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Robert Mugabe's militia burn opponent's wife alive

The Times
June 12, 2008

Jan Raath in Mhondoro
The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson
Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His
wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the
day, and the men departed.

An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one
of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the
door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.

The killing last Friday - one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by
Robert Mugabe's regime since independence in 1980 - was carried out on a
wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in
just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel
leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark
was to chop off hands and feet.

Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a
junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last
Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant
wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died
later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.

Related Links
  a.. Analysis: Mbeki's national unity talks doomed to fail
  a.. Mugabe's thugs turn to burning people alive
  a.. Zimbabwe braced for its traumatic endgame
Yesterday about 70 local MDC supporters gathered in Mr Chipiro's small yard
in Mhondoro, 90 miles south of Harare, to protect him. Inside the hut where
his wife of 29 years died, women sang softly to a subdued drum beat next to
the cheap wooden coffin. The thatched roof had been destroyed in the fire so
they sat under the open sky. The lid could not be closed because Mrs Chipiro's
outstretched arm had burnt rigid. Her charred hand was found as women swept
the hut.

Mr Chipiro, 51, a small, determined man, arrived from Harare on Friday
afternoon to find his three brick huts ablaze. "I was trying to put the fire
out," he said. "I thought my wife was hiding in the bushes."

His four-year-old nephew, Admire, heard him calling her. "He ran to me. He
said, 'Auntie has been beaten and they threw her in the fire'."

Bright Matonga, the Deputy Information Minister and the MP for the area,
lives just over a mile away. There is also a Zanu (PF) youth militia camp
near by. Mr Matonga routinely blames the violence - in which nearly 70
people have died and 25,000 have been left homeless since the elections on
March 29 - on Britain and the United States. He claims that they pay the MDC
to put on Zanu party regalia and attack Mr Mugabe's opponents.

When Mr Chipiro went to the police, they refused to give him an official
crime incident report. They fetched the body at about 10pm, he said. A
post-mortem examination was carried out at St Michael's Catholic mission
hospital. At first police gave Mr Chipiro a report that left out the causes
of death. An officer intervened and produced an authentic report.

The report said that seven men assaulted Mrs Chipiro "before dragging her in
one of the houses and set all three houses on fire". It said that the body
showed "signs of assault since all hands and legs were broken". The doctor
who carried out the post-mortem described the cause of death as
haemorrhaging and severe burns. "These youths are taught cruelty," Mr
Chipiro said. "They get used to murdering. They enjoy murdering. They are
doing it for money."

He said that thugs returned for him two nights ago but fled when they saw
his supporters. "I am very frightened," he said. "They want to kill me. But
I have no alternative. My presence here as a leader is very important. If I
leave, everyone else will leave. I intend to fight the battle, from here."

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Zimbabwe crisis: Robert Mugabe accused of bringing war to Harare

The Telegraph

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 11:41PM BST 11/06/2008
President Robert Mugabe was accused of bringing "war" to Harare after his
militias attacked the poorest townships of Zimbabwe's capital.
The new onslaught marked a major escalation of his campaign to guarantee
victory in the presidential election's final round on June 27.

Remote rural areas had borne the brunt of the violence and suffered most of
the 53 murders confirmed so far. Harare, a stronghold for Morgan Tsvangirai,
the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, had been
relatively quiet.

On Sunday, hundreds of men from the ruling Zanu-PF party raided Harare's
township of Epworth.

Lidia Mulenga, 26, fled after her house was burned down. "They were shouting
about Zanu-PF and wearing Zanu-PF T-shirts. I think they were youth
militia," she said.
"They used petrol on the house and then set it alight. I ran with the kids.
Other houses were attacked. I don't know how many as I was running away."

Mrs Mulenga, a single mother whose husband died in 2003, lives in a derelict
part of Epworth, bordering an old farming district that has been devastated
by Mr Mugabe's seizure of white-owned land.

The treeless area, where nothing grows, has been taken over by Zanu-PF's
militias, who claim to be veterans of the war against white rule.

Mrs Mulenga and her children, Kisha, seven, and Tariro, five, are now
sheltering along with hundreds of others in the Harare headquarters of the
MDC. Willias Madzimure, an opposition MP, was trying to help another influx
of displaced people.

"There are so many houses burned or destroyed. They come and loot first,
then they burn or destroy the property they don't want. These people are
very, very poor. The war is now in Harare," he said.

The MDC put the number of murders at 66, with another 200 people missing and
3,000 seriously injured. A Western diplomat in Harare estimated that 50,000
had been forced to flee their homes.

As well as targeting Harare, Zanu-PF has tried to break the MDC's
organisation by assassinating key activists. Five have been murdered so far.

Another tactic is to create vast "no-go" areas, where the party exerts total
control and can murder and intimidate at will. This may explain why Mr
Mugabe has stopped foreign aid agencies from operating inside Zimbabwe.

His behaviour has stirred concern among his neighbours. President Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa said the "incidents of violence and reported
disruption of electoral activities" were a "cause for serious concern and
should be addressed with all urgency".

But he studiously refrained from apportioning any blame.

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Pressure on opposition to halt poll and share power with Mugabe

· Southern Africa leaders push MDC to accept deal
· Tsvangirai rejects plan but violence may force U-turn

Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent
The Guardian,
Thursday June 12 2008

Zimbabwe's opposition is under intense political and violent pressure to
agree to call off a second round of presidential elections in a fortnight
and join a coalition government that keeps Robert Mugabe in power.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change leader won the first
round of elections in March but narrowly failed to win an outright majority.
He has rejected any deal that leaves Mugabe in office, and says there can be
no agreement on power-sharing before a run-off vote.

But there is concern among some opposition politicians that, if the MDC
insists on taking power, the government will use escalating state-sponsored
violence as a pretext to call off the polls at the last minute and impose
emergency rule.

South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, the former Zambian leader Kenneth
Kaunda, and Mugabe's former finance minister, Simba Makoni, are pressuring
Tsvangirai to accept a deal modelled on the recent post-election "African
solution" in Kenya. This would see Mugabe remain as president but Tsvangirai
become prime minister. Hoever. the MDC regards Kenya as a bad example
because the opposition victory was overturned through violence.

Makoni said that he has been acting as an informal mediator between the MDC
and Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, along with Mbeki, to press the opposition to
agree to a transitional government, because of rising violence. "In the
current situation, there is no hope that a free and fair election can be
undertaken," Makoni said.

Kaunda has added to the pressure on Tsvangirai with a public call for him to
accept the post of prime minister under a Mugabe presidency. "The authority
between president and prime minister must be fairly shared," Kaunda said.

The MDC replied that, as it is Mugabe who has created the violence and
political instability, it would be perverse to reward him by allowing him to
remain president - when Tsvangirai should serve as the country's leader
during any transitional government, because he won the first round of

Tsvangirai said that while the MDC is prepared to accept Zanu-PF into a
power-sharing government, Mugabe has to go and his party must be in a
minority. "The Kenyan model of a government of national unity is not an
option because ... our circumstances are different. The people's choice must
be respected," he said.

But there is fear among some of Mugabe's opponents that he will use the
violence as a pretext to claim there is too much instability to hold a vote.

The state-run press has laid the groundwork with an attempt to blame the
victims by portraying the MDC as responsible for the campaign of beatings
and killings, which the opposition says has left at least 60 dead and about
200 missing. More than 3,000 people have been treated in hospital after
severe beatings, and tens of thousands have been forced from their homes, as
a result of the violence across Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai said the campaign had
been devastating: "The structure of our party has been decimated and our
polling agents remain prime targets."

Yesterday Mbeki described the violence as a "serious concern" which needs to
be addressed by regional leaders. The South African president has angered
the MDC by declining to specifically identify the government as instigating
the attacks.

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An offer that can be refused

The Guardian,
Thursday June 12 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai is under intense pressure to form a government of national
unity with Robert Mugabe. It comes from South Africa's president, Thabo
Mbeki, Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, and the Zanu-PF rebel
candidate Simba Makoni. They argue that the run-off cannot be held on June
27 in current conditions of violence. The best way forward, they say, is the
Kenyan model: there, a disputed election disintegrated into communal
violence and the solution only came when the president shared power with his
main opponent as executive prime minister.

There are several flaws in drawing a parallel with Kenya. The violence in
Zimbabwe has not erupted, as it did in Kenya, between rival groups of
supporters. Some of the worst ethnic violence, in towns like Kisumu in
western Kenya, was perpetrated by opposition supporters. This is not
happening in Zimbabwe, where violence is state-sponsored and targeted at
specific constituencies where Zanu-PF lost. This is, by now, a
well-documented fact, which even Mr Mugabe's shock troops do little to
disguise. Yesterday Zanu-PF officials in southern Masvingo province boasted
of setting up units of war veterans "against troublesome spots" where the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change had taken root. Even if Mr
Tsvangirai won the second round, Mr Makoni argues, the country is so
traumatised from the violence and exhausted from a decade of economic
collapse that neither Zanu-PF nor the MDC could govern on their own.

This is true, but it sidesteps the cause and chief sponsor of the violence -
an 84-year-old man who will not release his grip on power. Mr Tsvangirai is
right to reject talk of a national unity government until the central demand
of the MDC is met: that Mr Mugabe step down. Only after he goes does
power-sharing and reconciliation become possible. The Kenyan model would
merely serve as another device for keeping him as president.

Perhaps this is why Zanu-PF is attracted to the idea. If Zanu-PF was
confident it could beat the rural heartlands into submission, why would the
party be putting out feelers to the opposition? Why would the first lady,
Grace Mugabe, say that the opposition leader will never step foot inside
State House, or Major General Martin Chedondo, the army chief of staff, call
on troops to remain loyal? Mr Mugabe can not be sure that the stick he
wields is having the desired educational effect. His former information
minister Jonathan Moyo insists his old boss has lost the country for good.
If this is true, the run-off remains the only game in town and the country
should be flooded with thousands of African observers to ensure that it is

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Govt secretly registers voters: MDC

Zim Online

by Tendai Maronga Thursday 12 June 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe's opposition has accused the government of
clandestinely registering new voters in its rural strongholds in a bid to
boost support for President Robert Mugabe ahead of a run-off presidential
election later this month.

Mugabe - who garnered 43.2 percent of the vote compared to 47.8
percent won by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round ballot
on March 29 - starts the run-off contest as underdog, the first time in more
than two decades he has been billed as the most likely loser in a major

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party on Wednesday
said the government was registering new voters in the provinces of
Mashonaland East, Central and West and back dating their registration
certificates to enable them to vote in the June 27 run-off poll.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said: "We have gathered that all those
who are registering to vote are being given back-dated voter registration
certificates so that they can vote in the coming election.

"We are taking this seriously with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(ZEC) because the registration of voters for the purposes of this election
ended on 14 February."

There was no immediate comment from the ZEC and Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi on the opposition allegations.

The ZEC oversees voters' registration and runs elections in the
country but the MDC says the commission lacks independence and that it
favours Mugabe and his ruling ZANU PF party.

The electoral commission, which insists it is independent and
impartial, announced last month that it would use the same voters' roll used
during combined presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29,
automatically disqualifying anyone who registered after the February 14
deadline from voting in the month-end presidential poll.

Chamisa said registration of voters has taken place in Murehwa,
Mutoko, Wedza and Marondera in Mashonaland East province as well as in
Shamva, Mt Darwin, Rushinga and Chiweshe in Mashonaland Central province.

Zimbabwe's voters' roll has been in shambles for years, with millions
of names of voters who died or left the country to live abroad still
appearing on the register, while thousands more voters have failed to vote
in previous polls either because their names were listed under wrong
constituencies or did not appear at all on the register.

This makes any fidgeting with the roll difficult to prove. - ZimOnline


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American Aid Is Seized in Zimbabwe

New York Times

Published: June 12, 2008
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean authorities confiscated a truck loaded with 20
tons of American food aid for poor schoolchildren and ordered that the wheat
and pinto beans aboard be handed out to supporters of President Robert
Mugabe at a political rally instead, the American ambassador said Wednesday.

"This government will stop at nothing, even starving the most defenseless
people in the country - young children - to realize their political
ambitions," said the ambassador, James D. McGee, in an interview.

The government ordered all humanitarian aid groups to suspend their
operations last week, charging that some of them were giving out food as
bribes to win votes for the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, in a June
27 presidential runoff against Mr. Mugabe.

But political analysts, aid workers and human rights groups contend that it
is, in fact, Zimbabwe's governing party that has ruthlessly used food to
reward supporters and punish opponents in a country where agricultural
production has collapsed over the past decade and millions of people would
go hungry each year without emergency assistance.

The seizure of the truck laden with food aid is a case in point, Mr. McGee
said. It occurred Friday in an area called Bambazonke near the town of
Mutare in eastern Zimbabwe.

The truck was hired by one of three nongovernmental organizations - CARE,
Catholic Relief Services and World Vision - that form a consortium and
contract with the United States Agency for International Development to
distribute food aid in Zimbabwe. Its cargo of wheat, beans and vegetable oil
was intended for 26 primary schools, American officials said, part of a
school food program that provides hungry children with one solid meal a day.

Misheck Kagurabadza, a former mayor of Mutare and a newly elected member of
Parliament from Manicaland Province, said the cutoff of food from aid groups
was devastating. The government has a monopoly on buying corn, Zimbabwe's
main staple food, from farmers and will sell it only to those who hold
ZANU-PF party cards, he contends.

"The relief agencies stopped distribution of food a few days ago," said Mr.
Kagurabadza, one of many opposition leaders who have gone into hiding to
avoid being beaten or arrested in a sweeping crackdown by ZANU-PF, the
governing party. "I don't know how we'll survive until the next harvest."

The Famine Early Warning System, an operation that forecasts global hunger
emergencies and is financed by Usaid, put out an alert on Thursday warning
that Zimbabwe's corn harvest this season is less than half of last year's.
The cereal production this season will amount to only a little over a
quarter of the food needed to feed the country, it said.

Last year the United States, the world's dominant food aid donor, provided
about 175,000 tons of food to Zimbabwe, worth $171 million, American
officials said. It already has about $96 million worth of food in the
pipeline for Zimbabwe this year, with more on the way, they said.

The food aid that was confiscated was on a truck that began its rounds last
Thursday, but it had a mechanical breakdown and wound up seeking a safe
haven by parking overnight at the Bambazonke police station, American
officials said..

It had been a very eventful day. American diplomats who had gone to
investigate political violence north of the capital were detained for five
hours at a police roadblock after a six-mile car chase and threats to burn
them alive in their vehicle, American officials said.

That evening, a government released a letter ordering the suspension of all
field operations by aid groups, but it reached many of the groups only last
Friday - too late to head off the truck on its rounds.

At one of the schools, the truck's driver, a Zimbabwean, was approached by
police officers and war veterans led by an army colonel. They informed him
that they had been sent by the governor of Manicaland Province, Tinaye
Chigudu, and accused him of trying to bribe people with food, Mr. McGee

"The group threatened the driver and forced him to return to the Bambazonke
police station," Mr. McGee said.

In the meantime, Mr. Chigudu and other ZANU-PF officials organized a rally
near the police station.

There "the governor instructed the war veterans to distribute the food to
ZANU-PF supporters at the rally right down the street," Mr. McGee said.
"Some police officers tried to intervene to stop the looting. The governor
told them, 'Stand down.' Those were his exact words."

Mr. McGee said officials with the nongovernmental organization, which he
declined to name publicly for fear it would be harassed, arrived within
hours of the episode at the police station. They were not allowed into the
station until the rally was over. They were not allowed to file a report
either, but were instead referred to the Mutare rural district police

At that station, the officials told the police what had happened, but were
not given a copy of any report to document their complaint. The food
delivery waybills were confiscated, American officials said.

Wayne Bvudzijena, spokesman for Zimbabwe's national police, did not respond
to the substance of Mr. McGee's charge when contacted on his cellphone on
Wednesday, but instead contended there was no place named Bambazonke in

"If you can go back to the honorable ambassador and verify your facts,
madam," Mr. Bvudzijena said, then disconnected the call.

In an interview, Mr. Kagurabadza, the former mayor of nearby Mutare,
confirmed that Bambazonke did exist. It also appears on a recent report of
parliamentary constituencies by election monitors. But when the American
ambassador, Mr. McGee, and Karen Freeman, the Usaid mission director in
Zimbabwe, met Tuesday with a senior official at the Foreign Ministry, they
were presented with a similar denial.

Mr. McGee said the official told them, "I've never head of this place
Bambazonke. Are you certain this even happened?"

The ambassador added, "At the end of the argument, he promised he would look
into the situation and get back to us."

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UN envoy to visit Zimbabwe to discuss elections


Wed 11 Jun 2008, 20:53 GMT

UNITED NATIONS, June 11 (Reuters) - A senior U.N. official will visit
Zimbabwe next week to discuss the political situation and forthcoming
presidential elections, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Haile Menkerios, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, will
visit the southern African country from June 16-20, spokeswoman Marie Okabe

Zimbabwe will hold a presidential election run-off on June 27. (Reporting by
Patrick Worsnip, Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Why Thabo Mbeki's national unity talks are doomed to fail

The Times
June 12, 2008

Catherine Philp: Analysis
The horrors of Zimbabwe's political violence will not feature on the agenda
of the United Nations Security Council meeting today. Thanks to South
Africa, which blocked an attempt to put the crisis on the agenda, the
council will discuss only the dire humanitarian situation.

It is hard to see how the two can be divorced. The deliberate displacement
of thousands of people, the militarisation of food aid and the ban on
international aid agencies are all political tactics that have greatly
deepened Zimbabwe's suffering.

The US and Britain are furious with South Africa's block, achieved with
Russia's help. They had lobbied to raise the Zimbabwean crisis as an urgent
matter after embassy staff who met victims in the countryside were detained
and harassed.

But President Mbeki is determined to keep Zimbabwe off the international
agenda, insisting that it is a problem for Africans to solve. Relations
within his own regional grouping, the Southern African Development
Community, however, are splintering over his attempts to prevent them from
doing exactly that.

Yesterday Mr Mbeki publicly denounced Zimbabwe's violence for the first
time, calling it a matter of "serious concern". Yet he failed to lay blame
on the Mugabe regime. This suits Harare fine. In President Mugabe's parallel
universe, it is the Opposition that is terrorising the people - not his
party. Mr Mbeki's statement seeks to have it both ways.

President Mbeki still appears to believe that he can settle the crisis. His
officials are said to have brokered talks between the Movement for
Democratic Change and Zanu (PF) to form a government of national unity. But
neither side is likely to accept the role of junior partner, so the process
will almost certainly fail.

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Zimbabwe Political Violence Claims Another Victim in Rural Bindura


By Jonga Kandemiiri
11 June 2008

Political violence continued unabated in Zimbabwe this week despite
expressions of concern by regional leaders including South African President
Thabo Mbeki and an impending briefing Thursday in the United Nations
Security Council.

The latest death occurred in Bindura South constituency in Mashonaland
Central province where activist Chenjerai Kahari of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change was shot to death by war veterans backing President
Robert Mugabe in the presidential run-off June 27 in which he will face MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

MDC sources said Kahari was shot dead by self-styled war veterans at the
Chireka shopping center following an incident earlier Tuesday in which war
veterans and ruling party youth militia members forced villagers to a
ZANU-PF meeting there. The MDC sources said the militia has set up a torture
base at a Chireka primary school.

In Bindura, Mashonaland Central, a source said that the homes of four
opposition members were attacked by ZANU-PF supporters Tuesday night and a
married couple was beaten. The sources said 200 ZANU-PF youths in party
regalia believed to be from Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central, were dropped
at Tendai Hall in the mining town on Wednesday in preparation for another
attack later in the night.

Opposition activist Taurai Chiveso of Bindura South  told reporter Jonga
Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Kahari's body was still lying
in a pool of blood in the store where he was murdered, as police refused to
take the body to the mortuary.

The Zimbabwe Medical Doctor's Association on Wednesday issued a statement
urging an immediate end to political violence, days after the European Union
terminated the consultancy contract it maintained with ZIMA President Paul
Chimedza upon receiving information accusing him of inciting violence in
Gutu, Masvingo province.

Dr. Chimedza denied the charges and accused the Zimbabwe Association of
Doctors for Human Rights of launching the allegations, which that
association's chairman, Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, denied, as correspondent
Sylvia Manika reported.

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Zimbabwe Report: How Mugabe is Tying Up Postal Votes

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Iain Dale 9:20 PM

A friend of mine just sent me the following message from Zimbabwe...

Now it looks like the vile dictator Mugabe has added yet another weapon to his vote-rigging armoury. Not content with driving 25,000 suspected MDC supporters from their homes, beating up a further 3,000 and killing 65 (to date), he's now moving on to the next stage of his "electoral cleansing" campaign: Stealing the postal votes.

It drives me crazy that this man is allowed to get away with stealing an election, while literally starving his own country - as well as destablising an entire region - and there is literally nothing I can do about it from here. Anyway, here is the latest:

Through abuse of the electoral laws relating to postal votes, Mugabe looks set to win between 30,000 and 50,000 illegal votes, and potentially may score tens of thousands more.

Only members of the Zimbabwean military (or other parts of the government) and their families are supposed to be eligible to vote. George Chiweshe, head of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), confirmed that approximately 8,000 applications for postal votes were received in respect of the Harmonised Elections of 29 March 2008 – entailing elections for President, Parliament and local government authorities. In the event, less than half of these applications were approved despite 600,000 postal ballots having been printed.

Now credible reports, including a leaked internal police document entitled “Postal Voting Mechanism” indicate that police and army officers, their spouses and dependents will be required to vote in the run-off by postal ballot and will be compelled to do so under supervision. This is likely to yield Mugabe between 30,000 and 50,000 votes, but may – because of the excessive number of ballots printed for the first round — mean tens of thousands more.

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Stepping Up Crackdown, Zimbabwean Police Shut NGOs In Two Towns


By Carole Gombakomba
11 June 2008

Zimbabwean police on Wednesday ordered all civic organizations in Gweru,
Midlands province, and Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, affiliated with
the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations to close their

The crackdown followed last week's directive by Labor and Social Welfare
Minister Nicholas Goche telling non-governmental organizations to halt
humanitarian activities, saying they were backing the opposition ahead of a
June 27 presidential run-off.

On Tuesday, 65 NGOs meeting in Harare vowed to defy Harare's order.;

NANGO spokesman Fambai Ngirande said more than 1,000 NGOs are threatened by
the crackdown and on high alert, fearing the expansion of such raids
nationally could lead to the confiscation of stocks of food and other
humanitarian supplies.

Chairman Peter Muchengeti of NANGO's Midlands branch said organizations
affected included the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the Bulawayo
Agenda, the Musasa Project, Doctors Without Borders and hundreds of others
providing food aid, HIV/AIDS medication and support, and assistance to the
victims of political violence.

Muchengeti told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that the raids Wednesday set the stage for a legal challenge against Harare.

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Unions: Labor leaders abused in Zimbabwe

Yahoo News

By ELIANE ENGELER, Associated Press Writer 24 minutes ago

GENEVA - Labor leaders in Zimbabwe are increasingly being arrested and
harassed by police as this month's presidential election approaches, union
representatives from the region said Wednesday.

Federations of national labor unions representing as many as 15 million
people in 11 southern African countries said the abuse of labor activists'
rights has multiplied since the first round of presidential elections March

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai out-polled President Robert Mugabe in
the first round but, according to official results, failed to win the 50
percent plus one vote necessary to avoid a runoff. The second round of
voting is scheduled for June 27.

In New York, Zimbabwe's U.N. ambassador, Boniface Chidyauskiku, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment about the charge by the union

Many May Day meetings organized by labor unions in Zimbabwe were forbidden
or canceled at the last minute. The country's union leaders were arrested
for 12 days and then released on bail, said Alina Rantsolase, of the
Congress of South African Trade Unions.

"Police were in their houses, heavily armed, and they had to hand themselves
over to the police station," Rantsolase said in Geneva during the annual
meeting of the 182 member countries of the U.N.'s International Labor

Despite their release, the Zimbabwean union leaders were unable to travel to
Geneva for the U.N. meeting because of the bail terms.

The opposition, foreign diplomats in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean and
international human rights groups accuse Mugabe of unleashing violence
against Tsvangirai's supporters to ensure Mugabe wins the runoff. Zimbabwean
government and party spokesmen repeatedly have denied the allegations.

Jan Sithole, general secretary of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions,
said he was disappointed that the countries in the region and the African
Union did not pressure Mugabe to stop his violent campaign.

The Southern African Development Community, or SADC, should immediately put
peacekeeping troops in place to restore security and guarantee a peaceful
election, Sithole said.

"SADC and AU are not giving this issue the gravity it deserves," said
Sithole. The AU is the African Union, an organization of 53 African

The members states of the Southern African Development Community are Angola,
Botswana, Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique,
Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Sithole said the regional group should also pressure Mugabe to allow aid
workers to resume the distribution of food aid.

He said the government's order last week for humanitarian groups to suspend
work, was a "clear strategy" of Mugabe's election campaign. Food was now
supplied to Mugabe supporters only, he said.

Meanwhile, the election campaign continues in Zimbabwe.

On Wednesday, Tsvangirai's bus rolled slowly through Harare, the capital,
then halted in a cloud of thick black smoke, a symbol of the difficulties he
has had campaigning.

Cheering crowds briefly disrupted traffic as the bus moved down Nelson
Mandela Avenue. The plan had been to drive 15 miles west to Norton to greet
voters and kick off a nationwide tour, but that did not happen.

The smoke appeared to indicate engine trouble.

Before the tour halted, Tsvangirai told reporters on the bus he wanted to
liven up his campaign.

"We are heading out to make sure that the message goes home," he said.

His campaign has been beset by violence blamed on Mugabe's forces.

Tsvangirai, who has said he is the target of a military assassination plot,
has only been back in Zimbabwe since May 24 after leaving soon after the
first round.

Since returning, he has twice been briefly detained by police as he tried to
campaign, and police have stopped several attempts to hold rallies. The
state-controlled media have all but ignored him in a country where few have
access to the Internet or satellite television.

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Eroding The Fundamental Right to Liberty & Protection of the Law: Attorney General’s Office Denying Bail As A Matter Of Policy



ZLHR Press Statement: 11 June 2008

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has noted with alarm the expressed intention of the Attorney-General (AG) to “deny bail to all suspects arrested on charges of either committing or inciting political violence”. In a front-page story headlined “AG’s Office Gets Tough: No bail for political violence cases” reported in The Herald on Monday 9 June 2008, as well as in repeated television interviews on the state-run broadcaster, the Deputy AG (Criminal Division), Mr. Johannes Tomana, was quoted saying: “We have made it a point that those arrested are locked up right to trial. Bail is opposed as a matter of policy“.

The statement by Mr. Tomana expressing the intention of the AG’s Office to “deny bail” to accused persons as a matter of policy is regrettable and unfortunate, as it clearly confuses the role of the AG’s office with that of the final arbiter, the judiciary.

In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, all accused persons have a fundamental right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. They also have the right to protection of the law and the right to their liberty as guaranteed in sections 18 and 11, respectively. Bail is an entitlement that is provided to accused persons to ensure that, from the time of their arrest to the finalization of their trial, their right to liberty is not unreasonably and unnecessarily violated. Thus an accused person has a right to apply for bail before the criminal court, which bail must, in the interests of justice, be granted where an accused person has convinced the court that:

  • s/he is of fixed and known abode and is not likely to abscond from attending trial if set free on bail;
  • s/he will not interfere with the witnesses or evidence while on bail; and
  • s/he will not commit further offences while on bail.

Further, when bail is applied for, the State as represented by the AG’s office, cannot simply oppose the granting of such bail without providing the court with substantive and credible reason/s (supported by evidence) for such opposition. It would have to convince the court that there is a material likelihood that the accused may flee from justice if released on bail, interfere with witnesses, or commit further offences. It is then solely within the mandate and function of the court and not the AG’s office to decide, on the basis of the evidence before it, whether bail should be granted. These are elementary tenets of criminal procedure and constitutional law.

The State, as represented by the AG’s office, now seeks to unilaterally remove in totality the right to even make an application for bail by publicizing its intention to make it mandatory that no bail is granted at all to those arrested on the mere suspicion of “political violence”. To simply “deny bail as a matter of policy” because the crimes for which accused is charged amount to political violence is clearly unconstitutional.

All and any criminal acts of violence, whether politically motivated or otherwise, and whoever the perpetrator, are deplorable and must be discouraged. The perpetrators, where known, must be prosecuted impartially and within a reasonable time. This discourages repetition of the offences, provides redress to victims, whilst punishment of perpetrators counters the unacceptable impunity which is so rife in our society. However, as a civilized nation which purports to adhere to the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers, there must, of necessity, be compliance with our Constitution and accepted international human rights norms and standards which act as safeguards for all people of Zimbabwe where they, as accused persons, face the might of the State and its resources.

It is therefore unacceptable at law and in practice for the State, through the AG’s office, to override the function of the judiciary, by issuing widely publicized policy decisions to deny bail without just and reasonable cause. This usurps the functions of the judiciary, and places unacceptable executive pressure on an independent arm of government.

With the reality that the wheels of criminal justice in Zimbabwe’s courts turn slowly, such a process would mean that accused persons, constitutionally presumed innocent, would have to spend long periods of time in remand prison before even being heard. Indeed Zimbabwe’s remand prisons are on record for keeping people on remand for unacceptably long periods of time, from months to as much as nine years. This has been highlighted and condemned by the Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe, Rita Makarau.

The effect of such denials of bail was witnessed following the 29 March 2008 elections when Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials who had been charged with fraud and other offences were denied bail in areas such as Masvingo, Zaka and Buhera, yet to date their trials have not taken off due to the state still gathering and preparing its witnesses and evidence. The reason given by the public prosecutors for denying the ZEC officials bail was not one of genuine fear that the accused would breach bail conditions but simply that they had received instruction to deny bail from “higher powers”.

This policy change by the AGs office to deny bail without just cause comes at a time when many are preparing to cast their vote in the presidential election run-off set for 27 June 2008. This means that those who are arrested now and denied bail may be kept in remand prisons for weeks or months, thereby resulting in them failing to cast their vote from within the prison cells. This unprecedented policy by the AG’s office thus stands to deny many Zimbabweans who may in fact be innocent of any criminal offence their right to participate in the governance of their country through voting or campaigning for their political party.

ZLHR is further saddened that the Deputy AG’s statement expresses insensitivity of the pitiful state of our prisons wherein prisoners, including the innocent and still to be proven guilty, are living in inhuman and degrading conditions. The Deputy Attorney General in fact admits to the overcrowding, stating that the condemning of accused persons to remand without any hope of bail “is going to choke the prison population….Jail is not nice. It is not meant to be nice“. Zimbabwe’s prisons are indeed already battling to provide prisoners with adequate clothing, food and health care.

The attitude of officials in the Ministry of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs further exhibits the inability to accept state obligations and comply with constitutional provisions. Instead of addressing the conditions of prisons, Mr. Chinamasa expressed his intention, as reported in The Herald on 10 June 2008, to propose an amnesty “in order to create space for those convicted of political violence“.

ZLHR calls upon the Attorney General’s office to respect the right to liberty and protection of the law, and recognize and accept that every accused person is entitled to apply for bail without such bail being denied without just cause. In line with this, there should be an immediate retraction by the AG’s office of public statements made, and a public reaffirmation that it is the constitutional duty of the courts, and not the AG’s office, to decide whether an accused person is a fit candidate for bail. ZLHR further calls upon the courts not to be intimidated by such public pronouncements and executive pressure, and to continue to safeguard and protect the right to liberty of accused persons by granting them bail where there is just cause to do so.

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Arrested Media Monitoring Staff Released By Police in Binga

SW Radio Africa (London)

11 June 2008
Posted to the web 11 June 2008

Tererai Karimakwenda

A group of staff members from the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
(MMPZ) who were arrested and detained by police at a meeting in Binga on
Sunday were released without charge on Wednesday.

The group included Abel Chikomo, Maureen Kademaunga, Abel Kaingidza and 10
members of the MMPZ's Public Information Rights Forum.

They were accused of holding a public meeting without police clearance, but
MMPZ coordinator Andy Moyse said the meeting in question was private and
included their staff members only. For this reason they did not require
police notification or clearance according to the Public Order and Security

Chikomo and the others had been considered missing after their arrest
because the police refused to disclose any information about their
whereabouts. The MMPZ said lawyers only managed to access them on Tuesday,
following the intervention of police officers from Hwange Police law and
order section.

Moyse said the arrested group had committed no offence and had nothing to
answer to. He attributed the arrests to the ongoing government crackdown on
opposition officials, activists, civil organisations and the media, ahead of
the presidential runoff election scheduled for June 27.

This crackdown on civil society was highlighted on Monday when heavily armed
police, CIO's and military agents raided the Ecumenical Centre, a religious
complex that houses the offices of the Christian Alliance and several other
faith based organisations. They arrested 10 people, ransacked offices and
confiscated computers, digital cameras and a mini bus. The arrested included
the officials from the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe and the
veteran journalist Pius Wakatama. He was later released along with two other
people. The others are still in detention.

Moyse said: "They are targeting civil society organisations, especially
those dealing with human rights because there are many rights currently
being abused and they do not want that information to be distributed or

Meanwhile the National Constitutional Assembly reports that it's offices in
Masvingo and Matabeleland South have been forced to close down by police and
Zanu PF militia. In Masvingo the group's offices were attacked by mobs who
shattered the windows last week Friday. NCA staff have also been exposed to
personal threats with the militia's claiming the operations of NGO's have
now been banned. On Sunday police arrested the NCA Chairperson for Guruve
Constituency, Biggie Bangira, on baseless grounds. On the same day, the home
of the NCA Information Secretary in Epworth, Musa Mabika, was torched by
ZANU PF militia. Mabika's wife and sister were severely beaten and are
currently recovering in a local hospital.

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Zim bars aid agencies from diverting food to Zambia

Zim Online

by Tinotenda Kandi Thursday 12 June 2008

HARARE - Zimbabwe's government has barred a coalition of relief
agencies from moving a stockpile of food to neighbouring Zambia, a week
after it ordered aid groups to stop relief operations accusing them of
supporting the opposition.

Sources in the NGO community said the coalition known as C-Safe - and
bringing together Care International, Catholic Relief Services, and World
Vision International - sought permission from the government to divert a
consignment of food to Zambia after Harare's refusal to allow the
humanitarian groups to distribute the food locally.

Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche turned down the request. The
food, imported from the United States under the "food for peace programme",
was initially meant for vulnerable Zimbabweans especially orphans and people
living with HIV/AIDS.

The food, whose tonnage was unclear but which our sources said
included substantial quantities of cooking oil and wheat, remains stockpiled
in warehouses in Harare, with aid officials worried it might expire and
would have to be thrown away.

"We had requested that the food be moved to Zambia, where a similar
programme is running unhindered but there was a big no from the government
last week," said a C-Safe official who did not want to be named because she
did not have permission from the group to speak to the media.

It was not possible to get official comment on the matter from either
C-Safe or Goche.

The National Association of Non-governmental Organisations (NANGO)
expressed fear that the government might seize the stockpiled food and use
it for political gain by distributing it to potential voters to induce them
to back President Robert Mugabe in a second round presidential election
later this month.

Mugabe faces opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the June 27
run-off poll after Tsvangirai won the first round ballot on March 29 but
failed to secure the required margin to takeover power.

NANGO spokesman Fambai Ngirande said: "Fears that the government could
raid NGOs' food stocks for political purposes are very real. We would not be
surprised (if that happened) because they have shown that they are acting in
bad faith.

"On one hand they ban NGOs from assisting those in need, and on the
other hand they stop the movement of that same food to another country in
need. The motive is questionable," said Ngirande.

The government last week suspended all work by aid agencies, accusing
them of using aid distribution to campaign for Tsvangirai.

Relief agencies deny interfering in Zimbabwe's political affairs while
the European Union, the United States, local church and human rights groups
have criticised the ban and called for it to be lifted.

United Nations (UN) agencies in Zimbabwe earlier this week called the
ban on humanitarian aid a violation of fundamental human rights principles
and said it had "created life threatening conditions" for more than two
million vulnerable people who survived on donor support.

Meanwhile police earlier this week seized tones of food aid from a
private warehouse in Harare.

The food allegedly belonged to the Catholic Agency for Overseas
Development but this could not be immediately confirmed with the aid group.

NGOS normally rent private warehouses to keep their stocks before it
is distributed across the country.

The police however claimed the food was intended to be given to
Tsvangirai so he could use it to buy support from hungry votes.

Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu defended the warehouse raid
that took place on Tuesday night, claiming that most of the food seized
during the raid consisted of locally produced basic commodities that were in
short supply in the country.

Ndlovu said: "The food was manufactured locally, yet the NGOs tell us
they are importing it from outside. There is something fishy here because
local manufactures that are starving the formal market are feeding the NGOs.

"The police are widening their net and they will continue seizing any
basic commodities stocked in suspicious warehouses." - ZimOnline

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A spontaneous crowd gathers to welcome Morgan Tsvangirai


These images were sent to us by someone who witnessed a crowd gathering on the street with spontaneous cheering and applause at the sight of Morgan Tsvangirai arriving at Harvest House in Harare. Apparently they were chanting “President, President”.

You will remember that Morgan Tsvangirai was detained last week in Lupane, and according to an MDC media statement, one of the reasons the police gave for holding him was that he “attracted a large number of people around him at Lupane growth point”.

These images show just how that can happen and why the Zanu PF regime is becoming more and more panicked by the fact that their hold on power is so obviously threatened.

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ZANU-PF guile marks Makoni's proposal


Tsvangirai Rejects Unity Gov't

Isaac Hlekisani Dziya

     Published 2008-06-12 06:56 (KST)

This article was only lightly edited.  <Editor's Note>

As reported by Reuters, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change rejected calls on Tuesday in Zimbabwe for a national unity government
as proposed by failed presidential candidate Simba Makoni, whose credentials
have always been doubtful, as the electorate saw his candidacy as another
front for ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai prefers a presidential runoff vote. He is sure his party will win
the election despite government violence.

In previous articles I have alluded to a silent coup. Tsvangirai has now
confirmed that a de facto coup has taken place and that the country is being
run by a military junta.

ZANU-PF wants a hand in governing to cover up their poor failings. Why
didn't ZANU-PF propose a government of national unity when they had the
upper hand in June 2000 parliamentary elections, when it won 62 of the
constituency-based seats, against the 57 held by the MDC?

Now that the tables have been turned against them, and they know that in the
absence of a third detracting candidate (Simba Makoni), ZANU-PF is surely
going to lose the runoff.


A defector from the ZANU-PF party, Simba Makoni, a former finance minister,
feels that the June 27 run-off between President Robert Mugabe and
Tsvangirai must be called off because a free and fair vote was impossible.
Obviously, he is still a surrogate for Mugabe, his initial participation in
the March 29 election having had the tacit approval of the president. His
candidacy was meant to sow confusion and chaos, which it almost succeeded in

The international consultations to look at what practical steps could be
taken by the international community to ensure a real runoff election are
pleasing. The June 27 runoff election should be as free and fair as
possible, so as to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people.

With campaigning made next to impossible for the MDC due to brutal
intimidation and murder by Mugabe's supporters, the economic harsh realities
and the maiming of fellow Zimbabweans by state sponsored agents will
definitely deal the final and decisive blow to the Mugabe regime.
Zimbabweans are raring to go and vote, and put this nightmare government
into the annals of history once and for all.

Following a European Union-United States summit in Slovenia on Tuesday,
there was a call for the Zimbabwean government to end state-sponsored
violence. The summit urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send monitors
to deter further violence.

Thus in the face of these circumstances, Makoni, who came a distant third in
the March election, has no moral or legal authority to suggest the
cancellation of the presidential runoff.

The continued polarization between the MDC and ZANU-PF through the
systematic campaign of murder and torture unleashed on the MDC make the
immediate contemplation of a government of national unity a great joke.

Voice of reason Jacob Zuma, South Africa's ruling African National Congress
president, is right to be alarmed and anxious about the reports of violence.
His calls on ZANU-PF to ensure free campaigning are still falling on deaf
ears. The playing field is not level.

Zuma confirms that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, something the current
South African president, Thabo Mbeki, denies. Zuma, a frontrunner to succeed
Mbeki next year after toppling him as leader of the ANC, remains outspoken
about the Zimbabwe crisis. Mbeki is still in the woods, as he preaches his
quiet diplomacy that has failed hitherto to resolve Zimbabwe's impasse.

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What if Robert Mugabe was white?

Michael Trapido

I want you to close your eyes and imagine for a moment that Zimbabwe was
being ruled by Robert Mugabe, the duly elected white, rather than black,
president. Everything else must remain exactly the same as it is right now.
The overwhelming majority of Zimbabwe's population remains black, the murder
and torture continues, the destroyed economy with its 100 000% plus
inflation, the 80% unemployment, the average lifespan of 37 years, the ban
on the media, the election rigging and the total onslaught on the population
is all still there, but done in the name of a white, instead of a black

In other words I'm asking you to leave everything the way it is except that
all the indescribably despicable acts, currently being perpetrated against
an overwhelming majority of black people is being carried out by a white

Let's accept that Zimbabwe is now considered to be one of the most violent
regimes in Africa's history. This is a country wherein the disregard for
black lives can almost be described as breathtaking in its arrogance. No
consideration is given to their health, living standards or future, save as
it affects the ruling elite.

A few weeks ago an election was held wherein this white president refused to
allow the opposition to campaign without fear of murder or torture.
Candidates were arrested, the electoral commission was being controlled and
only monitors or peacekeepers of his choice were allowed into the field. He
then refused to release the results when he realised that he had lost.

Then, in contemplation of a run-off, he instituted a campaign of butchery
and intimidation that Human Rights Watch speaks of as unprecedented in the
history of this violent country. Simultaneously, a de fact coup takes place
wherein the message is sent out that whoever wins, the president stays.

In those circumstances, under this white president, what would have been the

a.. A UN Security Council that is nervous to intervene?
a.. SADC grudgingly acknowledging the seriousness of the situation and
deciding on mediation that allows this brutality to continue?
a.. Mediation that slowly grinds on its way and makes no effort to stop the
violence and contemplates keeping this white president who has committed
these atrocities?
a.. Allows a de facto coup to have taken place with a poorly kept secret
that if Tsvangirai wins the run-off this white president has no intention of
handing over power?
a.. An entire planet stands back and watches as soldiers, war veterans,
police and intelligence pummel the electorate into oblivion?
a.. Allows anywhere between a third and a quarter of the population to go
into exile rather than tell this white president to behave?
a.. Allows an entire region to become destabilised and called the author of
its destabilisation a liberator?
The answer to all this is that the white president would have had his
backside handed to him a long time ago. In addition he would have been
styled a butcher, not a liberator. He would be facing a future along the
lines of Saddam Hussein rather than president in a government of national

That is, of course, my opinion and one that I sincerely hope that the bulk
of the planet shares.

Which brings me to my next question: Why should a population that is
overwhelmingly black be at a disadvantage simply because their leader is
black? Why are their lives considered forfeit simply because the planet is
scared to be called racist if they clamp down hard on their oppressor?

How can the planet ever listen to Africa when it comes to removing its
dictators? Our history confirms that the millions and millions of Africans
who don't have access to sophisticated communications, through choice or by
design, are being denied rescue, for that is what this is, by the elite few
who scream racism every time the world wants to take concrete steps against
their abuse.

What the planet has to do is ask itself this: If this African president was
any other race but black, how would we respond?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 at 5:52 pm and

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Government Imposes Punitive Duty On Imported Publications

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

11 June 2008
Posted to the web 11 June 2008

In yet another move that will worsen the flow of - and lack of access to -
information in Zimbabwe, the government has slapped an import duty on all
newspapers, magazines and periodicals coming into the country.

On 8 June 2008, the state-owned "Herald" newspaper reported that all
"foreign newspapers sold in Zimbabwe will now have to pay import duty, as
the government moves to protect Zimbabwean media space". The newspaper went
on to say that this move is meant to curb the entry into the country of what
it called "hostile foreign newspapers".

Citing new regulations published in an extraordinary government gazette, the
paper said foreign publications - including newspapers, journals, magazines
and periodicals - were now classed as "luxury goods" and would attract an
import duty of 40 percent of the total cost per kilogram.

The Information Ministry's permanent secretary and President Robert Mugabe's
spokesperson, George Charamba, hinted at the measures when he told guests at
a media awards ceremony in early June 2008 that foreign publications were
reaping profits from sales in Zimbabwe while paying nothing or very little.

"The government is looking at the whole regime, which allows anyone to push
their publications here without paying anything or paying very little, yet
when sales are done, profits have to be turned into foreign currency which
leaves the country," said Charamba.

"We lose the politics, we lose money. As the ministry responsible, it is our
duty to protect and defend the national media space," he added.

Zimbabwe has only two dailies, both controlled by the government, since the
only privately-owned daily, the "Daily News", was banned in 2003. The
country has no private radio or television stations and, for an alternative
to the official line, most Zimbabweans turn to foreign radio stations and
regional newspapers, mostly from South Africa, which carry stories about

The newspapers that are to be affected by this move include "The
Zimbabwean", a tabloid highly critical of the Zimbabwe government, "The Mail
and Guardian", "Sunday Times" and many others published in South Africa.
South African newspapers were filling in the void left by the banning of
four newspapers in Zimbabwe since 2003. Local independent newspapers in
Zimbabwe operate under a harsh legal environment in which they are forced to
sell copies at a government-stipulated price.

The import duty, coming as it does while Zimbabwe prepares for a run-off
election, will worsen the already bad flow of - and limited access to -
information in Zimbabwe. The state media, meanwhile, has stepped up its
campaign against civic and opposition groups, leaving no room for
alternative voices to be heard.

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The UN must act

      YOUR LETTERS June 12 2008

The full tragedy of Zimbabwe lies far beyond the borders of that once
prosperous nation (Ian Bell, June 7, and Letters, June 10). The inability of
the international community, in all its various forms, to take decisive
action will undoubtedly lead to a slow burning genocide. The message that
Mugabe and his murderous Zanu-PF regime sends out to the rest of the African
continent is: yes, you can destroy your economy, ignore election results,
intimidate and murder your own people and remain in power.

Experts believe that it would take an international force of just 5000
troops to ensure a fair election and resultant blood-free regime change.

The ineffective African Union refuses to get involved and so the door is
open for a United Nations task force. If we are to continue to believe that
the UN is a relevant and worthwhile institution, then it must act now in
Zimbabwe, not just to avert another humanitarian crisis but also to set an
example to other oppressive African regimes and give hope to their people.

Mark Hogarth, Ardrossan

Doug Maughan is right to feel outraged (Letters, June 10) but the world will
continue to wring its hands and do nothing until oil is found in Zimbabwe.

Ruth Marr, Stirling

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