June 25, 2008, 18:00
The Southern African Development Community's Peace and Security Summit in
Swaziland has appealed to the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) to
consider postponing the run-off presidential election to a later date.
Leaders say holding the elections under the current circumstances could
undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the outcome. It also says the
political and security considerations in Zimbabwe appear not to be conducive
to hold a free and fair run-off election.
The SADC chair, Angola, is not attending. However, SADC has been consulting
with President Dos Santos and the country's position will be discussed at
the meeting. Angola believes Zimbabwe's presidential run-off should be
Controversy is also mounting around President Thabo Mbeki's absence, but
South Africa is not part of the troika. Mbeki says he was not invited.
MDC's withdrawal letter rejected
Meanwhile, the ZEC is adamant the presidential run-off election will go
ahead as planned on Friday. This comes after the ZEC rejected the Movement
for Democratic Change's letter of withdrawal.
The ZEC says the withdrawal has no legal effect, and that the law requires a
21-day notice of withdrawal -- a legality the MDC agrees with, but says the
move is a political one.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai briefly left the Dutch Embassy today after he
called on African Union leaders to intervene. A growing number of African
leaders have condemned the situation and called for the run-off to be
Pressure mounts on Mugabe
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga has added his voice to international
calls to postpone the run-off: "Right now you cannot say that Mugabe is the
president of Zimabwe because he lost the lections . If he proceeds to .
conduct a sham election and declare himself president - that is not going to
Despite international condemnation, Mugabe remains adamant that the run-off
will go ahead: "They can shout as loud as they like from Washington or from
London or from any other quarter . Only our people will decide and no one
In an attempt to defuse the country's crisis, the MDC has proposed a number
of conditions, among them, the release of political prisoners and an end to
Meanwhile, in South Africa, members of different faiths at a prayer meeting
held at St. Paul's Church in Durban, are calling on world leaders to adopt a
tougher stance against Mugabe.
| Wednesday, June 25, 2008 11:50
Zimbabwe, Harare --The Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN), a network of 38 organisations will not be observing the 27 June
election due to the following reasons;
1. The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Patrick Chinamasa has reduced the number of ZESN observers from 8 667 observers that it fielded during the 29 March harmonized election to 500 for the run-off. On 2 June 2008, ZESN submitted its first list of 11122 and a supplementary list of 4311 names on 12 June 2008. On 19 June 2008 ZESN received a letter from the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to reduce its number of observers from the two lists (15433) to 500.
ZESN re-submitted the 500 names on Friday 20 June 2008. The suggestion that domestic election observation personnel, if not reduced, would disrupt the smooth running of the electoral process is absurd. The electoral legal framework as stipulated in Statutory Instrument 21 of 2005, second schedule section 19 (2) and (3) clearly allows up to 3 static domestic observers per polling station per observer group and one per observer group at constituency tabulation centre.
The reduction in the number of ZESN observers by Mr. Patrick Chinamasa reduces transparency and undermines democracy. Given the prescribed numbers the law allows, Zimbabwe’s electoral process can actually accommodate in excess of 27 000 domestic observers stationed within the country’s 9 231 polling stations across the country. At an observers briefing held on 23 June 2008, ZEC announced that as of Sunday 22 June 2008, they had only accredited 84 local observers.
2. ZESN has also raised concerns over the re-issuing of new invitations for the run- off yet other procedures and laws for the two elections remained the same. As of today 24 June 2008, ZESN had not received the invitation of its 500 observers submitted on 20 June 2008.
Given the fact that there are only two days left
before the election, it is therefore neither practical nor possible for the
organisation to communicate with its observers to come to the central
accreditation centres in Harare and Bulawayo. The processes of training,
accreditation and deployment of the observers cannot be conducted in the short
space of time left before polling.
3. ZESN’s observers for the 29 March harmonised
elections have been subjected to severe attacks which have left Elliot Machipisa
an observer from Hurungwe dead, 30 beaten and over 200 displaced, 14 had their
homes and property destroyed.
These are the only reported cases as hundreds of other displaced and brutalized observers went unreported. Although the above-mentioned cases have been reported to the police together with names of perpetrators, no action has been taken by the law enforcement agents. Furthermore, ZESN offices and its National Director’s house were raided on 25 April 2008 by police allegedly looking for subversive material. Allegations which are vehemently denied by ZESN.
Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:08pm BST
By Cris Chinaka - Analysis
HARARE (Reuters) - Although Zimbabwe's election has been dismissed as a sham
by much of the world, President Robert Mugabe may believe it will give him
enough legal cover to negotiate from strength with the opposition.
Mugabe is bound to be re-elected after opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai -- who defeated the veteran leader in a first round on March
29 -- withdrew because of violence against his supporters and took refuge in
the Dutch embassy.
Mugabe, who thrives in defiance, has brushed off a flood of condemnation,
including for the first time from African leaders who previously revered him
as a liberation hero.
While analysts believe the tide is clearly turning against the former
guerrilla commander and he is moving towards negotiations with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, he wants to enter talks from a
position of strength by extending his 28-year-rule.
After a violent campaign by his supporters since the March defeat, insiders
expect a huge voter turnout from rural areas where Mugabe's ZANU-PF has
mobilised village heads and traditional chiefs to lead their people to the
ZANU-PF hardliners believe they lost parliamentary and presidential polls in
March not because of Mugabe's unpopularity but because they failed to get
out the vote for the veteran leader in their strongholds.
Mugabe insists the poll must go ahead to fulfil Zimbabwe's legal process,
but he has, for the first time, indicated that ZANU-PF is ready to negotiate
with the opposition MDC.
"Mugabe probably sees this as an important step in claiming the presidency,
and that once he is sworn in, he will be dealing with the MDC and other
opponents from some point of strength," said lawyer Lovemore Madhuku,
chairman of political pressure group National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
"It's a very flawed process, a contestable one because the democratic
process leading to his so-called election is in dispute," he said.
"From a practical point of view however, he will be in position and he will
be part of the process of finding a solution," Madhuku said.
Negotiations are far from certain. Tsvangirai said on Wednesday that there
would be no talks if the run-off goes ahead on Friday.
Whether or not he hangs on, Mugabe is in the weakest position of his long
rule with the economy now in freefall and Western countries in particular
determined to increase the pain for his inner circle.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday that London was preparing
intensified sanctions against named members of his government.
"Mugabe has seriously miscalculated this time round and what this farce,
what they are calling an election, is doing is to dramatise the Zimbabwe
crisis," said John Makumbe, a veteran political commentator and Mugabe
"The world can clearly see now what is going on, and as a result everyone
who matters is applying pressure and considering action against the Mugabe
regime to resolve the crisis," said Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe
political science professor.
"Things are getting worse and everyone now realises that we need a quick
solution," he told Reuters.
Mugabe's former African allies, shocked by a wave of violence which the MDC
says has left nearly 90 opposition supporters dead and displaced 200,000
others, have joined a chorus of criticism of the veteran Zimbabwean leader.
Apart from tougher Western sanctions, Mugabe is likely to be increasingly
isolated in the region and under huge pressure to cut a deal with the
opposition for some kind of transitional or unity government.
There is little expectation, however, that Zimbabwe's neighbours are ready
to support military intervention or wider international sanctions on a
country which the World Bank says has the fastest shrinking economy outside
a war zone.
The economic collapse is ultimately likely to be the form of pressure which
will force Mugabe to negotiate.
The once prosperous southern African state is groaning with an inflation
rate estimated at over 2 million percent and under severe shortages of
basics, including food, fuel and drugs.
"The international community has a moral entry point to help restore
democracy and the rule of law and to help alleviate the (economic)
suffering," said a senior Western diplomat.
"This process has gained a momentum which Mugabe cannot ignore, and which he
is slowly beginning to grasp," he said.
Mugabe has stumped Zimbabwe's countryside since he lost the first round in
March, urging people to "correct your errors" and support his drive back to
On Wednesday, preparations were going ahead as planned
Schools have been closed to use as polling stations, the electoral
commission was transporting ballot boxes and polling officers were deploying
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said Friday's poll would have been dismissed as
laughable if it had not cost life and limb.
"Beating up people, killing others, displacing people, destroying homes and
waging a war on voters? That cannot be an election," he said. "It is bloody
daylight robbery by any description."
(Editing by Barry Moody and Matthew Tostevin)
Operational Command's strategy for the Presidential run-off poll
Sokwanele : 25 June 2008
On the 21st May 2008 the Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT) released a report titled Punishing Dissent, Silencing Citizens: The Zimbabwe Elections 2008. The report made it very clear that ZANU PF had embarked on a systematic programme of retributive violence in response to its electoral defeat on March 29th 2008. The report included an evaluation of the violence up until that point based on interviews with 681 people.
In addition to this, Appendix 3 of the SPT report contained information provided by a key informant who relayed their knowledge about the Joint Operational Command's (JOC) election strategy. Those who have been following events in Zimbabwe closely will see that much of what the source described to SPT has since come to fruition. (Appendix 3 of the report is included at the end of this mailing)
Sokwanele received similar information at the time that confirmed and supported the information that was published in the SPT report.
Our source has recently provided us with more information, this time in relation to JOC's preparations and plans for the Presidential run-off poll. Despite the fact that one of the candidates has withdrawn from the poll, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) states that the Presidential run-off election on June 27 will proceed. We are concerned that JOC's plans and strategies will continue as well.
We are so worried about the information relayed to us that we have decided to make it public in the hope that some of the obvious dangers can be averted. At this point we cannot verify whether what has been outlined to us will happen, all we can say is that our source has provided credible information before now and that much of what has been relayed to us in the past by our source has happened. There is evidence already that some of the strategies outlined below have already been taking place.
On these grounds we believe that this new information presents very real risks to safety and security of the people of Zimbabwe.
We ask that it is read carefully and that people forward the information to all their local media sources to warn of what could possibly happen.
Sokwanele has supplied various other sources with this information too, beyond this mailing
The information, conveying JOC's preparations and plans for the Presidential run-off poll, is as follows:
Zanu PF youths to be in every constituency, working with war vets, CIO, and the police to make sure Tsvangirai does not hold a successful rally. To do everything needed to frustrate his campaign.
Do everything possible to prevent MDC agents being deployed at polling stations. If necessary eliminate MDC polling agents.
All the voters in a ward should surrender their IDs to the village head, and have their names taken down. On the day of voting, the respective village heads should queue outside the polling agent with each member (voter) with a respective number. As much as possible voters shall profess ignorance of the ability to write on his/her own. Agents in the polling stations will be helping voters to mark X where it is necessary and forth with take down the patterns of voting against each individual.
The indoctrination bases are now fully armed, and most are getting logistical support from the army. Weapons held in the Darwendale armouries are to be distributed to the veterans, including bombs and grenades. Some polling stations to be bombed. MDC youths to be implicated and arrested.
War veterans to kill MDC MPs, working together with the Army and the CIO.
In the event that Tsvangirai still wins, the Nigerian scenario to be implemented. Abiola vs Abacha. MPs to be arrested and the electorate silenced. No results to be announced by ZEC in favour of Tsvangirai. All MPs who speak out shall be charged with treason and jailed.
Polling ballot boxes to be stuffed in remote areas by death squads who will be armed. They have been instructed to abduct and kill whoever gets in their way.
The elections to be ward based and the voting pattern of the 18 – 45 age group changed to make sure this group is disturbed. Results from wards to be scrapped, and the only source of information will be the constituency command centre. Life is to be made difficult for those seeking clarification on their names. Every police officer not to attend to names missing from the roll especially using radios.
Governor Gono to finance all the projects, including the buying of weapons.
All strategic points to be heavily guarded.
A lot of rigging to be done especially on postal ballot boxes. All forms of propaganda to be dismantled including the media. No officer shall watch any radio or TV station outside Zimbabwe state news. Each officer to vote in the presence of an intelligence officer.
Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps (ZIC) to provide logistics on the torturing of MDC legislators. All to be silenced. All retired generals to be recalled to national service.
More terror to be unleashed after elections. More people to be claimed, more displacements in the rural areas. Chiweshe to provide the statistics of voting patterns to assist in determining where terror to be unleashed.
MDC agents to be bribed in the rural areas – substantial amounts to be offered.
Information referred to earlier, taken from the Solidarity Peace Trust
report 'Punishing Dissent, Silencing Citizens: The Zimbabwe Elections
Appendix Three: Interview with key informant on election strategy of JOC
ALL NAMES HAVE BEEN REMOVED IN ORDER TO PROTECT KEY INFORMANTS IN THIS PROVINCE, BUT ARE TO HAND. The interview was conducted on 15 April.
Firstly there was a meeting on XX April at Z Business centre at which the DISPOL (District Police Officer in Charge) B said that there might be a presidential rerun. He told the police to support the government of the day and told them that there would be a full briefing two days later.
APRIL YY MEETING, 10 AM TO NOON.
Attended by the following senior police officers:
Snr Asst Commissioner X
Asst Commissioner Y
Asst Commissioner Z (a war vet)
Asst Commissioner A
All DISPOLs were present, from all the police districts in the province
Attended by Zimbabwe National Army:
Joint Operations Command (JOC) Lt Col B
JOC Lt Col C (on list of 200 officers released last week)
Brig Gen D
Lt Col E
Attended by Prisons Services:
Asst Comm F
Asst Comm G
Attended by CIO:
Cde H - Provincial Intelligence Officer
Cde J - Regional Intelligence Officer
Attended by senior war veterans:
K - Provincial Chair, war vets
All district war vet chairs from the province
Attended by Governor of the province
The meeting was to address the Police Ward Commanders from all wards in the province. The election was ward based, and the run off will be ward based. These officers will be stationed in every ward centre in their own office. The ward commanders will be answerable to a constituency commander.
The constituency commanders are as follows:
All names of police officer commanders and cell phone numbers given for every constituency in the province, with some information on actual schools, offices to which to be deployed
L is the Regulating Authority for the area.
The protocol of command is:
WARD => CONSTITUENCY => PROVINCE => NATIONAL
THE WARD COMMAND CENTRE: STRUCTURE
Stationed in every ward command centre there will be:
THIS INDICATES THAT EVERY WARD WILL FALL UNDER THE CONTROL NOT JUST OF THE POLICE, BUT OF THE WAR VETS ASSOCIATION AND THE TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP STRUCTURES.
There will be small radios in every polling station. At the Ward Command Centre there will be a bigger radio to transmit to the Constituency Centre.
THE BRIEFING: ASST COMMISSIONER M
The elections were completed but they may be rerun because the election was a fraud for the following reasons.
There is a need to build TEAMWORK : There should be total cooperation between ZRP, ZNA, war vets and the ZANU PF party members at the ward level to achieve the desired goal in a rerun.
[THIS IMPLIES COMPLETE POLITICISATION OF ZRP AND ZNA, as they are now meant to cooperate fully with ZANU PF structures.]
On run off day, the police should recall all people turned away, including their names, IDs and addresses.
If the country is given away through the ballot, we will not hand over power, but rather go back to the bush and start another war.
He narrated the Traditional Leaders' role. He said democracy is very important but not the way it was introduced into Zimbabwe, where in terms of the Lancaster House Agreement, government could only take land on a willing seller, willing buyer basis until 1989. After 1989, whites started refusing to sell their land and so the problems started. Then in 1999, a political party was started to defend white interests. Do you want to give the farms back to the whites? I know you don't.
If ZANU does not win there will be conflict in the country and that will be black against black. We know the United Nations will send in peace keepers, but people will have died by then and there will be no resurrecting them. So you have to protect the revolution. If we lose through the ballot we will go back to the bush. Democracy is only for the educated.
You have to defend the revolution. If you don't and the revolution is sold through the ballot, we will go back to the bush and fight. Is that what you want to do? I don't think so. There is no day on which this country will be handed over on a silver platter. We can't give power to anyone who has no knowledge of governance and has no support from the local voters but has support from the outside world. More instructions and strategies will be given shortly.
SNR ASST COMMISSIONER P
The role of the Chief Wardens - the war vets in uniform - is to monitor the police officers at ward level. If the vote is lost, it will be the police that have sold out. The exercise is a fast track one to achieve desired goals.
PART OF THE STRATEGY, AS EXPLAINED BY INFORMANT, IS THAT WHEN YOUTHS GO ABOUT BEATING PEOPLE UP, THEY WILL NOT BE ARRESTED. THEY MAY BE REFERRED TO THE CHIEFS VIA THE CHIEF'S MESSENGERS, AND WILL BE DEALT WITH AT WARD LEVEL THUS PREVENTING THE CASES BEING DEALT WITH BY THE POLICE AND OFFICIAL DOCKETS OPENED. THE POLICE WILL BE INTIMIDATED OUT OF MAKING RECORDS AT DISTRICT LEVEL THUS GIVING POLITICAL CRIMES IMPUNITY. THE YOUTHS ARE ALLEGEDLY BEING GEARED UP FOR VIOLENCE.
MEETING WITH THE CHIEFS ONLY:
Addressed by GOVERNOR O, AND ZANU PF MP Q
The chiefs were taken to a side meeting for them only. They were told they had to cooperate with the ruling party and with the team at ward level. They were told further instructions and strategies were to follow. They were told to urge the people to be patient. The results were being delayed so that ZANU PF could prepare and mobilise structures as once the result are released, the run off will have to be within 21 days in terms of the constitutional requirement: ie delaying the result meant delaying the beginning of the 21 day count to the rerun.
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June 25, 2008
HARARE (The Guardian) - The arrest and interrogation of the second most
senior opposition official in Zimbabwe has exposed divisions and paranoia
within Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF that indicate important elements of the
ruling party believe the government may soon collapse.
Lawyers for Tendai Biti, the secretary general of the Movement for
Democratic Change who was arrested on treason charges 10 days ago, say he
has been subjected to extensive interrogation by intelligence officers
acting for top Zanu-PF officials. They wanted to know if key cabinet
ministers were striking individual deals with the opposition to avoid
prosecution for corruption and political violence, leaving other Zanu-PF
One of the lawyers, Lewis Uriri, said he was told by Biti that he had been
interrogated for 19 hours by three teams of eight people. "These were not
negotiators - the justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, and the labour
minister, Nicholas Goche - told Biti in talks immediately after Mugabe lost
the first round of presidential elections three months ago when Zanu-PF put
out tentative feelers for a power-sharing government before hardliners opted
to pursue a more violent strategy to crush the opposition.
"Biti's sense was that there is so much distrust and suspicion in Zanu-PF
that these people wanted to verify what Goche and Chinamasa [said]. There
was a sense from the questions that the interrogators thought Goche and
Chinamasa were trying to negotiate their own future and not protect
everybody else at the top of the party," said Uriri.
"They wanted to know specifically about whether there had been any
individual agreements for amnesty from prosecution . Biti said that he
thought from the interrogation that there are people, important powerful
people, in Zanu-PF who were not briefed on what was happening and were
afraid of being left unprotected."
Biti's account would suggest that while Zanu-PF projects a powerful
monolithic front to the outside world, there is a realisation in some
quarters that the administration is doomed whatever the outcome of Friday's
widely discredited election and that a deal with the opposition would have
to be made.
Zimbabwe's economy is collapsing ever more rapidly, with prices of ordinary
goods now running into billions of local dollars amid 1 600 000 percent
inflation, and the ruling party has no answers. The government is also
increasingly isolated even within the region which has largely supported
Mugabe up until now.
In a line of questioning that appears to reflect a deep paranoia and
distrust within the highest levels of Zanu-PF, the interrogators also asked
Biti why Chinamasa and Goche agreed at talks mediated by South Africa last
year to change election procedures, including posting the results at each
polling station, that helped prevent the ruling party from stealing the
The interrogators asked Biti if the change was part of a deal in return for
a commitment not to prosecute the ministers.
Uriri said Biti was also questioned about the MDC's position on
power-sharing and his own preference among the various models available,
including whether there would still be a role for Mugabe in government,
again suggesting that elements of Zanu-PF are leaning towards a negotiated
way out of the political crisis, provided that their interests are
The lawyer said that almost none of the questions were about the charges
against Biti - which include treason, based on a forged document published
in the state press, causing disaffection in the armed forces, and insulting
Uriri said that the line of interrogation shows that Biti's detention is
political with the intent of removing an effective leader from the election
campaign and discovering the MDC's long-term political intent.
"The whole idea, according to him, was to disrupt the MDC campaign, to keep
him out of circulation, particularly in light of the opposition victory in
the first round," he said.
Biti was arrested as he stepped off a plane from South Africa 11 days ago.
He has so far been refused bail.
By Tsvagnria, Morgan | MDC President | Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:59
Zimbabwe, Harare --On March 29th the courageous people of Zimbabwe
voted for hope at the ballot box. It was with a heavy heart and knowing the
many challenges we faced that we agreed to participate in the illegally
delayed runoff election.
It is now generally accepted that the violence we have endured since
March 29th is unprecedented. The persecution and harassment of the MDC and
pro-democratic leadership is getting worse.
This must stop. In the midst of all this, the people's cry for change
on the 29th of March has been echoed around the world, bringing messages of
solidarity and support from the United Nations Security Council, the African
Union, the ANC, COSATU, SACP, a number of African liberation movements,
African liberation heroes and heroines, and numerous other African leaders.
May I restate that by way of our letter to Honourabe Justice Chiweshe
on the 23rd of June 2008, we have officially pulled out of what would
otherwise have been a sham election. Our decision to pull out of the
election has been supported within the region, continent and world over.
We appreciate this support. We remain convinced, as is the rest of the
world, that our decision to pull out of the election was in the best
interest of the people of Zimbabwe.
Any election conducted arrogantly and unilaterally on Friday will not
be recognized by the MDC, Zimbabweans or the world. The international
community is united by its desire for the violence to end immediately and
the will of the people of Zimbabwe to prevail.
As much and as soon as possible, the normal functioning of the
Zimbabwean society must be restored. In our considered view, to address the
immediate political, social and economic crisis facing us, four actions must
be taken with immediate effect:
First, the violence must stop. All structures and infrastructures of
violence must be withdrawn and disbanded. Towards this objective, amongst
other things, war veterans, youth militia and others encamped on the edges
of our cities, towns and villages need to be sent home and be reintegrated
into society. Unofficial roadblocks along the roads and highways must be
disbanded. These camps and roadblocks are the checkpoints of violence.
Violence must stop
Second, humanitarian assistance must be allowed into the country
immediately. Emergency food assistance from the United Nations World Food
Program and other non-governmental organizations must again be allowed
access throughout the country for food distribution and other urgent
humanitarian assistance. No government should have anything to fear from
humanitarian programs. Our people are starving and dying of preventable and
curable diseases, and need immediate assistance. Third, all House of
Assembly and Senate members elected on 29 March must be sworn in and convene
urgently to conduct normal legislative business.
Fourth, all political prisoners must be freed immediately.
While these healing steps are being taken within the country, a
longer-term sustainable political solution to the Zimbabwe crisis must be
found immediately. The immediate humanitarian crisis and the long term
economic crisis both have political roots. All parties and observers in
Zimbabwe agree on that -- however much we disagree on causes of the
We have always maintained that the Zimbabwean problem is an African
problem that requires an African solution. To this end, I am asking the
African Union and SADC to lead an expanded initiative, supported by the
United Nations, to manage the transitional process. We are proposing that
the AU facilitation team, comprising eminent Africans, set up a transitional
period which takes into account the will of the people of Zimbabwe. The
African Union team would lead in the constituting and character of the
transitional period. The transitional period would allow the country to
heal. As the MDC, we have always said we will be magnanimous in our victory.
Genuine and honest dialogue amongst Zimbabweans is the only way forward. The
MDC is a people's project; we value our county and our people.
I want to emphasize that the basis of any settlement must recognize
the fundamental principle of democracy, that is, the respect for the will of
the people to choose their own leadership. Over and above this, the Zimbabwe
political solution must recognize the following - stability, inclusivity,
acceptability, and credibility. The sum total of all this is legitimacy. A
negotiated political settlement which allows the country to begin a national
healing and the process of a) economic reconstruction; b) provision of
humanitarian assistance and c) democratization would be in the best interest
of the country.
Due to the urgency of the situation I'm asking that the African Heads
of State discuss this crisis at their meeting this weekend in Egypt. Let me
be clear - this cannot be a part time mediation effort. Neither can it be a
continuation of talks and talks about talks that have been largely fruitless
for several years. The time for actions is now. The people and the country
can wait no longer. We need to show leadership.
Let me say clearly that there is no discussion about moving forward
without our Secretary General Tendai Biti who has been so instrumental in
all of our plans and discussions. Tendai Biti is an indispensable asset of
the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe. He must be released immediately.
In summary I am asking for the following toward the restoration of
stability and democracy in Zimbabwe:
· The violence must stop immediately.
· Emergency humanitarian organisations must be allowed to operate
freely and without hindrance throughout the country.
· All political prisoners must be freed immediately
· Parliament and Senate must be sworn in and begin working on the
· The AU and SADC-led political solution be set into motion at the AU
Summit in Sharm el Sheikh this weekend.
To the Zimbabwean people let me say we have walked a long road
together. But we are not alone. We have caring and concerned African
brothers and sisters who in the last few months have demonstrated their
commitment to the ideals we share.
It seems darkest at this moment but we must not give up. We are going
to be the beacon of hope that Africa and the entire world will point to -
your children will look back on these days and they will be proud of the
sacrifices you and our brothers and sisters have made for a new Zimbabwe and
a new Beginning. In the spirit of the African renaissance, we and our allies
throughout the continent sharing this struggle for democratic change can
write a new chapter in African history.
I thank you. May God bless Africa and may God bless Zimbabwe
Monsters and Critics
Jun 25, 2008, 17:20 GMT
Harare/Johannesburg - Around 300 people sought refuge at the South African
embassy in Harare on Wednesday, South Africa's Sapa news agency reported,
saying the group was believed to be made up of supporters of Zimbabwe's
'Our ambassador Mlungisi Makalima and his team of diplomats are currently in
talks with the group. The situation is under control,' spokesman Ronnie
Mamoepa was quoted as saying by South Africa's Sapa news agency.
The report comes as leaders from the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) region meet to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe ahead of presidential
run-off elections on Friday.
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader and candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai earlier this week pulled out of the run- off.
(CNN) -- The 23-year-old woman in Harare, Zimbabwe, said she could talk, but only briefly. It was 3:30 p.m. there and she had to be home before the 6 p.m. curfew, she said.
Movement for Democratic Change official Fredrick Shaba is treated for stab wounds after an attack last week.
Zimbabweans are accustomed to violence, but the beatings and bloodshed have been epidemic since early April, days after opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai pushed longtime President Robert Mugabe into a runoff election for the nation's top post.
Tsvangirai dropped out of the race this week, citing intimidation and vote-rigging. He is now in hiding at the Dutch Embassy, uncertain like most Zimbabweans whether the violence would continue.
Zimbabweans and outside observers say militias loyal to Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have engaged in intimidation tactics designed to deter Tsvangirai's supporters from casting ballots. Watch people run in fear »
"Violence has been taking place mainly in the countryside, people having their hands chopped off, fingers broken, etc. -- the reason for that being to prevent them from voting in the runoff," said a journalist Tuesday in an e-mail from Harare.
Both the woman and journalist requested anonymity out of fear they could be targeted for talking.
"If you talk too much, they come looking for you, they hunt you down, they beat you," the woman told CNN.
Rapes and maimings are being reported across the country. On Monday, the United Nations Security Council condemned "the campaign of violence," which it said was responsible for scores of dead opposition activists and the beatings of thousands. Watch why the U.N. says a fair election is impossible »
"There are so many people who are dying right now. We're not even sure how many people have died," said the woman in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.
In his letter announcing he was dropping out of the presidential race, Tsvangirai said at least 86 people have been killed, 10,000 wounded and 200,000 people displaced.
At a rally Monday in Chipinge, a rural town near the Mozambique border, Mugabe brushed off the death toll, calling Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change a creation of the West.
"Britain and her allies are telling a lot of lies about Zimbabwe, saying a lot of people are dying. These are all lies because they want to build a situation to justify their intervention in Zimbabwe," Mugabe said, according to the state-run Herald newspaper. Watch how past interventions in Africa have fared »
In his Tuesday letter, Tsvangirai -- who has called the election "a sham" -- said the impossibility of a fair election convinced him to bow out.
"The violence, intimidation, death, destruction of property is just too much for anyone to dream of a free and fair election, let alone expect our people to be able to freely and independently express... themselves," he wrote. "For this reason, my party and I have resolved that we cannot be part to this flawed process."
The journalist was in the capital Sunday when ZANU-PF youths attacked an opposition rally at a stadium, just hours before Tsvangirai announced his exit from the poll. Despite a Saturday court order allowing the rally, the militias blocked the roads as MDC supporters arrived, he said.
"Those who tried to ask the reasons why, they were assaulted," the journalist said. "Later, some MDC supporters came chanting songs and they were beaten up by the ZANU-PF militia with logs, stones or anything that was in sight."
Mugabe has denied accusations of violence and has countered that MDC supporters are inciting violence across Zimbabwe. Watch how Londoners want to "make Mugabe history" »
The journalist said he has seen violence perpetrated by MDC faithful, but it is a recent phenomenon and usually retaliatory.
"I saw a ZANU-PF youth being beaten Sunday evening," the journalist said. "He had been spotted at the rally venue and was then followed to his home in the evening by MDC youths."
The government-sponsored violence has scared people into carrying and wearing ZANU-PF regalia -- flags, bandanas and T-shirts bearing the national colors and emblazoned with "100 percent empowerment." Other popular slogans include "WW," which means "win or war," and the more blunt, "June 27 Mugabe in office by whatever means."
"WW means if ZANU-PF loses it goes to war," the journalist said. "It is a threat or meant to confuse the electorate. It shows that ZANU-PF has nothing to sell to the people for them to vote for it, so they now resort to intimidation."
The journalist said he witnessed such saber-rattling at a ZANU-PF rally last week in Norton, about 19 miles southwest of Harare.
"People were told that they must not vote again for the MDC or there will be war," he said. "They were told that there would be a camera seeing how they would have voted." See how the election unfolded »
Even MDC supporters are tying the red-yellow-and-green ZANU-PF bandanas around their neck or over their heads, said the woman in Harare.
"You need to move around with this," she said. "If you're driving a car, you need to have this in your car. I have one in my car now. If you don't, they will think you're MDC and they will mess you up big time."
Added the journalist, "Because of the violence taking place, people have been looking for ZANU-PF regalia to 'protect' themselves. The assumption is that if you are in ZANU-PF regalia, you support it."
Asked if hopes for Zimbabwe's future dissipated with Tsvangirai's departure from the race, the journalist said there are mixed emotions. Some are eager to vote Friday and want to "finish off" Mugabe, some are tired of the violence, some are hopeless and some are scared, he said. Others are relieved Tsvangirai dropped out because it could mean an end to the violence.
"Myself, I've lost hope," said the woman in Harare.
Even if the violence were to vanish, Zimbabwe would remain crippled by its economy, long decimated by inflation and unemployment. Basic goods are scarce and expensive. Loaves of bread last year sold for about 5,000 Zimbabwean dollars, the woman said. The price then was steep because of skyrocketing inflation, but today, 5,000 Z-dollars would be a bargain. Watch a Zimbabwean envoy warn against micromanagement »
Recently, she said, she saw bread selling for 550 million Z-dollars.
"That was quite reasonable," she said of food prices of late.
The woman said she makes the equivalent of $10 a month. Though the official exchange rate is 7.5 billion Z-dollars to the U.S. dollar, the Harare woman said she has seen exchange rates as high as 15 billion to 1.
Even if you have money, it's not guaranteed you can get basic necessities. The government has imposed price controls, forcing manufacturers to close their doors because they cannot make a living.
"Basically, there are no goods to talk about," the journalist said. "Most commodities are now on the black market."
You could stand in line for two or three hours for bread and not get a slice, and the price for a loaf on the black market could be as much as 10 billion Z-dollars, the woman in Harare said, explaining that she has made the 300-mile drive to South Africa to pick up food because there were no real grocery options in Zimbabwe. Watch Tsvangirai explain times are desperate »
"The way our money has changed," she said, "I've had a tough time keeping up."
There are questions about whether the southeastern African country's leaders can negotiate a settlement to mitigate Zimbabwe's turmoil.
Mugabe said at a rally Tuesday that he would be "open to discussion" but only after the runoff, the Herald reported. Tsvangirai said Wednesday that he was open to considering a postponed election, or even a negotiated transition of power.
Tsvangirai also said in his Tuesday letter, and reiterated Wednesday, that he would consider a new election. However, it would rely heavily on the oversight of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which Tsvangirai has accused of espousing the philosophy "that a president does not come to power through the electoral process, but rather, through the barrel of a gun."
Until the commission can ensure a free and fair election, Tsvangirai wrote Tuesday, "the presidential election question remains unresolved."
SW Radio Africa (London)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008
MDC supporters in Manicaland have been warned to beware of fake fliers and
posters that are being distributed by ZANU-PF, urging them to go and vote in
the Presidential runoff on Friday.
The MDC spokesperson for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, said this is being
done to confuse MDC supporters into thinking that their party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai is still participating in the runoff.
He warned all MDC supporters not to go and vote on Friday because Tsvangirai
has definitely pulled out of the race, due to the extreme violence that has
been unleashed. Muchauraya advised those in the rural areas to spoil their
ballot if they are forced to go to the polling stations.
Meanwhile, the MDC offices in Manicaland were raided Wednesday morning by
agents from the Law and Order Division, uniformed police, plus youth militia
in ZANU-PF t-shirts. Muchauraya said the team came armed with AK-47's,
teargas and dogs.
They cordoned off the building while the riot squads known as the 'black
boots' entered the offices and began searching through files. They demanded
to know who lived in the office and Pishai explained that there were people
there who had been forced to flee from their home areas due to political
The MDC's lawyers arrived and took over negotiations with the police, who at
this time were demanding a list of all the people there. The lawyers
refused, saying this was private property and the police needed a reason to
demand such a list. The police left and said they were coming back at 2:00
PM for the list, which the lawyers said would be ready.
At 2:00 PM a group of intelligence agents arrived but by then the MDC
officials had alerted SADC observers in the area and they were waiting at
the MDC office. The state agents left without asking for the list.
Muchauraya said he told the observers that he was concerned that the office
might be attacked at night, when observers are not present.
By Joe De Capua
25 June 2008
As the political situation in Zimbabwe worsens, many have called for a
negotiated settlement between President Mugabe and the opposition MDC party.
Reporter Peta Thornycroft is following that story. From Harare, she spoke to
VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the chances for a
negotiated political solution.
"They would be quite good if, for example, the secretary-general of the MDC,
Tendai Biti, was released from detention. He's actually in.the high court
today in Harare stating his case of why he believes he should be granted
bail.. (MDC leader) Morgan Tsvangirai made it very clear today that no
negotiations could take place while Tendai Biti remained in detention. So,
that is the bottom line for the MDC," she says.
Biti faces treason charges. "He is charged with four counts, including
treason and subverting a constitutional government. And he maintains that
the document on which he's charged was certainly not his work. He had not
authored it and that the signature on it is fraudulent. It was published in
the state-controlled press in the middle of April. He immediately responded
to that publication, saying he had not written it and he threatened to sue
them," she says.
There is precedent for someone in Biti's situation to be released on bail.
before the 2002 presidential election, Morgan Tsvangirai was himself charged
with treason and was released on bail.
Meanwhile, despite Tsvangirai's dropping out of Friday's presidential
run-off, the preparationscontinue. Thornycroft says, "Polling stations are
being put up all over the country. There's something like 9,200 polling
stations.. Mr. (President) Mugabe has said that he has to continue with the
selection to fulfill the legal requirements of the constitution. The
Zimbabwe Election Commission, which analysts believe is entirely partisan
toward (the ruling party) ZANU-PF, has said that it doesn't recognize the
letter of withdrawal from opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. We are
informed by the state press on a daily basis there will be an election. What
worries the MDC, what worries many analysts, is that people who have got the
message that Tsvangirai has withdrawn will be forced out of their homes and
into the polling stations and forced to vote against their will and will be
able to do nothing about it."
Reporter Thornycroft says that would be more difficult to do in urban areas
than remote ruralareas. "Many people in the rural areas, especially those
affected by the violence, have no idea that Morgan Tsvangirai has withdrawn.
There are no newspapers, no radio, no television, not even any transport in
and out of those areas," she says. She says these areas are under an
unofficial curfew maintained by ZANU-PF militias and "war veterans."
Thornycroft says this week she did managed to speak with women from rural
areas of Zimbabwe. "On Tuesday evening, I went around to one of the clinics
in Harare to check on the latest number of injured people coming in from the
rural areas. And I interviewed three women from two different parts of the
country, from the northeast and from the south. All three of them were badly
injured. They have injuries to their buttocks and to their feet. So they can
neither sit down, nor can they walk. And they're extremely gravely injured.
And through their pain they told of how they'd been beaten by ZANU-PF in
their villages, in their homes. But none of them knew that Morgan Tsvangirai
had pulled out of the election," she says.
She says that when the women were told about Tsvangirai's decision, they
were relieved and hoped it would help end the violence. "All three of them
clasped their hands together, the tears streamed down their faces.. So far,
however, there seemed to be no sign that the violence is decreasing," she
25/06/2008 18:19 - (SA)
Harare - Zimbabwe authorities ruled on Wednesday that a June 27 presidential
run-off vote would go ahead despite the withdrawal of the opposition and a
storm of international condemnation.
This amid reports from Swaziland that Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga had
suggested that South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki be replaced as mediator
in the Zimbabwe crisis.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who pulled out of the run-off contest against
President Robert Mugabe because of attacks on his followers, said the vote
was a sham and called for the African Union - backed by the United Nations -
to lead a transition in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai spoke at a news conference at his home after leaving the Dutch
embassy where he took refuge after announcing the pull-out last Sunday.
But he returned to the embassy later.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair George Chiweshe said Tsvangirai's
withdrawal last Sunday had been filed too late to have any legal effect.
"Accordingly, the commission does not recognise the purported withdrawal.
"We are, therefore, proceeding with the presidential election run-off this
Friday as planned."
Tsvangirai told reporters during the brief news conference: "I am asking the
AU and SADC (Southern African Development Community) to lead an expanded
initiative supported by the UN to manage what I will call a transitional
The opposition leader said the election would not be accepted either by
Zimbabweans or the world.
He called on the AU to discuss the crisis next weekend at a summit in Egypt.
Pressure has mounted both inside and outside Africa to call off the vote
since Tsvangirai withdrew. Mugabe, 84, is now certain to be elected to
extend his 28-year rule.
Human rights organisations, Western powers and Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change accuse the veteran leader of launching a campaign of
murder and intimidation after he and his Zanu-PF party lost elections on
Tsvangirai fell short of the absolute majority required for outright victory
in that vote.
Southern African leaders were holding an emergency meeting in Swaziland on
Wednesday and Kenya stepped up African pressure for intervention, saying the
country risked a Rwanda-style disaster.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, has presided over a slide into economic chaos
that has sent millions of refugees fleeing to neighbouring states and pushed
inflation to an estimated 2 million percent.
In the first concrete step to punish Mugabe for a wave of violence that
resulted in Tsvangirai's withdrawal, former colonial power Britain said it
was preparing tougher sanctions against specific members of Zimbabwe's
Tsvangirai said that while he was prepared to negotiate with Mugabe's
Zanu-PF before Friday, his MDC would "not have anything to do" with a
government that emerged from the vote.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told reporters: "Zimbabwe right now is a
disaster in the making," while Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula described
the crisis as a blot on Africa.
Tsvangirai earlier urged the United Nations to isolate Mugabe and called for
a peacekeeping force. He accused the former guerrilla leader of declaring
Mugabe has refused to call off the vote, shrugging off mounting
international pressure including Monday's unprecedented UN Security Council
condemnation of violence.
It said a free and fair run-off election on Friday was impossible.
Members of a SADC security troika of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland met near
the Swaziland capital Mbabane to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis.
But the region's designated mediator, South African President Thabo Mbeki,
would not attend, his spokesperson said.
The South African president has been negotiating between Mugabe and
Zimbabwe's opposition since last year, but has been widely criticised for
being ineffective and too soft on Mugabe.
Odinga said he had phoned Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete ahead of the
Swaziland meeting and suggested former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo
or Botswana's former leader Ketumile Masire as possible mediators, replacing
Tsvangirai's MDC said on Wednesday that armed police had cordoned off and
raided its office in the eastern city of Mutare. Nobody was arrested.
There has been wide international condemnation of the violence, but SADC is
seen as the only body that can influence events in Zimbabwe.
Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu also called for peacekeepers to
be sent to Zimbabwe.
Mugabe "has mutated into something quite unbelievable".
"He has really turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his people," Tutu told
ABC television in Australia.
3 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush on Wednesday denounced
Zimbabwe's planned run-off election as a "sham" and urged the African Union
(AU) to increase pressure on the government of President Robert Mugabe.
"Friday's elections, you know, appear to be a sham," Bush said as he met
with representatives of countries that sit on the UN Security Council. "This
is an incredibly sad development."
"You can't have free elections if a candidate is not allowed to campaign
freely and his supporters aren't allowed to campaign without fear of
intimidation," he added.
"I hope that the AU will, at their meeting this weekend, continue to
highlight the illegitimacy of the elections, continue to remind the world
that this election is not free and it's not fair," said Bush.
The African Union is set to hold a summit in Egypt June 30-July 1.
Mugabe's government has vowed to go ahead with the presidential run-off on
Friday despite the withdrawal of opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, who
cited political violence against his supporters.
"The people of Zimbabwe deserve better than what they're receiving now.
People there want to express themselves at the ballot box, yet the Mugabe
government refuses to allow them to do so. This is not just, and it is
wrong," said Bush.
Tsvangirai won the March 29 presidential poll but did not secure the
required majority to claim outright victory. His pull-out has laid out a
possible victory by default for Mugabe, who has held power since 1980.
Bush thanked African leaders who have "stepped up and spoke clearly" about
the situation in Zimbabwe and thanked the UN Security Council for a
consensus statement on the upheaval in the strife-torn country.
"It is a powerful statement for fairness and decency and human dignity. And
I suspect you'll still be dealing with this issue," Bush said as he met with
the diplomats in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
SW Radio Africa (London)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008
MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has called for an African Union and SADC
backed solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe, arguing this would be key in
restoring stability and democracy in the country.
Tsvangirai left the relative safety of the Dutch Embassy Wednesday to
address a press conference at his home in Harare. He used the press
conference to call for an end to the Zanu PF led violence and the freeing of
all political prisoners including Secretary General Tendai Biti, who has
spent nearly 2 weeks in custody.
Tsvangirai also said parliamentarians and senators who won the March 29
election should be sworn in and be allowed to begin their work. He called on
the authorities to lift a ban on humanitarian organizations like the UN
World Food Programme, who were providing emergency food relief in the
Tsvangirai admitted he took the decision to withdraw from the election with
a heavy heart but that the country had witnessed unprecedented levels of
violence, making a free and fair election impossible. He said the decision
to pull out had been supported by countries in the region, on the continent
and the world over and 'was in the best interests of the people of
Tsvangirai laid out his plan for a restoration of stability in the country,
including demands that 'war veterans, youth militia and others encamped on
the edges of our cities, towns and villages need to be sent home and be
reintegrated into society.' He urged the AU and SADC to lead an expanded
initiative, supported by the UN, to manage what he called a 'transitional
process' that reflected the will of the people.
After Wednesday's press conference Tsvangirai returned to the refuge of the
On Tuesday Tsvangirai had called for international peacekeepers to be
deployed in Zimbabwe, to help protect people. He said; 'We do not want armed
conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of indignation from
global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of military force.' He
said the peacekeepers would help separate the people from their oppressors
and, 'cast a protective shield around the democratic process.'
Meanwhile political commentator Dr Alex Magaisa has described as
preposterous arguments from some quarters that Tsvangirai is not legally
entitled to withdraw from the run-off election. Writing in an opinion piece
Dr Magaisa posed the question, 'since when have citizens become prisoners of
the law, unable to exercise their free will in an election?
SW Radio Africa (London)
25 June 2008
Posted to the web 25 June 2008
Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu has called on the world to regard Mugabe
as a "usurper" if he declares victory on Friday - the day the Zimbabwean run
off is supposed to be held.
The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town said that Mugabe should be isolated, as
he is leading an illegitimate government.
The outspoken cleric said a blockade must be imposed against Zimbabwe, as it
is the ordinary people who are suffering, while members of the regime can
travel freely, especially within the region. He said if they are blocked
from traveling this would make Mugabe and his ruling elite feel the
He said: "The Zimbabwean air ways should be grounded until he (Mugabe)
realizes that he can't move, he can't do anything and would have to begin to
negotiate an acceptable solution for the people of Zimbabwe."
Tutu added: "I don't enjoy and I don't think anybody enjoys inflicting
suffering on people but the only way, I think, that we are going to be able
to help bring about change here is if Mr. Mugabe begins to feel the heat."
The cleric said calls for a peacekeeping force should also be heeded to
protect the people and maintain law and order.
Violence is escalating in Zimbabwe and Mugabe has vowed to continue with the
run-off election, despite MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulling out. Scores
of people have been killed, thousands brutally injured and hundreds of
thousands displaced. Political leaders Tendai Biti and Eric Matinenga are
still in detention, as are rights activists Jennie Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu, who have now been in custody for a month, without trial.
Meanwhile worldwide condemnation of the Mugabe regime intensified.
Outspoken Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga dismissed Mugabe as an
"irritant" and said his government would be pushing for sanctions at the
African Union. Odinga told a conference that he would not set foot in
Zimbabwe as long as Mugabe is in power.
Former South African President Fredrik de Klerk said Mugabe should be
toppled, while the governing cricket body in South African has suspended
ties with Zimbabwe because of the politically motivated violence. The
British government has announced it would block the Zimbabwe Cricket tour of
England in 2009. Prime Minister Gordon Brown also said the United Kingdom is
planning further targeted sanctions, against members of the Mugabe regime
and their families.
In the US, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama said his country
should lead a campaign to postpone Zimbabwe's planned run-off election and
sponsor a fair one. Obama spoke to Morgan Tsvangirai by phone and shared his
deep concern for the way his supporters are being targeted by the ZANU PF
The full interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be aired on the Hot
Seat programme on Friday.
25/06/2008 20:05 - (SA)
London - Britain said on Wednesday it was preparing tougher sanctions
against specific members of the Zimbabwean government and urged world
leaders to work together to remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
"We are preparing intensified sanctions, financial and travel sanctions,
against named members of the Mugabe regime," Prime Minister Gordon Brown
He said the way forward for the country was the United Nations and the
African Union "working together for a change of regime".
Brown also said his government was speaking to the England and Wales Cricket
Board (ECB) with a view to banning the Zimbabwean cricket team from touring
England next year.
Zimbabwe had been thrown into turmoil since its disputed election in March.
The opposition MDC has withdrawn from a presidential run-off with Mugabe
because of violence.
Mugabe, 84, refused to call off the vote, shrugging off mounting
Southern African leaders were meeting on Wednesday to discuss the crisis
following an unprecedented UN Security Council statement on Monday that
condemned the violence and said a free and fair run-off election on Friday
Brown also said companies that were helping Mugabe's regime should
"reconsider their position".
Brogan Brown threatens to name and shame the 'criminal cabal' propping Mugabe's
regime up England Cricket Board agrees to ban Zimbabwe from Twenty20 World Cup tour in
England after pressure from the Government Zimbabwe Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says the country is 'burning' as
he begs the international community to intervene Robert Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood as an statement of
'revulsion' tonight as Gordon Brown ordered tougher sanctions against his
increasingly violent regime. The Queen approved the rare step of removing an award issued 14 years ago to
mark British anger at the latest wave of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. With international outrage growing, Mugabe was condemned as a "Frankenstein"
terrorising the people of Zimbabwe by one of his former allies. Robert Mugabe pictured with the Queen during his state
visit to Britain in 1994, when he was awarded the honorary knighthood South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "He has mutated into something
quite unbelievable. He has turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his
people." The decision to remove Mugabe's knighthood coincided with the England Cricket
Board's decision to scrap next year's cricket tour and suspend relations with
Zimbabwe. The Prime Minister authorised the step as a symbolic gesture following
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of Friday's
presidential election in the face of escalating violence. Organised thugs from Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party have embarked on a reign
of terror across the country aimed at sealing their stolen victory over Mr
Tsvangirai's beleaguered MDC. A statement from the Foreign Office said: "This action has been taken as a
mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the
democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided." The Government had been reluctant to hand Mugabe a propaganda coup in an
election campaign by taking a step that would allow him to claim he was being
victimised by his country's former colonial masters. But with his position now unopposed and worldwide condemnation growing by the
day, the Queen agreed to make him only the second world leader after Romanian
dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu to have an honour removed. He lost his knighthood in 1989, the day before he and his wife were summarily
executed after being removed from power in a popular uprising. Mugabe was made a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Bath on the advice of
John Major's government during a state visit in 1994. Leaders on a state visit are routinely offered an honour by the Queen on the
advice of the Foreign Office. Mr Brown is in talks with other countries about a tougher range of sanctions
against Zimbabwe to mark international revulsion at the way Mugabe has trampled
democracy in what was once one of Africa's most succcessful countries. In the Commons this week, he called on other countries to help bar Zimbabwe
from cricket's Twenty 20 World Cup being hosted by England next year. The ECB ban will apply to two Test matches and one day fixtures planned for
next year's tour, but the ICC has to approve the team's bar from the Twenty 20
series. "We want to ensure that Zimbabwe does not tour England next year," Mr Brown
said at Prime Minister's question time. He said the whole world had woken up to the "evils" of Mugabe's "criminal
cabal" and he held out the prospect called for a "peaceful transition"
government as soon as possible. Tory leader David Cameron urged Mr Brown to act against British companies
with investments in Zimbabwe that could be propping up the regime. But major companies led by Tesco's, Barclay's and mining giant Anglo American
defended their involvement as crucial to the people of Zimbabwe and their
chances of rebuilding their economy if Mugabe goes. Downing Street confirmed that it was looking at ways of applying sanctions to
the key people around Mugabe who are orchestrating his terror campaign. Mr Cameron called on the Prime Minister to push for a declaration at the
forthcoming G8 summit that all states should cease to "prop up the regime and
refuse to recognise its legitimacy". Mr Brown said: "I agree also that businesses should look at their involvement
in Zimbabwe. We will force through sanctions against the individuals that are
part of the regime. We don't want to do further damage to the Zimbabwean
people. "But, of course, where businesses are helping the Zimbabwean regime they
should reconsider their position now. Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is greeted
by joyful supporters as he briefly emerges from the Dutch embassy on
Wednesday "I believe the whole world has woken up to the evils that have been going on
in Zimbabwe. I believe the whole international community, with a few exceptions,
is now united in calling for action." Tesco confirmed it would not be pulling out of Zimbabwe, despite growing
complaints about supermarkets selling produce from the country. Campaigners claim their investment helps prop up Mugabe and say the companies
should not be profiting from Zimbabwean food exports when millions in the
country are starving. Tesco said trade was providing crucial support to small farmers, adding it
would be "irresponsible" to leave under the current conditions. A spokesman said: "By trading with Zimbabwe we are supporting hundreds of
small farmers and not the Mugabe government. "When the current political crisis in Zimbabwe is resolved, the country will
need every trading partner it can get to re-establish its economy and social
infrastructure. "At the moment there is precious little employment of any sort in Zimbabwe
and it would simply be irresponsible to deprive thousands of people of their
only means of feeding their families." Tesco is among a number of British supermarkets who sell vegetables ranging
from sugar snap peas to fine beans. Anglo-American boss Sir Mark Moody-Stuart defended his company's plans to
build a platinum mine in Zimbabwe. He said pulling out would help Mugabe and hurt the country's people's. "I
agree that companies should look very carefully at what they are doing and be
sure that they are not contributing to the problem. I believe that we are a
positive benefit. "We don't run our business purely on popularity; we have to do what we,
looking carefully into our own hearts and our own souls, consider to be
responsible." Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said: "We welcome the Government's
decision to strip Mugabe of his knighthood. It is something we called for nearly
a year ago. "The brutality he has shown to his own people and the disaster he brought
upon his own country made Robert Mugabe utterly unworthy of this honour." Zimbabwe has already lost support in the cricketing world, and is likely to
see itself excluded when the ICC vote next Wednesday. If Zimbabwe survives the
vote however, England would have to decide whether to withdraw as host of the
Twenty20 tournament. The Government's intervention to ban the Tests and one-day tour means the ECB
will avoid the statutory £1million fine for scratching a series. ---------- Comments
Last updated at 7:32 PM on 25th June 2008
Brown threatens to name and shame the 'criminal cabal' propping Mugabe's regime up
England Cricket Board agrees to ban Zimbabwe from Twenty20 World Cup tour in England after pressure from the Government
Zimbabwe Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says the country is 'burning' as he begs the international community to intervene
Robert Mugabe was stripped of his honorary knighthood as an statement of 'revulsion' tonight as Gordon Brown ordered tougher sanctions against his increasingly violent regime.
The Queen approved the rare step of removing an award issued 14 years ago to mark British anger at the latest wave of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
With international outrage growing, Mugabe was condemned as a "Frankenstein" terrorising the people of Zimbabwe by one of his former allies.
Robert Mugabe pictured with the Queen during his state visit to Britain in 1994, when he was awarded the honorary knighthood
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "He has mutated into something quite unbelievable. He has turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his people."
The decision to remove Mugabe's knighthood coincided with the England Cricket
Board's decision to scrap next year's cricket tour and suspend relations with
The Prime Minister authorised the step as a symbolic gesture following
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of Friday's
presidential election in the face of escalating violence.
Organised thugs from Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party have embarked on a reign of terror across the country aimed at sealing their stolen victory over Mr Tsvangirai's beleaguered MDC.
A statement from the Foreign Office said: "This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided."
The Government had been reluctant to hand Mugabe a propaganda coup in an election campaign by taking a step that would allow him to claim he was being victimised by his country's former colonial masters.
But with his position now unopposed and worldwide condemnation growing by the day, the Queen agreed to make him only the second world leader after Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu to have an honour removed.
He lost his knighthood in 1989, the day before he and his wife were summarily executed after being removed from power in a popular uprising.
Mugabe was made a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Bath on the advice of
John Major's government during a state visit in 1994.
Leaders on a state visit are routinely offered an honour by the Queen on the advice of the Foreign Office.
Mr Brown is in talks with other countries about a tougher range of sanctions against Zimbabwe to mark international revulsion at the way Mugabe has trampled democracy in what was once one of Africa's most succcessful countries.
In the Commons this week, he called on other countries to help bar Zimbabwe from cricket's Twenty 20 World Cup being hosted by England next year.
The ECB ban will apply to two Test matches and one day fixtures planned for
next year's tour, but the ICC has to approve the team's bar from the Twenty 20
"We want to ensure that Zimbabwe does not tour England next year," Mr Brown said at Prime Minister's question time.
He said the whole world had woken up to the "evils" of Mugabe's "criminal cabal" and he held out the prospect called for a "peaceful transition" government as soon as possible.
Tory leader David Cameron urged Mr Brown to act against British companies with investments in Zimbabwe that could be propping up the regime.
But major companies led by Tesco's, Barclay's and mining giant Anglo American defended their involvement as crucial to the people of Zimbabwe and their chances of rebuilding their economy if Mugabe goes.
Downing Street confirmed that it was looking at ways of applying sanctions to the key people around Mugabe who are orchestrating his terror campaign.
Mr Cameron called on the Prime Minister to push for a declaration at the forthcoming G8 summit that all states should cease to "prop up the regime and refuse to recognise its legitimacy".
Mr Brown said: "I agree also that businesses should look at their involvement in Zimbabwe. We will force through sanctions against the individuals that are part of the regime. We don't want to do further damage to the Zimbabwean people.
"But, of course, where businesses are helping the Zimbabwean regime they should reconsider their position now.
Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is greeted by joyful supporters as he briefly emerges from the Dutch embassy on Wednesday
"I believe the whole world has woken up to the evils that have been going on in Zimbabwe. I believe the whole international community, with a few exceptions, is now united in calling for action."
Tesco confirmed it would not be pulling out of Zimbabwe, despite growing complaints about supermarkets selling produce from the country.
Campaigners claim their investment helps prop up Mugabe and say the companies should not be profiting from Zimbabwean food exports when millions in the country are starving.
Tesco said trade was providing crucial support to small farmers, adding it would be "irresponsible" to leave under the current conditions.
A spokesman said: "By trading with Zimbabwe we are supporting hundreds of small farmers and not the Mugabe government.
"When the current political crisis in Zimbabwe is resolved, the country will need every trading partner it can get to re-establish its economy and social infrastructure.
"At the moment there is precious little employment of any sort in Zimbabwe and it would simply be irresponsible to deprive thousands of people of their only means of feeding their families."
Tesco is among a number of British supermarkets who sell vegetables ranging from sugar snap peas to fine beans.
Anglo-American boss Sir Mark Moody-Stuart defended his company's plans to build a platinum mine in Zimbabwe.
He said pulling out would help Mugabe and hurt the country's people's. "I agree that companies should look very carefully at what they are doing and be sure that they are not contributing to the problem. I believe that we are a positive benefit.
"We don't run our business purely on popularity; we have to do what we, looking carefully into our own hearts and our own souls, consider to be responsible."
Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said: "We welcome the Government's decision to strip Mugabe of his knighthood. It is something we called for nearly a year ago.
"The brutality he has shown to his own people and the disaster he brought upon his own country made Robert Mugabe utterly unworthy of this honour."
Zimbabwe has already lost support in the cricketing world, and is likely to see itself excluded when the ICC vote next Wednesday. If Zimbabwe survives the vote however, England would have to decide whether to withdraw as host of the Twenty20 tournament.
The Government's intervention to ban the Tests and one-day tour means the ECB will avoid the statutory £1million fine for scratching a series.
Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:34 GMT
LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - Former South African President Nelson Mandela
has broken his silence over the situation in Zimbabwe expressing "deep
concern and sadness", according to a source quoted by Britain's Channel Four
television on Wednesday.
It said the source close to Mandela, who will address a dinner in London on
Wednesday evening, added that given the former president's previous refusal
to speak out on current political issues this was a "very strong statement".
25 June 2008 @ 01:14 pm EST
Anglo American could not give a definitive answer yet on the future of its
Unki platinum project in Zimbabwe as the company was reviewing the "fluid"
situation in the country on a "very regular" basis.
The company spokesperson in London, James Wyatt-Tilby, said Wednesday that
Anglo had to keep a very close eye on what was going on in Zimbabwe as it
was deeply concerned about the political situation in the country.
"We made it clear in our statement that in happy circumstance we can develop
the project into a long-term viable business," Wyatt-Tilby said. But we
can't give a firm answer yet, as we are continuing to review the situation."
Anglo American said in a statement today it was reviewing "all options"
around the development of the Unki platinum project in Zimbabwe.
The project was a long-term investment for a mine which is yet to start
production and will not generate revenue for some years. It has been made
clear to the mining company that the Zimbabwean government would assume
control of the project if its development was halted.
Anglo said it had a clear responsibility to protect the wellbeing of its
more than 650 employees and contractors, as well as their families and those
who depended indirectly on the activity around the project.
Wyatt-Tilby said the company's statement came in reaction to press reports.
The project that has been developed by Anglo American since 2003 is due to
produce about 58 000 ounces of refined platinum annually.
Economic sanctions would hurt ordinary people, but big business must
consider its human rights obligations
Wednesday June 25, 2008
It's tough doing business in the Zimbabwe. Corporate executives operating in
the basketcase economy have so much to worry about: 1,600,000% inflation,
frequent power and water outages, an unpredictable legal environment and bad
politics. And for some managers, things just got harder.
Multinational corporations operating in Zimbabwe are increasingly the target
of human rights campaigners. Directors of the global marketing company Young
& Rubicam are reported to be making hasty efforts to divest themselves their
interests in a Zimbabwean publicity company that is behind Robert Mugabe's
presidential election campaign. "We are just anxious to end any possible
connection between ourselves and that disgraceful regime," Bernard Barnett,
Young & Rubicam corporate vice-president in London, told a South African
Paarl Web, a subsidiary of international media giant Naspers, today
announced it would donate all the revenue from a print job for Mugabe's
campaign to "the people of Zimbabwe". And the London-based mining company,
Anglo American is reported to be under Foreign Office investigation for a
new £200m investment in Zimbabwe, which is thought to be the largest foreign
investment in country to date.
Some would say that placing the spotlight on private sector actors in
Zimbabwe unfairly shifts scrutiny from the failings of governments, which
are primarily responsible in international law for the protection of human
rights. This, rightly or wrongly, assumes the supremacy of politics over
Yet, few would deny that business and business leaders have great influence
in our society and control huge resources. And, realising the pivotal role
businesses play in supporting governmental activity in Zimbabwe, rights
campaigners have started to challenge foreign investors, in particular, to
think and act carefully about their responsibilities in relation to the
political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Most likely, campaigners will not be the only ones turning up the heat.
Institutional investors, particularly those involved in socially responsible
funds, nowadays ask more questions about governance, ethics and human
rights. Public companies, such as Anglo American, are owned to a great
extent by institutional shareholders. Much of the money controlled by those
institutions belongs to ordinary people, in the form of their pension funds.
Such people have little opportunity to influence the way companies are run
but, if they were asked, they would, surely, say they want companies to act
responsibly where their business conduct may have significant consequences
for human rights.
And it seems right, also, that where, as in the case of Zimbabwe, the
elected governments of the home countries of many of these companies have in
place policies aimed at encouraging reform of human rights practices, the
conduct of businesses from the human rights promoting countries should not
undermine these policies. So, whether they like it or not, multinational
corporations in Zimbabwe can expect increasingly to be drawn into the debate
about how to improve the human rights situation.
The simplest solution might be for a company like Anglo American just to
stop doing business in Zimbabwe. But this is not a solution, especially when
the population will suffer as a result - for example, the rate of
unemployment in Zimbabwe is estimated to be over 80%; if Anglo American were
to close its business there, thousands of people and businesses would
And on their own, individual companies cannot solve the complex problems of
Zimbabwe. It is unrealistic to expect that multinationals will succeed in
forcing governments to respect human rights where international pressure has
so far failed.
But this limitation does not absolve business. Protection of human dignity
and respect for human rights are essential to sustain political stability,
to encourage economic and social development, and it is vital that global
norms and standards on human rights should be adhered to by governments and
Many multinational companies, including Anglo American, have signed up to
voluntary arrangements that seek to regulate the human rights impact of
their business activity. But the lack of clarity as to what, in practice,
these principles translate into, and the patchiness of company disclosures
on the policies and procedural guidelines which they have in place to
implement their worthy principles, are not in anyone's interest, least of
It is clear that there are serious practical and legal problems in
identifying one, catch-all framework for the human rights responsibility of
business. But the absence of convincing, self-regulatory practice only
strengthens the hand of campaigners.
For corporate executives operating in Zimbabwe the question of how to behave
in such an environment cannot wait till there is an agreed international
standard. The pressures are immediate, as Young & Rubicam and Paarl Web have
discovered this week.
Roy Bennett, treasurer general of the Movement for Democratic Change, today
told international business news channel CNBC that an MDC government would
call Anglo American and other companies to account for "aiding and abetting"
Mugabe's regime. Corporate executives of companies in Zimbabwe must
seriously consider their human rights responsibilities in the present
environment and disclose their policies. It is in their interests to do so.
Glen Mpani & Nahla Valji
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's announcement that he will not contest
Zimbabwe's presidential election this week has been greeted in some quarters
by renewed calls for talks towards a negotiated settlement and a possible
Government of National Unity as an interim measure until proper elections
can take place. The MDC has stated that it will make known its own proposed
way forward for the country on Wednesday, after further consultations with
the Zimbabwean people.
The likely scenario from here is one that sees the international community -
and SADC in particular - stepping in to push for talks and a negotiated
settlement. Given that Mugabe now sees himself as the uncontested President
elect will likely make any negotiated solution more difficult, and only
substantial pressure from African leaders will make a resolution possible.
Moments of negotiation are crucial junctures for a country, laying as they
do the blueprint not just for institutional recovery and reconstruction but
also for issues of accountability for past crimes. The very real danger that
now faces Zimbabwe is the threat of an entrenched impunity - that Zanu-PF
will use the opportunity - and the strengthened hand gained by the terror
and violence they have unleashed - to ensure that there are no
accountability mechanisms for the widespread crimes that have occurred with
increasing brutality and frequency not just over the past 8 years, but going
back to the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s.
There have been strengthened calls from Western nations this week that
Mugabe be indicted on charges of crimes against humanity, and transferred to
the International Criminal Court in The Hague. There is certainly no lack of
documentation to support such charges. Local civil society has against all
odds continued to document the incidents of torture, forced disappearance,
illegal detention, arson, forced displacement, sexual violence and more.
Additionally a new IDASA report notes that the growing levels of violence
since 2000 are clearly state sponsored and meet the criteria of crimes
Whilst Mugabe must surely face charges for the atrocities that have been
perpetrated - and these crimes would include forced displacement and the
range of socio-economic atrocities that have been perpetrated - such calls
at this point in time are likely to only push Mugabe to entrench his
position further in an effort to retain power and stave off possible
prosecution. Threats of prosecution by the ICC are also likely to play into
Mugabe's construction of himself as the true African leader being persecuted
by the West who wishes to reestablish colonial control. More importantly,
the focus we have seen to date only on Mugabe obscures issues of wider
accountability and the related challenges Zimbabwe will face during its
eventual transition and reconstruction.
Since 2000 the role of the state and its institutions - particularly the
police and military - have been directly and indirectly implicated in state
terror. In recent months, their involvement has grown, and whilst some argue
that the youth militias perpetrating the worst of the violence are now
beyond even the control of Zanu-PF, their actions are undoubtedly encouraged
by the ongoing incitement to violence by government leaders as well as the
promise of impunity. The police and the army in Zimbabwe have joined the
ranks of those participating in the violence with the acquiescence of the
judiciary. Due process and the rule of law have been subverted, and the
courts are no longer used for those in need of justice, but rather to serve
the interests of an illegitimate regime. Reports of police arresting torture
victims, and of judges hauling them up for prosecution, demonstrates the
extent to which the apparatuses of state have been captured not to serve but
rather to oppress the people.
Not only have state organs allowed violations to occur, the heads of
Zimbabwe's defence, intelligence, police and prisons establishments have
openly stated that they will not serve anyone but Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
As a result of these factors, the Zimbabwean problem lies squarely in the
politicization of its institutions of justice, a complete absence of
accountability or rule of law and a political culture of intolerance and
impunity. Reconstruction will not only need to focus on righting the
economy, addressing rampant and uncontrolled inflation, and reversing the
severe brain drain. Reconstruction will also need to address every aspect of
governance. Most urgent will be the need for institutional transformation of
the security sector and judiciary. Confidence in the courts and the police
has been eroded. Rebuilding the country will require restoring trust amongst
citizens in their state and its institutions. If trust isn't rebuilt then
democracy will not take root. As has been shown by so many countries
transitioning out of conflict and violence, a lack of trust in judicial and
policing institutions during this period manifests itself in increasing
levels of crime and violence as a security vacuum occurs, undermining any
efforts at stabilization and development.
The challenge will be to reform these institutions and reestablish trust and
respect for the rule of law without wiping out an already depleted skills
base. Any negotiations that now take place must put the people's interests
first - and whatever the outcome, they must not subvert the possibility for
justice in the future. Whilst there may be a need to think through the
realistic timing of accountability measures and a definition of
accountability that moves beyond mere criminal justice, no legitimate
solution to Zimbabwe can ignore redress and justice for victims of these
violent crimes, nor fail to put on the table a road map for the reform and
restructuring of the near collapsed institutions of justice and governance.
Without a focus on these issues, whatever solution the coming weeks bring,
Zimbabwe may well continue on its path to a failed state.
Glen Mpani is Regional Coordinator and Nahla Valji is a Senior Project
Manager in the Transitional Justice Programme at the Centre for the Study of
Violence and Reconciliation.
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 18:49 UK
With inflation at several million percent, miles of government red tape and a vanishing domestic market, running a business in Zimbabwe is not easy.
And yet, somehow, large private Zimbabwean companies are still able to function.
The chief executive of a leading steel business, who for security reasons has asked that his identity is kept secret, has been speaking to the BBC World Service about the daily business conditions he faces.
"It's not much fun," he said. "I'm surrounded by junior employees who are not paid enough money to survive adequately and who you feel can't give their best because they haven't had a decent meal the night before."
The company, which has several operations around the country, employs about 500 people.
On the surface, those employees might be considered lucky - at least they have jobs - but the executive told the BBC he was "depressed" he couldn't properly pay them enough to survive or feed their families.
"I think a lot of people come to work for the good, square meal we try to give them at lunch-time," he said, "but even finding the food to keep our canteen going is not easy."
The executive also told the BBC about the nightmare of trying to navigate through the unstable economic conditions.
In Zimbabwe, the price of goods changes daily, making it extremely difficult to establish the value of a product.
A company may write up an invoice for a product and send it to its buyer, but by the time the buyer receives the bill, the price has changed and everything has to be adjusted.
"You're constantly chasing your tail," said the executive.
He also lamented the experience of taking clients out for lunch.
"When I go on a business trip," he said, "I'll probably have to take somewhere in the order of four hundred to five hundred billion dollars."
It might sound like a lot, but with inflation estimated at three to five million percent, the money only covers a meal for two plus tip.
It all adds up to an extremely challenging business environment. But the executive said the need to survive pushes businesses into a culture where rules are there to be broken and loopholes are there to be exploited.
He acknowledges that, as a result, Zimbabwean businessmen might be described by some as "rather chancy characters."
But it's the game they have to play.
"If we ever move back into a normal time", he said, "we're going to have to be rehabilitated."
JOHANNESBURG, 25 June 2008 (IRIN) - As the sole remaining candidate in
Zimbabwe's presidential election run-off on 27 June, Robert Mugabe should
win. But then what?
"The most likely scenario is that Mugabe will go ahead with Friday's
election and win it," said political analyst Brian Raftopolous. The economy
would continue to decline, as little in the way of aid, investment or
reforms would be forthcoming to help the country back on its feet, he added.
John Clancy, spokesman for Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for
Development and Humanitarian Aid, commented: "Certain minimum international
standards of democracy and human rights have to be in place [before
significant aid can be provided]. Only then can we work hand-in-hand with
the government on a [development] programme."
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Mugabe's only challenger, has dropped out of the race, saying
he needed to save the lives of his supporters, who have become targets of
the ruling-party militia. According to the MDC, more than 86 of its
supporters have been killed since the general elections on 29 March, in
which the MDC won a parliamentary majority.
The international community, through the UN Security Council, has already
indicated that it does "not regard Friday's election as legitimate", said
Pascal Richard, coordinator of Zimbabwe Watch, a lobby group based in the
Netherlands. The United States has announced that it will not accept the
outcome of the presidential run-off on 27 June.
But if post-election negotiations led to a transitional government of
national unity involving Tsvangirai or the MDC, that could complicate the
One Western diplomat told IRIN that lines of credit would remain closed to
any government of national unity with Mugabe in the picture. "Basically, the
re-establishment of economic relations can only happen under a new
government; under Mugabe, the government would continue with its atrocious
human rights record and destructive policies," he said.
"It is evident that even under the proposed government of national unity,
Mugabe wants to come in as head of that set-up, which again would be
unacceptable because he used violence which resulted in the capitulation of
the opposition and the subsequent pulling out of the MDC candidate from the
presidential election run-off."
But Clancy offered an alternative interpretation. "We at the EU would
support some form of negotiated transitional government, i.e. a
power-sharing scenario," he said. "We want to avoid a black-hole scenario
[in which political reforms are made] but support structures are not there,
and the situation gets worse. We would be ready to step in and prop up [a
Zimbabwe Watch's Richard pointed out that many members of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) had moved beyond the question of
legitimacy of the run-off on Friday 27 June and were concerned about the
region's security, a concern that was also raised in the UN Security
It is estimated that between three million and five million Zimbabweans have
fled repression and economic decline in their home country to seek safety
and a better life in South Africa, the regional superpower, but recent
xenophobic attacks in South Africa have forced many to turn to neighbouring
Zambia and Botswana instead. "None of these countries can handle the influx
of migrants," Richard noted.
"If he [Mugabe] goes ahead with the election he could face regional
isolation, with the possible exception of South Africa, which still believes
it can negotiate with Mugabe," said Eleanor Sisulu, coordinator in South
Africa of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body for more than
200 Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
"We could have a situation similar to Burma, except that Zimbabwe is a
landlocked country and is dependant on its neighbours." Zimbabwe also
depends on South Africa and Mozambique for its power needs.
To prop up
Paul Wolfowitz, former president of the World Bank, noted in an article in
the Wall Street Journal on 25 June that the international community would
have to pledge its financial support to a new Zimbabwean government in a
Even if Tsvangirai were to become president, "he would still face a daunting
set of problems: restoring an economy in which hyperinflation has
effectively destroyed the currency and unemployment is a staggering 70
percent; getting emergency food aid to millions who are at risk of
starvation and disease; promoting reconciliation after the terrible
violence; and undoing Mugabe's damaging policies without engendering a
violent backlash," Wolfowitz wrote.
The World Bank would only begin lending money to the Zimbabwean government
after it had put in place a recovery programme, with a strategy to clear its
arrears of just under US$0.6 billion it owes the bank, Mungai Lenneiye, the
bank's acting country manager, told IRIN earlier this year.
Lenneiye said the Zimbabwean government had already outlined a draft
"Stabilisation and Short-Term Recovery Programme" (SSTRP) for implementation
in 2008, aimed at achieving macro-economic stability and restoring
"The SSTRP outlines government's intentions to move towards a unified
exchange rate, removal of price distortions in the economy, and restoration
of agricultural production as a first step to bring down the very high rate
of inflation," Lenneiye said. Zimbabwe's inflation rate is estimated at well
over a million percent.
If the SSTRP is "successfully implemented, without major slippages, much
progress could be achieved within the following five years," Lenneiye noted.
"Zimbabwe has an abundant supply of minerals, rich agricultural land, and
skilled personnel [although many have left to work in South Africa, the UK
and other countries with stable economies] and this is a good basis for a
quick turn-around in the right policy environment."
The turn-around would hinge on government's commitment to market-based
economic reform, Lenneiye said, "but it can be greatly assisted by the
availability of a predictable inflow of Balance of Payments support,
restored donor assistance, and foreign direct investments [including
remittances from Zimbabweans in the diaspora]".
Clancy said the EU would have to look at "the short, medium and long term,
and structure assistance accordingly. The immediate needs would be the
humanitarian sphere, and we would need to evaluate, with our humanitarian
partners like the UN, to see where emergency funding would be needed."
According to a recent joint assessment by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organisation and the World Food Programme, at least five million Zimbabweans
will be in need of food by September. "Zimbabwe does not have the capacity
to feed its people," said Richard.
Clancy maintained that "Zimbabwe has the potential to recover reasonably
quickly from the crisis, but it really does depend on factors that are
outside of our control", and said a donor conference to help Zimbabwe
recover could be possible.
Wolfowitz suggested that a non-Western institution, such as the African
Development Bank, might take the lead in summoning a Friends of Zimbabwe
conference that could include wealthy oil-producing countries, and possibly
China and India, which have shown a new interest in Africa.
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Paris (ANTARA News/AFP) - France warned Wednesday it would not recognise the
results of what it called the "rigged election" due to be held Friday in
Zimbabwe which looks set to keep President Robert Mugabe in power.
"We will not recognise the legitimacy of the power that emerges from the
rigged elections of June 27," a foreign ministry spokeswoman told reporters.
Zimbabwe`s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday pulled out of the
presidential run-off election, saying government-backed violence against his
supporters made a fair vote impossible.
Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the first round of the election but did not get
the absolute majority required to take the presidency.
Mugabe has defied international criticism and vowed that the election will
go ahead, saying the opposition chief pulled out because he was afraid of
25 June 2008 | 22:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Lisbon. Portugal will not accept the result of Zimbabwe's
presidential run-off set to be won by veteran ruler Robert Mugabe, Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs Joao Gomes Cravinho said Wednesday, cited by
"Whatever the results, they cannot obviously be accepted," the
minister told the LUSA news agency.
"It is clear that the political conditions for a free and fair
election simply do not exist," he said.
25th Jun 2008 17:35 GMT
By John Fenandes
KIGALI - Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, has joined the growing number of
international leaders condemning Robert Mugabe for the political violence
Kagame accused fellow African leaders for not doing anything to help solve
the crisis inside Zimbabwe. He said African leaders have let down the people
"There is a failure by African countries to support the process in
Zimbabwe," Kagame told journalists in Kigali, Rwanda's capital. "The first
impression is that there are some serious problems."
Kagame was speaking during his regular meetings with members of the local
and international media at Village Urugwiro on Wednesday.
Kagame seized power in 1994 after his then rebel forces stormed Kigali to
end 100 days of blood letting which left almost one million Rwandans dead.
Most of those killed were from the Tutsi minority ethnic group. Kagame is a
Tutsi. Before the genocide, which is blamed on the previous hardliner Hutu
government, international human rights groups had warned the situation
inside Rwanda was deteriorating and heading towards genocide.
The calls were largely ignored only for the world to be shocked when
television footages of machete-wielding militants mercilessly butchering
people were beamed.
Recently Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian soldier who led a depleted United
Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda just before the genocide told a
workshop on peace and security in Pretoria, South Africa, that the situation
in Zimbabwe and the Darfur Region was similar to that of Rwanda during the
In Kigali, Kagame said Zimbabweans should also take the initiative to help
solve the problems facing their country.
"The problem cannot be solved by outsiders, but Zimbabweans themselves
should be seen to be trying to solve their own problems," Kagame said.
He said the presidential run-off slated for June 27 was unlikely to be held
in a free and fair environment because of the violence inside Zimbabwe and
the threats of war being issued by Mugabe and his followers.
"It does not need a genius to understand that free and fair elections can be
hard to contemplate in the current situation," Kagame said.
Kagame spoke as Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga also raised similar
concerns saying Mugabe was now a huge embarrassment to the African
Odinga said Zimbabwe "remains an eyesore on the African continent."
"It is a big embarrassment that a leader can say on the eve of an election
that he's not willing to hand over power to an opponent, and he can only
hand over power to a member of his own political party," Odinga said during
a meeting with US secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
"I think this is an embarrassment to Africa because it makes a sham of the
"You cannot have free and fair elections when opponents are being beaten up,
when the secretary-general of the party, opposition party, is in detention,
and [on] very flimsy charges, possibly to be charged with treason. So my
view is that the time has come for the international community to act on
25 June 2008 |
21:40 | FOCUS News Agency
London. Britain warned its nationals Wednesday against all travel to
Zimbabwe due to the extremely "volatile" situation amid violence ahead of
this Friday's presidential run-off election, AFP reported.
Changing its travel advice for the troubled African country on its website,
the Foreign Office said: "We advise against all travel to Zimbabwe at this
time of high tension."
"The situation remains unpredictable and there has been a marked increase in
violent incidents across the country: it could deteriorate further, without
It added: "We judge that for the time being British nationals should avoid
all travel to Zimbabwe."
By Michael Holman and Greg Mills
Published: June 25 2008 19:56 | Last updated: June 25 2008 19:56
Something is stirring in Africa. Belatedly, often reluctantly, its leaders
are speaking out on Zimbabwe. The rogue president in their ranks, they are
coming to realise, poses a threat with the potential to destabilise their
fragile continent, already caught in a growing storm.
Even though annual economic growth remains above 5 per cent, food prices are
rising, transport costs soaring and, while commodity prices rise, oil
bonanzas are squandered. So-called role models collapse and terrorism lurks
in failed states. Aids and malaria continue to decimate, corruption destroys
and inefficient management debilitates.
The causes are complex, the faults not exclusively Africa's. Yet far from
rising to the challenges, the region's leaders have seemed incapable of the
co-ordinated response the crisis needs.
But change may be under way. In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame is among the
first to raise his head above the parapet, joining Botswana's Ian Khama and
Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa in a growing band of African leaders who are
prepared to condemn a tyrant. Not only has Robert Mugabe put southern Africa
in jeopardy. Like ripples on a pond, which can drown a man already up to his
nose in water, his actions can strain an uneasy peace in Kenya, affect food
shipments to refugees in east Africa and add to the trials of Britain's
It is not hard to imagine the events that could contain such a catalyst.
Here is one scenario:
The UK urges its nationals to leave after the brutal harassment of
supporters of the opposition MDC extends to whites in Harare and Bulawayo. A
convoy to the South African border is attacked. The southern city of
Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold, becomes the centre of an Ndebele group
demanding autonomy for Matabeleland. Railway lines through the province to
South Africa are sabotaged.
Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, offers Mr Mugabe sanctuary. It is
spurned by the Zimbabwe leader but prompts countrywide protests organised by
the South African trade union movement and backed by Jacob Zuma, Mr Mbeki's
successor in waiting. Xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans in South Africa
spread. Somali-based terrorists bomb a tourist hotel
In east Africa, Kenya's fragile coalition, divided over its response to
Zimbabwe, faces protests over food and transport price increases; there are
further ethnic riots. United Nations aid to refugees in central Africa is
If the catastrophe that draws nearer is to be averted, Africa's leaders have
no time to lose. They must begin by publicly acknowledging that Zimbabwe is
an African problem that Africa must solve. Existing measures, imposed by
Europe, have proved futile. Bank accounts targeted for freezing have long
been moved; cutting off school fees for children of Zimbabwe cabinet
ministers who are studying abroad is morally dubious and politically futile.
In a country where economy has collapsed, proposing formal economic
sanctions is as effective as threatening to take a comb away from a bald
Acknowledgment of responsibility must be followed by the personal
intervention of a distinguished emissary - and who better than a tough
ex-soldier, the former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was a
member of the Commonwealth team sent to South Africa in 1986? He should fly
to Harare and, authorised by Africa, deliver an ultimatum to Mr Mugabe:
stand down immediately and call off the thugs; or face prosecution,
initiated and supported by his African peers, at the International Criminal
This ultimatum must be given weight by two moves that would isolate Zimbabwe's
ruling elite and have an immediate impact. Unless Mr Mugabe complies, all
flights to and from Zimbabwe should be halted, and a visa ban imposed on
officials and supporters.
Why should African governments, after so long turning a blind eye to the
horrors unfolding in Zimbabwe, now act in this unprecedented way?
For two reasons: only by radical, prompt action can they redeem their own
tattered reputation; and above all, unless they deal with the rogue in their
midst, one of the elements in the scenario above will precipitate a storm
that will engulf them. So far the moral outrage perpetrated in Zimbabwe has
failed to move them - but self-interest may. Without such action, Mr Mugabe's
corrosive effect will be felt throughout the continent.
Mr Holman is a former Africa editor of the FT; Mr Mills heads the
Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation
By Tendai Maphosa
25 June 2008
International outrage continues to mount against Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe and his government's violent election campaign. Tendai Maphosa
reports for VOA from London the British government now says it will ban
tours by the Zimbabwean cricket team.
The debate about whether Zimbabwe's cricket team should be allowed to tour
internationally has been going on for some time.
Britain's government wanted a decision on whether to allow the team to
compete in the country to be made by the England and Wales Cricket board.
But recent events in Zimbabwe changed the picture.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown addressed the issue in his regular Wednesday
remarks to parliament.
"The Secretary for Culture is working with the English Cricket Board. We
want to ensure that Zimbabwe does not tour England next year and we will
call for other countries to join us in banning Zimbabwe from the 20-20
international tournament," Brown said.
The World 20-20 Cricket tournament, which England will host next summer, was
officially launched Tuesday in London with Zimbabwe still among the 12
competing teams. But soon after the prime minister's statement, the England
and Wales Cricket Board announced that it is suspending relations with
The International Cricket Council meets in Dubai next week to discuss the
Zimbabwe issue and observers expect the country to be suspended.
The decision to ban Zimbabwe may be made easier since, earlier this week,
South Africa's cricket administrators, Cricket Zimbabwe's strongest allies
announced they were cutting all ties with Zimbabwe. This followed pressure
by South African cricket players who threatened they would not play against
Zimbabwe because of the ongoing political turmoil there.
In a related matter the Times daily newspaper reports the mining
conglomerate Anglo American is set to make a $400 million investment in
Zimbabwe. Though the Anglo-American deal was not brought up in parliament,
Prime Minister Brown called on companies that were helping Mr. Mugabe's
regime to "reconsider their position". The Times says the Foreign office is
looking into whether Anglo American breached sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has made an
impassioned plea for action in an article in the Guardian daily newspaper.
Mr. Tsvangirai, who welcomed Monday's Security Council statement condemning
the Zimbabwean government's violent campaign, appealed for a peacekeeping
force to protect the people of Zimbabwe. He emphasized he is not calling for
armed conflict but says the people of Zimbabwe need more than just words of
Zimbabwe's long running political crisis took a turn for the worse following
the March 29 general election. The opposition, Movement for Democratic
Change won a majority in parliament, but Mr. Tsvangirai failed to secure an
outright victory against incumbent President Mugabe in the presidential
vote. A runoff is scheduled for Friday, but Mr. Tsvangirai has pulled out,
citing violent repression of the opposition and its supporters.
June 25, 2008
George Orwell's classic 1945 fable is as true for Zimbabwe as it was for the
When does it begin to go wrong? Perhaps, not too far along in the story,
when it becomes clear that the milk from the cows and the windfall apples
from the orchard are not being shared out equally among all the animals, but
instead are taken by the pigs. What pigs are those? The pigs, of course, who
led the insurrection at Manor Farm, an insurrection whose thrilling effect -
and dire consequences - are so brilliantly elaborated in Orwell's brief,
evergreen classic, Animal Farm.
Animal Farm was published the year the Second World War came to an end, but,
as day after day events in Zimbabwe grow ever more grim, it seems worthwhile
to return to this brief text. Alas, the reader looking for material on how
the exploitation of the African continent in past centuries has led to
modern disaster has plenty to choose from (consider Philip Gourevitch's We
Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, about
Rwanda, or In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, Michela Wrong's book about the
Congo), but Orwell's novella has as much resonance for Robert Mugabe's
Zimbabwe as it did for the Soviet Union under Stalin.
Orwell's pigs - the visionary Old Major, the brutal Napoleon, the
propagandist Snowball - come to power on the back of a noble ideal, as did
Robert Mugabe in 1980. Zimbabwe, once Rhodesia, had been riven for years by
white colonial rule and a bitter civil war; Mugabe came to power promising
reconciliation and democracy.
But - as with Animal Farm's porcine rulers - it soon became apparent that he
had little taste for opposition. Although, even with an allegory such as
this, one has to be careful of drawing modern parallels too closely. On
hearing of Morgan Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the run-off poll I found
myself with an image of Boxer, the hard-working carthorse, taken off at last
to what the other animals at first believe to be the vet's. . . but is no
such thing. Tsvangirai's existence is an unhappy reminder for Mugabe of what
his revolution was, once, meant to bring. As with Boxer, things look
brighter for the dictator now he's out of the way.