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Monday, 26 June, 2000, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK -BBC
Mugabe vs the 'arrogant little fellows'
Robert Mugabe
"Who brought human rights to Zimbabwe? We did."
Just before the elections in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe spoke frankly to Richard Dimbleby. The exclusive interview was used as part of the BBC Two documentary 'Smith, Mugabe and the Union Jack'. Extracts from the interview follow:

On whites in Zimbabwe

We have not stopped singing to the theme of unity and the theme of love. Even the whites are free to live here. But they must change. Your kind - the British kind - are very difficult to change. We rate them as the most conceited the most arrogant the most selfish and the most racist in our situation. I do not mean you Mr Dimbleby, this is not you in person - but the ones we have here.

I would have been an [Idi] Amin if I was racist

We ourselves should not ever ever... as government, as a party, as individuals within the party, be seen to be acting in a racist way, blacks against whites, we refuse to do that. The whites wouldn't be here if I was like that. I would have been an [Idi] Amin if I was racist... we can't do things like that.

On his disappointment that Harold Wilson's government in London did not take a firmer line against Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965:

We didn't get from Wilson the assurances we wanted. We asked him would the British Government use troops. He said no. Then we knew that UDI would take place. We said why wouldn't you use troops? He said because the British public wouldn't stand for it.

On Rhodesian army attacks on Zanu guerilla bases:

Of course we didn't want Lancaster [settlement talks] anyway - we wanted to carry on fighting

You get so aggrieved and it works on you and works on your emotion in such a way that you can never forgive the perpetrators of an action of this nature.

On the Lancaster House peace talks in 1979:

I didn't believe that Lancaster was going to yield anything, to tell you the truth, and of course we didn't want Lancaster anyway - we wanted to carry on fighting.

On the attitude of rival leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa:

We were fed up because they were just saying yes yes yes yes - baa baa black sheep. I was saying what are you people except obedient servants saying yes yes yes to the master

On intimidation before Zimbabwe's first election:

I don't think our people were intimidating the voters as such but of course, where people are still confronting each other you can't do away with some measure of strong action

On security force involvement in the Matabeleland killings in the 1980s:

Even to this day I don't believe it was just the 5th Brigade which operated and is now being accused of the atrocities I don't think they are the only ones who stand accused if the accusations are sustainable.

On recent violence and land invasions:

Yes, maybe horrifying, but worse could have happened and worse can still happen...

When I went to prison and when I spent all those years in exile during our struggle I did it to get our land back - and that is precisely what the war veterans are doing. I mustn't be seen as negating myself.

On his government's failure to uphold the law:br

[White farmers] suffer that very little inconvenience, against the inconvenience that we have suffered as a people for decades

The law of the land must also work for moral justice - if I lead the people on the land and then get time to bring about law and order then it is a far better proposition, a better approach than one which will pit the forces against the masses of people now occupying the land and there would be greater death greater bloodshed - this is just a little row of trespass.

Elsewhere those who commit murders are being arrested, those who commit robberies are being arrested, other crimes are being taken care of and there is greater law and order.

Only in the little area of trespass on the farms, where there has in fact been injustice all along by the farmers and if they suffer this very little - shall I say? - inconvenience of their land being occupied. And they suffer that very little inconvenience, against the inconvenience that we have suffered as a people for decades.

On the conditions which the UK has attached to financial assistance for land reform:

Who brought human rights to Zimbabwe? We did. And [UK Foreign Secretary] Robin Cook is telling the people who actually introduced democracy, who introduced human rights who introduced transparency, the rule of law - telling us that these aspects must be observed by us - the British Government never observed them in respect of Rhodesia.

[Labour Party] appear as arrogant little fellows - people who have suddenly come into leadership - who probably never expected to do so.

One shouldn't talk from the top of the hill and looking down on another country one believes to be down the hill and therefore talking down to it.

Mrs Thatcher never made a U-turn. She came here in a very humble way - tough as she was, iron lady that she was - knowing that certain situation require that discussions be held.

Not so Labour. They have taken an attitude that they are greater than ourselves, more noble than ourselves - which I doubt - and therefore we must be treated like midgets.

They appear as arrogant little fellows - people who have suddenly come into leadership - who probably never expected to do so.

On homosexuality - and being targetted in London by gay activist Peter Tatchell:

I understand they [the Labour party] have gays amongst them but that's their own affair. What we do not want and desire is for them to foist their own inhuman tendencies on us...

It is our criticism of homosexuality here at home that has offended them. I had a meeting with them that lasted two hours - I thought it a very friendly meeting. The following morning he [Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain] had his Mr Tatchell ambush me outside the hotel. I felt I was assaulted but he just managed to put his hand here on this arm.

I don't want to bring [Tony] Blair into this but I know Peter Hain is reputed to be gay and to be the wife of Tatchell, that's what the papers say. And so if the following morning the husband ambushed me and the previous night I had had discussions with the wife, the conclusion I come to is that the two had discussed it.

(Peter Hain dismissed this as "the kind of nonsense that unfortunately that only President Mugabe in his state and his attitude to life could utter or remotely believe".)

On the relevance of the liberation struggle to today's politics:

The younger ones will say "we know nothing about this liberation struggle, don't talk history to us what we want is money, incomes, your government is no good for us".

But the majority of the people will not do that.

On the possibility of an opposition election victory:

That probability should never be entertained. I can never concede that they have the capacity to win so in dreamland perhaps yes, I could see them in power but when I get up I say that is a dream, never a reality. Do you want us to talk about dreams now?

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Zimbabwe Election May Be Tainted
The Associated Press - Jun 26 2000 1:27PM ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The most fiercely contested election in Zimbabwe's history was badly tainted by a pre-election campaign of political violence and threats, international observers said Monday as they watched preliminary results trickle in.

With Zimbabwe's economy in shambles and the government riddled with corruption, the newly formed Movement for Democratic Change posed the strongest challenge yet to President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party since it led the country to independence from white-minority rule 20 years ago.

Election officials said Monday that the opposition had easily won the first three parliament races in which votes were counted, but those were from districts in southern Zimbabwe, where the opposition was expected to win. It was too early to tell if the results foretold problems elsewhere for Mugabe's ruling party.

In the lead-up to the vote, at least 30 people were killed and thousands beaten and threatened - mainly by ruling party militants. The two-day parliamentary elections ended Sunday.

``The term free and fair elections is not applicable to these elections,'' Pierre Schori, head of the observer mission, said in an interim assessment of the elections.

Ruling party ``leaders seemed to sanction the use of violence and intimidation against political opponents and contributed significantly to the climate of fear so evident during the election campaign,'' Schori said.

Schori was referring in part to the occupation of more than 1,600 white-owned farms by ruling party militants. As part of his campaign, Mugabe has supported the protests, promising to seize the farms and turn them over to poor blacks.

Opposition supporters also waged attacks, but they were far fewer and their leaders were clear in their condemnation of the violence, Schori said.

He praised the efficiency and professionalism that marked the actual vote and emphasized that the election process was complex. He said he would not issue a final assessment until July 3, after the votes are counted and the country's reaction to the results assessed.

Vote counting began Monday morning with election monitors and party agents checking the seals of ballot boxes before they were opened. Monitors and police stayed with the boxes overnight and there were no complaints of tampering in central Harare. More results were expected later Monday

In London, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook declared that Zimbabwe's elections were rigged, and threatened international pressure against Mugabe if he carries out a threat to appoint the next government, whatever the result.

``The voters' rolls were rigged, the boundaries were rigged and there was systematic brutality intended to deter people from voting for change,'' Cook said in a British Broadcasting Corp. radio interview.

He added that if Mugabe dismissed the election results ``there will be consequences and Britain will certainly be playing an active part in the Commonwealth and in the international community to put pressure on President Mugabe to implement the will of the people.''

Both Mugabe's ruling party and the Movement for Democratic Change postponed media briefings until after the first results were known.

The official Zimbabwe News Agency, meanwhile, reported that riot police were deployed in the volatile southwestern Harare suburb of Budiriro, where tensions rose between rival party supporters as they waited for polling results.

Youths had expected their district's result to be among the first from urban areas. The opposition is favored, and police feared preparations for victory celebrations could erupt into violent clashes, the state news agency said.

Despite the months of threats, Zimbabweans voted in huge numbers, many waiting in line for hours to cast their ballots.

Mariyawanda Nzuwah, head of the elections directorate, said he expected at least a 60 percent voter turnout, the highest level of voting since the first post-independence elections of 1980. Only 29 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the 1995 parliamentary elections.

Late Sunday night, squads of riot police armed with rifles began blocking roads leading to Harare's main police barracks, next to Mugabe's house. Police would not comment on their actions.

``These elections are about real freedom, real freedom from corrupt, inept, arrogant, egoistic leadership that has been running this country,'' said Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

If his party does not win a majority of the elected seats, then the vote will have been rigged, he alleged.

Even a strong victory, however, may not guarantee the MDC control of the 150-member parliament. Since 30 members are appointed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai's party would need to win at least 76 of the 120 contested seats to have a majority. Tsvangirai predicted it would.

A win that large would be a near-revolution in a country where the ruling party controlled all but three of the seats in the previous parliament.

Mugabe has two years left on his term and would not step down unless the opposition gained a two-thirds majority in parliament and then changed the constitution to remove him, said John Nkomo, chairman of the ruling party.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2000 2:19
Subject: News Flash from Zim!

Just heard unconfirmed report from Zim that 15 constituencies had been
counted by midday. 14 have gone to MDC.  Hunzvi, Stalin Mau Mau and the
"Minister of Finance"  (all considered ZANU PF strong holds) have gone to
MDC. The information has apparently leaked out of Ministry of Information
HQ. Police Commssioner went on radio this afternoon appealing for calm.
Estimated turnout - 80% (4 million). Mugabe reported to be "not
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                                 Update for 25 June 2000

The State-controlled and privately owned press reported a huge voter
turnout for the
first day of voting in Zimbabwe's parliamentary election. Unlike The
Sunday Mail, The
Standard reported that there were several problems encountered by voters.

The Sunday Mail's front-page comment "Think before you leap" reiterated
ZIMPAPERS stance on the elections: that people should vote for ZANU PF to
the fruits of the liberation struggle, and not the MDC which is a front
for imperial forces.
President Mugabe was quoted as saying that he predicted a ZANU PF victory
the party was strong at grassroots level.

The Standard reported that in some constituencies prospective voters were
away because there was no supplementary voters' roll despite the fact that
they had in
their possession receipts for the supplementary voters' roll.

The Standard also reported that some voters had been confused about where
to put
their X because there were two blank boxes in some cases. The blank space
on the
left was meant to contain the photographs of the candidates, but in many
the photos were missing.

MMPZ notes that this confusion arose as a direct result of a lack of voter
education by
the media, the candidates, the Registrar-General's office, the Electoral
Commission and the Election Directorate. The MDC did however, provide
information for voters whose names did not appear on either voters' roll
but had
registration slips. The advertisement, explaining that these people would
be allowed to
vote, appeared in The Sunday Mail and The Standard.
The Sunday Mail quoted the head of the EU election observer mission saying
that he
was impressed by the way the election was being conducted. The article
also quoted
a named political analyst who accused international observers of being
biased against

The Standard reported that Amnesty International had urged international
observers to
speak out against human rights abuses during Zimbabwe's parliamentary
polls rather
than be passive observers.

The Standard also reported that some voters were prevented from going to
vote. It
quoted the MDC as saying in Guruve South at Birkdale farm, war veterans
were barring
anyone from leaving the farm to go and vote.

The Standard article headlined "Chen implicated in violence" quoted the
Human Rights NGO Forum's report which alleged ZANU PF officials, namely,
Information, Post and Telecommunications Minister Chen Chimutengwende,
Kuruneri, Saviour Kasukuwere and Border Gezi were allegedly involved in
violence. The Forum said it had evidence as it had interviewed victims of
the violence.
However, the article did not give the accused the right of reply.

The Standard reported that the NCA planned to mobilize funds to help
victims of the
political violence.

It also reported that ZUD candidate for Gokwe West had been forced to flee
his home
after being attacked by a gang of ZANU PF supporters, on Friday,
indicating that the
violence and intimidation, particularly in the rural areas had continued
right up until
election day.

The issue of disabled people and the elections was the subject of
attention in a
Sunday Mail article headlined "As Zimbabwe goes to the polls . The
disabled watch
from the sidelines". The article stated that disabled people had been
marginalized in
the electoral process.

In an article headlined "President warns local Press", The Sunday Mail
Mugabe as saying that the Government would take action against newspapers
publish lies and are not objective in their reporting. He singled out the
Daily News, but
The Sunday Mail added a couple more titles to one of his quotes: "You get
lies daily
which are gazetted and then standardized," he said in apparent reference
to stories run
by The Daily News, The Financial Gazette, and The Standard newspapers
The Sunday Mail.
The state-controlled weekly also reported him saying: "We want to
cultivate a culture
of truth, the culture of objectivity so that people know the truth. The
more they read
about lies and rumours the more they take to lying and rumour mongering
We want to correct that in a big way."
His threat follows a report that appeared in the Daily News the previous
day that
detectives raided the printers of three independent papers on Friday,
while the Editor-in-
Chief, Geoff Nyarota, of The Daily News had been summoned by the police
publishing a photo of the injuries of a woman who had been a victim of
violence. Nyarota went to the police station but was never questioned, the
MMPZ abhors such intimidating threats and actions by the authorities
against the only
section of the country's media that is providing an alternative viewpoint
from state-
controlled media institutions.

Voting came to a close on Sunday June 25, 2000, with little change in
ZBC's news
coverage from the previous day's bulletins.
MMPZ monitored the 7am, 6pm & 8 pm ZBCTV news bulletins.  17% of the
were to Zanu PF, an increase from the previous day' 9%. Conversely the
voice was reduced from 15.3% on Saturday to 6% on Sunday.
Radio 1/3's 6am, 7am, 8am, 1pm, 6pm and 8pm bulletins saw a reduction in
Zanu PF
voices on election issues from 14 percent the previous day to seven
percent on
Sunday. Radio 2/4; on the other hand, saw an increase in the Zanu PF
voices from five
percent to 10 percent.
Television's 8pm news reported that certain polling officials were
reluctant to provide
ZBC with information about the progress of the elections, a clear
violation of the
media's right to access such information.
All of the ZBC's bulletins gave prominence to the peaceful nature of the
voting, the
length of the queues and quoted opposition and Zanu PF candidates who
satisfaction with the process.
Only television's 6pm and 8pm bulletins presented a clear report about the
involved in ferrying boxes from the various stations to the counting
stations. Nhau
Indaba presented live voices in all three major languages which explained
that polling
agents from the different parties and one monitor would be allowed onto
the lorries
ferrying the boxes.
Radio (all stations) 6am, 7am, 8am, reported Election Directorate chairman
Mariyawanda Nzuwa denying that some election monitors had been refused
access to
polling stations. The report however did not attempt to verify Nzuwa's
statement with
the ESC whose duty it was to supervise monitors.
The activities of the monitors came under scrutiny.
Radio (all stations) 1pm and TV's 6pm and 8pm reported that a car bearing
stickers was seen distributing fake ESC monitor accreditation cards to
members of
the opposition and their sympathizers in Kadoma Central. It was apparent
from TV's
8pm footage of the EU vehicle in question that although the accused
persons were
present, ZBC chose not to speak to those involved and instead only quoted
constituency and provincial registrars. Television's 8pm linked this story
with a Zanu
PF report in which party chairman John Nkomo said there was evidence that
opposition was using unorthodox means to interfere with the elections. He
said that
the impartiality of the ESC monitors had been compromised and said he
many were affiliated to an organization that sympathized with an
opposition party and
threatened to pass the matter on to the Election Directorate. Only Zanu PF
quoted in this story.
ZBC in its 1pm 6pm and 8pm bulletins emphasized the fact that even if Zanu
PF was
to lose the elections, Mugabe still had the constitutional authority to
form the next
government. The report quoted lawyer Lovemore Madhuku who provided the
constitutional background to the statement.
ZBC's Insight programme featured ZANU PF chairman, John Nkomo, who
the constitutional authority President Mugabe had to appoint the next
even if the opposition won a majority in Parliament. For the past two
weeks Insight has
featured members of the ruling party who have regurgitated the Zanu PF and
government policy.
Television's 6pm, 8pm and 11pm bulletins carried a story about President
meeting the leaders of Namibia and the DRC in Harare during the day over
progress of the peace process in the DRC. ZTV reported that SADC allied
forces would
not pull out of the country until foreign forces supporting the rebels had
withdrawn first.
The media also asked whether resources being used in the Congo should not
be used
instead to pay Zimbabwe's fuel bill. "We are getting money for fuel but
that's no-one's
business and they should keep their dirty mouths shut on that one," ZTV
quoted the
president as saying.

Only Radio 1/3 6am, 7am and 8am bulletins reported acts of violence in
which an MDC
candidate survived an attack in which an "arsonist" set fire to his house.

For more information about the Project, previous issues of the Weekly and
Updates, please visit our website at http://www.icon.co.zw/mmpz or contact
Project Coordinator, MMPZ, 221 Fife Avenue, Harare, Tel/fax: 263 4 733486,
E-mail: monitors@icon.co.zw
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