June 25, 2008
By Owen Chikari
MASVINGO - A senior officer serving with the Zimbabwe National Army Major
General Engelbert Rugeje yesterday said soldiers will be out in full force
on Friday to herd voters to the polling stations countrywide and to ensure
that they vote for the single candidate, President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe's challenger, MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew from the race
on Sunday, but Rugeje said, as Mugabe himself has also said repeatedly in
defiance of international pressure, that the election will be held without
Addressing people who were force-marched to Mucheke Stadium by members of
the army and Zanu-PF militia Rugeje said soldiers will sweep through the
countryside on Friday to ensure that people go to the polling stations "to
vote for Mugabe. The army will also supply election observers.
"We are soldiers," Rugeje said. "We do not ask for things; we force things.
"On Friday we are going to make sure that you go and vote, not for any
person of your choice, but for President Mugabe. I am not asking you to do
so but we will force you to go and vote.
"As soldiers we enjoy war."
Business in the country's oldest city ground to a halt yesterday as Zanu-PF
militants and young war veterans together with members of the army force-
marched people to the stadium. It is an open secret that the majority of the
so-called war veterans are merely unemployed youths who were not even born
when the ceasefire to the war of Zimbabwe's liberation came into effect on
January 4, 2008.
The juvenile war veterans forced even banks and factories to close while
force-marching all workers to the venue of the rally.
Rugeje said Zimbabwe had always been associated with the gun since the
independence of the country was won following a protracted war. He said that
anyone wishing to rule Zimbabwe had to secure his own guns and not expect to
come to power through the ballot box.
"Zimbabwe is tied to the gun," said Rugeje. "Therefore, anyone who wants to
rule this country should forget about voting but find his own guns to rule".
Rugeje said although the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the
presidential race the election would definitely go ahead.
"We know the MDC has withdrawn from the race but you have to go and vote on
Friday," he said. "What we need are the numbers despite Tsvangirai's
People started to stream out of Mucheke Stadium as Rugeje spoke. He ordered
the police to secure the gates and the youth militia manned the gates to bar
the people from going out.
They threatened to beat up anyone who attempted to leave the stadium before
Rugeje finished his speech.
Rugeje is one of senior officers reported by the Zimbabwe Times on April 8
to have been deployed to take charge of military operations in Masvingo
Province to boost support for President Mugabe in preparation for the then
anticipated 27 election re-run. He was reported to be working hand-in-hand
with Rtd. Maj. Gen. Gibson Mashingaidze and Rtd. Brig. General Rangwani.
These two were the only non-serving members of the more than 200 senior
serving officers deployed nationwide on April 8.
Highly placed sources in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces revealed to the
Zimbabwe Times details of the deployment on that very day.
The deployed officers would command "troops", comprising so-called war
veterans and Zanu-PF militants. The initial incidents of violence were
reported at the time in parts of Masvingo and Matabeleland North. Brutal
violence has since engulfed the entire country and during the last week of
the campaign has encroached on the cities, especially Harare.
It was reported at the time that Zimbabwe National Army Commander, Lt. Gen.
Phillip V Sibanda would command the operation with the assistance of Maj.
Gen. Nick Dube, while General Constantine Chiwenga, who unknown to the
public at the time, now chairs the Joint Operations Command, would be the
overall commander of the operation. He would be assisted by Maj. Gen Last
Mugova and Col. S. Mudambo.
It is now understood that Air Vice Marshall Perrence Shiri, who was in
charge of Five Brigade during the Gukurahundi atrocities in the 1980s, is
now co-ordinating the campaign of violence.
More than 90 people, mostly supporters of the MDC have been massacred since
the deployment while more than 2 000 have been injured or maimed with more
than 20 000 displaced from their homes.
The Zimbabwe Times published a list of security officers deployed
countrywide to coordinate the military operation in support of Mugabe. The
list was made available by "annoyed and frustrated members of the security
"It needs the widest possible exposure to show the world to what depth the
military regime are prepared to sink in their unachievable task of somehow
keeping Mugabe in power," they said.
The following is the full list of the senior officers deployed throughout
Harare Metropolitan Province AVM Karakadzai + CIO
Bulawayo Province Col. C. Sibanda
Bulawayo central Maj. J. Ndhlovu
Maj. J. Ncube
Manicaland and Mutare South Brig. Tarumbwa
Buhera Central Col. M. Mzilikazi (MID)
Buhera North Maj. L. M. Svosve
Buhera South Maj. D. Muchena
Buhera West Lt. Col. Kamonge
Chimanimani East Lt. Col. Murecherwa
Chimanimani West Maj. Mabvuu
Headlands Col. Mutsvunguma
Makoni North Maj. V. Chisuko
Makoni South Wing Commander Mandeya
Mutare Central Lt. Col. Tsodzai
Lt. Col. Sedze
Mandi Chimene (a losing Zanu-PF candidate)
Mutare West Lt. Col. B. Kashiri
Mutare North Lt. Col. Chizengwe
Lt. Col. Mazaiwana
Mashonaland Central Brig. Gen. Shungu
Bindura South Col. Chipwere
Bindura North Lt. Col. Parwada
Muzarabani North Lt. Col. Kazaza
Muzarabani South Maj. H. Maziri
Rushinga Col. F. Mhonda
Lt. Col. Betheuni
Shamva North Lt. Col. Dzuda
Shamva South Makumire
Midlands AVM Muchena
Brig. Gen. S. B. Moyo
Lt Colonel Kuhuni
Chirumhanzu South Maj T. Tsvangirai
Mberengwa east Col. B. Mavire
Mberengwa West Maj T. Marufu
Matebeleland South AVM Abu Basutu
Beit Bridge East Group Cpt. Mayera
Rtd. Maj. Mbedzi
Lt. Col. B. Moyo
Gwanda South Maj J. D. Moyo
Gwanda Central Maj. B. Tshuma
Matopo North Lt. Col. Maphosa
Matebeleland North Brig. Gen. Khumalo
Binga North Maj E. S. Matonga
Lupane East Lt Col. Mkwananzi
Lupane West Lt Col. Mabhena
Tsholotsho Lt. Col. Mlalazi
Hwange Central Lt. Col P. Ndhlovu
Masvingo Province Maj. Gen. E. A. Rugeje
Rtd. Maj. Gen. Gibson Mashingaidze
Rtd. Brig. General Rangwani
Bikita West Maj. B. R. Murwira
Chiredzi Central Col G. Mashava
Chiredzi West Maj. E. Gono
Gutu South Maj. Chimedza (Medical Doctor)
Masvingo Lt. Col. Takavingofa
Mwenezi West Lt. Col. Muchono
Mwenezi East Lt. Col. Mpabanga
Zaka East Maj. R. Kwenda
Mash West Province Brig. Gen. Sigauke
Chinhoyi Col Gwekwerere
Chegutu East Lt. Colonel W. Tutisa
Hurungwe East Lt. Col. B. Mabambe
Mhondoro Mubaira Col. C. T. Gurira
Zvimba North Cpt. T. Majongwe
Mashonaland East Brig. Gen. D. Nyikayaramba
Rtd. Brig Gen Rungani
Chikomba Central Lt. Col. Marara
Gromonzi North Lt Col. Mudzimba
Maj F. Mbewe
Marondera Central Maj. Gen. Chedondo (COSG)
Lt. Col B. Kashiri
Marondera West Squadron Leader U. Chitauro
Murehwa South Maj. Gurure
Murehwa North Lt. Col. Mukurazhizha
Lt. Col. Chinete
by Cuthbert Nzou Thursday 26 June 2008
HARARE - United States ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee on Wednesday
accused President Robert Mugabe's government of planning to force people to
vote in tomorrow's presidential run-off election which opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai is boycotting.
Tsvangirai withdrew from Friday's election saying a free and fair vote is
impossible because of political violence that he said had killed 86 members
of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and displaced 200 000
McGee said the US mission in Harare had received information that Mugabe's
government planned to force voters out to the polls in its bid to portray
Friday's one-man race as a credible election.
The US representative said in a statement that Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF party
had continued "in full campaign mode" despite Tsvangirai's decision to
withdraw from the vote after weeks of violent attacks and intimidation
against MDC supporters.
The opposition party's supporters have continued to be subjected to
political violence, said McGee.
"We've received reports that ZANU PF will force people to vote on Friday and
also take action against those who refuse to vote. So, they are saying 'we
want an election at all costs. We want to validate Mugabe's victory here,'"
McGee said. "There's really nothing that we can do here in the international
community to stop these elections."
Zimbabwe's deputy information minister Bright Matonga accused McGee - who
has been an outspoken critic of Mugabe's controversial rule - of interfering
in the domestic affairs of the southern African country contrary to his
brief as a diplomat.
"We have no comment on McGee's outbursts," Matonga said. "We want to
reiterate for the umpteenth time that he should not interfere with the
politics of Zimbabwe. We will soon take action against him."
Mugabe has said Friday's vote will go ahead, ignoring calls by the United
Nations Security Council and some southern African leaders to call off the
poll and start negotiations with the opposition for a government of national
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of State for African
Affairs Jendayi Frazer said that Washington would not recognise the result
of the June 27 vote because Tsvangirai and his MDC party had been violently
forced out of the running.
While the Southern African Development Community (SADC) discussed Zimbabwe
at an emergency summit in Swaziland as pressure mounted on Mugabe's
government from within and outside Africa.
McGee urged the 500 election observers from the SADC and the African Union
to remain in Zimbabwe to be at least "eyes on the ground for the people of
The Harare administration banned election observers from the US and other
Western nations it accuses of pursuing a regime change agenda in Zimbabwe.
The US ambassador urged the SADC to issue a clear and firm statement
condemning political violence in Zimbabwe in the same way the UN Security
Council on Monday unanimously condemned violence in the southern African
country and called for cancellation of the run-off poll.
African organisations such as the SADC were the best placed to exert great
influence on the government of Zimbabwe than international bodies such as
the UN, McGee said.
He said for a landlocked country like Zimbabwe pressure tactics such as
border closings and isolation from its neighbors would have a "tremendous
and immediate impact". But the ambassador acknowledged he had no indication
that Zimbabwe's neighbours were prepared to take such drastic action. -
By Staff ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 25, 2008 ⋅
June 25, 2008
The SADC Organ,
Troika of Heads of State and Government,
25 June, 2008,
Lozitha Palace, Kingdom of Swaziland
1. At the invitation of His Majesty King Mswati III of the Kingdom of
Swaziland and Deputy Chairperson of the Organ, the SADC Troika of the
Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met on this day of 2008, at
Lozitha Palace, Manzini, Swaziland. His Majesty King of the Kingdom of
Swaziland, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the Organ, chaired the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the President of the United Republic of
Tanzania, His Excellency, President Jakaya Kikwete.
2. The meeting was also attended by the Right Honourable Absalom Diamini,
M.P., Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, and the Executive
Secretary of SADC, Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao.
3. The main objective of the meeting was to consult on the latest
developments in Zimbabwe and the political situation in Malawi.
4.The SADC Organ Troika Summit was convened on the recommendations of the
Ministerial Troika of the Organ, at their meeting held in Lilongwe, Malawi,
on 17th June, 2008. The recommendations of the Ministerial Troika were
reiterated by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on June 23, 2008 at the 29
Session of the Inter State Politics and Diplomacy Committee of the Organ.
The Summit received and discussed the reports of the two Ministerial
5. In his opening remarks, His Majesty King Mswati Ill welcomed His
Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and other delegates to the
consultative meeting. His Majesty re-affirmed SADC Organ’s commitment to
assist the parties to deal with the current situation.
6. With regard to the situation in Malawi, the SADC Organ Troika Summit is
deeply concerned with the political stand-off, and appeals to the Parties
concerned to refrain from inflaming the situation lest the situation worsens
further. The Summit urges the parties to use dialogue to resolve their
differences and offers to facilitate the dialogue at the earliest possible.
7. The Summit received a brief from the SADC Executive Secretary on the
political situation in Zimbabwe. The Executive Secretary recalled that
Summit, at its Extra-ordinary Meeting held on 13th April 2008, in Lusaka,
Zambia, commended the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful and orderly manner
in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the harmonized
elections of 29th March 2008. Summit had also commended the Government of
Zimbabwe for ensuring that elections were conducted in a peaceful
8. The Organ Summit also recalled that the SADC April 2008 Extra—Ordinary
Summit had urged the Government that in the event of a need for a run-off
election, it should ensure that the election is held in a secure and
conducive environment and that SADC offered to send an Observer Mission.
9. The meeting noted with concern and disappointment that the opposition
leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, has formally withdrawn from the Presidential
run-off election scheduled for Friday the 27th of June 2008.
10. The Summit concurs with the view of the Ministerial Troika of the Organ
that, in the light of the violence and the charged political atmosphere, the
political and security situation in Zimbabwe appears not to be permissive
for holding the run-off election in a manner that would be deemed free and
fair. It is the considered opinion of the Organ Summit that holding the
elections under the current circumstances may undermine the credibility and
legitimacy of its outcome. The Organ Summit, therefore, appeals to the
responsible authorities in Zimbabwe to consider postponing the election to a
later date. The Organ Summit feels strongly that because of the current
charged atmosphere the parties and people of Zimbabwe deserve a cooling off
period. During the period of postponement of the election and before holding
the next election, the parties should engage in talks with the aim of
finding best possible ways of resolving their differences and creating a
conducive environment for holding the election and managing the affairs of
their country thereafter.
11. The Organ Troika Summit believes that the people of Zimbabwe are capable
of charting their country’s future in peace and harmony. SADC avails its
support whenever necessary as it has been doing to date.
12. The Organ Troika Summit commends the 400 SADC Election Observers for the
excellent job they have been doing of observing the elections in Zimbabwe.
The Organ Troika Summit urges them to stay the course. In the same vein, the
Summit thanks and commends SADC Member States who volunteered to send
13. The SADC Organ, at all levels, will remain seized of the situation in
Zimbabwe and Malawi.
14. His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United
Republic of Tanzania, thanked His Majesty King Mswati Ill of the Kingdom of
Swaziland for his leadership in this critical time for the SADC Region as
well as for the warm reception and hospitality, and for availing excellent
facilities for this important meeting.
Done at Lozitha Palace, Manzini,
Kingdom of Swaziland
25 June 2008
by Wayne Mafaro Thursday 26 June 2008
HARARE - Zimbabwe's electoral commission said on Wednesday it would press
ahead with tomorrow's run-off election because opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai filed his letter to withdraw from the race "well out of time".
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman George Chiweshe told journalists in
Harare that his commission received formal written notification from
Tsvangirai that he was pulling out of the election on June 24.
"The Commission sat today, the 25th June 2008 to deliberate on the content
and effect of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's letter. It was unanimously agreed that
the withdrawal had inter alia been well out of time and that for that reason
the withdrawal was of no force or effect," said Chiweshe.
"Accordingly the Commission does not recognise the purported withdrawal. We
are therefore proceeding with the Presidential run-off election this Friday
as planned. The ballot papers have been printed and dispatched."
The law says in the event of one of the candidates in a presidential run-off
election pulling out, the remaining candidate is automatically declared
But President Robert Mugabe and his government have avoided this easier
route to victory, insisting that the run-off poll will go ahead and
promising Mugabe - who lost to Tsvangirai in the first round vote on March
29 - will romp to a landslide win this time round.
Tsvangirai says the only way Mugabe could win was through violence and
The opposition leader repeated at a press briefing in Harare on Wednesday
that he had withdrawn from Friday's election because a free and fair vote
was impossible under the current climate of violence and intimidation.
Tsvangirai says 86 members of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
have been killed and another 200 000 displaced by political violence since
June 26, 2008
Analysis: Jonathan Clayton
It was a day when President Mugabe must have realised that the tide in
Africa had turned against him. As Nelson Mandela joined the chorus of
international criticism of his regime, almost all of his last, long-time
allies finally presented a united front and called for tomorrow's election
to be postponed.
Although leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were
merely repeating what the rest of the world has already said, it was one of
the toughest and most significant statements ever issued by the group.
Before the crisis in Zimbabwe, few people in the West would have heard of
SADC. The 14-member grouping, which now holds the fate of millions of
Zimbabweans in its hands, has been described as one large dysfunctional
family, myriad bitter historical rivalries hidden for years by a convenient
unity against "Western imperialism".
It was set up in 1980 with the main aim of co-ordinating development
projects to lessen economic independence on South Africa, then ruled by the
Margaret Thatcher treated the club with disdain, accusing its leaders of
secretly trading with South Africa at the same time as calling on Western
powers to cut economic ties. This cut little ice with the likes of Tanzania's
Socialist leader Julius Nyerere and Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda, towering
figures in the independence movement, who would riposte that it was Britain
that was the master of double standards. London, they were fond of
emphasising, did nothing when Ian Smith declared independence to prolong
white rule in Rhodesia, but wanted immediate action when President Mugabe
stepped out of line.
Similar rhetoric has hidden SADC's divisions, which Mr Mugabe has cleverly
exploited to prevent any regional criticism of his actions. However, as the
days of colonialism have faded into history and a generation of more
pragmatic young leaders has emerged, the mask of unity has slipped and now -
over Zimbabwe - it has almost fallen off completely.
President Mwanawasa of Zambia, the group's chairman, is typical of the new
type of African leader more interested in the present than past battles.
Last week he publicly expressed his frustration with the lack of progress in
resolving the crisis and openly criticised SADC's mediator, President Mbeki
of South Africa.
At the heart of the row was SADC's reluctance, epitomised by Mr Mbeki's
so-called quiet diplomacy, to criticise one of its own - particularly a
state under fire from the West.
Mr Mugabe may have become the grouping's unlikely saviour. His determination
to cling to power at all costs and subsequent bloody crackdown on opponents
led even his closest allies in SADC to turn against him.
The extent of his human rights abuses led to Mr Mandela abandoning his
policy of not commenting on current affairs and criticising recent events in
Zimbabwe - a move that will be welcomed across the world and pile even more
pressure on the hapless Mr Mbeki.
Even the ANC - which for years would not criticise a liberation struggle
leader of Mr Mugabe's stature - has made clear that it has had enough of Mr
Mugabe's antics. Mr Mbeki may still be reluctant to criticise the Zimbabwean
President, but the ANC and its new leader Jacob Zuma, who is set to succeed
Mr Mbeki next year, are now lined up alongside Morgan Tsvangirai, a former
trade unionist who is much more appealing to the party's left wing.
Angola's decision to throw its lot in with the antiMugabe camp is the most
significant development - the two countries were inextricably linked in the
fight against colonialism - while Tanzania, once the exiled home of Zanu, is
now ruled by the young President Kikwete, who has no time for Mr Mugabe's
posturing and appeals to the "revolution".
What the neighbours think
SADC's most influential country after South Africa and Mr Mugabe's closest
ally. The two countries worked closely together in their respective
guerrilla wars and more recently in themed-1990s moved into neighbouring
Congo together to prevent the overthrow of Laurent Kabila, the then
President. Their armies also looted the country of much of its mineral
An old Mugabe ally that fell out with him two years ago when it offered him
a retirement home near the capital Windhoek so as to allow an alternative
Zanu (PF) leadership to emerge. Still opposed to the opposition taking
power, it wants to see a change at the top for reasons of regional stability
President Thabo Mbeki has been reluctant to criticise his Zimbabwean
counterpart for historical and ideological reasons. The position of SADC's
most important state has been weakened by internal divisions within the
ruling African National Congress (ANC), but the left wing is now dominant
and said that enough is enough
Another close ally, but mistrusted by President Mugabe because of its
previous support for his great rival Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu movement
which was ultimately merged to form Zanu (PF)
Historically close to President Mugabe. Socialist President Julius Nyerere
supported Zanu during the fight against white minority rule in what was then
Rhodesia. Allowed it to have military bases for its hard-core
Chinese-trained guerrilla fighters. One of the most significant defectors
A very close ally, but still one of the poorest countries in the world and
desperate to stop more refugees from Zimbabwe flooding across its border. It
keeps quiet, but will go with the majority. It has also benefited from the
arrival of many white farmers from Zimbabwe
These guys seem to have finally realised which side their bread is buttered
on. The tragic thing is, if Mbeki had tried to lead this way a year or two
ago, all this could have been avoided. Mbeki is no leader, unfortunately. If
these guys keep up the momentum, they can really get things done.
David Ashton, Bathurst, Australia
I think this comparison between Ian Smith and Mugabe is ridiculous-Ian Smith
ran a successful country-his people were fed,clothed and healthy they had
work a world class economy and infrastructure.Massacring you're own people
to prove the white man had bad racial ideals twenty years ago is sadistic.
Published Date: 26 June 2008
By Fred Bridgland
NELSON Mandela last night broke his silence on the crisis in Zimbabwe to say
there has been a tragic failure of leadership in the country
The former South African president spoke on the issue for the first time at
a dinner in London attended by Bill Clinton, the former US president.
Mr Mandela, who had been criticised for his failure to condemn the Mugabe
regime, made the comments at a fundraising dinner to celebrate his 90th
birthday next month.
However, Zimbabwe merited only a brief mention in a list of the world's
He said: "The world remains beset by so much human suffering, poverty and
"It is in your hands to make our world a better one for all, especially the
poor, vulnerable and marginalised.
"We look back at much human progress, but we sadly note so much failing as
"In our time we spoke out on the situation in Palestine and Israel, and that
conflict continues unabated. We warned against the invasion of Iraq, and
observe the terrible suffering in that country.
"We watch with sadness the continuing tragedy in Darfur. Nearer to home we
had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country
and the tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe.
"It is within this context that we should also see the plight of those
affected by HIV and Aids.
"It is now in the hands of your generations to help rid the world of such
Mr Mandela's comments will be a blow to Mr Mugabe, who speaks proudly of the
country's alliance with South Africa during the nation's struggle for
Mr Mandela will be honoured tomorrow at a special concert in London to mark
It will be richly deserved. This, after all, is the man who led South Africa
to an all-race democracy. This is the man who, from the dock in 1964 as he
faced trial for treason, famously said: "I have fought against white
domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the
ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in
harmony and with equal opportunities.
"If needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Yet, many were wondering why this moral titan, who commands respect from
every corner of the globe, had failed to speak on the dire injustice
unfolding right in front of him: that of Zimbabwe.
Until last night, the strongest indication of his stance came in an open
letter issued by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, concerning Zimbabwe's
election run-off tomorrow.
Signed by Achmat Dangor, the foundation's chief executive, and 19 other
Africans, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mr Mandela's wife, Grace
Machel, and Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general, it
read: "Zimbabweans fought for liberation in order to be able to determine
their own future. Great sacrifices were made during the liberation struggle.
To live up to the aspirations of those who sacrificed, it is vital that
nothing is done to deny the legitimate expression of the will of the people
Mr Mandela was letting Archbishop Tutu take the high ground on Zimbabwe
until he broke his silence last night.
The archbishop has described Mr Mugabe as "bonkers" and being "on the
slippery slope to perdition".
The Zimbabwean president, a humourless tyrant who admits no flaws, responded
that his critic was "an angry, evil and embittered little bishop".
This week, Archbishop Tutu, encouraged by Mr Mandela, warned Zimbabwe under
Mr Mugabe was becoming the new Rwanda.
Stars and world leaders flock to London concert
PROCEEDS from Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park will go to
his Aids charity, 46664, which takes its name from the number he wore while
imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid authorities.
Performers include Queen, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis and the Soweto Gospel
Mr Mandela is also due to meet high-profile supporters, including Gordon
Brown, the Prime Minister, Bill Clinton, the former US president, and Oprah
Winfrey, the talk-show host.
Mr Mandela, who turns 90 on 18 July, has visited London many times and has
expressed gratitude to the city for the constant vigil that was held outside
the South African embassy during the apartheid years.
It is 20 years since Wembley Stadium in London hosted the "Free Nelson
Mandela" concert, to demand he be released from prison.
He was released in 1990 after 27 years behind bars and was elected South
Africa's first black president in 1994.
June 26, 2008
Catherine Philp and Jan Raath in Harare
As Zimbabwe hurtled towards its sham presidential election, Morgan
Tsvangirai emerged from hiding yesterday with a message for his arch enemy:
negotiate now, or never.
In a telephone interview from the Dutch Embassy, Mr Tsvangirai told The
Times that the time for talking would be over if President Mugabe went ahead
with the vote tomorrow. "Negotiations will be over if Mr Mugabe declares
himself the winner and considers himself the president. How can we
negotiate?" he said.
Mr Mugabe said yesterday that he might be prepared to talk after the poll,
which the Government insisted would go ahead, despite the withdrawal of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader this week.
Were Mr Mugabe to approach him afterwards, Mr Tsvangirai had this message
for him: "Look, you refused to talk to me then, how can I talk to you now? I
made these offers, I made these overtures, I told you I would negotiate
before the elections and not after - because it's not about elections, it's
"You disregarded that, you undertook violence against my supporters, you
killed and maimed, you are still killing and maiming unarmed civilians, the
army is still out there. How can you call yourself an elected presi-dent?
You are illegitimate and I will not speak to an illegitimate president."
Earlier Mr Tsvangirai emerged briefly from the Dutch Embassy in Harare,
where he took refuge on Sunday after armed troops turned up at his house to
look for him, to put forward a plan to resolve the crisis gripping the
country. Appearing at his suburban home, the MDC leader called for the
African Union, with the support of the UN, to "set up a transitional period"
and hold talks to find a negotiated settlement to provide a way out of the
violence and economic chaos.
He claimed that the plan had been accepted by President Kikwete of
Tan-zania, the chairman of the African Union, and President Mwanawasa of
Zambia, the chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
the 14-nation regional grouping. "We [the MDC] have put forward our
proposals," Mr Tsvangirai said. "It is in the hands of SADC; it is in the
hands of the AU."
In a further sign that Mr Mugabe's neighbours were deserting him, a security
troika of SADC leaders meeting in Swaziland yesterday called for the run-off
of the presidential election to be postponed, saying that it would lack
credibility. The South African Government said that one of its senior
negotiators was in Harare discussing the options, including calling off the
Mr Tsvangirai also set out other conditions for negotiations with Mr Mugabe,
demanding that the violence stop immediately, that emergency relief
operations resume, political prisoners be released - including the MDC's
secretary-general Tendai Biti, being held on treason charges - and that
Parliament be sworn in. The MDC won a majority in the parliamentary
elections in March.
Other senior opposition officials, including Mr Tsvangirai's campaign
manager, are also in hiding, and the party headquarters in central Harare
were abandoned after a police raid this week.
But with one day to go, the MDC leader admitted there seemed to be little
the world could do to stop the vote. "It can go ahead by force," Mr
Tsvangirai told The Times. "But it will be a one-man race. It has nothing to
do with the view of the people."
Back inside the Dutch Embassy, he added that it was too early to say when he
would leave. "I am the prime target. I am not going to take chances with my
safety. It's not just about Mr Mugabe, it's about the people out there who
could take the law into their own hands. There is no rule of law here."
Militia mobs were roaming the country's townships last night as the clock
counted down to a poll hailed by Mr Mugabe as the final battle for total
control. "The West can scream all it wants. Elections will go on," Mr Mugabe
told a rally of thousands of cheering Zanu (PF) supporters north of Harare.
"The MDC leader saw this wave of political hurricane coming his way. He is
frightened, frightened of the people."
In Harare yesterday the atmosphere could not have been more different from
that on the day before the first round on March 29, when many hoped for a
change of leadership. The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, the
independent election observer body that fielded 50,000 observers in March,
announced that it would be unable to monitor the poll this time because of
the threat to its staff.
MDC supporters say that, rather than letting up on the violence, Zanu (PF)
has stepped up its campaign of terror. David, an MDC supporter from the
violence-racked township of Epworth, described how his son was being taken
every night to allnight indoctrination sessions by the militia.
The beatings are having the desired effect. "In the past we always went in
the box and voted for ourselves, but this time we have got only one choice,"
"Maybe the war will come back if we vote for Morgan - because it's just like
a war, what we are going through. So what can I do? We are afraid. We are
all together this time. We will vote Zanu."
Moses, an MDC supporter who works in central Harare, said he had been
ordered to return to his village the evening before the elections. "They
want to make sure we are all here to vote," he said. Local Zanu (PF)
officials had told the villagers that they had to queue up at the polling
station "and when we see the police or the Zanu people, we must tell them
that we cannot read or write so they will help us to vote".
Zimbabwe's literacy rate of 96 per cent is its proudest boast and the result
of Mr Mugabe's postindependence commitment to universal education. "Zimbabwe's
literacy will fall down in one day," Moses said with a hollow laugh. But he
was adamant that he would not vote for Mr Mugabe. "I will crumple up my vote
like that," he said with a clench of his fist.
Last updated at 9:44 PM on 25th June 2008
Whenever you read pundits on Zimbabwe, or listen to politicians, you
generally hear the same blather.
There is almost nothing Britain can do to halt the slide into despair,
starvation and genocide. We must look to South Africa and other countries in
They should exert more pressure on Robert Mugabe. It's not for us to
But the South African government has no intention of doing anything. Though
the ruling African National Congress has belatedly slapped Mr Mugabe's
wrists, Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, continues to indulge the
murderous Mugabe regime north of the Limpopo.
South Africa is a very powerful country in the region, and could bring
Mugabe to heel in a trice, but Mbeki chooses not to do so.
Other African countries, some of which are at last beginning to stir in
indignation, are too weak to make any difference.
South Africa's refusal to act is a dreadful indictment. It makes one wonder
whether the country can any longer be counted among the civilised nations of
the world. This is a grotesque example of racial politics.
Mugabe is a tyrant and a murderer, but because he is black, and a former
'freedom fighter', Mbeki has not spoken against him. Nor, so far, has the
supposedly saintly Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black President,
though he may finally do so at a concert in London on Friday to celebrate
his 90th birthday.
Whether he does or not, we shouldn't look to South Africa to solve what is
turning into the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today. It is a
kind of moral laziness to continue to chide that country, and to pretend
that she might still rouse herself.
Despite hyper-inflation, starvation and the increasing deployment of state
terror in Zimbabwe, South Africa has stood aside, and it would represent the
triumph of hope over experience to imagine that she is going to change her
So what can be done? Maybe a travel ban on leading Zimbabwean politicians,
and freezing their looted assets that sit in bank accounts in London or
Zurich, would apply some pressure. Perhaps leaning on British and Western
companies to stop doing business in Zimbabwe would help. Even banning the
Zimbabwean cricket team from touring England might be a good idea. But who
can be confident that these and similar measures would bring Mugabe to his
Let me raise - on the assumption that they don't - another alternative:
armed intervention. I can already hear the tea cups rattle. But it is a
matter of fact that when Ian Smith declared independence in 1965 in what was
then called Rhodesia, and is now Zimbabwe, all manner of respectable people
from Jeremy Thorpe, future leader of the Liberal Party, to the Archbishop of
Canterbury were in favour of sending in British troops.
In that instance, of course, we would have been fighting our own rebellious
kith and kin. Evidently, people have more qualms about taking on Mugabe's
black soldiers, who are defending a far more barbaric regime, though from my
knowledge of the country I believe most ordinary blacks would be thoroughly
in favour of a liberating force, and I even wonder whether Mugabe's poorly
trained and badly resourced troops would put up much of a fight.
Don't think I am generally in favour of invading other people's countries.
It is obviously a drastic action, only to be considered when all other
avenues have failed. I was against the invasion of Iraq, and am very queasy
about our occupation of Afghanistan, not least because I doubt it can
succeed. But if ever such an invasion could be justified, it is in the case
In the first place, it would have an extremely high chance of success.
Mugabe's army has an annual budget of some £80million, less than half of one
per cent of that of the British Armed Forces. It numbers fewer than 25,000
men, not all of whom may be loyal to Mugabe. By comparison, Saddam Hussein's
army, though it did not long last in the field, was enormously powerful, and
much better armed.
In the second place, the moral imperative is at least as strong as it was in
the case of Iraq. Mugabe, like Saddam, has no weapons of mass destruction,
but he is harrying and killing his people more actively than was the Iraqi
leader immediately before the Anglo-American invasion. Lots of people try to
justify what we did in Iraq on the grounds that we at least got rid of an
evil despot. Isn't the argument at least as strong, if not stronger, in
respect of Zimbabwe?
The third justification is a moral one, and I concede that morality is a
dangerous concept in foreign policy. The fact remains that Mugabe was
brought to power as a result of a political settlement brokered in 1980 by
the British Government in what had been a British colony. At the time, some
of us foretold disaster, though I recall being upbraided by Nigel Sheinwald,
then a young Foreign Office know-all, now our ambassador in Washington, for
not understanding that Mugabe was basically a decent bloke. Don't we have
some responsibility to free the Zimbabwean people from the monster we helped
visit upon them?
For all these reasons, I suggest there are strong arguments for considering
armed intervention should other measures fail, which seems likely, and
should the situation continue to deteriorate, which it probably will. Of
course, I understand the dangers, and I can see that the British Army,
already over-extended in Iraq and Afghanistan, is hardly in a position to go
it alone in Zimbabwe, even if it wanted to. I also accept that assembling a
multinational force, particularly in the post-Iraq climate, would be an
And yet isn't that exactly what is being urged by enlightened people in the
case of Darfur, where our reluctance to intervene has undoubtedly cost many
lives? And didn't many reasonably criticise the French for not intervening
to prevent mass genocide in Rwanda, which was in their sphere of interest?
If you are adamantly against intervention in Zimbabwe, you should ask
yourself how awful things have to get there before you might consider
changing your mind.
The Foreign Office, of course, is terrified of Britain being criticised as
acting as a colonial power. But such anxieties did not deter us a few years
ago from intervening in Sierra Leone, admittedly on a smaller scale. Should
we allow Zimbabwe, once one of Africa's most favoured countries, to plunge
into barbarousness and chaos?
If South Africa were prepared to use its considerable economic power against
Zimbabwe, the question of intervention would not arise, but it seems
unlikely that Mbeki will suddenly change his tune, and start putting
pressure on Robert Mugabe. Equally, there are measures including travel bans
which the British Government should apply, though depriving Mugabe of his
ill-gotten knighthood, welcome as it is as a symbolic gesture, is not going
to make life one jot easier for the inhabitants of Zimbabwe.
But if all else should fail, as it may well do, armed intervention should be
seriously considered. As Margaret Thatcher ignored the misgivings of the
Foreign Office before the invasion of the Falklands, so Gordon Brown would
be wise to disregard the advice of the Foreign Office, which put Mugabe
where he is in the first place.
Invading other people's countries is almost always wrong. Faced with
genocide and social disintegration in Zimbabwe, it may soon be the only
right thing we can do.
By Phil Matibe | Harare Tribune Contributor | Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Communiqué 0100 - 24/06/ 08
Robert Gabriel Mugabe: the sand is running out of the hourglass of
democracy. Nhaka kunotsva badza kuchisara mupini. From the bag of all the
political tools available to you, why do you choose the most lethal? Put
back the arrows into
The Anti-Tyranny Taskforce, a multilateral Pan-African intervention
force, demands that you Robert Mugabe, stand down all military,
ZANU (PF) youth militia and auxiliaries, and confine them back to
their designated cantonment areas. Zimbabweans do not need another war.
You only have one viable option left, vacate the office of the
president. You lost the Presidential election on March 29 and instead chose
to manipulate and delay the results, which legally invalidates the façade
being presented to the electorate masked as a runoff election.
We neither recognise this Republic or the Head of State inaugurated
after an election deemed null and void by Africa and the entire free world.
You have subverted the will of the people and your military junta has
committed electoral terrorism.
Zimbabwe is only recognised as a sovereign state when it conforms to
internationally accepted electoral norms. Your genocidal voter cleansing
exercise renders you and your junta illegitimate, culpable, and obtuse. Your
derogatory threats of reverting to war are inflammatory, illegal, and hereby
condemned with the contempt they deserve.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Gideon Gono, General Constantine Chiwenga, Air
Marshall Perence Shiri, Major-General Paradzai Zimhondi,
Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Brigadier-General Happytone
Bonyongwe and other members of the Joint Operations Command, we urge you to
immediately desist from issuing unlawful instructions.
Be advised, your enthusiastic participation in the planning and
execution of the terror campaign is noted. You are the co- conspirators of a
constitutional military coup and accessories to heinous human rights
violations that include murder, torture, and the systematic raping of women,
as a weapon of war.
Robert Mugabe, at 84 years old, your life is expiring. Millions of
oppressed Zimbabweans are embarking on a new journey for their country that
you will not be a part of regardless of whether you fight to the death or
have others killed.
Your last legacy will be of economic disaster, Marxist insanity,
criminal injustice, satanic repression, murderer of helpless women and
children. You are a racist tyrant that finds blame with all other races as
you continue to butcher and oppress your own race.
Robert Mugabe do not start a war that shall result in the suffering of
fellow Zimbabweans while you and your inner circle of unlawful gangsters
watch huddled from the false security of your bunkers. You will lose this
Zimbabwe is already at war, a low-key civil war, unleashed upon the
unarmed civilian population by your marauding auxiliaries. This war in its
third month has produced death and destruction in the communal areas and
towns. Unarmed innocent civilians are being tortured, women systematically
raped, and children murdered in cold blood by your junta.
You crossed the line in the sand the day you issued unthinkable orders
for your militants to attack the mothers of political activists. Amai
havarohwi, Robert ]Mugabe, and your disregard for this very African taboo is
an act of war. Chikomo shata divi asi rimwe ritambira vana.
Your illegal junta is breaching the laws of armed conflict, African
Union, SADC, UN Charters, and the Geneva Conventions and Covenants, as we
speak and has placed Zimbabwe under de facto marshal law.
Robert Mugabe we can no longer stand by and allow these barbaric acts
of genocide to continue. It is time to separate men from boys and go to the
aid of our defenceless relatives, friends, and fellow citizens. You together
with your clique of enablers of tyranny are now common criminals whom we
shall pursue, capture, and apprehend for crimes of war, crimes against
humanity, crimes against peace, and for genocide.
Zimbabwe is now an international crime scene. We shall deliver you and
your cronies to the international criminal courts to face justice. We have
made numerous direct and indirect requests to you and your generals for
clarification on the overt relationship between ZANU (PF) and the armed
forces, these have been ignored.
This deliberate stubbornness is the ominous sign for us to prepare for
war. Men under strict rules of engagement, with orders to eliminate only
those who prey on helpless villagers and terrorise the electorate, shall
soon confront your rogue military officers, youth militia, and ageing war
Be advised Robert Mugabe, that we shall not give you the war that you
want. Your expandable militias and errant war veterans, who are already
pre-positioned for another brutal post-election orgy of violence, must be
contained. We are patriotic Zimbabweans, dedicated to democracy, and will
fight to the death for our cause.
It is easy to mount a lion, Robert Mugabe, it is the dismounting that
presents a monumental challenge. In Swahili they say, "Siku yakufa nyani
miti yote huteleza," the day the monkey is destined to die, all the trees in
the forest become slippery.
God bless us all
P. T. Matibe
by Sylvie Lanteaume 1 hour, 9 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States is counting on fissures within Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe's party to allow a negotiated end to the crisis with
the opposition, the State Department indicated Wednesday.
"I think there certainly is more to the ZANU-PF than Robert Mugabe," said
State Department spokesman Tom Casey, referring to the ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union - Patriotic Front party.
"I think it's our hope that there can be a political settlement that
involves discussions among all the parties, including the ZANU-PF," Casey
He added: "Certainly, we would hope that there would be people in the
ZANU-PF who understood the situation and who were... Zimbabwean patriots
first and members of the ZANU-PF second, who would be interested in working
for the good of the country and achieving a political resolution."
Casey did not specify exactly who might support negotiations with the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) but his comments offered the
clearest indication yet of how Washington believed the crisis could end.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on ZANU-PF and the
MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, to begin talks on resolving the deadlock that
has seen mounting political violence ahead of Friday's presidential run-off.
Mugabe has defied international pressure to cancel the vote after Tsvangirai
pulled out, blaming violence against his supporters. The MDC chief won a
first round in March but did not secure enough votes to claim an outright
"Both the MDC and Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front parties
must work together on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe," Rice said, without
alluding to any divisions in the ruling party.
The US ambassador to Harare, James McGee, noted on Tuesday the existence of
"several factions" within ZANU-PF, while at the same time remaining cautious
about the chances of party officials splitting from Mugabe.
"We've probably noted at least four different power factions within
ZANU-PF," he said in a telephone conference call from Harare.
"We just don't have enough contact with those different factions within ZANU
to say what their motivations might be and how they're likely to respond to
this current crisis."
The United States initially rejected any idea of a government of national
unity between MDC and ZANU-PF as a solution to the crisis, but changed its
mind last week following a meeting of the UN Security Council on Zimbabwe.
Rice met with her South African counterpart Nosanzana Dlamini-Zuma on the
meeting's sidelines and, perceiving a "change in tone" in Johannesburg's
position, decided to focus on the mediation efforts of South African
President Thabo Mbeki, her spokesman Sean McCormack said.
He did not say how South Africa expected to persuade Mugabe to back down,
although a senior State Department official said Washington was ruling
"There are a lot of different ways out of this and we are not going to try
to prescribe any particular one," he said under cover of anonymity.
By Investigations Unit ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅ June 25, 2008 ⋅
The jailed MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti’s driver, Tendai Sauramba was
abducted today in Harare’s city centre and there is no news yet on the MDC
supporters abducted yesterday while helping Tonderai Ndira’s widow relocate
her belongings to another house yesterday. The vehicle Tendai Sauramba was
driving, a Mitsubishi Pajero was also hijacked by his abductors and the
whereabouts of both driver and vehicle are currently unknown.
In Chiredzi and Zaka villagers here are being given a number with which to
vote with. They have been threatened that if they dont vote they will have
their heads cut off.
There is a solid evidence report that there are 52 unidentified bodies in
the Chiredzi hospital morgue.
At 200pm war vets and militia cut down trees on the side of the main road to
Chiredzi, to make road blocks to stop motorists and force them to go to
their pungwe’s, where they had to show their allegiance to Mugabe.
It has been confirmed that the same militia who attacked MDC MP Elias Muduri’s
home in Zaka are the same soldiers who attacked the MDC HQ at Jerera on the
16th May 2008 killing and burning several MDC supporters.The 10 cadets are
from 4 Brigade at Masvingo.
In Masvingo the army and ZANU militia have gone round to all the businesses
in Masvingo telling them to close tomorrow and bring their workers to Mugabe’s
rally at the Mecheke Stadium in Masvingo.
By Jonga Kandemiiri
25 June 2008
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change party said Wednesday
that two of its drivers had been abducted and remained missing as political
violence continued across the country ahead of Friday's election in which
President Robert Mugabe is the only candidate.
MDC sources said drivers Joshua Bakacheza and an unnamed youth were abducted
Tuesday afternoon while they were transporting the property of the widow of
slain activist Tonderai Ndira from the Mabvuku section of Harare to
Kuwadzana, another capital district.
The unidentified youth, who was beaten and sustained serious head injuries,
was dumped about 23 kilometers from Harare on the road south to Beatrice,
the MDC sources said.
The other staff member Tendai Sauramba, driver for MDC Secretary General
Tendai Biti, now in prison, was abducted Wednesday from central Harare and
remained missing, they said.
MDC Transport Manager Barnabas Ndira told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party is seeking the two missing drivers in
hopes they are still alive.
Many MDC activists abducted in the wave of political violence that has swept
the country since the March 29 round of elections were subsequently
A report issued Wednesday by the Zimbabwe Peace Project documented 4,359
incidents of human rights violations between the March 29 elections and the
end of May. "The patterns of violence have...shifted with the violence being
more physical with an increase in cases of assault, murder, malicious damage
to property, and kidnapping," the group said.
Elsewhere, sources in Gweru, Midlands province, said ZANU-PF youths torched
a gas station that was supplying fuel to non-governmental organizations in
Also in Midlands, former member of parliament for Budiriro Emmanuel
Chisvuure said his rural home in Gokwe-Chireya constituency was attacked by
ruling party militia Sunday evening, and that several of his relatives were
attacked. Chisvuure said the militia have now set up a base at the homestead
where they are slaughtering the family's livestock.
Sources in Masvingo said soldiers and ZANU-PF militia forced shops in the
town to close then forced residents to attend a rally in Mucheke Stadium in
support of President Robert Mugabe's re-election in the run-off ballot
taking place on Friday.
Though opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai announced Sunday that he would
withdraw due to widespread and escalating violence, the government said the
vote would go ahead.
SIR - I heard Peter Hain, the cabinet minister who led the campaign against
apartheid in the 1970s, on the radio this week giving his opinion on how to
sort out the situation in Zimbabwe.
I would have thought it more prudent of him to refrain from any mention of
Zimbabwe. After all, he and his supporters, with the best of intentions,
demonstrated against Ian Smith, the white minority leader of Rhodesia, and
bathed happily in the glory and success of the eventual bringing down of his
government, the consequence of which we see today. The country brought to
its knees, the economy ruined, the deaths of tens of thousands through
starvation, murder, torture and average life expectancy down to under 30
But where are the Peter Hain-led demonstrations now against the Mugabe
regime? London was teeming with "Get Smith out" protests, where are the "Get
Mugabe out" protests? The Zimbabwean people are in much greater need of
their interference now than they ever were under Ian Smith.
Tom Scott, Ardrossan, Ayrshire
SIR - David Blair (Comment, June 24) says Africans understand why Nelson
Mandela has remained silent. Well I don't. Africans regard Mr Mandela as a
hero and Robert Mugabe's actions meet with the approval of most Africans.
Archbishop Tutu, much to his credit, has been a considerable critic. Surely
the killing of scores of Zimbabweans and mass starvation are more important
than any misguided loyalty to President Mbeki.
It is vitally important that Mr Mandela speaks out.
Alan Hughes, Sheerness, Kent
SIR - I have not received my Zimbabwe public service pension since February
2003, in spite of a clause in the Zimbabwe constitution which stated that it
provided full safeguards for Zimbabwe public service pensions and their
I have never been told officially why my pension, for which I paid
compulsory contributions for 27 years, is not being paid, but understand it
is due to lack of foreign currency. However if this were the case it should
be paid into a holding account in Zimbabwe, which it is not.
Mr Mugabe is therefore saving large sums of money by not paying pensions.
Another example of his disregard for the constitution of his country.
Barry Lennox, Newton Abbot, Devon
SIR - Military intervention in Zimbabwe is an admirable sentiment, but where
are the massive military resources to "intervene" in a large, hostile,
land-locked country going to come from, while our military is overstretched
in Iraq and Afghanistan?
James Clark, London SE19
Mandela may be a better bet than the Almighty to remove a ruler who has
turned his country into a hell on earth
Timothy Garton Ash
Thursday June 26, 2008
Whether you believe in him or not, it's time to give God a helping hand.
Robert Mugabe, the Catholic mission school boy turned tyrant, says "only
God" can remove him from power in Zimbabwe. In that case, I'm rooting for
God. Go for it, Lord. (Silence on high. Damn.)
What we see in Zimbabwe today is naked political terror, orchestrated solely
to extend the reign of a once legitimate but now illegitimate ruler who has
led his people to a hell on earth. Destitution, murder, rape and mass
beatings are the order of the day, and a so-called election this Friday
which is now the barest sham. Let Mugabe himself be my witness. "We are not
going to give up our country because of a mere X," he warned earlier this
month, according to a report by Chris McGreal in Tuesday's Guardian. "How
can a ballpoint pen fight with a gun?" Mugabe asked.
If "only God" can remove him, Mugabe also says, "the British and Americans
want to play God. They have given themselves a role which is not their own,
of installing and deposing governments. They want to do the same here but we
say to them they are not God."
Especially in the post-colonial south, and especially after Iraq, that
argument has traction. When South Africa's ANC - which could make the
difference in Zimbabwe in a way that London and Washington cannot - finally
came out this week to condemn the Zimbabwean government for "riding
roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights" of its people, it made a
point of recalling how Africa's former colonial rulers trampled on the
principles of freedom and human rights. "No colonial power in Africa, least
of all Britain in its colony of 'Rhodesia'," it argued, "ever demonstrated
any respect for these principles."
Then there is the appeal to absolute, unlimited state sovereignty. At an
election rally on Tuesday, Mugabe cried: "The elections are ours; we're a
sovereign state, and that is it." By contrast, the opposition leader, Morgan
Tsvangirai, has called for an African-led and UN-backed team to facilitate a
transition in the country. Senior people in his own party, which won more
seats than Mugabe's Zanu-PF in the parliamentary elections in March, will
privately go further. They do not believe that rulers should be allowed to
get away with murder - literally, not metaphorically - behind an iron
curtain of absolute sovereignty. They are asking for more help from outside.
They want the UN to go further than it has in its recent security council
resolution, and above all they want South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki,
to get off his fence. To accuse them of being western neo-colonialists is as
absurd as it would be to accuse a murder victim of being a murderer.
So Zimbabwe brings us back to this great argument of our time, about the
rights and wrongs of intervention. And the first thing to say is that this
debate is crippled by reducing "intervention" to the single dimension of
military action. There are hundreds of ways in which states and peoples
intervene in the affairs of other states and peoples without resorting to
the use of military force.
War, if it is to be just, must always be the last resort. In a column last
month I went through some classic "just war" criteria to argue that an
international military intervention in Burma was not justified. I would do
the same for Zimbabwe today. For good reasons of maintaining international
order, the "just cause" bar for such interventions has to be set very high -
roughly speaking, at the level of actual or imminent genocide.
You would be most unlikely to get "right authority" for such action from the
UN. Crucial among the objections, in the case of Zimbabwe as of Burma, is
the lack of a "reasonable prospect" of success. What would these troops do
and how would they make things better? The theoretical argument about
legitimacy can't be divorced from the practical one about efficacy.
But the choice is not either to invade or to sit on your hands and do
nothing. Either reach for the gun or leave it to the sadly silent Almighty.
"Gun or God" is the Mugabe fallacy. When he asks "how can a ballpoint pen
fight with a gun?" our job is to provide the answer.
Here, in no particular order, are seven things that people outside Zimbabwe
can do to help the majority inside Zimbabwe have its democratic will
recognised. We - through our elected governments - can work for a second UN
resolution, stronger than the last. We can encourage our governments - as
many as possible, especially those outside the traditional west - not to
recognise as Zimbabwe's legitimate leader the president who emerges from
this Friday's terror sham election (assuming it goes ahead, despite
yesterday's appeal for postponement from the leaders of Tanzania, Angola and
We can shame the mining giant Anglo-American into not pushing ahead, under
Mugabe, with its £200m investment in a platinum mine at Unki. We can spread
the word that the Queen - the royal "we" - has at long last stripped Mugabe
of his honorary knighthood. We can sign the petition to Thabo Mbeki and
other leaders of Southern Africa on avaaz.org, to be published in newspapers
across the region. (The number of signatories has risen from 90,000 to over
111,000 while I've been writing this article.)
Then anyone in London can join a planned small demonstration at Nelson
Mandela's 90th birthday party in Hyde Park this Friday, respectfully asking
the old hero to urge Mugabe to leave the stage. Mandela's discretion and
loyalty to his successor Thabo Mbeki have, in this regard, outlived their
useful term. Few contrasts are more painful than that between these two
veteran anti-colonial leaders and long-term political prisoners, Mandela and
Mugabe, the one ennobled and the other embittered by long struggle and
imprisonment. Few voices would carry more weight in the world than that of
Mandela calling for Mugabe to go.
Last but not least, we should listen to what the legitimate representatives
of the majority in Zimbabwe say about stepping up sanctions. An obvious
objection is: "But broader sanctions would hurt the people, who are already
suffering enough." Sometimes, though, the people themselves are prepared to
take the pain for long-term gain. Or at least, that's what their legitimate
representatives tell us - and how else can we know? That was the message
from the ANC under the apartheid regime in South Africa and from Solidarity
in Poland. In both those cases, the historical record suggests that
sanctions did contribute to the eventual good result. In other places,
sanctions made things worse. To say simply that sanctions don't work is a
useless, lazy generalisation.
On their own, none of these steps will have the desired effect. Some, taken
individually, are open to easy ridicule. ("Fall, Sir Robert ..." I could
write the squib myself.) And taken altogether, they won't get rid of the
monster: that depends on the Zimbabweans and their southern African
neighbours. But these suggestions do nail the fatalist idea that there's
nothing we can do. And I'll bet you this: sooner or later, even in Zimbabwe,
the ballpoint will defeat the gun.
By Caren Bohan 1 hour, 17 minutes ago
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama said on
Wednesday the international community must do more try to help resolve
Zimbabwe's political crisis and to pressure President Robert Mugabe who is
clinging to power.
He singled out South Africa as one country that needs to apply more pressure
on Mugabe, 84, who has refused to step down.
"What's happening in Zimbabwe is tragic. This is a country that used to be
the bread basket of Africa. Mugabe has run the economy into the ground. He
has perpetrated extraordinary violence against his own people," Obama told a
news conference in Chicago.
Obama, a Democrat, is running in the November presidential election against
Republican John McCain.
"Not only do I think that the United Nations needs to continue to apply as
much pressure as possible on the Mugabe government, but in particular other
African nations, including South Africa, I think have to be much more
forceful in condemning the extraordinary violence that's been taking place
there," Obama said.
"And frankly, they have been quiet for far too long and allowed Mugabe to
engage in this sort of anti-colonial rhetoric that is used to distract from
his own profound failures as a leader," he added.
In the heaviest pressure yet on Mugabe by Zimbabwe's neighbors, a troika of
southern African nations urged the postponement of Friday's presidential
election which they say would lack legitimacy in the current violent
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai took refuge in the Dutch embassy in
Harare this week after announcing he had pulled out of election because of
violence which has killed about 90 people and displaced 200,000.
The government has said it will go ahead with the presidential election
despite a storm of international condemnation and calls to postpone the
"What is remaining of this election is a complete and total sham," Obama
said, echoing U.S. President George W. Bush.
"I don't think that whatever the results of this election on Friday, that
Mugabe will be able to claim any sort of legitimacy as a democratically
elected leader in Zimbabwe," he added.
(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Thursday June 26, 2008
An article that appeared in my name, published in the Guardian (Why I am not
running, June 25), did not reflect my position or opinions regarding
solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis. Although the Guardian was given
assurances from credible sources that I had approved the article this was
not the case.
By way of clarification I would like to state the following: I am not
advocating military intervention in Zimbabwe by the UN or any other
organisation. The MDC is committed to finding an African solution to the
crisis in Zimbabwe and appreciates the work of the SADC in this regard. I am
asking the African Union and SADC to lead an expanded initiative, supported
by the UN, to manage the transitional process. We are proposing that the AU
facilitation team sets up a transitional period that takes into account the
will of the people of Zimbabwe.
It is the opinion of the MDC that to address the immediate political, social
and economic crisis facing us, four actions must be taken with immediate
effect. 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 people's
We in the MDC appreciate the overwhelming international support from
numerous organisations and leaders who recognise that the time for finding a
solution to the Zimbabwean crisis is now. We are committed, with the mandate
we have from the people, to play the necessary role to ensure that a
peaceful, sustainable solution is achieved.
Zimbabwe's dictator wants to die in office, and is apparently more than
willing to let opponents perish in the fulfillment of that wish. A report
from inside a menacing capital.
By Rod Nordland | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jun 25, 2008 | Updated: 4:48 p.m. ET Jun 25, 2008
Some details, such as timing and description of movements, in the following
are altered for the safety of NEWSWEEK's reporter.
The flame trees are in bloom, the weather mild and sunny. In this glorious
midwinter, it is easy to be gulled by the benign face of a country under
dictatorship. But in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, that illusion fades
Arriving after dark, we see gangs of young men, glimpsed in flashes, jogging
excitedly down the verge of a wide avenue, half-hidden in the trees and the
dark. They have signs and clubs; these are the ZANU-PF youths, young
government party activists, who lately have been prowling the capital's best
neighborhoods, not molesting the well-off residents themselves, but
gathering at their gates and demanding that they send out all their servants
for "re-education." They're then taken off for the night to some ZANU-PF
center, where they're harangued, mostly about the potentially fatal error of
voting for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) or for not voting in the
one-horse election Robert Mugabe seems intent on going through with. But in
the soft evening, it's hard to take this threat too seriously; the moist
aroma of night jasmine perfumes the air. It can't be that bad, can it?
My first contact, ominously, is a no-show. I reach him on the phone and his
voice is tense; ambulances scream in the background. "I'm very sorry, I
can't meet you because we got called away when one of our friends was
abducted and we found him shot in the head; he's in the hospital now, but we
don't think he's going to make it. Another one we think is dead, but we
can't find his body." The victims were party activists; some details I have
to disguise for now, for the safety of those concerned. Suddenly, this is
all very serious. And even three days after Morgan Tsvangirai announced he
wouldn't run in Friday's election, the anti-opposition violence continues.
The tally is, at first glance, by African or even Zimbabwean standards, not
all that great: 80 dead, some say over 100. Many more have died in previous
Zimbabwe elections. Much more worrisome are another 200-500 cases of missing
persons, many of them reportedly abducted by apparent government agents, and
who simply disappeared. "I'm most worried about extrajudicial abductions and
executions," says Zimbabwean activist Shari Eppel, author of a study of the
Matabeleland massacres in the 1980s, when Mugabe's Fifth Brigade is widely
believed to have killed 20,000 followers of the rival Joshua Nkomo faction
of revolutionaries, cementing his control over the country's black majority.
"We haven't seen that since 1985." Some victims just disappear, and it's not
clear whether they've fled the country, as 3 million Zimbabweans (a fourth
of the population) have in recent years, or whether they're at the bottom of
a ditch somewhere.
One victim's fate was known: An activist named Tonderai Ndira, here in
Harare, was taken by six men in black suits last May 14, men who were
probably agents of the feared Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) and
who threw him in the back of a van without saying a word. Four of them sat
on him; a postmortem report showed he suffocated to death within minutes of
his abduction-the supposition is that his abductors must have gagged him
while they sat on him. His body was found with that of two others last
month. "It's not just how many they killed," Eppel says. "It's who they
killed; the people they're taking out have been absolutely key."
The number of deaths belies the scale of violence in another way. Most
victims are just given a severe beating; the numbers of those are estimated
by human rights activists and Western diplomats in Zimbabwe at 10,000. Or
they have their homes burned down; those are estimated at 20,000. Some, like
the domestic servants in Harare, are released unharmed, but with a stern
warning that the wrong vote could mean death.
Later I find out what happened to my contact's friend. He and another worker
from MDC had gone to the home of Tonderai's widow, Plaxidess Ndira, to help
her move to a safer place. They had her car loaded with all of her
belongings-there wasn't much-when two trucks with 11 men arrived, all in
plainclothes, seven of them carrying CZ automatic pistols, family members
told my contact. They were taken away at gunpoint and then shot and dumped
beside the road. One of them was still alive when a passerby found him, and
my contact was summoned to go out late at night to a lonely place 23 miles
north of town. There, he found the victim, Tendai Chidziva, and took him to
the hospital in Harare. He's now in the ICU, which is full to capacity,
mostly with beating victims. "They don't even have any plaster left for
setting bones," my contact said. The other victim, Josh Bakacheza, is still
missing, but Tendai told his colleagues he believes Bakacheza was shot and
killed. They weren't able to find him in the dark and were planning to go
back the next morning. At least Tendai will, after all, probably survive.
His head and chest gunshot wounds proved non-fatal.
Despite all this, somehow the opposition keeps carrying on. Tsvangirai
emerged Wednesday from his refuge in the Dutch embassy to go home, get a
change of clothes and give a press conference. He denied published accounts
that he was calling on military intervention to unseat Mugabe and struck a
conciliatory note. "We are making proposals Mugabe has to accept," he said.
"I am asking the A.U. [African Union] and SADC [Southern African Development
Community] to lead an expanded initiative supported by the U.N. to manage
what I will call a transitional process." The day before, the U.N. Security
Council issued a statement (signed even by South Africa, which previously
had supported Mugabe) condemning the runoff election and saying it should be
canceled. Then on Wednesday, SADC met in Swaziland to discuss Zimbabwe, but
South Africa pointedly didn't send a delegation. Without the region's most
powerful country and the intervention of its president, Thabo Mbeki, there's
little hope an international effort will be effective.
Nonetheless, MDC activists clung to that hope even amid the violence. Late
Wednesday afternoon, a hundred of them, looking bedraggled and tired, held a
protest in front of the South African embassy, with signs reading MBEKI WE
NEED YOU and HELP US SOUTH AFRICA. They said they had fled political
violence in rural areas, suffering beatings and house-burnings, and their
appearance was testament to their claims. I arrived shortly before police,
who searched me and my car and quickly found cameras that had been tucked
out of sight. They demanded to see the pictures, and though the cameras had
been cleansed, a testy officer barked, "I'm not satisfied," and ordered me
into the back of a pickup truck they had begun loading with demonstrators.
South African diplomats came outside and tried to intervene, and in the
confusion, one of them whispered to me, "Just get in your car and get out of
here." One of the officers gave chase on foot, but I was already in the car
and around the corner. It was a clean getaway for me. Who knows what will
happen to their truckload of prisoners?
Knowing what Mugabe is capable of, Eppel says, it's altogether possible that
he'll just keep killing his way into retention of power or, in the present
case, until he's destroyed the MDC as a political force. "Mugabe expects he
will die in office," she says. "That's his endgame. He's terrified of the
International Criminal Court, and he's seen what happened to the likes of
Charles Taylor in Liberia. There's a real fear of justice." As one party
activist told me, "I think he'll just keep killing until he's the only one
left in the country." At least then he'll win elections without any dispute.
Now, the night jasmine has a fragrance tainted with menace. None of this
will end well.
By ANGUS SHAW - 4 hours ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - For many Zimbabweans, the chief worry is not
political violence or President Robert Mugabe's iron hold on power. It's
out-of-control inflation that puts anything more than a single daily meal
Underlying the current political crisis is an economic meltdown that has
caused a shortage of food and all basic goods, while leaving the people an
abundance of zeros.
The official inflation rate was put at 165,000 percent by the government in
February, but independent estimates put the real figure closer to 4 million
Zimbabwe is believed to be the only country in the world that now carries
out routine financial transactions in dizzying set of quadrillions - one
quadrillion is a 1 with 15 zeros behind it, or 1,000,000,000,000,000.
"It's gone completely crazy. Our computers and calculators can't deal with
all the zeros even on the cheapest products," said Harare economic analyst
Brokers said this week that the Zimbabwe dollar broke the barrier of 10
billion to a single U.S. dollar in direct bank buying, while in electronic
transfers, it exceeded 20 billion Zimbabwe dollars to $1 U.S.
Bread has disappeared from stores. Previously, a loaf in a supermarket cost
2 billion Zimbabwe dollars (20 U.S. cents at the official exchange rate), or
15 billion Zimbabwe dollars ($1.50 U.S.) on the black market, where prices
of scarce items can vary up to 10 times higher.
A shopper lucky enough to find milk will spend 3 billion dollars (30 U.S.
cents) for about 1 pint. A tray of 30 eggs, also scarce, can bought in a
store for 45 billion dollars ($4.50 U.S.).
Butter is hard to find, but 17 1/2 ounces of margarine will cost 25 billion
dollars ($2.50 U.S.) and a pack of 10 cookies costs 19 billion dollars
Most stores and business across Zimbabwe have already knocked six zeros off
price tags, showing 45,000 dollars for two pounds of scarce low grade beef -
but at the cash register, it's tallied back at 45 billion dollars ($4.50
Moyo said a car battery was priced Monday at 2.4 trillion dollars ($240
U.S.), a tenfold increase in the past two weeks.
The largest Zimbabwean bill in circulation is a 50 billion note ($5 U.S.),
while the smallest currency unit a one cent coin, which buys nothing by
The sight of a person carrying brick-sized wads of notes - or even
wheelbarrows full of cash - is less common now, because consumers are
limited to withdrawing 25 billion dollars a day from the bank, usually in
five 5 billion-dollar notes.
The highest amount a check can be made out for is 900 billion dollars ($90
U.S.) but many people complain that there is not enough room in the space
provided to write out the high figure.
"Whatever happens on the political front, the economy has to be addressed,
which no one seems to be doing right now," Moyo said.
Since the first round of national elections on March 29, shortages of basic
goods have worsened, public services have come to virtual standstill, power
and water outages have continued daily, and streets and highways have
The price of gasoline has soared, pushing up bus and commuter fares to more
than what many workers earn in a day.
Production lines have been halted as factories report mounting absenteeism.
"We certainly can't go on like this. Something's got to give before too
long. Everyone hoped we could move on once the election was over," said
James Davis, a factory manager.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims to have finished first in the
first round of presidential voting March 29, although he did not win the
simple majority needed to avoid a runoff, scheduled for Friday. A campaign
of violence and intimidation caused Tsvangirai on Sunday to quit the runoff,
saying it would not be credible. That has cleared the way for Mugabe, 84, to
continue his 28-year rule, despite mounting condemnation from the
international community, including even loyal African allies who say the
former independence hero has become a despot who has bankrupted the nation.
"If they think they can tame inflation with an illegitimate election and no
international support, let them try," said Tsvangirai spokesman George
So far, Mugabe has not moved to try to put the country back on a sound
financial footing. The problem, analysts say, is that few options are
"If Mugabe continues, the economy will continue to decline," said Brian
Raftopolous, a South African-based economic researcher. "Mugabe has no
Mugabe blames the economic woes on Western sanctions and the withdrawal of
funding by international banking institutions. While these institutions and
Western governments have expressed readiness to assist with Zimbabwe's
economic recovery, this is unlikely as long as Mugabe is in power.
"As bad as things are, it can get worse," said Raftopolous.
Robert Rotberg, director of Harvard's Kennedy School program on Intrastate
Conflict, said that while sanctions and boycotts may not convince Mugabe to
loosen his grip on power, they are sure to sway public opinion and possibly
change the minds of top military leaders.
Without his security apparatus and their intimidation tactics, Mugabe's
power "could vanish overnight," said Rotberg, who wrote a column in the
Boston Globe on Wednesday comparing the current situation in Zimbabwe to Idi
Rotberg said neighboring countries could "effectively bottle Mugabe up" by
banning Zimbabwean aircraft from flying over their airspace and curtailing
electricity deliveries to the landlocked country. The U.N., African Union
and Southern African Development Community could then push him aside to take
over during a transitional period until they can ensure a free and fair
"Tightening the noose will make the people around Mugabe realize that this
ship is really sinking, and they should get off," he said.
Associated Press writers Celean Jacobson in Johannesburg, South Africa, and
Lily Hindy in New York contributed to this report.
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 12:24 AM
We are all aware of the terrible events in Zimbabwe and the millions of innocent people suffering at the hands of a bestial tyrant and his terrorist thugs. The bald truth is this – most clinics and hospitals will not treat those who have been beaten, burned, raped, stabbed and shot by Mugabe’s thugs, as the doctors and nursing staff have been threatened with the same if they do. Furthermore, the countrywide sweep of brutality is such, numbered in the thousands, that even if the hospitals and clinics would treat them, they do not have even the most basic supplies available – things we take for granted: bandages, sterile gauze pads, antiseptics, antibiotics, analgesics, syringes, needles, sutures, disposable gloves and all the necessities for treating injuries caused by extreme violence.
I have a dear Zimbabwean friend, now living in SA, whom I have know for over 40 years, who is doing all he can within his means and at considerable personal expense to help the hopeless, helpless, wounded, frightened, victims (most of whom have had their homes destroyed, too) - as he has done for the last 10 years. He would appreciate any contribution to help pay for their medical expenses and supply them with much-needed medical supplies.
His plea is simply this:
“If anyone wishes to make any donation, no matter how small, to help these poor wretched souls, go to website at http://www.zimfund.comwhich is used to collect funds for medical expenses.”
So, I’m passing on his cry for help.
Help if you can, please. And pass this plea on to everyone you know.
With thanks and blessings.
In Jesus Christ’s love and service,
25 June, 2008 02:00:00 Anonymous
With the news of the withdrawal from the electoral process in Zimbabwe by
the leader of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Morgan Tsvangirai, the proposed run off election planned for tomorrow is now
shrouded in uncertainty and controversy.
In the last two weeks, leading to this election, the opposition have accused
the ruling Zanu PF party of Robert Mugabe of orchestrating violence and
claimed that it does no longer have any confidence in the process, and thus
If the opposition do not participate in the election scheduled for tomorrow,
it becomes very uncertain whether the elections that may take place can be
regarded as credible. It also becomes uncertain what the future of Zimbabwe
After the last election that the MDC won, but not with the required
majority, cast, it was thought that the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis
was near. It was thought that there was enough goodwill and scrutiny to
provide the basis for fairly run-off elections. But those who held this view
underestimated the level of desperation of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu
The people of Zimbabwe are patiently waiting for the resolution of the
crisis in their country, as they have become pawns in the midst of the
economic problems the country has been experiencing for the past few years.
However, it is clear that it is inconceivable to find a solution to the
crisis while Mugabe remains in power. Through many of his cronies, he has
provided deception to the people of Zimbabwe.
However, withdrawing from the elections, it is possible that the opposition
have erroneously given Mugabe the best opportunity to prolong his reign. But
there are two main questions that are very relevant to the crisis and the
solution to it. When will Mugabe leave? And have African nations done enough
to resolve this crisis that has become an embarrassment to Africa?
Will African countries allow Zimbabweans to continue to suffer Mugabe's
thuggish, impoverishing and humiliating rule? They are not the only ones who
stand pauperized and humiliated. The whole of Africa is. African countries
like Nigeria , South Africa and Kenya should not allow western nations to
become the exclusive spokesmen for the suffering Zimbabweans. The only peace
that South African President Thabo Mbeki's quiet diplomacy will ever bring
to Zimbabwe is that of the starving and the dead. If African countries want
to be taken seriously now is time for them to intervene in order to end the
Because of general discontent in the country, it was not difficult for the
MDC to have upper hand in the election of March 29. With Tsvangirai's
withdrawal, it would seem the coast is now clear for Mugabe to continue in
office for another five-year term.
After 28 years in power, Mugabe should relinquish power. He should see the
withdrawal of the MDC candidate from the race as an opportunity for him to
step down and allow a younger person from his ZANU-PF party to succeed him.
If he does that he would have saved his country from the needless tension,
apprehension and anxiety that currently characterise life in that country.
As a freedom fighter, Mugabe made personal sacrifices for the independence
of Zimbabwe with the ssupport of African countries especially Nigeria, which
took decisive steps especially following Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration
of Independence (UDI) to perpetuate white minority rule. He has alienated
himself from most of his greatest supporters. He should live now to save
whatever credibility still remaining for him.
It will do him no good if after those sacrifices, he plunges the country he
fought for into civill war.
by Own Correspondent Thursday 26 June 2008
JOHANNESBURG - The Pretoria High Court reserved judgment on Wednesday in an
urgent application by the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) to stop the
deportation of 33 supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party detained at Lindela holding facility in
The MDC supporters were among a group of Zimbabweans protesting outside the
Chinese embassy in April over a ship that attempted to offload weapons
destined for Harare at the South African port of Durban and were arrested
before being taken to Lindela, where they were allegedly forced to sign
The ZEF applied to the court for the urgent release of 14 members of the
group they claimed were being illegally detained and asked the court to
force home affairs officials to issue all of them with permits in terms of
the Refugees Act.
The permits will identity them as asylum seekers and prevent their
deportation until the final determination of their asylum applications and
The forum, with the assistance of Lawyers for Human Rights also plans to
launch an application to declare various aspects of home affairs' policy
with regards to asylum seekers unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid.
Counsel for the applicants, Linda Hofmeyr, on Wednesday argued that it was
unlawful to detain asylum seekers pending the final outcome of their
She said it was also unlawful to release and immediately re-arrest them
because of a lack of documents in order to circumvent the legal requirement
that persons could not be detained for purposes of deportation for longer
than 30 days without an arrest warrant.
The court did not say when would give judgment in the matter.
The Chinese ship, the An Yue Jiang, caused a storm of controversy when it
tried to offload a cargo of arms in Durban before being forced to abandon
its plan after dock workers refused to offload it.
The vessel was believed to be carrying three million rounds of AK-47
ammunition, 1 500 rocket-propelled grenades and more than 3 000 mortar
rounds and mortar tubes destined for Zimbabwe's army.
Regional governments and trade unions blocked it from docking saying they
feared the weapons could be used by President Robert Mugabe's government to
suppress opponents. - ZimOnline
Mugabe has proved to be a tyrant of the first order and a 'chess master of
violence' and has put in place structures that will ensure his rule and
tyrannical legacy lasts as long as he lives and well beyond 2010. Through
bravado, fierce but clueless rhetoric he has created a police state,
corrupted the central bank and other state arms, militarised most the state
functions and perfected the art of 'management through patronage'. It is now
apparently clear that Mugabe will do all in his power to cling to power even
if it means taking the whole country and the economy into total destruction,
as long him and his henchmen remain in POWER. The sooner he is stopped, the
better for what remains of Zimbabwe and its emaciated people. Apathy and
fear will never be an option because that would be tantamount to
surrendering our sovereignty and heritage to minority greedy and suicidal
NO RETREAT ! NO SURRENDER !
By Dominic White
Last Updated: 1:28am BST 26/06/2008
Advertising giant WPP has sought to distance itself from Zimbabwean
president Robert Mugabe's regime as a slew of UK companies defended doing
business in the troubled African nation.
In WPP's strongest statement since revelations that it has interests in an
advertising agency involved in Mr Mugabe's re-election campaign, the company
said it "shares the world's outrage at what is happening" in Zimbabwe.
WPP, which is run by Sir Martin Sorrell, added that it was "extremely
alarmed by the allegation last week that a firm [Imago] in which we hold a
minority interest (25pc) through Y&R, and over which we have no legal
control, may be advising Robert Mugabe and his political party. This could
never happen with our knowledge or approval and we investigated the
situation as a matter of urgency".
The company said it wanted "no association with this effort" - which is
being led by Sharon Mugabe (no relation to the president), who is chief
executive and majority shareholder of Imago.
WPP added: "The decision to divest Y&R's minority interests in Zimbabwe was
proposed earlier this year and we are working to ensure this is completed as
soon as possible."
Its comments came as mining giant Anglo American defended its £200m project
to produce platinum in Zimbabwe. Anglo American said in a statement it is
"monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe very closely and is reviewing all
options surrounding the development of the project".
The company added: "It has been made clear to Anglo American that, if it
ceases to develop this project, the government of Zimbabwe will assume
control." It also said the livelihoods of hundreds of people would be
threatened if it pulled out of Zimbabwe.
Anglo American said the Unki project, on which it has been working since
2003, had yet to begin production and would not generate revenues "for some
The group added that it was "deeply concerned about the current political
situation in Zimbabwe and condemns the violence and human rights abuses that
are taking place".
Anglo American said it "is in full compliance with all relevant national and
international laws relating to its activities" in Zimbabwe.
It added: "Anglo American has a clear responsibility to protect the
wellbeing of its more than 650 employees and contractors, as well as their
families and all those who depend indirectly on the activity around the
project, all of whose livelihoods would be jeopardised should the company
withdraw from Zimbabwe."
Yesterday, Gordon Brown told the House of Commons that the business world
should question its involvement in Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister said: "We do not want to do further damage to the
Zimbabwean people, but when businesses are helping the Mugabe regime, they
should reconsider their positions."
A string of other UK companies yesterday defended their interests in
Zimbabwe, many of which they said were historical, and stressed that the
safety of their staff was their top priority.
Barclays, which has a 67pc stake in Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, and has to buy
government bonds there under its banking licence, said it was "compliant
with EU sanctions regarding Zimbabwe".
It said that its services are "critically relied upon" by many of its
"135,000 customers for their day-to-day operations to maintain access to
banking and employment, with a wider benefit to connected businesses and the
economy. This continued presence brings the benefit of avoiding additional
hardship than is already being experienced within the country".
Rival bank Standard Chartered said: "We have been in Zimbabwe for a long
time and are committed to stay in the market.
"We have about 860 employees there and close on 70,000 customers.
"We reckon 10,000 people rely on the wages we pay for their livelihoods and
therefore it's our obligation to pay."
Unilever, which operates a loss-making soap and soup factory in Zimbabwe,
said the company has a "long term commitment".
However, it added: "We are keeping an eye on the situation and will probably
consider our options in due course."
June 26, 2008
Phil Edmonds accused by MDC of providing the Mugabe regime with economic
support by investing £120 million
David Robertson, Business Correspondent
Phil Edmonds, the former England Test cricketer, has come under fire for
investing £120 million in Zimbabwe and for having links to individuals close
to President Mugabe.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has accused Mr Edmonds of
providing the Mugabe regime with economic support just as the international
community calls for tougher sanctions against the country.
In his post-cricket career, Mr Edmonds has become the multimillionaire
chairman of Central African Mining & Exploration Company (Camec), which
bought a platinum mining business in Zimbabwe two months ago. Mr Edmonds was
born in Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe in 1980, and has retained close
links to Africa.
The MDC is concerned that the money paid by Camec for its mining licences
could have been passed on to senior members of the ruling Zanu (PF) party.
If so, it would probably have breached existing European Union and United
British politicians and shareholders in the company have also expressed
concern that one of Mr Edmonds's backers is Muller Conrad "Billy"
Rautenbach, who is believed to be a close associate of Mr Mugabe.
Mr Rautenbach is one of the largest shareholders in Camec and the company's
most recent financial accounts show that it had paid him £19.2 million for
"services and assets".
The international community is stepping up pressure on President Mugabe's
regime before the flawed elections planned for tomorrow. The British
Government has raised the prospect of tougher sanctions against Zimbabwe and
is encouraging companies to leave the country. Anglo American, the world's
fourth-largest mining group, said yesterday that it was reviewing its $400
million (£200 million) investment in Zimbabwe.
Camec, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is worth £1.4
billion, paid about £120 million in cash and shares for a platinum mining
company called Lefever in April. Lefever is registered in the British Virgin
Islands and is the majority owner of the Bougai and Kironde mines in
Zimbabwe. Lefever had previously been owned by a secretive company called
Meryweather, which the MDC believes was a front for members of the Zanu (PF)
Roy Bennett, treasurer of the MDC, said: "Nobody should want to be involved
with people responsible for death and chaos for the sake of ten pieces of
A spokesman for Mr Edmonds said: "In response to the alleged comment from a
member of the MDC, which we find ridiculous, Camec categorically denies that
any of the consideration paid for its assets in the country went to any
member of the Zanu (PF) party. Camec is in full compliance with all relevant
national and international laws relating to its activities in Zimbabwe."
However, Camec does have links to Zanu (PF) through Mr Rautenbach.
Mr Rautenbach, who is wanted for fraud charges in South Africa, managed
President Mugabe's mining concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo
before he was barred from that country. He is said to be close to the
President and is one of the few white businessmen to have prospered under
Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesman, said: "These
British-based companies that are providing investment boost for Mugabe's
despotic regime will need to be asking themselves whether it can be
June 26, 2008
Andy Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, confirmed
yesterday in a letter to Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, that the
Government will not allow Zimbabwe into Britain for the proposed 2009 tour.
It was the letter that the ECB had long hoped for and it prompted the
governing body to suspend bilateral ties with Zimbabwe Cricket.
Burnham outlined the Government's growing unease about the deteriorating
situation in Zimbabwe and the failure of President Robert Mugabe's regime to
hold free and fair elections and to uphold the rule of law. Burnham
indicated that the Government's policy is to try to persuade the wider
international community to take firmer action against Zimbabwe and because
of that it would be inappropriate to allow the 2009 tour to take place.
Burnham indicated that, by taking such action, the ECB will not have to
suffer any financial penalties that may have been imposed by the ICC had the
Government not intervened and players will be prevented from making awkward,
Yesterday's action by the Government does not, however, stretch to
preventing Zimbabwe from entering the country for the ICC World Twenty20
tournament due to take place in June 2009. While the public may find it
difficult to accept how different moral judgments can be made for different
events, the Government's position is that the World Twenty20, like the
Olympic Games, is an international event and therefore it has no
jurisdiction over its entrants. Accordingly, Burnham urged the ECB to work
with the ICC in bringing a swift outcome to the situation at the ICC's
meeting next week in Dubai.
After receiving Burnham's letter, the ECB released a statement stating its
concern over the "lack of human rights in Zimbabwe". Only now, after years
of human rights abuses, has the ECB found the courage to speak. It appears
that it is fine to be moral, as long as it does not cost you money.
Business Daily, Nairobi
Written by Emmanuel Wetang'ula
June 26, 2008: In the year 2001, a year after the adoption of the
African Union (AU) Act, the continent's leaders adopted the New Partnership
for Africa's Development (Nepad) as a strategic policy framework and
socioeconomic development programme of the AU.
Nepad's objective is to consolidate democracy and sound economic
management in Africa. Through the programme, African leaders were to make a
commitment to the African people and the world to work together in
rebuilding the continent.
It was a pledge to promote peace, stability, democracy, sound economic
management, people-centred development and to hold each other accountable in
terms of the agreement outlined in the programme.
Many years later after the blue print for African development was
showcased as the Marshall Plan for Africa, peace is still elusive in Africa.
This continent remains one of the most heated spots on the globe, accounting
for about 38 per cent of all world wars in 2002.
These conflicts have caused economic devastation, an enormous loss of
human life and a drain on Africa's meagre resources. This continent has,
over the last two or so decades, witnessed unprecedented capital flight;
indeed, capital flight from Africa is equivalent to Sub-Saharan Africa's
As Zimbabwe smoulders, which it has been doing for quite a while now,
the African leadership is at a loss as to how to handle the crisis,
especially conflict prevention rather than management and resolution.
More importantly, African states and the international community as a
whole, should address the political and economic dynamics of conflicts in
Africa, since failure to do so has repeatedly led to ill - conceived
responses and unsuccessful interventions in the past.
Promoting peace, security and stability is not only a prerequisite for
the implementation of a development agenda; it is a necessary condition for
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows into the continent.
Available evidence actually attests that FDI in Africa continues to be
hampered by weak governance, poor infrastructure and institutions and
ongoing conflicts in a large number of countries. A stable environment is
part and parcel of long term development.
Africa has to set its house in order; unless and until it does so, it
will remain a marginalised continent, even in a reconstructed economic
Wetang'ula is an Advocate of the High Court.