Monsters and Critics
Jun 10, 2008, 13:46 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwe police have carried out a string of arrests of civic
organisations since Sunday, widening a crackdown against opponents of
President Robert Mugabe's regime ahead of presidential elections later this
The move follows a ban announced by the government last week on field
operations by aid agencies and charities, effectively strangling supplies of
food, medical care and an enormous range of services desperately needed by
millions of poverty- and violence- wracked Zimbabweans.
Fourteen members of 'public information groups' organized by the Media
Monitoring Project Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organization pressing for
media freedom, were finally given access to lawyers Tuesday after being
arrested on Sunday in the remote northern town of Binga, MMPZ coordinator
Andrew Moyse said.
Police had not stated why they had been arrested, but none had been
assaulted, he said.
In Harare, police on Monday raided the offices of the Ecumenical Support
Services, a Christian welfare organisation, and the Christian Alliance, a
body pressing for political reform.
'They claimed they were chasing criminals who had run into the building,'
said CA coordinator Useni Sibanda. 'Then they arrested 15 of our people.'
Among those arrested was outspoken critic and commentator, Pius Wakatama.
'As of now they are still detained in Harare central police station,'
Sibanda said. 'There are no charges. This is a non-partisan Christian
organisation. I am shocked they are doing this to us. They are clamping down
on all civil society groups. It's impossible to have free and fair
Also Tuesday, lawyers said police were ignoring high court orders issued
Sunday for the immediate release of senior advocate and just- elected MP
He was first arrested on May 31 on allegations of 'inciting violence,' only
days after he won a court ruling to stop members of the army from assaulting
people in his constituency in south-east Zimbabwe, following a wave of
violence against MDC supporters.
Last week a magistrate dismissed the charges against him and ordered him
released, only for police to arrest him at dawn at his Harare home on
A second round run-off presidential election is due on June 27 after
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change
won more votes than 84-year-old Mugabe in elections on March 29, but -
according to results issued by the state electoral commission after it sat
on the vote count for five weeks without explanation - failed to get more
than 50 per cent of ballots that he needed for outright victory.
Since the March 29 election, human rights and church groups have confirmed
MDC reports of a campaign of violent assaults against MDC supporters and
independent election observers around much of the country. The MDC says that
more than 65 have been killed while a group of doctors says nearly 3,000
have had to be treated in hospital for injuries.
Also Tuesday, Mugabe's Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said he was
planning an amnesty of convicted criminals in the country's jails to make
space for people convicted of political violence.
'We recognise that incidents of political violence are on the increase and
we want to take measures to stamp them out,' he said in the state-controlled
daily Herald newspaper. However, human rights lawyers say that police
routinely take no action against ruling party perpetrators of violence.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
June 10, 2008
The 14 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) who were arrested on
Wednesday two weeks ago, were due to appear in court on Tuesday. The state
has delayed the case again until Wednesday. The case has been delayed many
times and it is still not clear just what they are being charged with and
when the main case will be heard.
All the WOZA officials, including coordinators Jenni Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu, are part of the arrested group.
The WOZA members first appeared in court on May 30 and were granted bail,
but the state immediately appealed the decision and they were remanded in
custody until June 20.
The hearing that was delayed on Monday and again on Tuesday is the state
case which is appealing against any bail for the activists.
This is a cause for concern because WOZA has never been denied bail before.
Additionally the government this weekend announced new tougher measures
against activists. Deputy attorney general Johannes Tomana told the
state-run Herald newspaper that bail would be denied to 'anyone suspected of
committing or inciting unrest'.
The 13 WOZA activists held at Chikurubi Prison for women, and 1 male at
Harare Remand Prison, are being charged with conducting activities that are
likely to cause public disorder. Williams is facing the extra charge of
causing 'disaffection among the police' and with distributing false
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By Tererai Karimakwenda
June 10, 2008
Violence in the lowveld area, particularly Chiredzi town, has intensified in
the last few weeks as ZANU-PF militia terrorise innocent civilians. We
received a report that Dumihasani Hapazari, a popular manager at the local
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, was abducted from his office last
Wednesday and has been found dead near Chikombedzi, some 100 kilometres
south of Chiredzi. Farmer and activist Gerry Whitehead said the perpetrators
are believed to be four CIO agents who took Hapazari from his workplace in
broad daylight. It is reported that he was found drowned in one of the
rivers in the area.
The locals believe Hapazari was targeted because he helped to nominate the
MDC's candidate for councillor. Whitehead described him as 'a very nice guy
who was a strong family man. People in Chiredzi are outraged because they
say Dumi, as he was popularly known, was always there when there was a ZESA
According to the outspoken farmer, ZANU-PF has set up many militia bases in
the lowveld area and on Monday youths rampaged through Chiredzi town,
forcing anyone they met to toyi-toyi. Those who were too slow in responding
State sponsored violence also struck in Masvingo. MDC Senators Makamure and
Musimudziwa had their cars burnt on Monday night. The perpetrators have not
been identified but it's believed that the youth militia were responsible as
they have invaded the area in large numbers.
Meanwhile the Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday that Jacob Zuma,
leader of South Africa's ruling party, said he was 'alarmed and anxious
about reports of widespread violence and brutality in Zimbabwe's election
campaign'. The South African leader was speaking during a visit to India. In
a speech released by his African National Congress in Johannesburg, he said:
"We cannot rest until the situation is resolved, as it affects all of us. We
want to see the return of peace and stability in Zimbabwe as speedily as
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 12:23
In a move aimed at denying Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
supporters the chance to vote on June 27, Zanu (PF) militia youths and
police officers are reportedly being ordered to confiscate identification
cards of the suspected MDC supporters until after the elections.
This, according to a high-ranking source in the police, an order sent
to those police officers known to be loyal to ZANU (PF).In Bindura South a
police officer identified as Gonyora is allegedly ransacking homes of the
MDC supporters and confiscating the I.D cards."He came with a group of other
policemen and they demanded to search my home," narrated Tatenda Makuwera, a
33-year-old woman whose home was raided."They were shouting obscenities at
me, accusing me of being "a sell-out".They then demanded to see my ID but
instead of giving it back to me, they took it.
I was shocked because I never thought the police officers could be so
unprofessional," said Makuwera.The move has come amid reports that there is
a massive infiltration of the Zimbabwe republic Police by the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) members and some ZANU (PF) youth militias in
order to weed out police officers not loyal to the regime.Last week members
of the dreaded PISI allegedly arrested some police officers in Actrurus and
Shamva as they were said to be supporting the MDC's campaigns in their
Last week the police commissioner Augustine Chihuri who is also among
the heads of the military junta campaigning for Robert Mugabe, was at Musiwa
Growth Point in Bindura South where he threatened to shoot down all the
villagers if they repeated "the mistake' of voting for the MDC.The MDC's
Bednock Nyaude won Bindura South constituency and the MDC got nine out of 13
wards in the constituency that was once a ZANU (PF) stronghold.
Chihuri then publicly ordered the policemen in the constituency to
arrest anyone seen wearing an MDC T- shirt or campaigning for the party.This
has seen the arrest of over 40 people in Ward 16, among them councillor
Nehemiah Mhembere over the past week.
By Tongai Gava-Special Projects Editor ⋅ zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 9, 2008 ⋅
It had emerged that Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander,Constantine Chiwenga
ordered jailed MDC MP Eric Matinenga to be re-arrested and locked up “Until
I die”. He personally called the police and instructed them to disregard any
orders from the courts.
The High Court on Sunday ordered the police to release Matinenga, who is a
prominent human rights lawyer as well as the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) Member of Parliament-elect for Buhera West Constituency.
But the police had by Tuesday not released Matinenga defying the High Court
Chiwenga is reportedly furious over the High Court application against the
army that Matinenga successfully lodged ordering Zimbabwe Defence Forces
(ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga to remove soldiers from Buhera
and other rural areas where he says they are harassing and assaulting MDC
Chiwenga filed opposing papers on. The ZDF chief claims in his papers that
Matinenga’s application was based on false and incorrect information that
soldiers were deployed in rural areas to target opposition supporters for
“I am not aware of any members of the defence forces who are targeting
members of any political party whatsoever,” Chiwenga wrote in affidavit to
Meanwhile his lawyers said on Monday that they would file contempt of court
charges against the police for failing to release the politician despite an
order to do so.
Matinenga’s lawyer, Lewis Uriri, said: “The police are in contempt of court
because an application for review of a judgement does not stay a judgement
and therefore they should have released him on the basis of the earlier High
Uriri said in addition to filing contempt of court charges against the
police at the High Court, the defence team was also going to file a counter
application to the Supreme Court against the police.
The police accuse Matinenga of inciting public violence in Buhera West
although a magistrate’s court cleared him of the charge last week and
ordered his release from jail.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 12:27
BULAWAYO, (CAJ News) -- THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor
Gideon Gono may have compromised his perceived political ambitions when he
recently revealed that government officials were abusing the agricultural
farm mechanisation programme.
"The (mechanisation) programme became politically charged and all the
politicians from the ruling party wanted to be part of it," he told a chiefs
meeting in Bulawayo last Friday.Gono is, in some quarters, being touted as a
possible successor to President Robert Mugabe, although he is not "openly"
active in politics. His sudden stance has become a surprise to many at a
time he is expected to be singing praises of his paymaster.
Gono said he was now considering excluding politicians from his future
agricultural programmes."They were too many fingers in the whole pie," he
said.The central bank has often been accused of engaging in politics through
the mechanisation programme. The latest distribution of farming equipment
took place just before the March 29 elections, and was widely viewed as a
campaign strategy for the ruling ZANU-PF.
The RBZ has also been accused of using the programme to benefit mainly
ZANU-PF supporters, with only a few opposition members getting something, as
a way of trying to give credence to the exercise.Gono said RBZ would in
future use traditional chiefs to disburse farming implements.However, chiefs
are accused of being appendages of ZANU-PF and this may not change the way
the implements are distributed.
"Chiefs are not elected and the elected ones always give us problems,"
Gono lamented. "The elected ones gave their own supporters and there was a
lot of factionalism and vote buying going around."He said the tragedy of
politicians was that they sloganeered a lot without offering practical
"Even if I attend a ZANU-PF meeting you will never see me chanting
slogans, because some of these people and their slogans have put us where we
are," he said, without elaborating.The RBZ recently bought more than 60
buses and will soon be distributing more than 54 000 litres of fuel monthly
to chiefs. - CAJ News
Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)
10 June 2008
Posted to the web 10 June 2008
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Desmond Tutu has called for the resignation of Zimbabwean president Robert
Mugabe is blamed for an unprecedented political and economic upheaval in the
formerly prosperous southern African nation.
"Mugabe began so well more than 20 years ago. We all had such high hopes....
But his regime has turned into a horrendous nightmare. He should stand
down," Archbishop tutu said, according to Independent Catholic News.
Tutu also appealed for UN peacekeepers to go to Zimbabwe to supervise the
forthcoming run-off election for the presidency, due to take place on 27
June, between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai who won the first round in March.
Tutu spoke on Monday during a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in
Trafalgar Square, London, in a new underground light well and room which has
been named after him. During the service there was a blessing of three
Zimbabwean sculptures, standing in the entrance of the new Dick Sheppard
Afrique en ligne
Harare, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Tuesday announced plans to grant amnesty to
prisoners who committed petty offences, to create room for people arrested
for involvement in politically-motivated violence sweeping the country ahead
a crunch poll at the end of the month.
The country goes to the poll 27 June to elect a new president after an
earlier election in March failed to produce a clear winner.
The election, which will pitch President Robert Mugabe against main
opposition challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, has been marred by widespread
inter-party violence, mainly in rural areas.
The opposition claims that more than 60 of its members and supporters have
been killed by ruling party militants, a charge the government has denied.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government was planning to grant
amnesty to prisoners who committed petty crimes to create space for people
committing violent politically-motivated crimes.
The government Monday announced it would no longer grant bail to suspects of
political violence, as part of stiffer measures taken to curb inter-party
strife in the country ahead of the election.
Chinamasa said prisons had run out of space, hence the need to pardon petty
offenders to create more room.
"We are proposing amnesty in order to create space for those convicted of
political violence," he said.
"We recognise that incidents of political violence are on the increase and
we want to take measures to stamp them out," he added.
Just on Tuesday, the ruling party said one of its supporters was killed and
several others injured in attacks by the opposition in the south of the
Both sides accuse each other of using violence during campaigns for the
election, the most tightly fought in the country's history.
Harare - 10/06/2008
By Tichaona Sibanda
10 June 2008
The MDC said on Tuesday it was perplexed by the absence of SADC observers on
the ground, with just 17 days to go before the crucial presidential run-off
on 27th June.
Despite the SADC bloc promising to send up to 400 observers, only about 50
have so far arrived in the country.
Botswana became the first country from SADC to send observers, when 25
jetted in on Saturday. Another 25 will fly in on Wednesday. This other group
is from the SADC secretariat. There were 162 SADC observers during the March
A SADC Heads of State Summit held in April in Lusaka, following the disputed
March elections, agreed that the number of observers would need to be
increased for the run-off. The MDC Secretary for International Affairs,
Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro, said they had hoped that a heavy presence
would deter Zanu-PF from it's crackdown on MDC activists.
SADC has now blamed financial constraints for the delay in sending
observers, but the United States announced on Monday it had availed US$7
million dollars, to help ensure they travelled to Zimbabwe for the
US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington
that the money was 'not only to ensure that there are proper, sufficient
numbers from countries that are going to supply the observers, but that they
have the resources to do their job on the ground.'
Last week South African President Thabo Mbeki, the region's chief mediator
on Zimbabwe, said in a television interview that SADC was increasing the
number of observers 'so that they can cover all parts of Zimbabwe' adding
that 'they need to go in as early as possible.' That statement was made with
less than a month to go to the runoff, so President Mbeki's understanding of
what is 'early' is not necessarily the same as that of the victims of
The intensity of the state sponsored violence has increased on a daily basis
and Mukonoweshuro said that since the March elections at least 60 MDC
supporters have been killed and over 50 000 displaced, in retributive
attacks by ruling party militias.
The MDC MP elect for Gutu South said Tsvangirai, who claimed he won the
presidential election in March, agreed to participate in the run off on
condition that regional and international observers were allowed in early
and without restrictions.
'Everyone is agreeing observers should come in early, we are having a
crucial election that could decide the destiny of the country and yet there
is no evidence of any electoral observers anyway in the country. Perhaps
they're observing from the comfort of their hotel rooms,' he said.
Mukonoweshuro went on; 'I don't want to be harsh, but one can conclude
perhaps they are waiting for more blood to be shed before they begin to take
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor
Last Updated: 8:15PM BST 10/06/2008
If Morgan Tsvangirai agrees to join President Robert Mugabe in a government
of national unity, Zimbabwe's recent history suggests that he will tread a
short route to political oblivion.
Uncanny echoes of Mr Tsvangirai's dilemma can be found in the events of two
decades ago. Then Joshua Nkomo, a pillar of Zimbabwe's struggle against
white rule and the leader of the Zapu party, was a beleaguered opposition
Mr Mugabe was obsessed with crushing his opponents, just as he is today.
Mr Nkomo, who enjoyed enormous popularity among his minority Ndebele people,
making him a significant political threat, faced violence on a scale that
makes today's campaign against the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) look
Mr Mugabe unleashed a special army unit, the Fifth Brigade, to destroy
Zapu's support base by terrorising and murdering the Ndebele. At least 8,000
were killed and tens of thousands abducted, tortured or assaulted between
1982 and 1987.
The Zapu leadership was rounded up and Mr Nkomo spent almost a year in exile
in Britain. To end the bloodshed and restore his own political influence, Mr
Nkomo began talks with the ruling Zanu-PF party. In December 1987, he signed
the "Unity Accord" with Mr Mugabe and hailed the deal as a "new beginning".
In theory, Zapu and Zanu-PF merged to form a new party under a new
There was one problem: the new party was called Zanu-PF and its leader was
Robert Mugabe. The Unity Accord was a cruel sham.
By signing this deal, Mr Nkomo had agreed to abolish Zapu and serve Mr
Mugabe as a meek subordinate, thereby signing his own political death
warrant. Mr Nkomo's only consolation was that he became vice-president,
living in a mansion and making money on the side - notably becoming one of
Zimbabwe's largest landowners.
But his purely ceremonial functions left him powerless. He died in 1999, a
forlorn, pathetic figure, whom Mr Mugabe had outsmarted at every turn.
This is the fate that awaits Mr Tsvangirai. When Zanu-PF politicians talk of
a coalition government, they have the Unity Accord in mind and are preparing
the MDC leader for Mr Nkomo's inglorious role.
For his part, Mr Tsvangirai has insisted that the "mandate" he won in the
presidential election's first round must be respected. If there is a unity
government, he must be president.
But South Africa may have other ideas. Following the example of Kenya, it
may be suggested that Mr Mugabe stays as president with Mr Tsvangirai as
If Mr Tsvangirai allows himself to be inveigled into becoming Mr Mugabe's
prime minister, he will deserve Mr Nkomo's fate.
Globe and Mail, Canada
Government adds arrest without bail to the arsenal of tactics it's using to
intimidate the opposition and voters
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
June 10, 2008 at 4:33 AM EDT
JOHANNESBURG - As Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change tries to
campaign for a runoff presidential election scheduled for June 27, it is
difficult to imagine how conditions could be worse.
In the course of the past week, opposition presidential candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai was twice detained by police for hours while campaigning. Nine
supporters sheltering in a rural party office were attacked last Wednesday
by a militia, shot at and set on fire; at least three were killed. The
party's rallies in several of the most hotly contested areas were banned,
and Mr. Tsvangirai is likewise banned from all broadcast media, which are
On Thursday, the government accused aid agencies that provide food and
health care of covertly assisting the opposition, and indefinitely barred
the groups from operating. It was one more harsh reminder to the populace of
the power of President Robert Mugabe's state, which is now run by a shadowy
military clique called the Joint Operations Command.
On Sunday, party workers putting up MDC posters on electricity poles in the
city of Bulawayo were attacked by police; it was reported that one man's
legs were broken with a baseball bat. Mr. Tsvangirai's armoured campaign car
was impounded by police last week - and now, the party says, a candidate for
Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF is brazenly using it.
Hard to imagine, and yet, it gets worse.
Yesterday, the government announced that it would keep anyone arrested for
election-related violence in jail without bail until after the vote: Deputy
attorney-general Johannes Tomana told the state-run Herald newspaper that
"Zimbabweans are entitled to security of their lives and property. ... We
will be tough with them now."
That might seem like comforting news to opposition supporters, but the
government insists the MDC is to blame for "inciting" most of the violence,
and so the move is widely seen in Zimbabwe as a convenient way to jail any
MDC organizers who aren't already injured or in hiding.
Human Rights Watch said in a report released yesterday that it is impossible
for a fair election to be held in Zimbabwe. The New York-based rights group
catalogued "at least 36 politically motivated deaths" and 2,000 victims of
violence since the first vote on March 29, which the opposition is widely
believed to have won.
"President Mugabe and his government of Zimbabwe bear full responsibility
for these serious crimes. They have shown gross indifference to the plight
of the people, allowing senior-ranking security officers, 'war veterans,'
youth militia and ZANU-PF free rein to commit horrifying abuses," said
Georgette Gagnon, the group's Africa director. "Zimbabweans can't vote
freely if they fear their vote may get them killed."
That, of course, is the critical question for the MDC: How can Mr.
Tsvangirai hope to win an election when his supporters have been
relentlessly terrorized since the first poll?
The MDC is, in essence, trapped, with no choice but to contest the election
regardless of how many barriers the government throws up, otherwise Mr.
Mugabe will simply declare himself president again. And Zimbabwe's
neighbours have made clear they want another election. Yet the most basic
measure the party can take to reassure voters - bringing Mr. Tsvangirai to
address crowds - is thwarted relentlessly.
"Obviously it's an uphill battle," said George Sibotshiwe, spokesman for Mr.
Tsvangirai. "But we're not just sitting back and saying, 'This is terrible.'
Because we know they're going to rig and we know they're going to steal and
we know what they've already done in terms of intimidation. But it's also
true that Zimbabweans more than ever want change."
Eldred Masunungure, a professor of politics at the University of Zimbabwe,
said that it is impossible for a fair election to be held at this time. "And
the chances are very slim that the MDC can win."
One crucial question is whether the MDC's supporters will have the courage
to risk voting for the party again. If Mr. Tsvangirai loses - legitimately
or, more likely, not - those constituencies that vote for him can be certain
of brutal retribution.
And yet there is a breathtaking determination on the part of many
Zimbabweans - even the victims of some of the worst violence - to vote
again, and to vote MDC again. Evernice Antonio, 19, was an MDC polling agent
in the last election in Kotwa, 200 kilometres north of Harare. Today, she is
sheltering, along with 550 other refugees, in the MDC headquarters in
Harare. She arrived at her house on June 3 to find it on fire, her
seven-year-old brother and her parents trapped inside and screaming. Members
of a militia had locked them in and set the house on fire, saying they did
so as retribution for her support for the MDC, the neighbours told her.
They rescued her mother and brother but her father died. The next day, she
said, the militia members came back, found her at a neighbour's house, and
began to beat her. A week later her, her face is swollen and bruised, her
left eye filled with blood. But she intends to return home and vote on June
"I have to vote to change this country for the sake of my brother and mother
who are critically ill at the hospital. I owe it to my dead father to vote
in this election. There are also more than 65 people who have been killed.
There are thousands who have fled their homes. There is no way I cannot
Her determination was echoed by person after person in the overcrowded,
fetid headquarters-cum-refugee-camp. It may not, however, be enough. While
the MDC is unquestionably up against a mountain of obstacles, some critics
are charging that the party's own lack of unity, and Mr. Tsvangirai's
failures as a strategic thinker, are not helping.
"Opposition forces are still fractured, disjointed and bickering over petty
issues - Tsvangirai is failing dismally to rise above the fray and inspire
the opposition to join forces," political columnist Dumisani Muleya of the
Zimbabwe Independent wrote yesterday. "[He needs to] reinforce his leverage
against a rival who should otherwise be a write-off because of the economic
meltdown and his disastrous failures."
The suspension of aid operations has sent a powerful message of intimidation
and further preoccupies people with survival rather than politics.
Inflation in Zimbabwe has long passed the historic mark of one million per
cent; at least a quarter of the country, once southern Africa's breadbasket,
is now dependent on food aid, and is left with nothing now that UN agencies
can no longer distribute that aid.
"Unicef alone was reaching hundreds of thousands of children with health,
nutrition, education - and they haven't received any of that for the past
four days and they won't until the government reinstates all these NGOs,"
said James Elder, spokesman for the UN children's agency in Zimbabwe. "It's
a desperate situation for children who are already suffering. You have all
these kids who have been witness to violence and who were getting some
degree of stability out of going to school, and now they don't have that
He dismissed the idea that the NGOs that co-operate with Unicef had any
"The NGOs I know, we work with, we are talking scores of them, work with
absolute impartiality," he said. "There is no good time for this, but this
is particularly appalling - Zimbabwe's children are suffering on multiple
fronts, and preventing people from reaching them with aid is completely
Fambai Ngirande, who heads the National Association of Non-Governmental
Organizations, said the motive behind the aid ban is not lost on any
Zimbabwean. "We feel this to be part of a broader political strategy," he
said, to make clear to people that their survival was dependent on support
for the government. "It worsens conditions that, presently speaking, are
With reports from a Globe and Mail contributor in Harare
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 08:36
The registration plate of the South African-registered armour-plated
vehicle belonging to MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai and confiscated by the
police last week is TMP006GP.
This vehicle has now been seen being driver by Zanu (PF) militia in
their election campaign for Robert Mugabe. It is not clear how a car in the
possession of the police has ended up in the hands of these milita without
the knowledge and permission of the rightful owner.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
June 10, 2008
Heavily armed teams of police, central intelligence and the military on
Monday raided the Ecumenical Centre, a religious complex that houses the
offices of the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ), the Ecumenical
Support Services (ESS), the Christian Alliance (CA), the Zimbabwe National
Pastors Conference (ZNPC) and PADARE Men's Forum on Gender. Officials from
the centre have said they view the raid as part of the ongoing onslaught on
civil society organisations in Zimbabwe.
Police arrested some of the employees and executive members, ransacked the
offices and confiscated computers, digital cameras and a mini bus. The
arrested officials are the SCMZ General Secretary Prosper Munatsi, Vice
Chairperson Langelihle Manyani, office intern Sandra Dzvete, Gender
Secretary Matsiliso Moyo, and a Finance and Administration Officer named
only as Precious. The veteran journalist Reverend Pius Wakatama was also
arrested. It has been reported that one of the employees arrested was a
women carrying a six-month old baby.
Lawyer Alex Muchadehama said police claimed that they were after a murder
suspect who had run into the building with a document containing false
information, then the police discovered similar documents on the premises.
But the lawyer confirmed no suspect was ever found and that this was a very
feeble excuse by police. He said 8 out of 10 of the arrested are still in
custody facing charges of publishing falsehoods.
Lawyers were denied access to the arrested on Monday but were finally
granted permission to see them on Tuesday. Muchadehama said they did not
look well because it is winter in Zimbabwe and very cold. Muchadehama said
he did not have much hope that they would be brought to court on Wednesday,
so the lawyers immediately filed an urgent application to have their clients
released on bail or brought to court as soon as possible.
The SCMZ released a statement on Tuesday that said they see the raid and
arrests 'as a move to incapacitate the movement since it has been fully
geared towards sensitising Christian students and youth on their rights and
responsibilities in the face of a break or make presidential runoff
pencilled for the 27 of June 2008.'
Meanwhile the executive director-elect of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum,
Abel Chikomo, has still not been seen since he was taken by the police near
Binga on Saturday. Chikomo was attending a workshop in the area West of
Harare, along with 13 other human rights activists who were also picked up
by police. All the police have said is that the case is 'political' and they
have denied the activists access to lawyers. The arrests followed a recent
police raid on the Forum's headquarters, during which they warned the staff
that they were "sailing too close to the wind".
The ruling party has initiated a brutal campaign of violence aimed at those
who assisted the opposition to gain a majority in parliament for the first
time ever, in the March 29 elections. This campaign has not spared innocent
children, the elderly or religious leaders.
The Student Christian Movement released a statement which said in part:
"This is the time for the whole world to see and judge for itself the true
characteristic of a government which has on many times tried to convince the
world that it is not only legitimate but democratic. The government has
abdicated its duties by declaring war on its own people and creating an
atmosphere of general insecurity among the populace. It is our sacred duty
as civic society and opposition forces to continue fighting for the opening
up of democratic space and justice in Zimbabwe. To members of the ecumenical
family and the citizens of Zimbabwe, the time has come for us not only to
speak but also to act against injustice, oppression and corruption,
according to the standard of the word of God."
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
From 1890 through 1980, the Rhodesian state machinery was exclusively
controlled by a white settler community who derived economic benefits
underpinned by a racist ideology.
To white Zimbabweans, the exclusion of blacks during the 90 year period was
justified primarily because it was argued that the state was a creature of
colonial civilization and, therefore, blacks could conceivably have had no
interest in participating in the administration of the affairs of a state
that they played no part in its creation and was in any event not in
existence prior to colonization.
It was also argued that without education natives were of no value to the
system other than as providers of cheap labor.
The role of white people in Africa is not surprisingly still one of the most
contentious and debated issue of our time.
Even President Mugabe would rather shy away from discussing his record in
government and rather divert attention to the demon of racism that resonates
with many Africans.
Many African politicians thrive on it and to the extent that the 90 year
history of race based politics is real, people like President Mugabe find
the issue of extreme value in explaining black poverty and hopelessness.
It cannot be denied that colonial occupation had an adverse impact on not
only black political and economic rights but has arguably some relevance to
the national democratic revolution.
The colonial experience was not a pleasant one for the majority native
population to make it difficult for anyone to dismiss President Mugabe's
attempt to make race the principal issue that must be associated with
leadership change even after 28 years in power.
At independence, President Mugabe was a champion of a new civilization that
understood the need for healing and reconciliation on the firm belief that
the past provided no viable solution to the pressing problems that
confronted the country at the defining moment in its history.
President Mugabe must have known then that Zimbabwe needed to turn a new
chapter in its history and white people would be strategic players in the
transformation agenda principally because the colonial race-based primitive
accumulation process had uniquely advantaged them.
It was none other than President Mugabe who reached out to white Zimbabweans
including the army in search for a new civilization founded on republican
principles that all men are created equal and the politics of exclusion was
not consistent with the values and principles that informed the liberation
A new Zimbabwean was then born so everyone thought and to a large extent
President Mugabe was a credible person to champion and promote a new
Many white Zimbabweans were persuaded to remain in the country while a few
could never trust a person who in a meeting with General Walls compared Karl
Marx to Jesus Christ. White Zimbabweans distanced themselves from politics
and so their role as economic agents.
However, they had more to lose if Zimbabwe degenerated into economic chaos
and the question must be asked about what they did or not do to make the
system inclusive and mutually beneficial to all.
To demonstrate his magnanimity, President Mugabe appointed Ian Smith's
former cabinet colleagues to his government and during the last 28 years he
has made many white friends including the likes of Mr. A. Cluff and Tony O'Reilly.
It was evident then that the colonial system had advantaged only whites to
the extent that resources were allocated on racial grounds. The ownership of
land was skewed as was the ownership of mineral resources.
The deal that was brokered at Lancaster House may not have been fully
understood by nationalists like President Mugabe. The thorny racial issue
that surrounds not only the idea of Africa but also its material realities
is a complex one. It has been argued that it is not sufficient to say that
whites stole African resources without acknowledging the role of whites in
creating the foundations of a functioning economic model.
In advancing this argument, it is often pointed out that white people are
not the cause of everything ill in the continent for how can the poverty in
many countries where the white population is small or nonexistent be
understood and explained.
The image of an African in the minds of people like President Mugabe is a
black person. His argument is no different from the one being advanced in
South Africa where black South Africans have accepted that the image of a
South African cannot be a Nigerian born black person but a Zulu, Pedi,
Xhosa, Afrikaner, English etc.
Even if the resources of Zimbabwe for example were handed to blacks by the
state in the name of indigenization or black economic empowerment, it cannot
be concluded that such inheritance will necessarily produce the same
outcomes as the colonial system yielded to white settlers.
The views of President Mugabe on race may not be any different from the
views shared by the architects of xenophobia in South Africa. The only
difference is that President Mugabe had the power and authority for 28 years
to do something about it but regrettably he has not been able to accept any
responsibility for the failure to provide leadership on this defining nation
building issue of identity.
President Mugabe would accept that colonialism has had a positive influence
on him because his mastery of the English language and his dressing betray
his ambivalence against colonialism. He speaks better English than many
white Zimbabweans but has not understood the true nature of the civilization
they sought to bring to Africa.
At the core of the colonial system was a market based economic architecture
that was founded on an exchange of value. The white settlers created a
functioning system for themselves based on fee for service or goods in
exchange for money. The colonial administration was only a referee but
economic games were played by the individual white actors.
Accordingly, an asset like land had only value if it could produce an income
stream rather any other economic enterprise as opposed to the position taken
by nationalists that ownership/possession is an end in itself.
President Mugabe's views on race are shared by many and form part of the
wider hysteria in not only Africa but the developing world in general that
cuts across the class spectrum.
White progress in Africa is easily described as a direct consequence of
colonialism without any regard to the effort and initiative of the actors
concerned. To what extent was the colonial system responsible for white
progress is an issue that requires critical analysis in as much as the role
of the state in addressing the poverty challenges that confronts the
As President Mugabe approaches the run-off elections, it is important that
the issue of race and skin color be discussed comprehensively to determine
whether in fact Mugabe is a saint who will make Zimbabwe a better and not
bitter nation after the elections.
President Mugabe takes the credit that his administration has changed land
title deeds in favor of blacks without attempting to explain that any
commercial enterprise like a commercial farm ultimately belongs to its
customers and suppliers. If, for example, a farmer produces crops and is not
able to find customers he will perish irrespective of the color of his skin.
Whites have been able to thrive under the colonial system in as much as they
have confused Mugabe during the last 28 years because they have been able to
organize their economic initiatives and blacks who are in the majority have
largely supported such initiatives as consumers and suppliers of labor.
If President Mugabe was serious about change then surely he would have found
a way of strengthening blacks without weakening whites. At the end of the
day, customers do not care who produces maize for example as long as they
Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been reduced to a net importer of food prompting
President Mugabe to attend the food summit to register his view that were it
not for racism and imperialist machinations, Zimbabwe would be in a great
The whole idea behind decolonization project was that Zimbabweans
irrespective of their skin color would be able to occupy any office
including the Presidency. However, President Mugabe is of the view that
equality is a privilege conferred by the true owners of the revolution i.e.
the war veterans who had 28 years to build a new foundation for a new
dispensation but regrettably such foundation is missing.
What kind of Zimbabwe do Zimbabweans want to see? This question can only be
answered by all who believe that Zimbabwe's brighter day is yet to come and
President Mugabe needs to be told that time for change is now. His brand of
politics has nothing to do with the future of the country but his personal
It can be argued that one of the sustainable ways of combating xenophobia
would be an attempt to change the language and tone of politics in Africa.
Zimbabwe is too important hence the global attention it receives for anyone
to remain disinterested and it cannot be argued that the whole system does
not need fixing.
In 1845 it took only 166 people to form Old Mutual and 83 years later
Afrikaners responded by forming Sanlam but after 28 years in power, it is
evident that the language of mutuality and shared values has not resonated
with the leadership of Zimbabwe.
If only President Mugabe had used his political office to unite people
across racial, tribal and class lines; I have no doubt that people would
have responded with real nation building institutions.
Americans have shown that they can rise above the confines of the politics
of race and I have no doubt that Zimbabweans in record numbers will on 27
June register their verdict on whether the attempt by President Mugabe to
blacken Zimbabwe and make it a pariah state should be condoned.
By Norbert Jacobs ⋅ zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 10, 2008 ⋅
Botswana Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phandu Skelemani, has dismissed recent
remarks by President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, that her husband would not
vacate the State House even if he lost to Morgan Tsvangirai. “Like I said, I
think people should be careful about what they say. She was just
electioneering, but the remarks were a little bit far and could cause
Botswana is sending 50 observers to the June 27 presidential run-off in
Zimbabwe, and 25 of them left on Saturday whilst rest will leave on
Skelemani said the number has been increased with the hope that their heavy
presence would deter those with ambitions to cause riots. “We are doing
everything possible to help the government and the people of Zimbabwe to
hold free and fair democratic elections,” he said. Notwithstanding reports
of violence, Skelemani assured that the observers would be safe, adding that
the Angolan foreign ministry will be leading the SADC mission. “Zimbabwe
invited the SADC region at the Lusaka Summit to send observers and they
assured us of their security,” he stated.
He said that though financial resources were limited the mission would stay
in Zimbabwe until the counting of the ballots was complete. “Democracy is
expensive, peace is expensive,” he said.
Skelemani appealed to all parties taking part in the elections and their
supporters to respect the rule of law in avoiding use of words that can
result in violent clashes. He urged them to accept that part of democracy is
the freedom of expression hence they should not succumb to temptation when
annoying words are used against them.
The minister regretted that it took too long for the SADC Secretariat to
finalise sending observers. He announced that the secretariat had wanted to
send observers next week but they convinced them that their presence was
Death in the Dust
Death in the dust
Tyres burning bright
Screams strengthen the lust
Inducing fear and delight
Election results twisted and bleeding
Perverted by the evil despot
Stomachs rotund through lack of feeding
Aid agencies arms tied as though in a knot
Chinese arms floating after being docked
South Africa signals the first sign of disapproval
Thank God Zimbabwe is completely land locked
Otherwise violence would be used for oppositional removal
Broken arms and rape the tools of intimidation
Farmers murdered by the vicious war veterans hate
Townships burned creating segregation
Inflation soaring highlighting Zimbabwe's terrible fate
The spirit of the people is inspiring to see
Calm determination that hope will prevail
African countries feeling the pain as they flee
Mugabes terror a thinly disguised veil
So the war vets are threatening "to go back to war" if Mugabe loses. This
threat is enough to frighten the bravest of souls. Particularly the
vulnerable in the rural areas. One does wonder where they'll get the money
from. The war for independence had many sympathisers who were willing to
bankroll an honest fight for freedom. Who will they call on for this next
bout? I doubt that the Chinese would be willing to pour money into the
bottomless pit that is war. The SADC countries are a tad cash strapped
themselves. Russia is busy with it's own brand of capitalism. Zimbabwe
itself is broker than broke. Where on earth would the money come from? Even
if the entire ZanuPF wealth was pulled in from their secret bank accounts to
fund a war, it would not be enough. The soldiers they'd need would soon
desert for lack of salaries. It would be an utter rag tag of hungry
desperados. A joke.
Whilst it's important to highlight the desperate threats of this unspeakable
regime, it's also important to keep hope alive. The nation is battered,
literally and figuratively. The bad news keeps pouring in like so much salt
for the wounds. It would be refreshing to have learned analysts pick apart
these outrageous statements and expose them for what they are. Desperate
Hope is a very powerful tool. It can make life changing differences to any
situation. Caving in to these satanic bullies is an option not even worth
considering. The people are tired and scared witless - exactly what this
regime wants. Factual reporting has it's place but is destructive when the
bulk of the news focuses on their excesses and threats without a balanced,
We are told that the Mtoko Mother of Peace has been raising donations
from European, American and Australian donors who think they are helping
orphans there but donations and orphanage fuel are given to ZANU to support
the local violence in Mtoko. It is sad that orphans are being used this
way. Donors are giving donations to Mtoko Mother of Peace and people on
board of directors and administrators there are high level connections to
ZANU polit bureau. Mtoko Mother of Peace is a scheme of ZANU for getting
foreign donors to send their donations. Can you find out if this is still
happening. Mtoko Mother of Peace is not what it appears to be and it is sad
this happens and continues. ZANU taking advantage of orphans is a sad thing