexham AM, Lesley Griffiths - who has compaigned in the Welsh Assembly
against the violation of trade union rights and the wrongful arrest and
imprisonment of three prominent trade union leaders by the regime of Rober
Mugabe - has written to Marcus Agius (Chairman) and John Varley (Group Chief
Executive) of Barclays Bank plc, calling on the company to suspend its
operations forthwith in the African country, until the political crisis
there is resolved and democracy restored.

Commenting on her letter to bank executives, Lesley Griffiths AM - who is an
account holder with Barclays - said:

"Barclays plc has a controlling 67 per cent share in Barclays Bank of
Zimbabwe. This bank provides loans and invests in government bonds that
indirectly enable Mugabe to finance his regime of terror and enable his
thugs to torture and imprison trade unionists in the country.

"For a UK high street bank to be seen giving any kind of support - indirect
or otherwise - to the heinous regime of Robert Mugabe's, is I believe,
extremely damaging to company's reputation. As a Barlcays Bank account
holder, I have asked them to suspend its operations immediately, until the
current political situation is resolved and democracy is restored. I await
their reply with great interest."

Roberts Mugabe's has made it law that any commercial bank operating in the
country - such as Barclays - must reinvest 40 per cent of its profits in
Zimbabwean Government bonds. The result of Barclays' continued presence in
Zimbabwe, therefore enables the Zimbabwean Government to have access to
vital foreign exchange.

"I hope Barclays Bank take heed of the criticisms they are now facing from
across the political divide in the UK. As the main opposition party in
Zimbabwe - Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change - has said
recently, any company doing business in Zimbabwe is keeping that regime
alive. Barclays must now listen to those voices and do the honourable thing
by suspending its presence and help the ordinary people of Zimbabwe make a
stand against the tyrant Mugabe."

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ZANU-pf: Devoured by its Own Beast

George B.N. Ayittey, Ph.D.

In life, there arise many situations where one falls victim to one's own
scheming, plot or trap. Sometimes the intentions may not be malicious. For
example, your cousin has stayed at your home for five years. He contributes
nothing to the upkeep of the house. He eats for free and pays no rent.

Worse, he threatens you when you try to evict him. So you enlist the help of
your uncle, who helps evict the cousin. Later on, the uncle moves into your
home, bringing along his wife, his seven children and even his dog. When you
tried to complain, WHAAAAAACK! came a slap across your face and a threat to
evict you from your own home! Chei. Someone watching this might say "poetic
justice" or a Shona would say, "Haudyii marutse," meaning "eating your own

However, when the intentions are diabolical, a couple of expressions capture
this situation. One is, "Being hoisted by one's own petard," and another is,
"Riding a tiger that eventually devours you." There have been many such
instances in Africa's post colonial political history.

African tyrants spend an inordinate amount on an elab orate security cum
military structure to protect themselves, wipe out the opposition and
suppress their people. Since their hold on power is tenuous (their
legitimacy is often questionable) or came to power through illegitimate
means (via military coup), they are suspicious of everyone and paranoid of
every little event, however innocuous. So they spend enormous amounts of
resources creating layers upon layers of security -- just in case one level
fails -- and shower security agents with perks and amenities.

In Nigeria, former dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida rewarded "nearly 3,000
of his most loyal military chiefs by giving them new Peugeot sedan s. Most
Nigerians will never be able to afford anything like a new Peugeot 505,
which costs the equivalent of $21,000 in Lagos. A senior university
professor, for example, earns about $4,000 a year, while a nurse or mechanic
is lucky to bring home more than $1,000" (The New York Times, Dec 2, 1993;
p. A3).

But they can't trust the military completely because some soldier might get
the same idea of staging a coup. They ban coups but that does not help. So
they create a Special Division Force (like the 64th Battalion Rawlings
created in Ghana), and equip it with better weapons than the ordinary
soldiers so that the Special Force can put down any upris ing or coup
attempt from the military. Still, they don't sleep well at night because
they can't trust the Special Division Force, so they create an Elite Strike
Force (like the Commandos), which are directly answerable to the president.

Even then, that is cold comfort. So they create the Presidential Guard,
often drawn from members of their own tribe, and equip it with the best
weapons. As Africa Report noted regarding Mobutu's security::
" According to military sources in Kinshasa, the Zairian army currently
numbers around 100,000 personnel. The largest sector is the regula r army
known as the Zairian Armed Forces (FAZ), which numbers 81,000, 60,000 of
whom are under arms. Next in size is the 12,000 strong civil guard, headed
by General Kpama Baramoto, brother-in-law of Mobutu. But it is the Special
Presidential Division (DSP), numbering 15,000 under arms, which represents
the strong arm of Mubutu's rule. Both the Civil Guard and the DSP are
answerable to the president, while the FAZ is under the control of the
ministry of defense. Senior officers are largely from Mobutu's Equateur
region" (Jan-Feb 1992; p. 28).

Other military regimes in Africa have similar elite presidential guard. As
The Washington Post (July 23, 1994) reported:
"The (presidential) guard is a typical feature of undemocratic sub-Saharan
African regimes -- a coup deterring force recruited for its personal loyalty
to the commander in chief. A 1,500-man brigade of guards in Nigeria's inland
capital, Abuja, and a similar-sized force in Lagos, the country's commercial
capital, are described by military sources as the linchpin of Abacha's
internal security apparatus.
As in other undemocratic African countries, Abacha's presidential guard is
drawn from his own ethnic group in his home town. The guards often get the
best equipment and the best training" (p. A16).

Courage, however, is not the forte of Africa's presidential guards. In May
2007, hundreds of marauding soldiers fired guns in the air in the streets of
Conakry, Guinea, and other towns around the country, demanding th eir
salaries. They had not been paid for months. "We want the leaders who stole
our wages and betrayed us to step down," said one of the soldiers marching
in central Conakry close to the presidential palace. President Lansana
Conte, immediately deployed his presidential guards, distinguished by their
red berets, to the centre of the city. They were shooting in the air in an
attempt to scare off the mutinous soldiers. But when the presidential guards
saw that they were outnumbered, they fled.

Ambushed by bunch of rag-tag cattle rustlers, Kenya's elite presidential
guards quickly surrendered. Johann Wandetto, a reporter for the People
Daily, a newspaper in Kitale, Rift Valley province, submitted a story in the
March 6, 1999 edition with the title: "Militia men rout 8 crack unit
officers: Shock as Moi's men surrender meekly." Wandetto was arrested and
sentenced to 18 months in prison on what the court described as an "alarmist
report" (Index on Censorship, 3/2000; p.99).
As Africa's infrastructure and public services disintegrated, African
dictators found the wherewithal -- $15 billion annually -- to spend more and
more to import arms and maintain their military. But the security system,
quite apart from the threat that can come from within the country,
frequently fails to provide them with adequate protection. In fact, quite
often, it is the very same security apparatus that overthrows them. The
Asante have this proverb: If a bed bug bites you, it is from your own cloth.

The late Samuel Doe of Liberi a, for example, spent so much to keep his
soldiers happy. In addition, he had a crack Presidential troops, secretly
trained by the Israelis. But they could not protect him from the Charles
Taylor's rag-tag rebels of 1,000. Note that Charles Taylor was not even a
soldier but an ex-civil servant. Similarly, Comrade Haile Mariam Mengistu
spend an enormous amount to build Africa's largest army with 200,000 under
arms. But his army could not protect him from a band of determined Eritrean
and Tigray rebels. The same can be said for Siad Barre of Somalia.

In 1974, Colonel Haile Mariam Mengistu overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in a
1974 military coup. The ailing emperor was suffocated with a wet pillow, and
his body buried in an unmarked grave. Scores of his relatives were murdered
or chained to walls in the cellars of the imperial palace.
Thousands of suspected counterrevolutionaries were gunned down in the
streets. More than 30,000 people were jailed. When a member of his own junta
questioned the wisdom of such terror tactics, Mengistu shot him in the head.

In 1991, after routing by a rag-tag army of Eritrean rebels, Mengistu fled
to Zimbabwe. How safe was he there?

"Former Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam panicked and ran yelling
for help when a would-be assassin fired a single shot at one of his guards
last fall, a Zimbabwe court was told. The Eritrean suspect, Solomon Haile
Ghebre Michael, 36, pleaded not guilty Monday in the attack on the exiled
Col. Mengistu, given asylum by President Robert Mugabe in 1991 after he fled
Ethiopia (The Washington Times, Thursday July 11, 1996; p.A10).

On July 29, 1975, General Gowon of Nigeria was overthrown in a bloodless
coup, planned and executed by some of his most trusted colleagues, including
the Commander of the Presidential Guard. Interestingly, General Joe Garba,
who announced the overthrow, was Gowon's closest personal staff in whom he
could confide in all matters of security. Ironically, reasons for the coup
against Gowon were: inaccessibility, insensitivity, indecision and lack of
political direction. Strange that his own closest aide had no access to him.

On March 18, 1991, angry Malians took to the streets to demand democratic
freedom from the despotic rule of Moussa Traore. He unleashed his security
forces on them, killing scores, including women and children. But
pro-democracy forces were not deterred and kept up the pressure. Asked to
resign on March 25, he retorted: "I will not resign, my government will not
resign, because I was elected not by the opposition but by all the people of
Mali!!!! But two days lat er when he tried to flee the country, he was
grabbed by his own security agents and sent to jail. From there, he
lamented: "My fate is now in God's hands." The same happened to Joseph Momoh
of Sierra Leone, Sani Abacha of Nigeria, and many others.

Rather strangely, they always think they can count on 100 percent loyalty
from their troops. When Charles Taylor set out in Decemb er 1989 oust
General Doe from power, more than half of Doe's own soldiers deserted him
and joined Taylor's forces. And in Zaire's 1996 civil war, hundreds of
Mobutu's soldiers abandoned him. In Kalemie, Goma, Bukavu and Uvira, they
barely put up a fight and defected in droves with their weapons to the
rebels' side.

In Cameroon, Mbia Meka, the senior commissioner of police and the commandant
of the paramilitary Special Operations Squad, as well as Joseph Owona, and
Remy Ze Meka, secreta ry general at the prime minister's office, were
arrested on Sept 9, 1994 and charged with plotting to overthrow the Biya
regime. "The revelations stunned Cameroonians since the alleged coup leaders
were all members of Biya's own Beti ethnic group and, as part of the
powerful Essingan sect, were held in close confidence by the 61-year old
president" (The African Observer, Nov 15-28, 1994; p.14).

In Rwanda, the late president Juvenal Habryimana "fell victim to the monster
he created" (The Washington Post, April 18, 1995; p.A17). His plane crash
was plotted by his own allies in the military, who saw that he was edging
closer to political reforms that woul d threaten their power.

But the next military buffoon doesn't learn. Being a product of that
structure, with intricate knowledge of its inner workings, he repairs the
weaknesses and strengthens the structure. Eventually he too is overthrown by
the same security apparatus.

Remember General Mainassara of Niger who seized power in a coup in 1996? He
didn't trust his own military, so he created a Special Presidential Guard
and fortified his palace. It was impregnable but just in case somebody might
have an idea of attacking from the air, he g ave his Presidential Guard some
heavy artillery, including heavy-duty anti-helicopter machine guns.

Sometime in 1999, returning from a trip overseas, his Presidential Guard
went to the airport to meet him. They opened fire with their anti-helicopter
machine guns. Mainassara's body was shredded into pieces, littering the
tarmac. Upon seeing the bits, his wife collapsed on to the tarmac.

In Ivory Coast, ousted president Henri Bedie believed that the gendarmerie
was strong enough to protect the state and his presidency against any thr
eat. Accordingly, he gave hefty pay increases to the gendarmerie and the
police and ignored the army. "But the coup came, the gendarmes' commander
refused to order his men to fight fellow Ivorians" (The Economist, Jan 8,
2000; p.42).

The next coconut-head, General Robert Guie, did not learn. After seizing
power in a December 1999 coup, General Guie claimed he had only come to
"sweep the house clean" and return to the barracks. After tasting power for
a few months, he decided that "power isweet, haba." So he decided to run for
the presidency. He asked the very political party he overthrew for
corruption to choose him as their presidential candidate. Imagine. When none
of the parties would have him, he decided to run anyway as the "people's
candidate" in the October 27, 2000 elections.

When early returns showed that General Guie was losing, he ordered his
soldiers to raid the Electoral Commission and sack the commissioners. The
vote was then counted in secret and General Guei declared the winner. But,
"Crowds of Abidjan residents--angry at the general's attempt to steal
Sunday's presidential elections--fought for a second day with troops loyal
to Guei. The battle turned when key army units and the paramilitary gendarme
force defected to the opposition, recognizing veteran opposition politician
Laurent Gbagbo as the elected president" (The Washington Post, Oct 26, 2000;
p.A33). General Guie fled Ivory Coast in a helicopter on October 29 but he
died from mysterious circumstances a year later .

The law is this: The more an African head of state spends on security, the
more likely he will be overthrown by someone from his security forces. As
Decalo (1976) put it: "Military hierarchies often carry within them the
seeds of their own destruction or instability. Most of them have been rocked
by internal power struggles, factionalism, decay of cohesion and discipline,
personal power gambits, and successful or attempted coups" (p.36). Recall
that, each year, African governments spend about $15 billion on the
importation of weapons and maintenance of the military--an amount which is
nearly equal to what Africa receives in aid from all sources. The futility
of such military expenditures was pointed out by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Speaking at the Teachers Hall in Accra on November 25, 1990, he noted
cogently: "Freedom is cheaper than repression. When you are a leader chosen
by the people you don't need security. All the money spent on weapons
doesn't buy one iota of security," he said (Christian Messenger, Jan 1991;
p. 1).

"I bought jet fighters. I bought MiG-23s. I bought armed helicopters. And I
lost the war. When there's social unrest, it' s difficult to win. It's the
same feeling today," said Likulia Bolongo, the defense minister of President
Mobutu Sese Seko during the 1996-1997 war (The Washington Post, Nov 23,
1999; p.A24). His successor, President Laurent Kabila, did not learn. He was
shot and killed in 2001 by Rachidi Kasereka, a member of the presidential
bodyguard. Kasereka himself was killed immediately thereafter. Kasereka, 26
years old, was from North Kivu.

On August 2, 2005, army officers overthrew President Maaouiya Ould Sid Ahmed
Taya in a bloodless revolt. Speaking after the coup, Mr Taya said he had
been shocked to find out who was behind it. He was toppled by the former
security chief and close colleague, Colonel Ely Ould Mohammed Vall, who had
been the director of national security since 1987 and, after played a key
role in the 1984 coup which brought Mr Taya to power.
"My situation reminds me of the old adage: 'God, save me from my friends,
I'll take care of my enemies'," President Taya told Radio France
Internationale from Niger. "I was stunned by the coup d'etat [...] and even
more so when I heard who were the authors," Mr Taya said
After the 2002 elections in Zimbabwe, an unpopular, insecure and paranoid
Mugabe started to rely increasingly on the army generals to prop up his
regime after he retires. He FEARED that he might suffer the same fate as
former Chadian president, Hisene Habre, retired Zambian president, Frederick
Chiluba, and former Malawian president, Bakili Muluzi. Habre became "Africa'
s Pinochet" when he was indicted in a court in Senegal in 2006. Chiluba and
Muluzi were hounded by their hand-picked successors on charges of corruption
and mismanagement.

Mugabe believes a heavily militarized government that would take over from
him would not try him for any rights violations carried out under his
administration. And since the plunder of Congo's mineral riches and
lucrative deals had kept Zimbabwe's army generals fat and happy, they were
only too happy to oblige. Accordingly, the commander of the defense forces
at that time, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, warned in February 2992 that the
country's military, police and intelligence chiefs would not accept a
"Morgan Tsvangirai" as a national leader if he won the March 9 election
since he was not a veteran of Zimbabwe's independence struggle.

Accordingly in 2006, Mugabe embarked on an accelerated plan to militarize
all state institutions ahead of his retirement. Senio r military officers
were appointed to ZANU-PF's top decision-making body, the Politburo. The
military generals were invited into the State House and started assuming a
significant roe in the running of the country, with serving and retired
soldiers on boards of parastatals, even including sports.
From then on, military and police officers took over the electoral process,
orchestrating a campaign of intimidation, beatings against opposition
supporters. Morgan Tsvangirai was badly beaten up in May 2007 and three
assassination attempts have been made on his life. According to Zimbabwe
Human Rights Forum, organised violence and intimidation of the opposition
was rife in the run up to the March 29, 2008 elections. Groups of thugs,
mainly belonging to the ZANU (PF) party, terrorized and harassed residents,
supporters and purported supporters of their opponents. There was a lot of
tension, intimidation and violence in perceived opposition strongholds such
as Mbare and Epworth where members of the ZANU (PF) party used coercion to
try and win the support of the electorate. Of grave concern was the
degrading manner in which some of these attacks were carried out. Of note
are the incidences in Epworth in which two women were stripped of their MDC
party regalia leaving them half naked.

In spite of all these brutalities, the astonishing incompetence of the
military officers and ut ter failure of the militarization process became
apparent when the election results started coming in. The opposition MDC had
won control of parliament and Morgan Tsvangirai appeared to be winning the
presidential elections.
FEAR and PANIC struck the hearts of Mugabe, the Politburo and the cabal of
military generals. FEAR that they would be held accountable for rampant
corruption, egregious mismanagement of the economy and flagitious violations
of human rights, not to mention the vast sums of wealth they would lose
should the MDC win power. What to do? Withhold the presidential election

At a hastily arranged meeting a day after the elections, Mugabe told his
security officials that he had lost the election and was going to step down.
But Zimbabwe's military chief, General Constantine Chiwenga, told Mugabe
that stepping down from power was not a decision he alone should make. The
military would take control of the country and keep him in office or he
could contest the run-off election, which would be directed in the field by
senior army officers supervising a military-style campaign against the
opposition to ensure his re-election. Mugabe agreed to the second option,
which was codenamed, CIBD: Coercion, Intimidation, Beating, Displacement.
Remember you invited your uncle into your home to help you evict your
cousin, now the uncle has taken control of your home! Mugabe is no longer in
charge of the State House. And the ruling ZANU-PF politburo has been
rendered impotent by the military generals. When Vice President Joice
Mujuru, warned the ruling party's politburo in a May 14 meeting that the
violence might backfire, she was overruled repeatedly by Chiwenga, the
military head, and by former security chief Emerson Mnangagwa.

Of all the military coups that have taken place in post-colonial Africa,
Zimbabwe's is the most bizarre. Nearly all Africa's coups are motivated by a
grievance against ruling regime and, therefore, seek change of government or
the removal of the incumbent. But for purely selfish reasons and fear,
Zimbabwe's coup is an attempt to maintain or defend the rotten status quo.

The ruling Politburo is powerless to do anything; it has been devoured by
the very beast it unleashed against the opposition. Talk about being hoisted
by one's own petard.
But that is not the end of this torrid saga. Who killed Presidents Laurent
Kabila Ibrahim Mainassara? Members of their own presidential guards.

There is this adage: "The wise learn from the mistakes of others while fools
repeat them. Idiots, on the other hand, repeat their own stupid mistakes."
Stay tuned.

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Police stand guard as Zimbabwean opposition meets

POLICE guarded a Southend pub as dozens of Zimbabweans gathered for a branch
meeting of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

Police - on hand for party members' safety - have also started looking into
claims by a leading Zimbabwean exile dictator Robert Mugabe has put agents
on the streets of south Essex to spy on and harass MDC members here.

Stanford Biti, brother of MDC general secretary Tendai Biti, make the
shocking claim in the Echo last week. Police have offered their assistance,
if needed.

At yesterday's meeting, Mr Biti spoke out against Mugabe's Zanu PF party,
which held on to power amid widespread reports of voter intimidation. The
Southend pub where the group met has asked not to be named for fear of

Mr Biti said: "This latest meeting was for me to tell everybody how the MDC
leaders in Zimbabwe want us to go forward.

"I did speak to them, in Harare, the capital, just before I came to the
meeting and since the South African president has not helped, we want action
from the Pan-African Agreement."


The Pan-African Agreement is a simpler form of the European Union treaty,
which governs relations between nations.

MDC supporter Margaret Cuipandambira, 35, of Lancaster Gardens, Southend,
was at the meeting.

Ms Cuipandambira, who who works in a care home in the town, said: "I had
four shops, but Zanu PF closed me down because I belonged to the MDC "Then I
was the only breadwinner for the rest of my family.

"Today, most of them are in South Africa, but I still go to bed fearing for
their safety."

Jameson Mashakada, 30, is a Southend resident and vice chairman of the MDC
in Britain.

He said: "Southend has many nationalities living here.

"But when we speak to friends and people we meet here they are all very
worried when they learn we are exiles from Zimbabwe."

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Zuma tilts at Mugabe

07 July 2008
Mary Papayya

'Politicians should not overstay their welcome'

ANC president Jacob Zuma took a swipe at African leaders such as Robert
Mugabe who "refuse to step down" and overstay their political welcome.

Zuma was speaking at a celebratory ANC dinner in KwaZulu-Natal to welcome
the new ANC leadership and pay tribute to outgoing premier and ANC chairman
S'bu Ndebele.

Acknowledging Ndebele, Zuma said: "You are a good political student . who
knows how to step down with dignity . you have learnt from our great leaders
such as Madiba.

"In Africa we have some political leaders who refuse to bow out and try to
change the constitution to accommodate themselves . as in neigbouring

Zuma also publicly acknowledged the challenge of leading the volatile
province of KwaZuluNatal, especially when political tensions between the ANC
and Inkatha Freedom Party were at an all-time high.

"Flanked by a highly capable deputy (Zweli Mkhize) you provided dynamic
leadership and managed a precious and peaceful co-existence with the IFP,"
Zuma said.

He also congratulated Ndebele for his role in making sure that the recent
provincial election was "united and peaceful", unlike in other provinces.

Welcoming Mkhize to his new position Zuma said it was important for
transparency and open debate within the ANC to continue saying that "open
discussion and debate" should be encouraged.

He said "politics does not sleep" and it was important for a leader not to
allow "the gossip" to swelter.

He said he wanted to bid farewell to one of South Africa's "finest leaders"
and "welcome an even finer leader".

In a show of public unity Ndebele and Mkhize embraced. They fired the party's
first electioneering salvo for next year's poll, urging everyone to vote for
the ANC.

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E Guinea court sentences Briton Mann to 34 years

Yahoo News

1 hour, 44 minutes ago

MALABO (AFP) - A Malabo court sentenced British mercenary Simon Mann to 34
years and four months in prison on Monday for leading an abortive coup in
Equatorial Guinea.

Mann was arrested in March 2004 along with 61 other suspected coup plotters
when their plane landed in Zimbabwe. Mann also implicated Mark Thatcher, the
son of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, in the plot.

The court fined Mann 100 million CFA francs (150,000 euros or 235,000
dollars) and ordered that he be barred from entering Equatorial Guinea's
territory for a further 20 years after his sentence is served.

His co-accused, Lebanese-born Mohamed Salaami, was jailed for 18 years and
three months with the same fine and territorial bar applied.

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