Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage
Zimbabwe leader's reality: Only God can
unseat me and I am always right
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 28,
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: His mother told Robert
Mugabe when he was a child that he had been chosen by God to be a great
leader. No wonder he thinks only divine power - not elections, not foreign
critics, not a crumbling economy or a much younger opposition leader - can
In the mind of Zimbabwe's leader of nearly three decades,
reality is summed up by a massive banner hanging in the entrance to the
presidential offices: Mugabe is Right.
Mugabe defied the world Friday
to hold a one-man presidential runoff on the heels of a campaign of torture
and violence in which dozens of opposition supporters have been killed and
thousands injured and driven from their homes.
Mugabe fought to
liberate a nation of oppressed Africans from a brutal and racist white rule
and then built it into a much-hailed economic and social success. What would
drive him to preside over its decline and ruin?
Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe
fed itself and became a major exporter of food as well as of tobacco and
minerals. Literacy and longevity rates shot up. Today, a third of the
population is starving and the country has the highest mortality rate in the
world - just 34 years for women.
Twenty-eight years after he freed
the country from white rule, he depicts himself as a liberator fighting to
keep Zimbabwe from white imperialists. He calls whites vermin and
Heidi Holland, who recounts the anecdote about God's chosen one
in her recently published book, "Dinner with Mugabe", says Zimbabwe's leader
is an "emotionally weak man" who's never come to terms with some of life's
He has never forgiven the father who
abandoned him when he was 10 years old to the women in the family - a
heathen grandmother and an over-pious mother, converted to Catholicism, who
proudly gave her son into the care of Jesuit priests at nearby Kutama
mission. There, Mugabe found a surrogate father in Anglo-Irish headmaster
the Rev. Jerome O'Hea.
To this day Mugabe models himself on a British
gentleman - dark suits, silk ties and handkerchiefs, a fondness for tea and
Holland said Mugabe was likely humiliated in the past week when
Queen Elizabeth II stripped him of the honorary knighthood bestowed in 1994
when he was an anti-colonial hero.
Yet it is Britain that Mugabe has
chosen to demonize, accusing the former colonizer of wanting his southern
African nation back.
"When you hear Mugabe vilifying Britain, expressing
hatred of Britain, underlying that is a love of Britain," said Holland, a
Zimbabwean journalist living in South Africa who won a rare interview with
Mugabe in November, meeting with him for 2 1/2 hours.
She did not
think he was crazy, but "lives in the world in a mad kind of way. But I
think it's deliberate, I think he's in denial, I think he can't face what
he's done in Zimbabwe because that isn't what he intended to do. He did
genuinely, I think, want be the savior of his people, the liberator of an
oppressed nation. What has happened is a source of deep pain to him, I
Mugabe still is bitter, Holland says, that the white
Rhodesian regime refused to allow him out of jail, where he was a political
prisoner for 11 years, to attend the funeral of his only son with his first
wife, Ghanaian fellow teacher Sally Hayfron.
Even as a child, Mugabe
could not bear to be criticized, Holland said. He was a loner with his head
constantly stuck in a book and an astute scholar who earned six degrees
while he was in jail.
Mugabe would have been fine if he had remained a
teacher, Holland said, but "the problem is he has an army and police force
to act out his anger."
And at 84, Mugabe has the strength and health of a
60-year-old, with no sign that age is slowing him or his sharp
Chenjerai Hove, a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist who fled
Mugabe's regime, says whenever Mugabe is challenged "he becomes a wounded
lion and goes on the attack."
Those who have failed to see that
pattern chose "to look the other way while the man was busy showing his
dictatorial tendencies," says Hove, a writer in residence at America's Brown
Back in 1976, when Mugabe fled Rhodesia to take control of
the war for black rule from Mozambique, "a lot of people were arrested and
tortured for him to be accepted as a leader, so his cruel past started at
that time, and he has always worked like that," Hove said.
Mugabe's leadership was challenged after independence in 1980 by military
leaders of rival liberation leader Joshua Nkomo's movement, Mugabe sent his
North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on a rampage against Nkomo's minority
Ndebele tribe. Some 20,000 people, most innocent civilians, were killed.
Thousands starved to death as Mugabe withheld international drought relief
from Ndebele civilians.
The international community looked the other way,
still pleased that Mugabe had urged reconciliation with the whites who had
oppressed his people, allowing former Rhodesian ruler Ian Smith to draw a
government pension and whites to continue living privileged lifestyles with
domestic workers in mansions with pools and tennis courts.
the white farmers started voting against him, infuriating Mugabe. He again
turned brutal after voters rejected a 1999 referendum that would have
strengthened his presidential powers and allowed his government to seize
white-owned farms, without compensation, for redistribution to black
Few could argue with the logic of redistribution when some
5,000 white commercial farmers owned two-thirds of the best arable land in a
country of millions of blacks. But Mugabe sent self-styled "war veterans" to
violently take over farms, which then were given to his Cabinet ministers
and other elite. Hundreds of thousands of black farm laborers lost their
jobs, fertile lands lay fallow and nearly a third of the population fled the
economic collapse and political oppression.
In 2005, after he had to
rig elections to stay in power, Mugabe unleashed bulldozers on street
markets and shantytowns where residents had voted overwhelmingly for the
This year, Mugabe unleashed his military and ruling party
hooligans on his people after Zimbabweans rejected him in the first round of
presidential elections in March, giving most votes to opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai. Dozens of opposition supporters have been killed,
thousands have been viciously beaten.
As the violence intensified,
Tsvangirai, fearing more blood on his hands, withdrew from a runoff election
Mugabe has shrugged off a growing chorus of criticism, which
this week belatedly was joined by African leaders condemning him for
pursuing his violent re-election.
Holland believes there is "a
sneaking admiration" among African leaders "who love to see Mugabe exposing
the West's hypocrisies."
Some say Mugabe has delusions of grandeur rooted
in his view of himself as an aristocratic leader of the Shona tribe. The
Shona consider themselves a superior people, descended from King Munhumutapa
and the builders of Great Zimbabwe - an immense 11th century city of carved
stone boulders with no mortar.
David Steel, the former British
liberal leader, describes a bizarre scene when he hitched a ride on an Air
Zimbabwe aircraft commandeered by Mugabe to reach a meeting in southern
Africa. In the first class cabin, Steel saw "seats had been taken out and
these gilt and red plush thrones had been installed and he (Mugabe) was
sitting facing his wife."
Holland fears the violence won't end now. "This
is a man who does not forgive. ... I think it's about revenge. ... He now
knows that his own people don't want him."
And fear of what might
happen should he lose his throne is spurring Mugabe now.
that he makes reference all the time to the Charles Taylor case," Holland
said. Former Liberan leader Taylor is being tried for crimes against
humanity at the International Criminal Court.
MacDonald Dzirutwe June 25, 2008 HARARE (Reuters) - Opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai called on Wednesday for the African Union, backed by the
United Nations, to lead a transition in Zimbabwe following disputed
elections and a wave of political violence.
He spoke at his home shortly
after leaving the Dutch embassy, where he took refuge on Sunday when he
pulled out of Friday's run-off poll against President Robert Mugabe because
of widespread attacks on his supporters.
"I am asking the AU 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,"
Tsvangirai told a press conference.
The opposition leader said the
election would be a sham and would not be accepted either by Zimbabweans or
the world. He called on the African Union to discuss the crisis next weekend
at a summit in Egypt.
Tsvangirai spoke as pressure mounted on Mugabe, 84,
from both inside and outside Africa to call off Friday's vote, which follows
presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29 won by Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change.
Tsvangirai fell short of the absolute
majority required for outright victory in the first round.
African leaders were holding an emergency meeting in Swaziland on Wednesday
and Kenya stepped up African pressure for intervention, saying the country
risked a Rwanda-style disaster.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, has presided
over a slide into economic chaos that has sent millions of refugees fleeing
to neighboring states and pushed inflation to an estimated 2 million
In the first concrete step to punish
Mugabe for a wave of violence that resulted in Tsvangirai's withdrawal,
former colonial power Britain said it was preparing tougher sanctions
against specific members of Zimbabwe's government.
that while he was prepared to negotiate with Mugabe's ZANU-PF before Friday,
his Movement for Democratic Change would "not have anything to do" with a
government that emerged from the vote.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga
told reporters: "Zimbabwe right now is a disaster in the making," while
Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula described the crisis as a blot on
Odinga said Friday's election should be postponed.
world does not act now, we will soon have a situation very similar to what
we saw in Rwanda," he said referring to the 1994 genocide in which 800,000
Tsvangirai earlier urged the United Nations to isolate
Mugabe and called for a peacekeeping force. He accused the former guerrilla
leader of declaring war.
Mugabe has refused to call off the vote,
shrugging off mounting international pressure including Monday's
unprecedented U.N. Security Council condemnation of violence. It said a free
and fair run-off election on Friday was impossible.
Members of a SADC
security troika of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland met near the Swaziland
capital Mbabane to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis.
But the region's
designated mediator, South African President Thabo Mbeki, would not attend,
his spokesman said.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Swaziland's King
Mswati III and SADC executive secretary Tomaz Augusto Salomao were at the
The South African president has been negotiating between Mugabe
and Zimbabwe's opposition since last year but has been widely criticized for
being ineffective and too soft on Mugabe.
Odinga said he had phoned
the Tanzanian president ahead of the Swaziland meeting and suggested former
Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo or Botswana's former leader Ketumile
Masire as possible mediators, replacing Mbeki.
Tsvangirai's MDC said
on Wednesday that armed police had cordoned off and raided its office in the
eastern city of Mutare. Nobody was arrested.
There has been wide
international condemnation of the violence but SADC is seen as the only body
that can influence events in Zimbabwe.
Nobel peace laureate Archbishop
Desmond Tutu also called for peacekeepers to be sent to
Mugabe "has mutated into something quite unbelievable. He has
really turned into a kind of Frankenstein for his people," Tutu told ABC
television in Australia.
(Additional reporting by Cris Chinaka,
Marius Bosch and Gordon Bell in Johannesburg, Duncan Miriri in Nairobi,
Katherine Baldwin in London; Writing by Barry Moody; Editing by Matthew
African Observer: Zimbabweans Voted in Fear, Defaced
By Delia Robertson Johannesburg 28 June
The head of an African Observer Mission to Zimbabwe says
voter turnout was low in Friday's presidential runoff election and that many
voted out of fear. VOA'S Delia Robertson reports from our southern Africa
bureau in Johannesburg, the vote count is under way in the election in which
the only candidate was President Robert Mugabe.
Marwick Khumalo, the
head of the Pan-African Parliament's observer mission, says many Zimbabweans
voted out of fear Friday, determined to get the identifying indelible ink on
their little fingers that showed they had voted.
The Associated Press
reports that Khumalo said there was a great deal of intimidation for people
to vote and that voters hoped the ink would protect them from "the
He said even though Movement for Democratic Change leader
Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the runoff, many people said they voted for
him anyway. Others, he said, defaced their ballot papers.
media reported a very high voter turnout. The Herald newspaper said that a
"massive" turnout was a slap in the face for critics of the poll.
Khumalo and other observers says the turnout was very low, such as one
polling station in the second city Bulawayo, where there were 22 votes for
Mr. Mugabe, 14 for Tsvangirai and 12 defaced papers.
In March, there
were at least 300 votes cast in that polling station. Similar reports have
come even from areas, which up until the March election, were considered
traditional areas of support for Mr. Mugabe.
Late Friday the United
Nations Security Council stopped short of calling the election illegitimate
at the insistence of South Africa. Instead the body said conditions for free
and fair elections did not exist and that it was a matter of deep regret
they had been held.
Speaking at a business dinner in Johannesburg,
African National Congress President Jacob Zuma argued that finding a
political solution in Zimbabwe was more important that criticizing events
"If countries ill treat their citizens, then their citizens would
do a number of things and it will impact on the neighbors and I don't think
we want that situation. That's why we are calling for a political
arrangement that must help solve the situation in Zimbabwe for the good of
all of us," he said.
African Union Foreign Ministers meeting in Egypt
ahead of Monday's summit, said international leaders should push for Mr.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai to talk to each other.
These are among the ruling
party's weapons against opposition voters. Still, the population clearly
didn't cooperate in Friday's vote.
By Rod Nordland | Newsweek Web
Exclusive Jun 28, 2008 | Updated: 1:25† p.m. ET Jun 28, 2008
details, such as timing and description of movements, in the following are
altered for the safety of NEWSWEEK's reporter.
There's an open question
whether Zimbabwe's election Friday would be valid even if it hadn't been
marred by violence and intimidation, because it's pretty clear that a fairly
small percentage of people actually turned out to vote. Some legal experts
say that at least 50 percent of the registered voters would have needed to
cast their ballots. No results have been released as yet officially (for
what that's worth), but a sampling of a dozen polling places in Harare and
the nearby town of Chitungwiza is pretty compelling.
At the Tamuka
polling place for the 24th Ward in Chitungwiza, 1,212 voters chose President
Robert Mugabe, 513 chose opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, and 786
deliberately spoiled their ballot in an apparent protest. And that of course
doesn't begin to count those who heeded the opposition's boycott and just
didn't vote. That ward has 22,000 registered voters, and only 12.7 percent
participated meaningfully. In contrast, during the first presidential race
on March 29, voter turnouts were very high.
On Saturday a few shops and
businesses opened but it was still preternaturally quiet in the capital,
Harare, as if people were collectively holding their breath, waiting for the
retribution that ZANU-PF enforcers had promised for those who voted against
them or stayed away from the polls. Activists from the government party were
searching bread lines outside bakeries this morning, checking people's
fingers. Those who didn't have the telltale purple ink showing they had
voted, were pulled out of line and told they'd be allowed no bread. It
didn't take long for outright violence to break out, either. Ismail Siyarun,
the secretary of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the
Chitungwiza district, wisely fled his house Friday night; at 1 a.m. on
Saturday, a gang of Green Bombers, Mugabe's youth militia, ransacked the
place, breaking all the windows and stealing whatever of his belongings
seemed worth taking, mostly clothing and household items. Siyarun was just
happy they didn't get his family or him; in the course of the election
campaigns of recent years, he's been arrested 32 times.
We dropped by
a hospital in Harare to talk to some MDC victims, though all of them had
been attacked before the election, some as recently as Thursday. We were
immediately told that journalists have been banned from this hospital
(probably from all of them by now), but we presented ourselves as friends of
victims, and the nurses on reception just shrugged. The victims, whom
Siyarun had identified for us, were MDC activists from Chitungwiza and we
only had a chance to talk to three of them; many more are there as well.
They'd all been targeted separately by large gangs of ZANU-PF activists, and
savagely beaten with iron bars and clubs.
Jacob Muvavi, 38, a
municipal policeman himself, was singled out for particularly harsh
treatment and taken to a ZANU-PF base, where he was beaten for three hours
and had scalding water thrown on his wounds. His tormentors wanted him to
confess where he was hiding his MDC T-shirt, so they could make him publicly
destroy it, but he refused. Eventually one of his fellow policemen heard
where he was and rescued him. "I will never give up my T-shirt," Muvavi
Winfielder Musarrurwa, 21, a youth leader for the MDC, only
survived because her tormentors left her for dead. "I pretended to be dead
and they left me," she said. They had found her at 1 a.m. on Thursday,
hiding in her sister's house, stripped off her clothing and beat her with
sticks and iron bars on her buttocks and privates. She readily dropped her
dress to show the evidence, which was horrifying-modesty surrendered in the
sake of giving testimony. They also poured scalding water on her wounds and
pounded her arms until they were black and blue. It hasn't dampened her
spirit any. "I will never stop supporting the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai,
even if it costs me my life," she said.
Scalding water seems to be a
favorite weapon; it was also used on Georgie Simango, 27, a party worker and
a samosa street vendor, who was also burned by hot ashes from a fireplace.
But we didn't get much more into the details; at that point the hospital's
director came in and demanded to know who we were. One of the nurses had
ratted-probably only one, because most seemed pretty happy to see us visit.
We explained we were just interested parties, certainly not accredited
journalists. "Look, I want the world to know what is happening here as much
as anyone," the director said. "But I also want these people to still be
getting treatment here next week." It was a reasonable position and a
classic conundrum; we left after agreeing not to divulge the name of the
How much worse this will get before African countries manage to
pressure Mugabe into surrender, it's hard to say, though the initial
indications are worrisome. It probably helps the case against him that the
low turnout will make it even harder to try to peddle this as a legitimate
victory, and at this point, as the second highest vote-getter in the first
round of elections, Mugabe can hardly continue to claim to be the legitimate
president of Zimbabwe. Dictator, is the title he deserves now, or, at best,
Stopping by the business center of a major
hotel to file this story, I was warned off when we saw one of the computer
bays occupied by one of Mugabe's Men in Black-black suit, black shirt, natty
yellow tie, an officer in the Central Intelligence Office. In this case my
guide actually recognized him as a CIO man, he said, but since the CIO all
wear pretty much the same uniform, that's only a formality (at night they
switch to black leather jackets for the wet work). We eavesdropped on him
from a nearby booth; he was multi-tasking, checking his Yahoo e-mail account
(I'm tempted to post the address for all those good-intentioned hackers out
there) and talking on a cellphone. "I told those guys at the State House to
release 400 liters of fuel for the drivers and they didn't do it," he said.
"What's their problem? We have an operation tonight." After a spell of
shouting, he got up and went outside. There he exchanged money and keys with
the driver of a minibus parked in the lot, and gave him and several
Zimbabweans inside the vehicle instructions. Interestingly, the bus had a
sign on the side identifying it as "African Union Observers." Since they
never go out at night, the election observers probably have no idea how
their vehicles are being used in the dark.
There's no end to the dirty
tricks the regime employed in stealing the election. Thanks to the sullen
protest of Zimbabwe's voters, it seems likely Mugabe will end up like the
burglar who finds he has gone to all that trouble to rumble an empty
JOHANNESBURG — President Robert
Mugabe once boasted he had a degree in violence, and he has surely added a
doctorate in the savage presidential runoff season that is likely to stagger to
a close this weekend with his proclaiming himself the Zimbabwean people’s choice
despite an election denounced across the globe as a sham.
In the three months since the opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai beat him in the general election, Mr. Mugabe, 84, has
accomplished much of what governing party insiders say he and his coterie of
strongmen set out to do in the long delay they engineered before the runoff on
Soldiers, war veterans and unemployed youths mobilized by Mr. Mugabe’s ruling
clique have decimated the ranks of the opposition, with the damage measured in
shattered bones, battered and burned bodies and the corpses of assassinated
organizers — a record that helped prompt President Bush on Saturday to announce
that the United States would move forward with broader sanctions on the
“Violence has left our structures scattered, tattered and seriously
perforated,” acknowledged Nelson Chamisa, a member of Parliament and the
spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Now that he will have officially won a runoff that Mr. Tsvangirai quit with
only days to go because of the extreme violence, Mr. Mugabe, in power for 28
years, is ready for talks with the opposition. “We want our brothers in the
M.D.C. to come to us to discuss our problems,” he said at a rally on Thursday,
exhibiting magnanimity that earlier escaped him.
In that spirit, the opposition’s chief strategist, Tendai Biti, held for two
weeks in one of the country’s filthiest jails on flimsy treason charges, was
released last week. And doctors treating victims of Mr. Mugabe’s onslaught say
torture camps in the Mashonaland provinces, the heartland of the gory campaign
of terror, have been closed and the wounded are now straggling into Harare, the
capital, for treatment.
The current moment has a familiar quality that has left some Zimbabweans
wondering if Mr. Mugabe is up to old tricks.
In 1987, after conducting a murderous campaign to crush the forces of a rival
liberation hero, Joshua Nkomo, Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Nkomo signed a unity accord
that merged the two forces into a single party, ZANU-PF, that still rules Zimbabwe.
The historian Martin Meredith explains in his book “The Fate of Africa” that
Mr. Mugabe’s objective was always to establish a one-party state. The question
now is whether he can again succeed in bludgeoning an independent force into
There is one major, imponderable difference now: the gruesome violence has
been inflicted in the internet age. The photographic and video evidence of
atrocities is online in real time: the women whose bottoms were beaten for so
many hours they have turned deep purple, the men whose backs are pocked with
burns from dribbled, burning plastic, the boys and girls with broken legs and
These images, more than anything else, have created a worldwide revulsion to
Mr. Mugabe and an avalanche of denunciations from Western leaders and some
African heads of state on a continent where many have been silent during Mr.
Mugabe’s pitiless decades in power.
But Mr. Mugabe is a cunning survivor. The chief mediator between him and Mr.
Tsvangirai is South Africa’s president, Thabo
Mbeki, who has a complicated relationship with Mr. Mugabe that stretches
from 1980. Mr. Mbeki has uttered nary a word directly criticizing Mr. Mugabe in
the past three months and is now pushing hard for Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai
to talk. Some senior members of Mr. Mbeki’s own party have said in recent
interviews that they think Mr. Mugabe has for years outfoxed South Africa’s
Still, Mr. Mbeki is sticking with the policy of quiet diplomacy he has
pursued with Mr. Mugabe for the past several years. South Africa has fought to
keep Zimbabwe off the international agenda, and on Friday it opposed an effort
led by the United States and Britain to have the United
Nations Security Council pronounce the runoff illegitimate, saying it was
not the Council’s role to do so. Instead, the Security Council issued a weaker
statement regretting that the runoff wasn’t postponed.
South Africa also opposes sanctions against Zimbabwe.
President Bush said Saturday that the United States would press the United
Nations for an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government
officials. He also said he was instructing American officials to develop
sanctions against Zimbabwe’s government. Currently, the United States sanctions
apply only to some 140 members of Zimbabwe’s elite and businesses they own or
Ronnie Mamoepa, spokesman for South Africa’s Foreign Ministry, explained that
while South Africa’s own liberation movement sought international sanctions
against the apartheid regime, Zimbabwe’s opposition has not asked for them.
Mr. Mamoepa said it did not make sense to impose sanctions now when both
sides were already willing to enter negotiations for a political settlement.
Zimbabwe’s opposition spokesman, Mr. Chamisa, asked if his party favored
sanctions, would say only that it sought intensified international pressure.
It seems likely that the opposition is reluctant to demand sanctions for fear
of playing into Mr. Mugabe’s hands. The state media incessantly, daily, in story
after story, blames the limited sanctions imposed by the United States and
Britain on the Zimbabwean elite for having led to the country’s economic ruin.
Mr. Mamoepa, the South African Foreign Ministry spokesman, said South Africa
has not yet expressed any view on the validity of the election. .
“Our principal task is to bring the two belligerents to the table to talk
about the future of the country,” he said.
South Africa’s studied neutrality has embittered many in the opposition.
“If Mbeki endorses and legitimizes Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF,” said Mr.
Chamisa, “instead of being part of the solution, he risks being part of the
Zimbabwe future talks must be based
on first round vote: EU
†BRUSSELS, June 28 (AFP)
Talks on a political solution in Zimbabwe must be
based on the first round election result, when opposition head Morgan
Tsvangirai came out on top, not the "sham" run-off vote, an EU official said
The European Commission "condemns in the strongest terms the
organization of a run-off in Zimbabwe despite repeated appeals by African
and international authorities for a postponement," EU Commissioner for
Development Louis Michel said in a statement.
Counting was underway
in Zimbabwe on Saturday with President Robert Mugabe certain of victory
after a one-man election marked by intimidation of voters and branded a sham
also by the opposition and the West in general.
Michel said Europe
expected strong leadership from both the African Union and the Southern
African Development Community "to secure a negotiated political resolution
of the crisis and push for a transitional framework for Zimbabwe, to prevent
the country from plunging further into the abyss."
However any such
mediation or negotiation "must be based on the results of the first run of
the elections, where the people of Zimbabwe were able to express their
will," he added.
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
candidate Tsvangirai was the winner of the first round vote on March 29, but
refused to take part in Friday's run-off after a wave of deadly attacks on
"We consider that the systematic use of state-sponsored
political violence and intimidation which led to the withdrawal of MDC
candidate Morgan Tsvangirai has totally undermined the credibility of the
"The results of such a sham election cannot and will not be
recognized as legitimate," said Michel, echoing the tone of reaction Friday
from EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
"We will continue to
closely follow the situation in Zimbabwe and we stand ready to support
efforts towards ensuring democracy, stability, respect for human rights and
economic recovery," said Michel in his statement.
The United States said
Saturday it wants to introduce a UN resolution next week to send a "strong
message of deterrence" to Mugabe over his alleged intimidation and
On Friday Solana said: "Democracy has not been served by
today's run-off election. The people of Zimbabwe have been deprived of their
right to vote freely and thus deprived of their dignity."
Victims of Organised Violence and Torture Continue to
Flood the Health System
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human
Rights Saturday, 28 June 2008 10:42 26 June
It is with the gravest concern that
ZADHR reports that patients injured in incidents of violence and torture
around Zimbabwe have continued to flood, and nearly overwhelm, the health
care system throughout June.
ZADHR also remains concerned that many
victims of current violence are failing to access treatment due to several
restricting factors including limited freedom of movement, no access to
transport and the inadequacy to respond to their needs of poorly equipped
institutions in outlying areas.
On many occasions it has been
difficult or impossible to find beds for those needing hospital admission,
including space in 'Intensive Care' for those requiring that level of
support and monitoring. It has become necessary to find ad hoc methods to
import plaster of paris (for the management of fractures) povidone iodine
(betadine) and silver sulphadiazine cream (a basic cheap and effective agent
for the treatment of burns) because hospitals have run out of supplies in
the face of the extreme demand.
In addition the process of
accurately recording, enumerating and analysing the data has been hampered
by the risk of harassment from government agencies or those acting in the
name of the government. Consequently data for June is not complete to the
date of this statement. However the pattern continues of large numbers of
soft tissue injuries (nearly 200 documented as being "severe", i.e.
resulting in haematoma or abscess formation, and/or being very extensive),
and of fractures (over 50 recorded so far), on a background of larger
numbers of cases of medical conditions exacerbated by displacement. There
continue to be large numbers of patients presenting with psycho-pathology
relating to displacement, loss of family members, and being witness to or
victims of severe inflicted trauma. However a remarkable finding is the
resilience of the majority of people who have suffered directly or
indirectly from this epidemic of violence.
ZADHR wishes to
record again the startling brutality of the violence used on increasing
numbers of victims some of whom made the allegations below:
.††A 57 year old widow living alone was blindfolded and beaten,
resulting in severe lacerations to her forehead, bilateral periorbital
oedema (swelling around both eyes), multiple linear bruises on her back,
buttocks and legs, fractures of her right tibia and fibula (the two bones in
the lower leg), with a probable sub-periosteal haematoma (collection of
blood under the lining of the bone) of the left tibia. .††An
18 year old boy whose parents support the political party not in favour with
his assailants was forced to lie prone and was beaten. He raised his head to
protest and was hit in the face with the result that his left eye
subsequently required surgical removal. .††A 37 year old woman
whose husband was said by her assailants to be campaigning for the political
party they did not support was admitted to hospital with a fractured base of
her skull, bilateral fractures of the transverse processes of her 6th
cervical vertebra (broken neck), and extensive soft tissue injury with
haematoma formation on her back. .††A 29 year old man on
questioning replied that Yes he did support a particular political party. On
his refusal to be handcuffed he was shot in the groin and presented later in
hospital with the end of his penis traumatically amputated and considerable
extravasation (spreading of blood out of the blood vessels) of blood into
his scrotum and upper thigh. .††A 46 year old man suffered
fractured 6th and 7th ribs on the right, fractures of his right ulna, left
radius and ulna, left fibula, and a comminuted fracture of his left tibia.
The attached photograph of the xray of the fracture in his left leg
demonstrates the severity of the blow or blows that caused the injury. A
difficult surgical fixation with screws and plate was required.
.††A 41 year old polling agent was beaten with logs on his back, hands
and under his feet resulting in fractures of four of the metatarsal bones in
his left foot. The attached photograph of the xray of his foot again
visually demonstrates the extreme violence required to cause this injury.
Again difficult surgical intervention was required with pins inserted along
the lines of the bones to maintain some degree of alignment and
stability. This work can be overwhelming both in terms of volume and
also in terms of the shock and emotional distress caused by the repeated
exposure to the effects of extreme cruelty. These care-givers also require
counselling in order to avert secondary traumatic stress disorder which has
already manifested in some individuals. ZADHR again wishes to
commend the large numbers of health workers from admissions officers to
specialist surgeons to theatre assistants and all the other cadres who have
attended to these patients with consistent dedication to high quality care.
We pay this tribute to all working to relieve the suffering and assist the
recovery of torture victims on 26 June, UN International Day in Support of
Victims of Torture.
ZADHR welcomes the statement issued recently by
the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) which "notes with great concern the
many incidents of violence that have occurred in different parts of the
country and are largely reported to be politically motivated. ZiMA ... would
like to condemn in the strongest of terms these acts of violence and urge
those involved to stop this brutality." We underscore the
responsibility resting with the Government of Zimbabwe to protect its
citizens from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. ZADHR calls on the authorities to fulfil this obligation
particularly in light of the fact that the Government has the resources at
its disposal to halt the violence and maintain peace and order.
ZADHR reiterates its appeals to the UN, AU and SADC to engage with the
authorities to bring an end to brutal and systematic violence being carried
out on large numbers of Zimbabweans.
The Herald reported a ‘massive turnout’ in Friday’s
presidential runoff, but Marwick Khumalo, head of the Pan-African Parliament
observer mission, said the turnout was ‘very, very low’.
He also said
many of those who did vote cast their ballots for opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, who pulled out of the race after an onslaught of state-sponsored
violence against his Democratic Movement for Change.
Residents said they
were forced to vote by threats of violence or arson from Mugabe supporters
who searched for anyone without an ink-stained finger _ the telltale sign
that they had cast a ballot. ‘ There was a lot of intimidation for people
to vote’, said Khumalo, an MP from Swaziland. ‘You can tell people just
wanted to get the indelible ink to protect themselves from the
Khumalo said he saw many ballot papers that had been defaced,
some with slogans saying,’We will not vote’ on them.
‘One can believe
that it was the same scenario in other areas,’ he said.
election, which will ensure Mugabe remains in power, was widely condemned by
African and other world leaders as a sham.
Khumalo said the election had
been ‘marred’ by a high number of spoiled ballots. Tsvangirai’s name
remained on the ballot because his withdrawal on Sunday came too late to
remove it, election officials said.
Khumalo said at one voting station in
Gwanda, Matabeleland, 36 votes were cast for Mugabe, 17 for Tsvangirai and
31 were spoiled.
In one Harare voting station, 107 votes were cast for
Mugabe, 76 for Tsvangirai and 30 were spoiled, he said.
established that ZEC may not announce the number of Spoilt ballots in its
The MDC stronghold of Bulawayo reportedly recorded the
lowest turnout,probably only 7 000 people voted and mostly from Mpopoma
which had a parliamentary by-election on the same day.Bulawayo has an
estimated population of 785 000.
HARARE - There was an unusually large number of spoilt
papers in Friday's one-man presidential election, electoral officials have
Zanu-PF militants immediately threatened reprisals, starting
Sunday, against those who did not vote through an operation code-named
Operation Red Ink.
Returning officers counting ballot papers from
Friday's sham presidential poll, which President Robert Mugabe arrogantly
conducted despite the withdrawal of his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai and the
condemnation of the world, told The Zimbabwe Times last night there was an
unusually high number of spoilt ballots.
Returning officers at three
polling stations in Harare, said of the total number of ballots cast, one
third were invalid papers, with most of them containing abusive language
condemning the fraudulent poll.
The message sent out to the electorate
after by the MDC after Tsvangirai pulled out of the poll was, "Don't vote
but don't risk your life."
"Over and above the unusually high number of
spoilt ballots, this was probably the lowest turn out I ever seen since I
started being a presiding officer in the 2000 elections," said one official,
Zanu-PF analyst, former ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa
blamed the low turnout on a "culture of contentment" among Zimbabwean
Mutsvangwa said non-voters were "lazy and apathetic" but
political analysts said low turnouts and a high number of spoilt ballots
were largely caused by a dangerous and depressing dislocation of the
so-called democratic process.
"To turn out to spoil your ballot, sends a
message," political analyst Dr Lovemore Madhuku said. "It's a rejection of
the political system and our grossly inadequate, unrepresentative and
inequitable electoral system. People realized that it was a sham process
void of legitimacy. How do you have a one-man election?"
leader paid tribute to supporters for staying away from the
"Zimbabweans know that there is nothing legitimate about this
election and they know that there will be nothing legitimate about the
result," he said.
Political commentator Ronald Shumba said spoiling one's
ballot was not as meaningless as Mutsvangwa suggested.
ballots are counted," he said. "Imagine if Mugabe won with fewer votes than
the number of spoilt ballots."
Madhuku said by spoiling ballots, the
electorate was sending a clear and unequivocal message that, "until the
authorities listen to us, give us real democracy and reform their corrupt,
evasive, unaccountable, money-grabbing, expense-exploiting, contempt for us,
their paymasters and employers, we want none of them.
Zanu-PF militia has warned that they will launch Operation Red Finger Sunday
to target voters who did not cast their ballot. Voters who fail to display
the red dye in which they dipped their finger at the polling station will be
dealt with. In cases of outright intimidation Zanu-PF militia deployed at
the polling stations in some areas recorded the serial numbers of voters'
ballot papers as well as the residential address of the voters.
Robert Mugabe could stay on as 'titular head' of
Zimbabwe, says Morgan Tsvangirai
Louis Weston in Harare
Last Updated: 9:04PM BST
Despite boycotting the election the MDC chief
insists that a unity government is the only way forward and holds out an offer
of 'ceremonial presidency' to the tyrant of Harare.
'MDC' is painted
over Mugabe posters
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said
last night that Robert Mugabe might be allowed to stay on as titular head of a
In a major concession, Mr Tsvangirai said it was "not
inconceivable" that, with himself as executive prime minister, Mr Mugabe could
remain as a ceremonial president.
His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would share
power with Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in such a government.
"It's being considered within our structures," said
Mr Tsvangirai, in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph - his first
since Friday's election, which he decided to boycott.
"The broad principle is how can the two parties
coexist, for a short duration, through a transition that will allow us to make a
new constitution and a fresh election. I don't think it's inconceivable for such
an arrangement to include him, depending, of course, on the details of what is
being proposed and what are the arrangements."
The move could open the way to talks between the two
sides when today, as expected, Mr Mugabe declares himself the victor in Friday's
presidential election run-off.
Mr Tsvangirai withdrew from the contest following a
campaign of murder and violence against his supporters.
As votes were tallied across Zimbabwe officials said
that with results in from two thirds of polling stations, a "landslide victory"
for Mr Mugabe was now anticipated.
Gangs of Zanu-PF members began to unleash punishment
against those who had failed to vote, in a campaign known as Operation Red
Finger - the colour of the ink used to mark the fingers of those who had voted.
President George W Bush said that the US would press
for a UN arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban and financial penalties on
regime officials. He declared Friday's election a "sham".
Mr Mugabe insisted there had been a record election
turnout - though this was flatly denied by independent African observers, who
said the numbers who voted were "very, very low". He said he would fly to Egypt
for tomorrow's African Union summit but branded the growing chorus of doubts
from Zimbabwe's neighbours and other African states as "stupidity".
Despite the onslaught from Mr Mugabe's thugs, and Mr
Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the election, some polling stations said more
people had voted for him than for Mr Mugabe.
"I find that very humbling," said Mr Tsvangirai.
"There are people who said 'I cannot countenance voting for Mr Mugabe, so I will
vote for Tsvangirai in spite of the fact that the vote is invalid because he
pulled out'. Even in places where the intimidation has been intense, there has
been real defiance."
Mr Tsvangirai, 56, was speaking from the Dutch
embassy in Harare's eastern suburbs, where he has been since announcing he was
boycotting the poll, but said he would not go into exile.
Mr Mugabe, he said, was "a man who in his imagination
would like to die in office, like some of the nationalist leaders who were
deputy to him.
"We have always said he needs to occupy higher moral
ground that what he has degenerated into, because he is the founding president
of the republic and as the founding father of the nation he must behave as such.
"Unfortunately he has behaved in a manner which has
undermined that legacy. The problem is that he is resisting transfer of power.
He is not disputing the fact that March 29 produced a certain result which
reflected the will of the people, but he cannot accept transfer of power
The opposition now hopes that international pressure
will force Mr Mugabe to make concessions.
"The majority of the African states find the
situation in Zimbabwe unacceptable," said Mr Tsvangirai. "I think there's a
growing chorus about condemning what happened on Friday."
Reports in Zimbabwe have suggested that one Zanu-PF
faction is seeking to bring in Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former security minister
who oversaw the massacre of 20,000 people in Matabeleland in the 1980s, to
succeed Mr Mugabe as head of state. Ahead of negotiations, Mr Tsvangirai said he
could not rule out "any particular individual as unacceptable". Mr Mugabe
launched a scathing attack on other African governments which have questioned
the legitimacy of Friday's ¬≠election.
"Even today we have voices [in the AU] saying we
should stop our elections and violate our own laws," he said at a rally near
Harare. "What stupidity is that? If there are proposals from the opposition in
good spirit we will listen. But not being dictated to by outsiders, not even the
And, referring to the dubious democratic record of
many other African Union leaders, he added: "I want to see who will point that
finger at me, and I want to see if it's clean." An attempt at the UN to issue an
outright condemnation of Zimbabwe was blocked on Friday night by South Africa,
resulting in a more anodyne declaration of "regret that the elections went ahead
in these circumstances."
South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki has resisted
attempts to put pressure on Mr Mugabe, whom he regards as a hero of the movement
But yesterday Jacob Zuma, the head of South Africa's
African National Congress, said the situation in Zimbabwe was "extremely
"We reiterate that the situation is now out of
control," he said in Johannesburg, in a rare direct criticism of Mr Mugabe from
a South African leader. "Nothing short of a negotiated political arrangement
will get Zimbabwe out of the conflict it has been plunged into."
President Bush denounced Mr Mugabe's government as
"illegitimate", slammed the tyrant's "blatant disregard" for democracy and human
rights and dismissed Friday's election as a "sham".
He instructed officials to develop American penalties
against Zimbabwe's government and its supporters.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US plans
to introduce a UN resolution seeking tough action against Zimbabwe to send "a
strong message of deterrence" to the Mugabe government.
Western diplomats at the UN began moves for a major
African figure, possibly Kofi Annan, to be appointed as an international envoy
to Zimbabwe, potentially supplanting Thabo Mbeki, the South African president,
who has been widely condemned for his ineffectiveness as official mediator on
behalf of neighbouring countries.
One said: "We talk to the South Africans endlessly
but we just hear rants about colonialism. They don't care that Mugabe is
damaging the reputation of Africa - for them it's all about solidarity. They've
done nothing. It's pathetic."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged Mr Mbeki not to
recognise the re-election of Mr Mugabe as president and, in an interview with
The Sunday Telegraph, said South Africa should blockade Zimbabwe to make Mr
Mugabe step down.
"The country already is virtually on its knees, it
would take very little pressure to make them see sense," he said.
"Clearly the election was not free and fair, and I
just hope that every decent government will declare Mr Mugabe illegitimately
elected and that his government is unacceptable," said the 76-year old cleric.
"I hope that every government will do that including
our own. There is no way in which you could lend legitimacy to something that is
a complete charade."
He said Mr Mugabe should be banned from the AU
meeting and that South Africa should be taking far tougher measures.
"This is a landlocked country which relies almost
exclusively on South Africa and if Air Zimbabwe is not allowed to overfly its
neighbouring countries it's going to be virtually grounded," he said. "They
won't survive a siege of that kind for very long."
Additional reporting by Stephen Bevan in Pretoria and
Philip Sherwell in New York
EU says it is not ruling out sanctions
against those responsible for Zimbabwe crisis
International Herald Tribune
PressPublished: June 28, 2008
BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European
Union says it is not ruling out sanctions against those responsible for
Zimbabwe's political crisis.
The bloc is urging President Robert Mugabe
to respect the results of the first-round presidential election held in
March and won by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
It says in a
statement released Saturday that the March 29 poll was the only lawful
ballot held in the country this year, and may serve as a basis for an
acceptable solution to crisis.
In the meantime it says Europe will
not rule out sanctions against "those responsible for the tragic events of
recent months," and calls the power held by Zimbabwe's current elected
Newsapers HARARE, Zimbabwe - The bread lines were longer than the lines at
polling stations on election day here, with apparently few people eager to
vote in a blood-soaked race that only President Robert Mugabe was
But that's not what reporters for Zimbabwe's state-run media
"Long and winding queues were the order of the day," intoned a
bass-voiced radio announcer on Spot FM on Saturday morning, a day after a
presidential runoff marred by a ruthless campaign of government-sponsored
violence against Mugabe opponents.
In Washington, President Bush
ordered sanctions and called for a U.N. arms embargo on Mugabe's regime,
describing the election as "a sham ... that ignored the will of the people
of Zimbabwe" and condemning Mugabe's "blatant disregard" for human
It was a different story in the Herald, Zimbabwe's state-run
daily newspaper, which said that huge voter turnout was "a slap in the face
for detractors who claimed this was a 'Mugabe election' that did not have
the blessing of the generality of Zimbabweans."
As Mugabe prepared to
claim a landslide victory - extending his 28-year rule over a nation that
has known no other leader since independence - state media continued to play
a starring role in Zimbabwe's political theater of the absurd.
international news organizations quoted voters who were force-marched by
government militias to polling stations and threatened with violence if they
didn't produce ink-stained fingers - proof they'd cast a ballot - a news
anchor on Zimbabwe Television on Saturday described the election thusly: "It
has been very peaceful. Everything has gone very well so far."
distinctly through-the-looking-glass quality to the propaganda campaign, but
Zimbabwe under Mugabe has become one of the most tightly controlled
societies in the world. There is no independent broadcasting station and
only a couple of weekly independent newspapers, which are rigorously
monitored and forced to sell copies at a price several times higher than the
Earlier this month the government slapped a heavy import
tax on foreign newspapers and magazines in a move to bar "hostile"
publications. Web sites aren't censored, but Internet use isn't
In this virtual news vacuum, state-owned newspapers, radio
and television serve as a mouthpiece for the regime, a catalog of government
programs, the source for dubious official statistics on the decimated
economy and - perhaps most reliably - a forum in which to bash Western
countries, which Mugabe says are determined to re-colonize
It's the last category in which the media often appear to take
the most pleasure - particularly the Herald, a drab English-language
broadsheet that favors screaming front-page headlines such as, "Leave us
alone, West told" (atop a story last week about a Mugabe campaign
On election day, the Herald ran a story on Queen Elizabeth's
decision to withdraw Mugabe's knighthood because of the election crisis.
Quoting unidentified analysts, the paper wrote that the queen's decision "is
actually a blessing in disguise as it removes one of the last vestiges of
colonial titles on an African statesman and revolutionary."
days before Friday's vote, one television personality called Mugabe the
"perfect presidential candidate for Zimbabwe" and another asked a government
official whether backing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was "the
equivalent of selling your family into slavery."
Tsvangirai and his
party, the Movement for Democratic Change, are portrayed as weak, divided
and manipulated by the West. After Tsvangirai pulled out of the race -
citing the murder of dozens of his supporters - the Herald's cartoonist drew
him running from his own shadow and cowering in fear of a giant ballot
The head of a regional team of monitors who oversaw Zimbabwe's one-man
election said President Robert Mugabe had given assurances Saturday he would
now enter into dialogue on the country's future.
gave us guarantees that the next step is to bring together Zimbabwean actors
and go for negotiations," Angolan Sports Minister Jose Marcos Barrica, head
of a 400-strong team of observers from the Southern African Development
Community (SADC), told reporters.
"We understand the way to solve the
problem in Zimbabwe is through negotiations."
His comments, carried
by Zimbabwean state television, came as a SADC delegation met Mugabe at his
Harare offices the day after he staged a run-off ballot boycotted by
opposition leader and first round winner Morgan Tsvangirai.
leaders had previously urged Mugabe to shelve the ballot, saying the
environment was not conducive to free and fair elections.
previously said that he was willing to talk with Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party but only after Friday's run-off poll, the
results of which are expected to be announced later Saturday.
Mugabe Prepares for Swearing in Ceremony Before Results
SW Radio Africa (London)
28 June 2008 Posted
to the web 28 June 2008
Preparations for Robert
Mugabe's swearing in ceremony Sunday were said to be underway at State House
on Saturday even before results from the 'one-man election' were
Government sources who spoke to the AFP news agency confirmed
that the inauguration would be held at 10am on Sunday before Mugabe left the
country for the African Union summit in Cairo, Egypt. The source said tents
were already being set up for the ceremony in the clearest signal that
Friday's vote was a mere formality.
Mugabe vowed he was going to
confront any African countries that will dare to point a finger at Zimbabwe
during the summit. This was interpreted to mean he might try and hide behind
the poor human rights records of other countries like Sudan.
however say he is standing on his last legs after his own peers in SADC
rejected the poll as a sham. Other African countries outside SADC have also
branded the election an embarrassment, adding to Mugabe's legitimacy
As results trickled in from some of the polling stations a
clear picture is emerging of many people spoiling their ballot papers in
protest. A polling station in Highfields recorded 266 votes for Mugabe, 184
for Tsvangirai while 150 votes were spoiled. The pattern repeated itself
countrywide especially in opposition strongholds.
United States is planning to put forward a UN resolution on Monday calling
for tough action against Mugabe's regime. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice said the US and Britain will present the resolution. Rice said, 'Its
time for the international community to act. It's hard to imagine that
anybody could fail to act given what we're all watching on the ground in
Saturday the African Union executive council sidestepped any decision on
what to do about Zimbabwe. It's reported that they're waiting for Sunday's
meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council and the heads of state summit
the day after.
AU foreign ministers have been quarrelling behind
closed doors about the issue and have no doubt been hoping that the
difficult issue of Zimbabwe would just go away.
"The whole first
closed doors session was devoted to Zimbabwe, and delegates spoke very
frankly on the seriousness of the situation," said Senegalese Foreign
Minister Sheikh Tidian Gadio.
Gadio told AFP: "There is every hope of
reaching a solution and it is possible that opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, plays an important role in his country -- executive prime
minister for example, with guarantees."
A proposal on the lines of one
that brought Kenya out of post-election violence, received a very old
reception from some AU members and was openly scorned by representatives of
civil groups in Africa.
The decision to not make a decision comes as
preparations are reportedly underway for Robert Mugabe to be sworn in as
President on Sunday. Mugabe is expected to fly out to summit in Egpyt
shortly after the ceremony has concluded.
The head of the African
Defence of Human Rights, Alioune Tine from Senegal, said: "Today, if you
accept what is going on in Zimbabwe, you can say 'goodbye' to elections in
Africa. It is a real challenge today for the AU heads of state and
government for them to say 'Stop,'" He called on the election result not to
be recognized and argued that a Kenya-style compromise "removes all
significance and content from elections. This scenario is bad ... If we
accept this experience today, tomorrow another head of state is going to
profit from it."
The pressure on the AU to intervene in the Zimbabwean
crisis has steadily increased, with global agreement that African leaders
will have the most influence on Mugabe. Africa leaders have also been at the
centre of wide spread criticism for taking so long to condemn the violence
in Zimbabwe. Pressure groups and civic organizations have since said it is
now time for the AU to match its condemnation with deeds, to send Mugabe a
Names of 5 MDC Activists Murdered in Manicaland Released
28 June 2008 Posted to the web 28 June
The MDC has released the names of the MDC
supporters who were killed in Manicaland province this week, in the run up
to the controversial presidential poll. The MDC said at least five people
from the same area were killed on the same day.
The MDC chairperson
for Ward 34 in Headlands, Robert Ziyengwa and his wife were beaten to death
Also in Headlands Mr. Gumura of village 11 - Eagles'
Nest, was beaten to death. They also report that Mrs. Gumura was badly
beaten and died Saturday in Rusape Hospital.
In village 17 Mr.
Sandros Mandizha was also beaten to death on Wednesday.
On Friday the MDC
spokesman for Manicaland Pishai Muchauraya told us more state sponsored
violence had erupted in parts of Manicaland on the eve of the election and
it is feared more people have died in the run-up to the election.
To a nation living on its knees, violence-plagued
polls seem a death knell
Salopek |Chicago Tribune
3:09 PM CDT, June 28, 2008
Zimbabwe's shattered opposition released its roll call of dead last
The list, e-mailed to the international media, was clearly prepared
in haste. It contains the kind of typographical errors that arise, one imagines,
from taking fast dictation. The language is as flat and terse as a small-town
police report. Still, for the first time, people who died in Zimbabwe's recent
political agonies now have the decency of being named.
details of these largely invisible murders—in which all but four of the 85
victims were members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, while
most of the alleged killers belong to President Robert Mugabe's youth
militias—are as good an elegy as any for the death of a
Was abducted and later found dead. That is the most common
description of execution on the list.
But the brief recountings of other political
killings—a man assaulted while sitting down to eat dinner, others attacked while
tending their shop, working in a flour mill, or puttering in a garden—hint at
the strangely workaday, domestic quality of life in Zimbabwe even as it morphs
into what now more resembles a bald-faced dictatorship.
The final blow to
democratic hopes came Friday, when a widely condemned runoff election promised
to reinstall Mugabe in power. Diplomats now predict that up to a million new
refugees, hungry and desperate, may flood out of the free-falling wreck called
Zimbabwe in the coming year. On the death list are some who won't get that
("Edna Lunga ... they locked her in a room at the shopping centre
and made a fire outside the door [then] they started burning her with plastic
all over the body and in the mouth.")
Nobody knows what will happen next
in moribund Zimbabwe.
Some analysts say that if Mugabe's record holds,
the wily 84-year-old president may throw a bone to the opposition, perhaps by
offering to share power or recognizing its gains in Parliament, as he has done
in previous rigged elections. Then he'll quietly
Fear and loathing
Whether such old tactics can work today, in the
face of growing international outrage at Mugabe's brutality, remains to be
"I think he'll try and hold on for a year, then handpick a
successor inside ZANU-PF," said David Coltart, an opposition senator, using the
acronym for Mugabe's ruling party. "He'll pretty much do anything to keep real
power out of the hands of Morgan [Tsvangirai], whom he
Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who withdrew from Friday's
runoff after thousands of his followers were beaten and hundreds of thousands
more were driven from their homes, appears to be counting solely on foreign
intervention to force a political dialogue. In an Election Day message to his
demoralized supporters, most of whom sat out the voting, he was reduced to
biblical exhortations: "Be not afraid, the Lord is with you."
know what we made our sacrifices for," said a bitter MDC activist, speaking by
telephone from Zimbabwe's rural Masvingo province, where Tsvangirai's
campaigners have been shot, burned and beaten to death. "It's all over here.
He choked back tears of fury. Agents from the
Central Intelligence Organization, Mugabe's feared secret police, were outside
his business office, he said, stripping the inventory from his farm supply store
in retaliation for his opposition sympathies.
("Owen Hativagone ... they
tied and suspended a brick to his testicles for two days after which he passed
out and died.")
Unfortunately for 12 million Zimbabweans — citizens of
one of the prettiest nations in Africa, a place once known more for its safari
lodges and thundering waterfalls than for corpses abandoned at roadsides — there
is more than political terror to survive in the days ahead.
rains this year expected to shrink crop harvests by at least a third,
humanitarian experts warn that the fertile country, which once fed the rest of
the continent, faces mass starvation.
"As of August, we'll have a major
food crisis," said Clever Maputseni, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian affairs
office in Harare, the capital. "This country has a crop deficit of millions of
metric tons of grain. Where are we going to get that food on short
Maputseni noted that 2 million to 4 million Zimbabweans depend
on UN food aid, according to the seasons. More than 200,000 are HIV-positive,
requiring supplemental food packets just to stay alive.
But no food is
being distributed. Mugabe banned all foreign humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe
two weeks ago, after accusing aid groups of meddling in politics.
Asking not to be named for fear of government retaliation, one aid worker
in Harare said the ban would likely last for weeks, in order to prevent
outsiders from witnessing an expected new wave of revenge attacks on communities
that sat out Friday's elections.
("Temba Muronde ... taken to
Magwada torture base where they gave him rat poison but he did not die, they
then gave him pesticide (rogo) and when he did not die they then killed him with
In the end, many experts believe it will be hunger and
economic devastation that bring a defiant Mugabe to the negotiating table—not
pressure from the West, the UN, or the African Union.
are bare. With inflation now orbiting almost meaninglessly at over 2 million
percent, the country has become a surreal land of 16-billion-Zimbabwe-dollar
chicken legs. Whole chickens aren't available. And Mugabe exhausted his meager
treasury by handing out a last few mini-buses and farming tools to sway his
cowed and slat-ribbed electorate.
The United States has promised to lobby for
yet more sanctions against Zimbabwe in the UN Security Council, Secretary of
Rice said Friday. How this will affect a country that cannot even issue
passports to those who want to flee—there isn't any paper to print them on—is
"I guess that's one way of being positive," joked Marco
Ndlovu, an orphanage manager in Zimbabwe's second-largest city of Bulawayo.
"Things cannot stay this way. And they cannot possibly get worse. They
absolutely cannot. So something must change."
Ndlovu's orphanage was shut
down two weeks ago by a gang of ZANU-PF toughs, even though it was government
funded. The militants targeted him, he said, for being a social worker. More
than 230 children at his orphanage have lost their means of support, he
("Ratidzai Dzenga ... she was pregnant and was heavily
assaulted by ZANU-PF youth she lost her baby during the attack, was detained and
denied medical attention she bled to death.")
And so, only the
skeleton of Zimbabwe staggers on.
The political death toll will likely
grow, human-rights experts fear, as Mugabe attempts to consolidate his power and
as vendettas are settled in the weeks ahead. Further violence is expected to
burn hottest in the country's east — once a bastion of government support — that
did not line up loyally behind Mugabe in March's first-round
"Our people are our hope," said Coltart, the opposition
lawmaker. "There are no braver, or more patient, or finer people than
Such statements may sound pat coming from most
Yet they are frequently borne out in Zimbabwe, where
empty-bellied bystanders—unemployed men, weary grandmothers and underweight
children—have been known to start dancing on the dusty roadside when a passing
car radio pumps out African music.
There is no recourse in hapless
Zimbabwe. So its people dance.
Mambwera, 4 years, ... they set the hut on fire and Brighton was burnt to
Bush says US
developing additional penalties against Zimbabwe, calls election a
`sham' By DEB RIECHMANN Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON June 28, 2008
(AP) The Associated Press
President Bush said Saturday the U.S.
was working on ways to further punish Zimbabwe's longtime leader and his
allies, saying Robert Mugabe leads an "illegitimate government" that
retained power only through a fraudulent election.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to
develop new penalties against Mugabe's government in response to the widely
denounced runoff election Friday. The African nation's president is accused
of using violence to coerce people to vote for him.
Rice said the U.S. plans to introduce a U.N. resolution as early as next
week seeking tough measures against Zimbabwe.
"We will press for strong
action by the United Nations, including an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and
travel ban on regime officials," Bush said. He pledged to work closely with
groups in Africa and world leaders to resolve the crisis.
the U.S. is ready to support a legitimate government with development aid,
debt relief, and normalization with international financial institutions.
The United States will continue to provide food assistance to more than 1
million people in Zimbabwe and AIDS treatment to more than 40,000
people. "The Mugabe regime held a sham election that ignored the will of the
people of Zimbabwe," Bush said in a statement issued while he spent the
weekend at Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.
international community has condemned the Mugabe regime's ruthless campaign
of politically motivated violence and intimidation with a strong and unified
voice that makes clear that yesterday's election was in no way free and
fair," he said.
Rice told reporters traveling with her to South Korea
that the U.S. and Britain could present a resolution to the Security Council
as early as Monday. Rice declined to specify what it might say, but said
countries must act to halt further intimidation and violence against the
"We've heard of people being threatened that if they did
not vote for Mugabe, they'll be sought out for violence or for reprisal, and
so there needs to be a really strong message from the international
community about what has happened there," Rice said.
She said the
U.S. "will use everything in our power in terms of sanctions - appropriate
sanctions." But, she added, "It's time for the international community to
act. ... It's hard to imagine that anybody could fail to act given what
we're all watching on the ground in Zimbabwe."
White House spokesman
Emily Lawrimore said the Bush administration is considering punishing the
government of Zimbabwe as well as further restricting the travel and
financial activities of Mugabe supporters. The U.S. has financial and travel
penalties in place against more than 170 citizens and entities with ties to
Mugabe, she said.
But, as State Department Sean McCormack said in
April, "We have worked closely with many in the international community to
try to bring pressure on the government in Zimbabwe to change its ways. That
has not had much effect."
Aid Group Says 450
Who Fled Election Violence Were Sent Back Across Border
South Africa, June 28, 2008
(AP) South Africa deported some 450
Zimbabweans overnight from a border detention center to a homeland beset by
political violence and uncertainty, an international aid group said
Medecins Sans Frontieres said one of its teams visited the
center on Friday - the day a widely criticized presidential runoff was held
in Zimbabwe - and found more than 450 men, women and children there saying
they had crossed the border in recent days, "fleeing instability and
When the aid team returned Saturday with
supplies, it found the center empty the agency said in a statement. It said
South African authorities had confirmed all the Zimbabweans were sent
"Hundreds of people have been sent back into the country from which
they fled, without any recognition of their right to seek asylum," said
Rachel Cohen, head of Medecins Sans Frontieres in South Africa. She said the
deportations were "unacceptable" and "in violation of international as well
as South African law, which guarantee the right to seek
Siobhan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Home
Affairs, told The Associated Press on Saturday that foreigners caught at the
border are screened to determine their status.
"I don't know the
particulars of this case, my assumption would be that they would be in the
country illegally and do not qualify for refugee status and therefore were
returned to Zimbabwe," McCarthy said.
As many as 3 million Zimbabweans
are in South Africa. Some have been here for years, and many come and go
regularly. Some work in South Africa for weeks or months between visits
home, while others come on day trips to buy goods scarce in their
economically ravaged country.
South Africa views most Zimbabweans
crossing its border as economic migrants, not refugees. Few apply for
asylum, in part because that could make it difficult to
"Everybody who comes into the country is allowed to seek asylum,
but the majority of the people crossing the border from Zimbabwe into South
Africa, they do not qualify for refugee status and it is on that basis that
many of the applications for asylum have been turned down," McCarthy
But she said South Africa was reviewing its policy of sending
economic migrants home, mindful that powerful forces spur Zimbabweans and
others to come to the region's economic hub.
"The minister has said
that these deportations are a fruitless exercise because people are entering
the country faster than we can deport them, and by the time we deport some
they just find their way back into the country again."
were targeted in recent xenophobic attacks by South Africans who claim
foreigners are stealing jobs and using scarce resources.
Watch said this month that the high number of Zimbabweans in South Africa
underlines a "failure of foreign policy."
South African President Thabo
Mbeki's attempts to mediate between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and
the Zimbabwean opposition are increasingly seen as failed. Mbeki has refused
to publicly criticize Mugabe, who is accused of trampling human rights and
ruining the economy of what had been the region's breadbasket.
Zimbabwe on Friday, people said they were forced to vote in a presidential
runoff in which Mugabe was the only candidate. The opposition candidate had
withdrawn, citing an onslaught of state-sponsored attacks on his
Mugabe was expected to claim victory. Opposition candidate
Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round but, according to the official
results, not enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Friday's election was
widely condemned by African and other world leaders as a sham that would
only intensify Zimbabwe's political crisis and further delay attempts to
address its economic collapse.
Amandla interviewed Morgan Tsvangirai MDC president on the
current impasse in Zimbabwe and on the future policies an MDC orientated
government would like to see implemented.††
Tsvangirai sheds light on their current strategy
of seeking a negotiated settlement with ZANU PF, their dependence on the SA
government, on SADC and the AU to get Mugabe to play ball. In the interview he
discusses, amongst other things:
-††The strategy of
the election pull-out and what next; -† Negotiations with Zanu PF; -†
Prospects for a negotiated settlement; -† The role of SADC, AU and the UN;
-† The Role of civil society and the trade union movement; -† The MDC as
a post-liberation social movement; -† Land reform and the land expropriated
by the Mugabe regime; -† Redistribution policies to deal with unemployment
and poverty; -† Repayment of Mugabe debts and relations with the IMF and
World Bank; -† Future economic policies; -† Relations with Jacob Zuma
and Thabo Mbeki. Leave your comments on what should be done to end the
crisis in Zimbabwe. Is the MDC selling out the struggle for a free and
democratic Zimbabwe by seeking a negotiated settlement with ZANU PF. Is there an
alternative given current conditions?
click here to
listen / download the full interview (Large mp3 file - 17MB).
Or listen to the interview by following the link
under Amandla! Radio, appearing in the left column of this page. Or Click
below for a full transcript of the interview.
INTERVIEW WITH MORGAN TSVANGIRAI 25 JUNE 2008
BA: Let me start by asking you what was your response
to the wave of xenophobic attacks and violence that shook South Africa. Do you
see this as an outcome of the policies of the South African state in relation to
the Mugabe regime?
MT: I think that xenophobic attacks on foreigners,
especially Zimbabweans, you can easily connect it to the crisis in Zimbabwe in
that in the first place the flooding of Zimbabweans in South Africa is as a
result of economic and political mismanagement in Zimbabwe. And the limited
resources that South Africans and Zimbabweans have to share, which are
unplanned, so it’s a consequence of the crisis in this country.
BA: Now that you’ve pulled out of the elections, what
is the future? What strategies will you be undertaking? Do you believe a
negotiated settlement is both desirable and actually possible with a regime that
has been responsible for an onslaught of violence against its people?
MT: Well, first of all, the crisis continues, the
stalemate continues in spite of our pull out, because any outcome out of this
election is illegitimate. Mugabe knows that, Zanu PF knows that. I am glad that
the United Nations and SADC recently today has issued a statement that those
elections must be postponed to a period where this crisis can settle down and
people can have a really free and fair election. So as far as that’s concerned
we support that resolution by SADC. But we also generally condemn the state
sponsored violence that has been unleashed on Zimbabweans by this regime. It is
genocidal and Zimbabweans don’t believe that their government can roll out a
military plan against them when they are so vulnerable. So I think as far as
reconvening another election - another election is supported. Secondly, the
whole issue of a negotiated settlement – one of the realities that we have is
that we have polarised positions. One is that we as a social movement believe in
the freedoms and democratic ideas and democratic change; but the nationalist old
guard, the militarised nationalist old guard believes in the rule by force and
coercion. So I think that the only thing that is going to force these two
opposite positions to be reconciled is when there’s a realisation that there is
a need to put the country and the strategic international interests first. And I
hope that that will be informed by that rally, because we have always been
saying that the future of the country is based on inclusiveness and not
exclusive monopoly style.
BA: If Zanu were to say to you: we agree, we’ll enter
into negations, let’s form some sort of coalition government, wouldn’t that be a
strike against the will of the people?
MT: Well, there are two fundamental principles that
we have to put before you can arrive at that conclusion. One is that the results
of democratic elections in March have to be respected and that the people’s
mandate was bestowed on MDC and therefore should lead that inclusive government.
But that is subject to negotiations. The second fundamental issue is that there
has to be peace and stability and that this banditry and violence has to stop,
and illegal detentions has to stop, and Zanu PF has to bend over backwards and
arrest these kind of bandits who are just roaming the country and maiming
people. So once we have got acceptance then it is easier to arrive at a
coalition for the sake of the transitional process that will softland the
BA:In this scenario what happens to a presidential
election, would that be indefinitely postponed?
MT: I think the challenge we have got is that an
election is never a solution to our crisis because of the polarisation of the
two political parties. So if its head you lose, tails you lose; and I think it’s
more to do with the role President Mugabe will play if an elections is then
held. That’s why the negotiations have to be about transition and not about an
BA: What is your leverage to enforce any deal that is
made? If they turn around after various concessions and compromises have been
made and sort of play hard ball like we saw Kabaki do in Kenya – what would your
leverage be to enforce deals that have been made.
MT: Well, the challenge is to find AU SACD UN,
[ployka - sounds like] or more than just one person; but it should include
President Thabo Mbeki, but include some AU elder, which will act, this [ployka -
sounds like] will act as a supervisory body on the agreement and whatever
conflict may arise during the transition, they will be able to intervene using
[this body/these bodies – unclear]. So that is the only insurance you can have.
You cannot rely on a signature on a piece of paper with these guys who don’t
believe in negotiated or a compromise, who believe in roughshod and force and
BA: It’s precisely why I ask you the question because
you’ve brought things to the brink by withdrawing from the election. It’s
unclear how this reduces the pressure on the people of Zimbabwe given what’s
taking place now.
MT: I think it was a strategic decision. Taking into
consideration that the real election which took place was in March. This 27th
[June] run off is total war, and as I have said in my statement, we cannot be
part of a war situation; when Mugabe says if I lose I will not accept the
result, I will not accept to leave. He has declared war on the people – so why
sacrifice people for a result which is already predetermined? I refuse, we
refuse to go into any power based on dead bodies and women have been hacked by
hacksaws and those kind of atrocities. So I think it was a strategic withdrawal.
We believe we withdrew with on a high moral ground. Let Mugabe proceed on his
illegitimate course and no one is going to bestow any legitimacy on them.
BA: And what then? If he proceeds with the election,
what’s your strategy thereafter?
MT: Well, our strategy is that we follow what the
SADC has recommended: negotiate. And we believe that there is a basis; Zanu PF
says it wants to negotiate but it wants to negotiate after the 27th when they
have stolen the election. We have said that what is important is we have a pact
so that the election becomes an event in the long strategy of resolving the
national crisis by [co-partnership/core partnership - unclear] and cooperation.
And I think that is the way to go.
BA: Let’s look a little bit into the future now
because it seems to me and it seems to many of us here, it’s just a matter of
time before you have a meaningful roll, , in government. What is the MDC’s
attitude is to the heritage of the anti-colonial anti-imperialist struggle in
terms of the future policies of a MDC government. Mugabe makes loud noises that
he represents the anti-imperialist option and you are simply a stooge of London
and Washington. How do you see that?
MT: Well, I think that first of all from an
analytical point, the MDC is a post-liberation formation based on the social
movements – the trade union movement and the people’s social movements that
[built/build - unclear] up the MDC. So rather than attack the MDC as a extension
of colonial imperialist *11:29 [imaginations - unclear], it is actually a new
movement that is a post-nationalist movement to take us from the ideas of the
liberation struggle which were betrayed by these nationalists, and take it
further and bestow the real values of freedom on the people. That’s why it is
based on civil society, the trade union movement and all these other movements.
So the MDC is actually a progression of the people’s project to free themselves
from colonialism and from the nationalist elite who have betrayed the very same
*12:08 [ideals/ideas - unclear] that we have fought for.
MT: Could you elaborate what your policies would be
in relation to land and agrarian reform? Will you be returning land expropriated
and redistributed by the Mugabe regime?
MT: No, no, far from it. I was telling somebody
today, I said, ‘Look, there is a national consensus that the inequality of land
distribution in the country is unsustainable and that we need a new paradigm to
assess that land is an asset of empowerment of the poor. But what has happened
in our case is that we have replaced an elite white class to own land with a
black elite class to own land. So the actual revolution of equitable
distribution of land has yet to happen because the changes that have taken place
in Zimbabwe are just the asset changes and they are not about distribution of
the very important asset like land. So there is no question about returning land
to anybody. It is about resolution of the fundamental problem of land ownership
in the country. And what Zanu PF has done needs to be re-looked at in terms of
rationalisation and bringing more people on the Land Reform Programme than what
has so far happened.
BA: This obviously then brings to centre stage future
economic policies. What economic policie are needed to address the tremendous
poverty and mass unemployment that currently exists in Zimbabwe?
MT: Well, we are a social democratic movement and we
believe that you cannot distribute, we don’t believe that you can have a
redistributive agenda without a proper strategy of increasing productivity and
production assets in the country. So the reason why we are socially conscious is
because we believe that the contribution to the productive capacity of the
nation has to have a social conscience and it has to have a social
responsibility to intervene in the poor, in housing, in education, in health,
and the social well being of the majority of the people.
BA: The Mugabe regime is now essentially bankrupt
economically.† The country has huge debts that are still outstanding to the IMF
and the World Bank – will a MDC government be honouring these loans?
MT: Well, we have no obligation; there is an
international law of inheritance. If we inherit all these debts we may have to
find ourselves, how to negotiate ourselves out of that debt trap. But what is
fundamental is that the MDC believes that we can implement an economic recovery
programme based on fiscal monetary and other interventions that in the
short-term will arrest the hyper-inflation conditions that we now experience,
almost 2 000 000% inflation – it’s unprecedented. So one of the immediate tasks
is to get our debt out of the way, arrest the hyper-inflation conditions and
then create the necessary environment for productive sector to start creating
jobs and food availability to the nation. But one of the critical challenges
that we face immediately is the issue of humanitarian crisis. Four million
Zimbabweans need food assistance. There’s no health delivery, there are no drugs
in the hospitals. There’s no personnel in the hospitals. Our school system has
collapsed. So that is an immediate humanitarian intervention that we may have to
BA: But it does mean that it puts you in a vulnerable
position in relation to the international financial institutions, particularly
the World Bank, and I’m thinking here of the situation that we faced post-’94
where many of the policies that a new South Africa implemented were authored by
the World Bank, especially our land policy: willing seller, willing buyer and so
on, which has proved pretty disastrous.
MT: Well, we have to accept that you have to deal
with these multinational institutions. But you don’t have to take their advice;
you have to find a way in which you can avert the so-called Bretton Woods
Institution’s advice, by agreeing that your development has to be incremental,
responding to the social needs of the pub(lic), but also increasing the
productive state of the land, agricultural outputs, your basic industries. And
that’s where I think in the long-term you may avoid these Bretton Woods
prescriptions. But you cannot avoid in the short-term to deal with the *17:54
[Paris club - sounds like] and all these other institutions because of the debt
trap that we have got. So, yes, South Africa had to abandon the RDP, I know at
that time I was in the trade union movement and we were discussing the RDP very
extensively. Because of the short-term social consensus that had to be built
around the Bretton Woods Institution paradigm.
BA: But it does beg the question in terms of what
role would you see for the state playing going forward? One of the things in the
RDP was very much centred around a massive investment programme in housing and
other things that would stimulate downstream industries. Is that’s foreclosed in
the current situation in Zimbabwe.
MT: Well, there will be massive housing that will be
needed. But, you see, you have to put the cart before the horse. We have to
create the necessary instruments and wealth in order to have social
intervention. If you start off by redistribution before creating the necessary
productive sectors then you won’t go anywhere. I suppose that’s what South
Africa did having realised the gaps between the intention and the realities on
the ground. For us we face huge social problems and I think that it may be some
time before those social problems can be tackled. And by the way, we do realise
that over a period of time we have to move away from donor dependence or donor
support, which I think in the initial stage would be the initial * 19:38
[infusion/inclusion - unclear] of the necessary resources to investment
resourced capacity – your personnel, your manpower resources, your industry and
those kind of investments.
BA: But wouldn’t what you’re saying just be another
version of trickle-down economic policies that have been generally incapable of
averting and addressing extreme poverty and unemployment?
MT: Unfortunately there is a stage where some form of
trickle-down has to be expected. But the state itself cannot play in every area
of social endeavour. But it can intervene socially in those basic services:
health, education, housing as a way of providing the basic services and
facilities for the poor. But if you are not doing anything it has its own
limitations. But, yes, I think that it can give the guiding philosophy as to how
the social democratic economic environment has to be created.
BA: Now South African business seems very eager to
invest in a democratic Zimbabwe and have devised various recovery plans. Have
you been party to any of these, and what role do you see for South African
business in Zimbabwe?
MT: Well, South African business is welcome to
Zimbabwe. I am sure that there will be a basis of partnerships; this is regional
investment and it is attractive. It is important that [a – possible word]
regional *21:25 is based not only on other aspects but also that business must
be able to move within the region in a manner which then allows for all of us to
develop. So South African business will obviously be welcome. And I think that
between South Africa and Zimbabwe they realised the potential of the country in
terms of human resources and other natural resources in the country. So they
will be able to find a home to exploit business opportunities in Zimbabwe – so
it will be welcome.
BA: Of course in South Africa there’s a sort of
governmental transition taking place or shortly to take place with Jacob Zuma,
the new president of the ANC likely to become the next president. Have you had
much contact with him, and do you see a different role for South Africa under
MT: I have not been able to *22:27 [distinction -
unclear] between President Mbeki and President JZ – because I have a very good
rapport with President JZ, I am in constant contact with him; we discussed a
number of issues, including Zimbabwe crisis. So I can certainly say we agree
what needs to be done. So on that basis at a personal level there is no problem
and I don’t think that there will any problem between South Africa and Zimbabwe
in the future.
BA: But there has been a grave problem between you
and President Mbeki.
MT: Not at a personal level; it has been at policy
level. It has been a policy difference when it comes to strategy on the question
of mediation in Zimbabwe. And I have told him in the face that I don’t agree
with your soft, soft approach in this – because the man you are dealing with is
entrenched there. And for a very long time he’s pursued this policy of quiet
diplomacy because he believes that Mugabe had to be persuaded. Now the problem
is that the crisis has not *23:30 [ebbed - unclear], it’s just reached
unprecedented crisis levels. So, but I have met him; we discussed. So it is
actually a policy, a principle difference rather than a personal one.
BA: How do you account for his particular role around
the Zimbabwe crisis? As an attachment to the Mugabe regime: support and
protection rather than a real initiative to end this crisis?
MT: No, I think that his role was more of strategy
failure. Because his approach was that he needed to marry the crisis rather than
to resolve it. And furthermore, his strategy of managing it was based on
persuasion of Robert Mugabe. And also the fact that stability was more important
than democracy. And therefore all hose were policy failures strategically and
BA: What role do you see for Britain and the USA now
in the current phase and in a post-Mugabe phase?
MT: Well, our policy has always been that as we move
in the new Zimbabwe era we don’t discriminate against anyone; we want to be in
partnership with every country in the world. We don’t discriminate and we want
to promote the commercial interests of the Zimbabwean nation rather than any
other belligerent relationship with either East or West.
BA: Lastly,† how do you see the role of civil society
in Zimbabwe’s recovery. How will you manage the demands of the trade union
movement, of the jobs and wages and working conditions, on the one hand, and the
need to control inflation on the other hand?
MT: Well, I’m sure that there will be -. First of all
I believe in social consensus. I believe that the government has a
responsibility in consulting labour, business. If you have to move forward there
has to be social partnership – because I think that if we have to face this very
hard decision you need a buy-in by these social movements. And I am banking on
the *26:06 [present - unclear] movement helping us to plough through and
navigate through these very serious decisions that have to be made. I also
believe that the trade union movement has to be independent, autonomous. It must
be a critical player in not only supporting but actually criticising whatever
government is doing. The independence of the trade union movement is critical in
becoming an oversight on some of the government policy.
Zimbabwe sanctions won't work, say African
National Post, Canada
Daniel Wallis and Cynthia Johnston, Reuters† Published: Saturday,
June 28, 2008
SHARM EL SHEIKH -- Sanctions on Zimbabwe will not work
and the world should focus instead on promoting the type of grand coalition
that settled Kenya's election dispute, African officials said on
Saturday. Zimbabwe held a single-candidate presidential election run-off on
Friday with only President Robert Mugabe on the ballot after opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, citing violence against his
The election was condemned internationally and regional
leaders had appealed for it to be delayed, but the vote went ahead and
Zimbabwe government sources predicted a "landslide victory", saying Mr.
Mugabe was expected to be sworn-in on Sunday.
Many Western leaders
urged the African Union to take action against Zimbabwe at a summit in Egypt
on Monday that was expected to focus on the crisis.
U.S. President George
W. Bush called the election a sham and said he would ask for new U.S.
sanctions and U.N. action, including an arms embargo, against what he called
Zimbabwe's "illegitimate" government.
But African ministers, seen as
having more sway with Mr. Mugabe than Western leaders, expressed doubts that
sanctions would have any impact.
"History has shown us that they don't
work because the leadership just dig in and dig in and feel persecuted,"
Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula told reporters at a meeting of
African foreign ministers ahead of the summit, which Mugabe plans to
"I think we need to engage Zimbabwe. The route of sanctions may
not be the helpful one ... the first and most important thing is for the
people of Zimbabwe and their leadership to sit down and talk to each other,
instead of talking at each other."
Libya's state minister for African
affairs, Ali Treiki, whose country spent years under international
sanctions, told Reuters he believed sanctions would "never
"Let us envisage that a government of coalition should be formed
from both the government and opposition to run the country," he said. "I
think the example we did in Kenya is a very good example."
mediation helped form a power-sharing government in Kenya to resolve a
post-election crisis earlier this year that killed about 1,500 people and
uprooted 300,000 more.
The death toll in Zimbabwe is smaller -- Mr.
Tsvangirai says nearly 90 of his supporters have been killed -- but the
turmoil has worsened an economy already in melt down. Four out of five
Zimbabweans are unemployed.
Africa's top diplomat said there was no
immediate solution, but was sure the AU could sort it out in a "credible
"Please give us time to solve it with our heads of state," AU
Commission chairman Jean Ping told reporters on Friday at the meeting in the
Egyptian resort town of Sharm el Sheikh.
Mediation efforts by
Zimbabwe's neighbours, led by South African President Thabo Mbeki, have
delivered little. Mr. Mbeki has been criticized for his soft diplomatic
approach to Mr. Mugabe.
Kenya's Wetangula said Nairobi had heard
statements that both sides in Zimbabwe were willing to talk, and Kenya was
ready to help with ideas on forming a workable coalition.
Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio said Kenya's example showed that
dialogue was the best way forward.
"I don't think we should go down the
road of antagonism ... What I foresee rather is the way of dialogue, of
concessions and compromise from one side and the other," he said in comments
broadcast by Radio France International.
Angola's deputy minister of
external affairs, Georges Chikoti, said the AU wanted a solution that was
acceptable to the Zimbabwean people and the pan-African body.
have to listen to everyone," he said. "We have got to take the time
necessary so that we do things well."
Sharm El Sheikh, Addis
Ababa June 27- African Civil Society expressed their positions on the Key
issues of the 11th African Union Summit Agenda, in Sharm El
†During a press conference today CSOs' representative
launched a declaration with forty-three recommendations covering all
pressing issues of Africa.
Talking about the situation in
Zimbabwe, Mr. Allioune Tine, Secretary General of RADDHO said, "The election
situation in Zimbabwe is unacceptable. What is the point of having elections
in Africa, if it will always end up by power a sharing system? The Kenyan
example should not be a model for †Africa."
" We are
calling the African Union for an immediate prioritization and action on the
audit recommendations." said Ms. Yemisrach Kebede, Director of the CCP-AU.
"We urge our leaders to speed up the process of free movement for African
Citizens. This is a fundamental prerequisite to making the union government
a reality", she added.
On the issue of food crisis in Africa,
CSOs urge that African member states put in place strong short-term measures
to mitigate the impact of rising food prices and the global crisis ensuing
In her recommendation regarding the merging the African
Court of Justice and Human Rights, Mrs. Osai Ojigho, Programme Officer for
Alliances for African Secretariat-CEAC said, " It is not acceptable that the
new merged court isn't open to the actual victims of human right abuse. We
urge our leaders to open up access to the court to citizens and
Contacts available for interview
Allioune Tine, Secretary General of RADDHO (French and English): Tel:
+201 6997 02 73 Ms. Yemisrach Kebede, Director of CCP-AU (French and
English): Tel: +201 63416487 Mrs. Osai Ojigho, Programme
Officer for Alliances for African Secretariat CEAC Tel: +234
BULAWAYO - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of
Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday increased its majority in the House of Assembly
after Minister of Information Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, the Zanu-PF candidate,
suffered a decisive defeat in a by-election.
Ndlovu was pitted
against MDC candidate Samuel Sandla Khumalo in the Mpopoma-Pelandaba
constituency in Bulawayo, an MDC stronghold. Khumalo secured 3 795 to
Ndlovu's 1 354 votes to become the mainstream MDC's 100th Member of
Dumani Gwetu representing the Arthur Mutambara faction of the
MDC received only 296 votes. The Mpopoma-Pelandaba seat was previously held
by Milford Gwetu of the Mutambara faction, who died just before the March 29
elections, giving rise to the yesterday's by-election.
originally elected to Parliament on a mainstream MDC ticket but defected to
the Mutambara faction at the launch of that faction by Tsvangirai's former
secretary general, Professor Welshman Ncube, in 2005. Ncube and his entire
executive, including Mutambara himself, were wiped out on March
The losing Mpopoma-Pelandaba candidate, Ndlovu was a respected
educationist and businessmen before he turned to politics. Ndlovu owns the
Zimbabwe Distance Education College (Zideco), which created opportunities
for many youngsters during Zimbabwe's post independence boom in education.
He, however, alienated himself from the electorate - he suffered defeat in
the 2005 election as well - through association with a party that is
generally unpopular in the Matabeleland region of the country.
further undermined his own political credentials by his rabid support for
President Robert Mugabe at a time when the latter's image and popularity
were in steep decline. One of Ndlovu's greatest weaknesses is a love for
publicity. A regular guest speaker at the Bulawayo Press Club, where he
became patron in return for lavish funding, Ndlovu occasionally made
Expected by many to restore a level of
professionalism to the ministry of information and government's colossal
media empire after the disastrous performance of the mercurial Professor
Jonathan Moyo, followed by that of the inept Dr Tichaona Jokonya, now late,
Ndlovu, in the words of one newspaper columnist, instead took "government
propaganda to new depths of denial, deception and
"While as Zimbabwe's trailblazing propaganda warrior,"
wrote the columnist, Mary Revesai, "Jonathan Moyo, relied on distortion and
exaggeration in his bid to defend the indefensible, Ndlovu has chosen to
resort to an outright refusal to acknowledge objective realities."
Friday, June 27, Ndlovu paid the price. While Mugabe, the man whose failures
he presented as successes, endured the humiliation of going through a
single-candidate presidential election, Ndlovu was walloped by a
The results of two other by-elections held
yesterday remain unknown. They were held in the constituencies of Redcliff
and Gwanda South. The two original candidates, both representing the
Mutambara faction of the MDC, also died in between nomination and the March
29 parliamentary election.
On that date Zanu-PF was dislodged from its
supremacy in the House over a period of 28 years. The MDC now holds 100
parliamentary seats, while Zanu-PF has 97. The Mutambara faction of the MDC
holds ten seats while one independent MDP, Professor Jonathan Moyo holds a
Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has denounced
Friday's presidential runoff election as an "exercise in mass intimidation"
amid claims that many Zimbabweans had been forced into voting amid fears of
Many voters expressed fear of government
retaliation if they did not take part in the vote to extend President Robert
Mugabe's rule. Still, relatively low turnout was reported.
voters told CNN they were required to write down the serial numbers on their
ballots and report those numbers to Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
happening today is not an election. It is an exercise in mass intimidation
with people all over the country being forced to vote," said opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a news conference in Harare.
took part by phone, since Zimbabwe has not allowed many news agencies,
including CNN, to enter the country. South Africa's E.TV reported that two
journalists working for the network were arrested by Zimbabwean police
The vote has attracted international condemnation with the U.S.
State Department branding it a "sham. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations, said the U.N. Security Council had unanimously
"agreed that the conditions for free and fair elections did not exist and it
was a matter of deep regret that elections went ahead in these
Tsvangirai said authorities were "threatening anyone that
doesn't vote or who votes for the MDC with death. ... The militia are
warning that tomorrow they will launch Operation Red Finger that will target
anyone who has not voted."
Each voter was required to dip a finger in
red ink -- a tactic used in some nations to ensure there is no repeat
Mugabe wanted a high turnout to create a sense of legitimacy for
his expected victory. Tsvangirai had dropped out of the race last weekend,
saying the run-off election would not be legitimate. But government
authorities said it was too late to remove his name from the
Tsvangirai had been staying at the Dutch Embassy since Sunday,
citing concerns for his safety. He spoke to reporters after he left the
embassy for his home Friday.
He said anyone recognizing the vote as
legitimate was "denying the will of the Zimbabwean people."
George Charamba, a Mugabe spokesman, told CNN the vote had been "free and
He added, "I don't think we should put accent on what a politician
who is facing a bleak defeat claims is happening to him... Obviously, it has
become very apparent that Morgan Tsvangirai was not going to repeat the
fluke victory that he managed in March."
The first secretary at the
South African Embassy in Harare, Willem Geerlings, told CNN people fleeing
political violence had camped outside the embassy, and armed Zimbabwean
police sealed off all roads leading to the embassy and set up check
Kubvoruno Choga, with the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Tsvangirai's party, told CNN his party was receiving reports
of ZANU-PF agents forcing people to vote. He said in some areas, village
chiefs took people's ID cards Thursday night and were giving them back along
with ballot papers Friday.
The MDC had distributed fliers across the
country encouraging people not to vote.
In a phone interview with
CNN Friday, Tsvangirai said Mugabe had denied his country the solutions to
its worst problems that new leadership could bring.
"We are faced with 2
million percent inflation, massive starvation, people who are seriously
underprivileged," he said. "Mugabe can celebrate that he has won, but it's a
Pyrrhic victory as far as we are concerned."
U.S. President George Bush
and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have said the elections are a
State Department spokesman Tom Casey echoed that Friday, calling
the elections "an absolutely vacant process." He said they had "no standing"
for the United States, the U.N. Security Council, or the G8.
Charamba, speaking with CNN by telephone, denied the reports of pressure.
Asked about images from Zimbabwe showing what is reported to be violence
against members of the opposition, he responded, "I thought we are long past
the age where we could consider pictures as not lying. It's very, very easy
for anyone to stage-manage a demonstration and a violent one at
Asked about images of burned bodies, he responded, "We have
not burned bodies. We have dead bodies of war veterans." The Zimbabwean war
veterans are a group loyal to Mugabe.
Charamba said the
election was "free and fair to the extent that the oppositional candidate
decided to participate in the same vote, albeit from a very odd angle." He
added, referring to Tsvangirai, "ultimately he is a
Pastor Nhari of the Seventh Day Adventist Church abducted by soldiers in
Over the last one week, Pastor Nhari, a devout and committed
pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, has been abducted in Chiredzi by
a group of ZANU-PF militia and soldiers.
Pastor Nhari is a much loved
SDA pastor who is always there to visit victims of violence, offering
prayers and strengthening faith in God as he preaches non-violence and love,
often prefacing or concluding his sermons with his two favourite songs: "Be
happy, be kind, be loving, be true, I will meet you in heaven and live
next-door to you"; and one where he calls, "Glory be to God, peace and love
The Seventh Day Adventist Church does great work in the
communities in Chiredzi, and is well respected, thanks to the efforts of
pastors like Nhari, who has been active in supporting families, the poor,
and the needy in all the churches that he has presided over in the past,
including in Gokwe.
Through efforts such as the Adventist Relief
Services, the SDA Church dutifully tends to the sick, homeless, and the
hungry. The Zimbabwe Union Conference, which falls under the Southern
Africa-Indian Ocean Division of the worldwide SDA Church, is an important
pillar of the Adventist world-wide mission. Within it, many pastors and lay
people have expressed deep respect and affection for Pastor Nhari, who with
his wife are down-to-earth people that have provided dedicated ministry to
each church that they have been posted to.
Church members have
reported that Pastor Nhari's crime was to refuse war veterans permission to
block a service on a Saturday, and have congregants forcibly attend a
'pungwe' indoctrination session of Mr Mugabe's party.
Zimbabwean tennis star disturbed about
plight of homeland
International Herald Tribune
The Associated PressPublished: June 28,
WIMBLEDON, England: In the serene surroundings of
Wimbledon, Zimbabwean Cara Black breaks away from her pursuit of a fourth
doubles title to reflect on the disturbing situation in her African
A stream of Black's rivals have been approaching the six-time
Grand Slam doubles champion at the All England Club to express their
sympathies about Zimbabwe's turmoil.
"It's all over the news so I
think everybody is aware what's going on and players do ask me," she told
The Associated Press in an interview at Wimbledon. "But every Zimbabwean is
in the same situation so it's frustrating, but you've just got to get on
with things and hope things will be fine."
Black said she fears the
consequences of speaking out.
"It's not safe for me," she said as
counting continued in Zimbabwe's widely denounced presidential runoff, which
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from, blaming intimidation and
It explains why the 29-year-old Black is reticent
to discuss her encounters with longtime leader Robert Mugabe, who has
presided over Zimbabwe's economic slump and single-party
But she is relieved that the international community has
finally launched a concerted effort to unseat Mugabe and alleviate the
burden of her compatriots.
"It's disturbing for every Zimbabwean.
It's just hopefully not for much longer and things will be fine," Black
said. "You've just got to keep waiting. It's getting better, it's on the way
forward now. We've just got to bide a little more time.
seems to be caring more."
On the latest of her twice-yearly visits back
to her home in the capital Harare in April, Black witnessed and experienced
the shortage of basic staples like bread and milk.
"You notice the
food shortages, you've got to look around for your shopping," she said.
"Everybody struggles and is effected by it. Things are tough, nothing's
"You can't just go to the shop and buy some bread or go to the
petrol station and get some fuel, but they learn to deal with it. They do
deal with it well and they are strong, tough people and
Black hopes her performances at Wimbledon and the Beijing
Olympics in August will provide relief for the troubled nation.
and American partner Liezel Huber are the top-seeded pair in the women's
doubles, and they advanced to the fourth round Saturday by beating Vania
King and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-1, 6-3. Black is also entered in the mixed
doubles with Paul Hanley.
"Sport's always a good thing - it's healthy and
it takes your mind off other things," Black said. "It definitely gives
everyone a good boost."
While Zimbabwean tennis struggles with a lack of
investment, she accepts that sport is not the most pressing
"There's not enough money involved in the sports and things like
that, but a little more interest in equipment and funding could really
change that around," she said. "Sport isn't the priority at the moment,
tough, I think food would be."
Black believes that there should be a
clear division between sport and politics and has urged the International
Cricket Council not to expel Zimbabwe next week at an executive meeting in
"It's not fair that the athletes suffer, but what you can do, it's
happened a lot now," she said. "They've just got to wait and I'm sure things
will pan out OK."