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Ben Freeth is abducted in Zimbabwe

The Telegraph

By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 8:15PM BST 29/06/2008
A British-born farmer who helped to bring the violence in Zimbabwe to
international prominence was beaten up and abducted along with his in-laws
Ben Freeth, who wrote an open letter on political intimidation that was
published around the world earlier this month, was seriously assaulted with
his in-laws, Mike Campbell, 75, and his wife Angela, 70, at their farm near
Chegutu, 60 miles west of Harare.

Other members of the family including four children were trying to make
their way to safety as dark fell last night.

John Worsley-Worswick, spokesman for the Justice for Agriculture group,
said: "They were beaten very badly and there were gun shots and we are still
trying to find out where they have been taken. They are in grave danger, but
we know who has taken them."

Another white former farmer was injured during a series of attacks in the
Chegutu area yesterday.

Mr Campbell was the first white farmer to take an eviction order to the
Southern African Development Community and won an interim order stopping
eviction or harassment.

His letter is reprinted below:

Dear all,

It has been quite a weekend.

We were made very aware of impending problems on our Mount Carmel farm
before it even started. Various letters came in as well as verbal warnings
from concerned people all over the district. People were told that Mt.
Carmel cattle and potatoes would be dished out to them. The election
campaign is being fought on "one hundred per cent empowerment" ie. taking
everything that belongs to people who are not black and giving it to Party
faithfulls. The Party has got nothing else to offer the people...

People were told if they did not come they would be beaten.

President Mugabe arrived in our little town of Chegutu that afternoon and
people were only informed that morning. Everyone had to suddenly go to his
rally whether they wanted to or not. He apparently told the people that if
the opposition got in it would be war. The unexpected Presidential rally
must have thrown the organisation for the Mount Carmel "programme" [as it
was referred to in a letter from one of the organisors].

That evening we only ended up with about 500 of the expected 1500 people
that were to come. They were bussed in from all over on tractor trailors,
lorries, car and busses. We even had one bus from Shamva hundreds of kms

The drums and chanting started soon after dark. Nearly fifty fires were lit
all around. The leaders were waving guns around and had everyone doing their
bidding. The chanting and sloganeering was military style - all in unison
for hour after hour after hour all the way through the night. We could not

When dawn broke and the birds started to call the chanting broke into a
noise that sounded like a terrible swarm of bees on the rampage.

We knew that the beating had then started and we prayed. It turned out that
anyone who they believed had been polling agents at polling stations was
covered in cold water. We had frost that morning and it was cold.

They were then told to beat each other with sticks while the crowd egged
them on. The noise went on for a few hours. Some of them had already run
away. Those people will not vote; still less be polling agents in the next
election because you have to vote in your own ward I understand and they are
designating which polling station too so that they can check who you voted

They had been searched for any cell phones so that they not relay any
atrocities on to anyone. They were told that they would be killed if
information leaked out. Everyone is tight lipped about what went on. Today
they go through the day mechanically with terror written all over them.

A neighbor, Marius Erasmus, drove past on the main road and was stopped at a
road block that they had set up on our road. He managed to get through that
but at the next one they put burning logs on his bonnet and tried to get
into the car. A couple of hundred people came out from the packshed where
the indoctrination was taking place. He managed to reverse and turn around
and get through the other road block taking some rocks on his windscreen and
other places on the car.

Meantime Bruce [Lauras brother] had been at the Chegutu police station
trying to get police out. We had been there on five occasions the previous
week trying to tell Chief Inspector Gunyani and Inspector Manyota and
Assistant Inspector Bupera of what was to take place. We had given two
letters for the attention of the officer in charge, Chief Inspector Gunyani.

Bruce waited for six hours at the police station but could not get a
reaction to stop the beating and dismantle the road blocks. He saw Chief
Inspector Gunyani, Inspector Manyota and Assistant Inspector Bupera amongst
others. It is clear that they are under orders not to react.

Our electricity went down and both cell phone networks also ceased to
operate. We were left with no communications and our way out onto the main
road was sealed off by a road block. We prayed and read psalm 118.

Bruce eventually decided to come out himself. Miraculously, just before he
arrived, the road blocks were dismantled and everyone disappeared. Shortly
after the guards came to tell us of thieves in the maize - about 30 people
were just helping themselves. We caught some of them and chased them off and
recovered their booty.

Meanwhile the atrocities go on at the all night pungwes and the people
tremble with fear. I read that the observors are officially not allowed out
after dark because their safety can not be guaranteed. They need to defy
that and get out and see with their own eyes these things if they care at

We ask you to pray and send brave people and peace keepers to stop the
atrocities before they get even worse.

Maybe I write this in vain; but I write this crying.

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Mugabe sworn in after election


By Cris Chinaka 15 minutes ago

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was sworn in on Sunday
after being declared overwhelming winner of an election which observers said
was scarred by violence and intimidation.

Mugabe was the only candidate and went ahead with the vote despite a wave of
international censure. The United States, which says it is preparing new
sanctions, called on Sunday for strong international action.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew a week ago saying a systematic
campaign of violence, which killed nearly 90 of his followers, had made a
free and fair vote impossible.

The electoral commission said Mugabe won 85.51 percent of the vote. He had
43.2 percent in elections in March which Tsvangirai won with 47.9 percent -- 
short of the absolute majority needed for a first-round victory.

The commission said turnout was 42.37 percent, almost exactly the same as in
March. Human rights groups and witnesses accused pro-Mugabe militias of
forcing people to vote in some areas.

Pan-African parliament observers, one of the few groups able to monitor the
ballot, said it was so flawed it should be rerun.

"These elections were not free and fair," said Marwick Khumalo, head of the
observer team.

He said monitors had recorded violence and intimidation across the country,
including abductions and assaults which had led to some deaths. The
observers said turnout was low.

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) observer mission also said
on Sunday the poll had been marred by pre-election violence and did not
reflect the will of the country's people, dealing a serious blow to Mugabe's

The regional grouping, which has stood by the veteran leader in the past,
said the vote did not conform to regional election guidelines, despite
voting on election day being peaceful.

"Based on the above-mentioned observation, the mission is of the view that
the prevailing environment impinged on the credibility of the electoral
process," according to a statement by SADC seen by Reuters on Sunday.

"The elections did not represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe."

The electoral commission released Friday's results in under 48 hours,
compared to five weeks for the March poll.

Mugabe, 84 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, was quickly
sworn in for a new five-year term in a ceremony on the lawns of state house,
with a military band, marching honor guard and judges in red robes and white


Security chiefs, key backers of the former guerrilla commander, queued up to
swear allegiance.

In his inaugural speech, Mugabe said: "Once again we have shamed all our

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai rejected Mugabe's
invitation to attend the swearing-in and dismissed it as meaningless.

"I can't give support to an exercise I'm totally opposed to ... the whole
world has condemned it, the Zimbabwean people will not give this exercise
legitimacy and support," he said.

Tsvangirai added he would ask African Union (AU) leaders meeting in Egypt on
Monday not to recognize the re-election.

Mugabe says he will confront his African critics at the meeting and the
quick inauguration enables him to attend with a new five-year mandate.

Mugabe is under pressure from within Africa to enter talks with Tsvangirai
to end his country's deep crisis, which has ruined a once-prosperous economy
with hyperinflation and sent millions of refugees fleeing into neighboring

In an apparent response to that pressure, he said in his inaugural speech
that he was committed to dialogue with the MDC.

Tsvangirai said the opposition was also committed to AU-sponsored talks,
although no negotiations had started.

The AU seems reluctant to back Western calls for sanctions, favoring instead
a Kenya-style power-sharing transition.

The Egypt summit may be split between critics of Mugabe, like Kenya, and
opponents of any action against him led by South African President Thabo
Mbeki, who has been widely criticized for taking a soft line with his

Mugabe paid tribute to Mbeki, describing him as a statesman. "Zimbabwe is
indebted to his untiring efforts to promote harmony and peace," he said.
Mbeki has tried to mediate an end to the crisis since last year.

South Africa's trade union confederation COSATU, a fierce critic of Mugabe
and Mbeki, said in a statement that the AU must refuse to recognize the
Zimbabwean leader, who had won a "farcical" election by intimidation,
violence and murder.

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga was quoted as saying on Sunday that the
AU should deploy troops. "What is happening in Zimbabwe is a shame and an
embarrassment to Africa in the eyes of the international community and
should be denounced."

But AU security chief Ramtane Lamamra played down the prospects of
peacekeepers being sent.

Alister Sparks, a political analyst at Standard Bank, said Mbeki had lost
credibility as a mediator and Mugabe's victory would send a new influx of
refugees into neighboring countries.

"I would hope that no civilized country in the world would recognize it (the
election). It's been a phony election and a brutal election," he told

(Additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Nelson Banya in Harare,
Marius Bosch and Phakamisa Ndzamela in Johannesburg; writing by Barry Moody;
editing by Andrew Roche)

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5 more years !

Robert Mugabe has been sworn in for a new five-year term as Zimbabwe’s president after ZEC officials declared a landslide victory for him.

A 21-gun salute and military jet fly-by greeted Mr Mugabe at the ceremony at his State House residence in Harare.

ZEC results said Mr Mugabe won all 10 provinces with 85.5% of the vote - but there were many spoiled ballots.

ZEC spent the whole night tallying,it has been established that vote totals from Mashonaland East,West and Central were not tallying with the number of registered voters.In Mudzi two polling stations reported 15 000 votes for Mugabe when they are only 3 000 people in those wards.The same scenario was repeated in most polling stations in Mashonaland Central,which raises fears that they could have been some serious ballot stuffing.

ZEC had sent helicopters to some constituencies to verify the results after noting discrepancies between the sum of the votes cast for Mugabe, for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and spoilt ballots and the total number of votes cast.

The ballot stuffing could have been meant to surpass the March 29 turnout after record low turnout in Masvingo,Manicaland,Harare and Bulawayo.In Bulawayo 3 polling stations in Makokoba did not receive a single voter at all.

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Zimbabwe poll did not represent will of people: SADC

Monsters and Critics
Jun 29, 2008, 18:34 GMT

Harare/Johannesburg - A southern African election observer team said
Zimbabwe's one-man presidential election run-off that returned President
Robert Mugabe as uncontested leader for a further five years Sunday 'did not
represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe.'

After hours of wrangling over the wording of their statement, the 400-strong
Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer team said: 'The
mission is of the view that the prevailing environment impinged on the
credibility of the electoral process. The elections did not represent the
will of the people of Zimbabwe.'

Earlier Mugabe, 84, was hastily sworn in for his sixth term as leader after
a landslide victory in the second round of presidential elections that
opposition Movement for Democratic (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai boycotted
over attacks on his supporters.

Despite asking people not to vote for him Tsvangirai received over 230,000
votes after his name was left on the ballot, against a little over 2 million
for Mugabe.

SADC mission chief Jose Marcos Barrica pointed to politically- motivated
violence and intimidation, the disruption of opposition campaigning and
one-sided media coverage in the run-up to Friday's vote in concluding the
poll lacked credibility.

'The process leading to the elections did not conform to SADC principles and
guidelines governing democratic elections,' in a statement contrasting with
its past endorsement of flawed Zimbabwean elections.

SADC teams had also reported being harassed in the course of their duties,
he said.

'The mission strongly recommends that SADC mediation efforts should be
continued in order to assist the people and leadership of Zimbabwe to
resolve the problems they are facing and bring the country to normalcy,'
SADC, whose mediator in Zimbabwe, South African President Thabo Mbeki is
accused of pro-Mugabe bias by the MDC, said.

Barrica also gave a flavour of some of the tens of thousands of spoiled
ballots cast by disgruntled Zimbabweans Friday.

'God bless this country,' 'let there be free and fair elections' and 'No to
dictatorship', some voters wrote on their ballots.

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Sham election results from the Presidential run-off poll

On March 29th 2008, Robert Mugabe polled total votes of 1,079,730. Somehow, despite mass intimidation, gross violence, increasing poverty, murders, and hyper-inflation, Robert Mugabe's popularity accelerated faster than our inflation figures (which is quite something) and he managed to secure himself an extra 1,070,539 votes on 27 June 2008. He has effectively doubled his vote.

Do not forget that Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from this poll and a call to boycott the elections was circulated and supported in many areas (see Sokwanele round-ups on the day of the polls here and here). The Pan African Parliamentary observers have independently also confirmed an extremely low turnout, but this is not reflected in the turnout figures below.

There are two rows per province in the table; the yellow highlighed row shows the results for March 29th 2008, excluding the other two candidates who competed on that day. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have not released the results on a constituency basis so we cannot make detailed comparisons.

Please visit our Election 2008 page for details of this poll, and the polls for March 29th 2008.

Province Tsvangirai Mugabe Spoilt Totals Turnout
Bulawayo 27/6 13291 21127 9166 43584 14%
Bulawayo 29/3 49657 11118 551 97236 30%
Harare 27/6 48307 156478 36447 241232 31%
Harare 29/3 227166 61215 1452 315449 40%
Manicaland 27/6 29561 323284 17525 370370 48%
Manicaland 29/3 212029 141592 6061 375159 48%
Mashonaland Central 27/6 4066 276912 3409 284387 54%
Mashonaland Central 29/3 75722 157626 4080 245345 47%
Mashonaland East 27/6 11171 315119 7675 333965 51%
Mashonaland East 29/3 119661 160965 4578 297312 45%
Mashonaland West 27/6 18459 256699 10821 285979 46%
Mashonaland West 29/3 107345 134730 3275 258436 41%
Masvingo 27/6 12804 321404 9740 343948 46%
Masvingo 29/3 145198 156672 7318 323563 44%
Matabeleland North 27/6 40099 84185 9907 134191 37%
Matabeleland North 29/3 70611 42825 3596 154708 42%
Matabeleland South 27/6 21687 92654 7353 121694 34%
Matabeleland South 29/3 34885 46156 2541 121724 34%
Midlands 27/6 33555 302407 19438 355400 45%
Midlands 29/3 153288 166831 5363 347150 44%
Total 27/6: 233000 2150269 131481 2514750 42.4%
Total 29/3: 1195562 1079730 38815 2536082 42.7%
Percentage 27/6 9.8% 90.2% --- 100% ---
Percentage 29/3 47.9% 43.2% --- 100%* ---

* This 100% figure includes the other Presidential candidates who competed on March 29th 2008.

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Inauguration Sunday in Harare


How Mugabe installed himself for another term

By Rod Nordland | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Jun 29, 2008 | Updated: 2:02  p.m. ET Jun 29, 2008

Some details, such as timing and description of movements, in the following
are altered for the safety of NEWSWEEK's reporter.

HARARE, JUNE 29 -- Sunday is a slow, languid day in Harare.  Small groups of
Christian evangelicals in white gowns hold prayer sessions in fields,
families go for walks under the blossoming jacaranda trees, lovers lounge in
the leafy parks.  The traffic is even scanter than usual, and slower.  Even
the ZANU-PF thugs seemed to take the day off; Operation Inky Finger seems
off to a slow start, and purple or red felt-tip pens have sold out of the

Robert Mugabe, however, was in a hurry.  He wasted no time today in
declaring himself victor in Friday's presidential run-off election.  In
fact, ambassadors around town were invited to his inauguration before the
vote totals were even released.   (The American ambassador did not get an
invitation, and a spokesman at the embassy said he would not have attended
the event anyway, considering the election invalid.)  Limousines with
diplomatic plates filed through the gates of State House on Rotten Row
between two and two-thirty in the afternoon, and the inauguration was held
shortly later.

There was a slight problem with the timing, however.  The Zimbabwean
Election Commission had not released the official results, and did not do so
until late in the afternoon, well after four p.m.--apparently after the
inauguration and swearing-in had actually taken place, and all the
diplomats' cars had already been seen leaving State House.  So the "live"
television broadcast of the ceremony, by Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation,
was simply delayed until 6:15 p.m. local time, about 45 minutes after
sunset.   That, in turn, was a dead giveaway, for while the rest of the
country had already plunged into winter darkness, Mugabe's "live"
inauguration, by the country's be-wigged chief justice, followed by a
ceremonial march with an honor guard across the grounds of State House,
clearly was taking place in the bright sunlight of midafternoon.
Even though it was a bit behind schedule in releasing the results, the
Zimbabwe Election Commission did act with astonishing speed considering the
many weeks that it took to release a result after the March 29th election,
which Morgan Tsvangirai won handily.  The ZEC received some heavy
encouragement to act quickly, when on Saturday night Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Mugabe's election campaign chief, visited the ZEC's offices to tell them to
hurry up, according to Agence France Presse.

Mnangagwa recently has been described as Mugabe's heir apparent; he
currently holds the cabinet post of minister for rural housing, but during
the election campaign, he was in charge of a government ad hoc body called
the Joint Operations Center, which combined police, military and state
security agencies in directing election campaign "operations."  The ZANU-PF
youth militias worked directly under the JOC and were funded by it.  One
human rights activist describes Mnangagwa as "more vicious than Mugabe," and
noted that he was minister for state security during the era of the
Matabeleland massacres, when some 20,000 people were killed to destroy
support for Joshua Nkomo's followers.

The reason for the unseemly speed, which only underscored the farce of a
one-man runoff, is pretty clear.  Mugabe wants to attend the African Union
summit tomorrow in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to establish his legitimacy in
Africa's eyes; if the inauguration hadn't taken place, the AU could have
plausibly said he couldn't attend since only heads of state were invited.

It's unclear at this point if the AU will even accept him now; their own
election observers have not yet given their verdict on the run-off election,
but it will be hard for them to describe it positively.  But the Pan African
Parliament, which also had an observer team here, at a press conference
today at the Miekles Hotel in downtown Harare, issued a devastating verdict.
"The mission concluded that  the current atmosphere prevailing in the
country did not give rise to the conduct of free, fair and credible
elections," said the head of the observers' group, Marwick Khumalo. He said
his observers saw an unusually high percentage of spoiled ballots -- many
with "unpalatable messages" written on them -- and intimidating groups of
young men at polling places instructing voters to write down the serial
numbers on their ballots so they could check how they voted.  And he noted
that turnout was very low.  And, of course, the leading vote getter in the
first round, Tsvangirai, didn't even take part.  For what it's worth, ZEC
claimed that Mugabe beat Tsvangirai by 2 million  to 200,000 nationwide, and
even beat him in the opposition stronghold of Harare by two to one.  Khumalo
also had harsh words for how ZEC had responded to all the election
irregularities. "Its deafening silence was alarming."

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Drama at AU Summit,SA Lies to AU

By Gerald Harper ⋅ © ⋅ June 29, 2008 ⋅

President Thabo Mbeki is lobbying African leaders to recognise Robert Mugabe
as Zimbabwe’s head of state — despite worldwide condemnation of Friday’s
“sham” presidential election.
MDC vice-president, Thokhozani Khupe, who attended a pre summit conference
in Egypt this weekend, confirmed South Africa’s delegation had lobbied AU
colleagues to maintain the status quo after a caucus meeting on Friday —
which would include recognition of Mugabe as president.

“(Minister of foreign affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) said the SADC
(Southern African Development Community) was about to strike a deal on the
transition, but we as the MDC are unaware of any deal,” said Khupe.

“Ministers here are being told by South Africa not to meddle and to leave
things as they are.”

MDC spokesman George Sibotshiwe said at the summit: “The South African
foreign minister yesterday — in a meeting with other foreign ministers —
placed it in on record that she, on behalf of the SADC, can confirm that
they are nearing a deal where we will have a power-sharing arrangement
because the results of the March 29 election did not yield a clear winner.

“Based on that, the AU is supposed to trust the SADC to deliver a solution
to Zimbabwe — that automatically closes the platform for other Africa
leaders to express their positions on Zimbabwe, because if a solution is
imminent, who would want to disrupt that solution?”

Mbeki is at the AU summit where the Zimbabwean crisis is expected to feature
prominently. The MDC has sent a delegation without Tsvangirai as the state
will not grant him a new passport. African leaders are under intense
pressure to take action against Mugabe at the summit.

But while African leaders slammed Mugabe for his reign of terror in the
run-up to Friday’s runoff election, they have been reticent on what action
they intend to take against him

John Musukuma, spokesman for Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who has been
highly critical of Mugabe, said Mwanawasa had on Thursday officially called
for the runoff to be suspended.

He added: “Well, that’s water under the bridge now. We will simply have to
move forward with negotiations.”

Musukuma declined to respond when asked whether the SADC — which is chaired
by Mwanawasa — would accept Mugabe as a legitimate presidential winner.

Additional Reporting from Sunday Times

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Africa's top security body discusses Zimbabwe crisis

Yahoo News

by Emmanuel Goujon 39 minutes ago

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP) - Africa's top conflict prevention body held
closed-door talks on Zimbabwe's crisis on Sunday amid growing calls for
Monday's African Union summit to shun President Robert Mugabe over his
widely discredited election win.

The AU's 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC), which is modelled on
the UN Security Council, began its meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of
Sharm el-Sheikh riven by disagreement over how to tackle the problem.

Although Zimbabwe's one-man presidential election, which has been widely
branded a farce, was not reportedly on the African council's official
agenda, participating heads of state would raise the matter, an AU spokesman

Mugabe, 84, was sworn in for another term shortly before the Sharm meeting
opened, having been declared election winner after opposition candidate
Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew because of violence.

Mugabe was expected to Sharm following his swearing-in, with the PSC likely
to decide on what kind of reception he gets at the two-day African summit.

Apparently seeking to temper potential African hostility, Mugabe used his
swearing-in to call for dialogue and heaped praise on the much criticised
efforts of South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate the crisis.

"It is my hope that sooner rather than later, we shall as diverse political
parties hold consultations towards such serious dialogue as will minimise
our difference and enhance the area of unity and cooperation," Mugabe said.

So far there has been no consensus among the AU's 53 member states, with the
pan-African body issuing diplomatic statements and pushing for a
power-sharing arrangement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore warned that the Zimbabwe crisis could
destabilise southern Africa.

"Today Africa must be much more interested in Zimbabwe... because this is a
situation which could, beyond Zimbabwe, affect the whole southern African
region," he told journalists.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the AU had an opportunity to help
solve the crisis and "consider the long-term interests of Zimbabwe and

"Not one party can have a fully legitimate government in the eyes of the
Zimbabwean people today beacause of the polarisation. So there is a need to
bridge the gap," he said.

AU foreign ministers spent much of Friday discussing Zimbabwe but without
reaching any agreement on action.

On Saturday, South Africa put forward a proposed resolution for the summit
to a meeting of the AU executive council, according to a participant at the

"(It was) firm and detailed on possible power-sharing in Zimbabwe, but some
people were reluctant and the Zimbabwe delegation opposed its adoption."

South Africa, which has been trying to mediate on behalf of the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC), then "submitted another proposal, as
yet unadopted, which is very flat and simply calls for an end to violence
and for dialogue."

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, among the veteran leader's most vocal
critics, has called on the bloc to send troops into Zimbabwe, and labelled
Mugabe "a shame to Africa."

South African cleric and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu said "a
very good argument can be made for having an international force to restore
peace" in Zimbabwe under UN auspices.

In London, British Foreign Office Minister Mark Malloch Brown said if Mugabe
resists change and violently oppresses human rights, "then I hope the
African neighbours will do whatever it takes to secure his departure."

A group of African lawmakers who observed Friday's election run-off said the
results should be scrapped and a new vote held.

US President George W. Bush on Saturday ordered additional sanctions to beef
up existing measures that include a travel ban on Mugabe's inner circle and
a freeze on their bank accounts.

Human Rights Watch called on Sunday for African leaders to impose sanctions
against Mugabe and refuse to recognise his legitimacy, calling the election
a "sham."

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No comment on Zimbabwe as African security council ends talks


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, June 29 (AFP)

Africa's top conflict prevention body ended talks on Sunday without making
any public comment on Zimbabwe's political crisis ahead of an African Union
summit on Monday.

The meeting of the AU's 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC) ended
after three hours of talks amid growing calls for Monday's African Union
summit to shun Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe over his widely discredited
election win.

Instead, the PSC referred the tricky issue of how Africa should deal with
Mugabe, who was sworn in on Sunday after winning a one-men election, to the
summit itself, a source close the AU commission told AFP.

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JAG - urgent press alert communique, Dated 29 June 2008

Email: :

JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799 410.  If you are in trouble
or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!

At approximately 3 o'clock this afternoon a group of armed 'war vets' and
youth (militia?) seriously assaulted Mr. Frank Trott on the Meredith's farm
near Chegutu.  Frank has been hospitalised.

From there the group visited Mike Campbell's Mount Carmel farm (SADC
Tribunal Windhoek Case) where Mike Campbell, his wife, Angela and the
son-in-law, Ben Freeth were seriously beaten before being abducted at
gunpoint.  Eye witness reports indicate 14 weapons amongst the group reputed
to be headed by war veteran Moyo (Moyo drove the Roger's assault).  Mike's
son, Bruce, followed at a distance and shots were fired at him.  The
Campbell's and Ben Freeth were followed to Stockdale Farm (Etheredge) where
further pursuit was prevented by further shots being fired.

A further more recent report indicates that a Mr. Bronky Bronkhorst's dairy
farm in the near vicinity of the Campbell property is being ransacked and
looted at this point in time.

The whereabouts of the Campbell's and Ben Freeth is unknown at this time and
is cause for serious concern.


Contact: John Worsley-Worswick
Cell numbers: - 011 610 073, 0912 326 965


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Will Africa take action against Zimbabwe's Mugabe?

Christian Science Monitor

The African Union is expected to discuss the issue in Egypt Monday, one day
after Mugabe declared a 'sweeping victory' in Friday's presidential runoff,
which was widely condemned as a sham.
By Scott Baldauf | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
and contributors
from the June 30, 2008 edition

has long been able to count on African leaders to sympathize with his goals
of ridding Zimbabwe of the vestiges of white colonial rule.

But with his brutal tactics in what's widely seen as a sham runoff
presidential election Friday, Mr. Mugabe may have squandered his last shred
of credibility even in Africa.

Monday, at a meeting of African leaders in Egypt, Mugabe faces a critical
personal test. Will the African Union join the international community in
pushing for new sanctions, even military intervention, in Zimbabwe?

"We are saying we want the African Union to send troops to Zimbabwe,"
Kenya's Prime Minster Raila Odinga said on Saturday. "The time has come for
the African continent to stand firm in unity to end dictatorship."

This call is echoed by retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, while
East African nations are calling on Mugabe and his opponents to negotiate a
peaceful power-sharing deal.

Mugabe, who lost the first round of elections on March 29 against the
opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, 47 percent to 43 percent, ran
unopposed on Friday after Mr. Tsvangirai pulled out of the runoff last week.
Tsvangirai says that Mugabe's supporters, including the Army, the police,
and private militias, have killed some 80 of his supporters, injured or
tortured thousands more, and displaced at least 20,000 in the lead-up to the

Some observers say Friday's electoral exercise - complete with voters
trucked in to polls and forced to vote under the watchful eyes of Mugabe's
police or Army supporters - was merely an effort in crowd control, a warning
to opposition leaders that whatever Mugabe's legitimacy on the global stage,
he still has control of the Army, the police, and all the levers of

"Since liberation, [Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party] has seen elections as a
ritual that has to be gone through to give them legitimacy in the eyes of
the region, the continent, and the international community," says Ozias
Tungwarara, a senior analyst for the Open Society Institute in Johannesburg.
"If you give the people even 20 percent of a chance to express themselves,
there is no way the Mugabe regime would survive a vote."

Mugabe's regime uses violence to seal off any chance of legitimate political
expression, but that level of repression carries its own dangers, says Mr.
Tungwarara. "What we are facing now is that most of the methods of
expressing oneself are closed out, and in this very repressed environment,
it makes a very volatile and dangerous situation," he says.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure says Mugabe's
win spells doom for the country.

"Obviously, this means more problems for the country because he will not be
accepted as the leader of Zimbabwe, neither locally nor internationally,"
says Mr. Masunungure. "There should be talks to break the impasse between
Mugabe and [Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change]."

Reconciliation coming?

Patrick Chinamasa, head of the ZANU-PF media committee on elections, said
his party is geared to reconcile with the MDC, but will only seek political
accommodation that does not undermine the gains of the liberation struggle.

"Our president has made it clear that ZANU-PF is open to negotiations on the
future of the country and the possible cooperation between us and those in
opposition," Mr. Chinamasa said. "ZANU-PF is fully conscious of its historic
duty to unite the people of Zimbabwe around common goals. We are committed
to taking measures that reconcile our population, put behind the divisions
of the past."

But MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the MDC will not engage with a
rogue president who was not elected by the people of Zimbabwe. He said the
"presidential question" remains unsolved and that Mugabe has imposed himself
as the leader of the country.

"We need to hold presidential elections in a free and fair environment," Mr.
Chamisa says. "You cannot have a pope without the endorsement of the
Catholics. Mugabe has just gone berserk."

Electoral observers from the Pan-African Parliament announced on Saturday
that the "elections were not free and fair." Members of the Southern African
Development Community also expressed dismay about the manner in which the
elections were conducted - and they sent a rather stinging signal to their
appointed mediator on the Zimbabwe issue, South African President Thabo
Mbeki, by not inviting him to a conference this week in Swaziland to discuss
the Zimbabwe issue - but they stopped short of the harsh criticism used by
Britain and the US, in favor for a call for more dialogue.

"There's quite a substantial shift in Africa on the subject [of Zimbabwe],"
says Steven Friedman, a senior analyst at the Institute for Democracy in
Southern Africa in Tshwane, formerly known as Pretoria. "I would expect
pressure to build up, and isolation to build up."

Across the country on Friday, voters turned out in low numbers, if at all.
In the opposition stronghold of Matabeleland in the south and west, voter
turnout was estimated to be around 14 percent by the independent civil
society group, Bulawayo Agenda. In the towns of Gweru, for instance, polling
stations opened at 7 a.m., with not a voter in sight. During the first round
on March 29, voters in Gweru had queued up for hours before the polling
stations opened.

Voters deliberately spoiling ballots

In other regions, voters dipped their fingers in indelible ink and then
spoiled their ballots deliberately once inside the polling stations.

In Harare, members of the ruling ZANU-PF youth militia and war veterans
moved from house to house, ordering people to go and vote for Mugabe.

In most parts of the country, those who would have voted were required to go
to "a ZANU-PF base" and submit their names and the serial number from ballot

"The youth militia were saying if I don't submit my serial number and
identification number I will be in big trouble, so I did as they wanted," a
young voter who resides in the Highfield neighborhood of Harare told the
Monitor. "This is persecution, it should not be allowed to happen in a
civilized country like Zimbabwe."

Outside the Mhiza polling station in Highfield, people could be heard urging
each other to spoil their ballots, voting for both Mugabe and Tsvangirai, in
order to render the ballot paper unusable.

"What I wanted is to dip my finger into the ink so that when the militia
come they will not beat me because I would have voted," said one voter who
did not want to be named for fear of violence from Mugabe's loyalists.

However, despite the widespread intimidation, some people, especially in
Harare's high density suburbs, did not vote saying they did not want to
waste their time participating in any election whose outcome is
predetermined. Many stayed home. Even Harare's central business district was

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US and Britain would present
a resolution to the UN Security Council calling for tougher action against
Mugabe and his supporters. "Its time for the international community to
act," she said. "It's hard to imagine that anybody could fail to act given
what we're all watching on the ground in Zimbabwe."

Yet South Africa, which has a seat on the Security Council, vowed to block
the resolution, and Zimbabwe's neighbors said they believed a less
confrontational approach was more likely to bear fruit.

. Reporters who could not be named for security reasons contributed from
Harare, Bulawayo, Mashvingo, and Mutare, Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe, what now?

The Telegraph

By Louis Weston in Harare
Last Updated: 8:16PM BST 29/06/2008
There are three possible outcomes to Zimbabwe's political crisis.
The Status Quo

Robert Mugabe has been declared re-elected by a landslide and sworn in, his
Zanu-PF party has the backing of the military - the two bodies are parallel
parts of the same regime - and there is no suggestion of violent internal

After the hopes and dreams raised by the first round in March, normal
service will be resumed, at least in the short term. The economy will
continue spiralling downwards - by some estimates hyperinflation has reached
8.2 million per cent - even more millions of Zimbabweans will need food aid
after the worst harvest on record, and the exodus to neighbouring countries,
particularly South Africa, will continue, while a small kleptocratic elite
will continue to lead lives of luxury and power.

But although Zanu-PF has been temporarily united by the existential threat
it faced from Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change, the
divisions within it will re-emerge, probably sooner rather than later,
particularly over the succession to Robert Mugabe.

Analysts say that some of the generals now see him as a liability and want
him to hand over to an internal heir within six months.

A Zanu-PF-led Unity Government

This is the most likely medium-term solution, in the face of international
condemnation and pressure, combined with Zimbabwe's desperate need to reform
its economy. Even the self-interest of Zanu-PF figures is threatened by the
country's collapsing finances, creating an incentive to agree a deal - but
not to give up power. The MDC's parliamentary majority also gives it some
influence in this regard, as long as it can stay together.

The negotiations will be long and difficult, and Mr Mugabe is an
arch-manipulator whose skill at fashioning an agreement that works out in
his interests is unparalleled. But some MDC figures will eventually be
brought into the government, enough to abolish Zimbabwe's pariah status and
trigger an avalanche of aid and investment, before a new election is held -
when everything will be up for grabs again.

An MDC-led Unity Government

Going by the results of the March 29 elections, the last vaguely free vote
in Zimbabwe - except for the results - this is what most Zimbabweans want.
Then, Zanu-PF lost its majority in parliament and Mr Tsvangirai beat Mr
Mugabe into second place in the presidential race.

But it is also the least likely outcome.

Mr Tsvangirai told the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend that his taking an
executive prime ministership, with Mr Mugabe retaining office as a
ceremonial president, was "not inconceivable". Nonetheless it is
inconceivable that Zanu-PF will give up power in the current circumstances.

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Has Mugabe out-foxed the African Union?

Reuters blogs

June 29th, 2008

Posted by: John Chiahemen

It would be out of character for the African Union (AU) to order any tough
sanctions against Zimbabwe's strongman President Robert Mugabe at its
special summit in Egypt on Monday. But has his swearing-in on Sunday for a
new five-year term after a widely condemned election further narrowed the AU's
latitude for action? Mugabe defied international calls to cancel a
presidential election run-off and negotiate with opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai who defeated Mugabe in the first-round ballot on March 29 but
fell short of an outright majority. Mugabe was the only candidate in the
second round after Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic change pulled
out because of widely reported government-backed violence and intimidation.

Mugabe was heading for the AU summit after Zimbabwe's electoral commission
declared him the winner as expected. He was immediately inaugurated in
Harare, extending his 28-year rule. This could force the AU to deal with him
as the legitimate head of state of Zimbabwe, in the face of calls from the
likes of South Africa's Bishop Desmond Tutu for the pan-African body not to
recognise his election.  A defiant Mugabe vowed to confront his critics at
the summit. The wily Mugabe invited Tsvangirai to the inauguration ceremony
and pledged at the event to talk to the opposition to solve the country's
political crisis. Tsvangirai rejected the invitation.

Political analysts said Mugabe was attending the AU summit from a position
of strength and with an appearance of willingness to negotiate with
Tsvangirai, a long-standing demand of the AU.

"If the AU does not recognise his presidency Mugabe simply retuns to Harare
and goes on with his life," analyst John Makumbe told Johannesburg's City
Press. "Life for Zimbabweans remains the same, if not worse. So the AU has
to make a difficult choice: going for Mugabe or going with Mugabe."

The pan-African organisation had for years used a sacred principle of
non-interference to justify inaction against rogue leadership on the
continent. Many African leaders have been reluctant to condemn Mugabe, who
has enjoyed the status of an African liberation hero. But all that is
changing, with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga leading a growing number
of African voices critical of Mugabe.

So do you expect the AU to take any tough stand against Mugabe? Or has
Mugabe out-foxed the AU? What form of international intervention is possible
in Zimbabwe? Is Mugabe sincere about his declared intention to reach out to
the opposition?

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Retribution in Some Rural Areas As Mugabe Prepares for Another Term

SW Radio Africa (London)

29 June 2008
Posted to the web 29 June 2008

Tererai Karimakwenda

Many Zimbabweans went to church as usual on Sunday while Robert Mugabe and
ZANU-PF tried to create some excitement over the results of the one-man
presidential election. But many people were depressed, not excited, at the
prospect of another 5 years under the Mugabe regime.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa spoke to parishioners at several
churches on Sunday and reported that most Harare residents were not anxious
to hear the results of the poll.

Muchemwa said the urban areas are peaceful but there are reports that
villagers are being assaulted in some rural districts of Manicaland, because
there were too many spoiled ballots and not votes for Mugabe.

The areas that were mostly targeted were Chimanimani, Chipinge and Buhera.
According to Muchemwa, the victims were being asked why many of them had not
voted and why there were many spoiled papers. Reports from around the
country indicate that many people either stayed home, spoiled their ballots
or voted for Tsvangirai.

Muchemwa said there are fewer roadblocks in the capital and in the
high-density areas. The youth militia who were hired to terrorise voters
ahead of the poll are nowhere to be seen. Only the local thugs are still
around and they are no longer wearing police uniforms.

From Bulawayo, our correspondent Sindiso Dube reported that residents of
Plumtree are being ordered to go to a war veterans base called Sowezi, to
prove that they voted by showing the ink on their fingers. Lupane residents
are also being targeted because voter turnout was too low. Sindiso said many
fled on Saturday after voting, clearly because they were expecting violence
after the election. He believes this is a sign that they did not vote for

The desperate regime went ahead with plans to inaugurate Mugabe as president
for another 5 years. It is hoped that African leaders who are meeting in
Egypt for the A.U. summit will condemn Mugabe's actions and finally take
concrete steps to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis, which is now affecting many
other countries in the region.

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African Union Urged to Take Stern Measures Against Mugabe

SW Radio Africa (London)

29 June 2008
Posted to the web 29 June 2008

Tichaona Sibanda

Most Zimbabweans believe the African Union should intervene to resolve the
crisis in the country and there are many calls on the African body to unite
in rejecting Robert Mugabe's new term as president.

Political analyst Isaac Dziya said the AU should be tough with Mugabe,
saying the credibility of the African body was at stake, considering that
most of the world leaders have discredited the elections.

Dziya said the AU should be encouraged to take a cue from what the U.S plans
to do next week, which is to introduce a UN resolution seeking tough action
against Zimbabwe to send 'a strong message of deterrence' to the regime -
according to the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

'The AU can start by calling for new free and fair elections that are
monitored by the international community, after which they should consider
sanctions against Mugabe if he refuses to comply,' Dziya said.

But on Sunday China balked at US calls for a UN arms embargo on Zimbabwe,
despite an appeal by Rice for immediate strong international action to end
the political violence.

Reports said Rice and her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, met in Beijing to
discuss US plans to introduce both an arms embargo and a travel ban on
Mugabe's regime.

Rice told a press conference that the situation in the country had
deteriorated to a very grave level. 'We believe that it is really now time
for the international community to act strongly, but we are consulting about
what measures might be taken,' she said.

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Why no international action? - former judge

Radio New Zealand

Published at 6:25am on 30 June 2008

A former Zimbabwean High Court judge who lives in New Zealand says he can't
understand why the international community has not intervened to force
President Robert Mugabe from power.

Benjamin Paradza now lives in Wellington and says he expected the United
Nations to intervene.

He says sanctions against Zimbabwe are a waste of time, leading to further
suffering for the population.

Mr Mugabe was sworn in as President on Sunday after a one-man election that
has been widely denounced as illegitimate.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called on the African Union to send
troops into Zimbabwe. He described Mr Mugabe as "a shame to Africa".

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said on Sunday there was
"a very good argument" for sending an international force into Zimbabwe if
diplomatic pressure fails to remove Mr Mugabe.

In an interview with the BBC, he urged the African Union not to recognise Mr
Mugabe as Zimbabwe's head of state at its summit in Egypt.

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China balks at US calls for Zimbabwe arms embargo

5 hours ago

BEIJING (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said here Sunday it
is time for strong international action to stop political violence in
Zimbabwe but China balked at US calls for a UN arms embargo.

Rice and her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi met in Beijing to discuss US
plans to introduce measures this week at the UN Security Council, including
both an arms embargo and a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe's regime.

"We believe that it is really now time for the international community to
act strongly but we are consulting about what measures might be taken," Rice
said after announcing plans for UN Security Council action.

She spoke just before Mugabe was sworn in Sunday for a sixth term of office
as Zimbabwe president after being declared winner of a one-man election
widely denounced throughout the world as a brutal and illegitimate farce.

Rice also hoped that an African Union meeting in Egypt on Monday would at
least issue a "strong caution" to Mugabe "not to use violence against his
own people."

China -- one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security
Council along with Russia, the United States, Britain and France -- gave
vague answers when asked if it supported an arms embargo.

"The most pressing task now is to stabilise the situation in Zimbabwe," said
Yang, the Chinese foreign minister.

Yang expressed the hope that the Zimbabwe government and political
opposition will "engage in a serious dialogue to find a proper solution" to
Harare's handling of the March 29 election and June 27 runoff.

In contrast to strong US emphasis on UN Security Council action, Yang said
China hoped that the "African countries in particular" would help resolve
the crisis.

"China, as a responsible country, will also play a constructive role in this
process," Yang promised without elaborating.

Yang, whose country is a past ally of Zimbabwe's, also admitted that a
Chinese ship with a "very limited amount of conventional arms" did not
deliver the cargo earlier this year after what he said was a request from

He said Zimbabwe and China signed the deal "long, long ago."

During wide-ranging talks here, the diplomats also consulted over
international efforts to press Iran into giving up uranium enrichment while
they hailed progress made last week for North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

China is a key player in efforts to deal with the nuclear programmes of both

Yang said delegates from the six countries involved in negotiations to
denuclearise North Korea would meet "pretty soon" to establish a process for
verifying the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes.

Six-party foreign ministers will meet at the "appropriate time" to discuss
the scope of the last phase of disarmament negotiations, he said.

Rice also expressed concerns about China's crackdown in Tibet, while Beijing
faulted US views on the problem.

At the same time China announced it was resuming talks next month with the
Dalai Lama's representatives, a position supported by Washington.

Yang thanked Rice for the concern she showed the Chinese people earlier
Sunday when she visited the site of an earthquake that hit southwest China
last month, leaving 88,000 people dead or missing and up to five million

"I've been tremendously impressed with the recovery, with the resilience of
the people," Rice told journalists after touring the wrecked city of
Dujiangyan, near the epicentre.

"It is really a sign of how the human spirit can recover from great

The United States has joined international relief efforts to fly life-saving
supplies to the region where towns and villages were flattened by the 8.0
magnitude quake.

During her talks with China's leaders, Rice said she would discuss ways to
persuade China's close neighbour and ally Myanmar to accept international
aid following a cyclone that slammed the nation in early May.

Rice was set to hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime
Minister Wen Jiabao on Monday.

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe promises talks with opposition

Associated Press

3 hours ago

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe says he promises "serious
talks" with the opposition.

World leaders have condemned Friday's vote, which Mugabe claims to have won
overwhelmingly. He was sworn in soon after official results were announced

Mugabe's counterparts on the continent have called on him to enter
power-sharing talks with his main rival.

Mugabe was the only candidate in a runoff that followed a campaign of
violence against opposition supporters. Opposition candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the race because of the violence, and is
calling for negotiations.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information.
AP's earlier story is below.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a sixth
term Sunday just hours after officials said he overwhelmingly won a
discredited runoff. His main rival dismissed the inauguration and said the
next step would be power-sharing talks.

As dignitaries watched under a red-carpeted tent at the State House complex,
Mugabe held a Bible and stood before a red-robed, white-wigged judge to
swear to uphold his nation's laws "so help me God." He then sat amid
cheering to sign documents.

"The inauguration is meaningless," Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change, told Associated Press Television
News. "The world has said so, Zimbabwe has said so. So it's an exercise in

The 84-year-old Mugabe, Zimbabwe's leader since independence from Britain in
1980, was expected to depart almost immediately for an African Union summit
that opens Monday in Egypt.

There, he can expect to come under pressure from under African leaders to
negotiate a power sharing agreement with Tsvangirai, who said he believed
members of ZANU-PF party were ready for talks.

"I think that the reality has dawned on all the elites in ZANU-PF,"
Tsvangirai said. "Without negotiating with the MDC this is a dead-end."

African and other world leaders have condemned the election, in which Mugabe
was the only candidate. Human rights groups said opposition supporters were
the targets of brutal state-sponsored violence during the campaign, leaving
more than 80 dead and forcing some 200,000 to flee their homes.

Residents said they were forced to vote Friday 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.

Tsvangirai had withdrawn from the race because of the violence, though his
name remained on the ballot and his supporters may have spoiled their
ballots rather than vote for Mugabe.

The electoral commission said total results showed more than 2 million votes
for Mugabe, and 233,000 for opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai. Turnout
was put at about 42 percent, and 131,000 ballots had been defaced or
otherwise spoiled, apparently as an act of protest.

In the opposition stronghold of Bulawayo, official results showed Mugabe got
21,127 votes and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai had 13,291, while
9,166 ballots were spoiled.

A high number of spoiled ballots had been noted earlier Sunday by Marwick
Khumalo, a member of parliament from Swaziland who led a team of election
observers from across the continent under the auspices of the AU-sponsored
Pan-African Parliament.

Khumalo said some ballots were defaced with "unpalatable messages." He
refused to elaborate, but left the impression the messages expressed
hostility toward Mugabe, who has been accused of ruining Zimbabwe's economy
and holding onto power through fraud and intimidation.

Tsvangirai won the most votes in the first round of presidential voting in
March, but not enough for an outright victory. Official results were not
released for more than a month after that vote.

In recent days, African mediators have been pushing for Mugabe and
Tsvangirai to negotiate a power-sharing agreement.

Mugabe said on the eve of Friday's vote that he was open to talks but
pressed ahead with the election, apparently hoping a victory would give him
leverage at the negotiating table.

Khumalo, the observer, urged African and regional leaders to "engage the
broader political leadership in Zimbabwe into a negotiated transitional

With the election discredited and attention turning to the possibility of
negotiations, the role of Mugabe in any future government could be a
sticking point.

Tsvangirai said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph of Britain that
Mugabe might be allowed to stay on as ceremonial president of a transitional
government, with himself as executive prime minister.

"It's being considered within our structures," the paper quoted Tsvangirai
as saying.

Mugabe, 84, was once hailed as a post-independence leader committed to
development and reconciliation. But in recent years, he has been accused of
ruining Zimbabwe's economy and holding onto power through fraud and

The official inflation rate was put at 165,000 percent by the government in
February, but independent estimates put the real figure closer to 4 million

Since the first round of elections, shortages of basic goods have worsened,
public services have come to virtual standstill, and power and water outages
have continued daily.

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Zimbabweans warned not to rely on SADC and AU

By Violet Gonda
29 June 08

Basildon Peta, the African correspondent for the London Independent
newspaper group, says it's time Zimbabweans at home and abroad tried to find
"unconventional means" to confront and remove the Mugabe regime from power.
The journalist said Zimbabweans would never achieve anything by waiting for
the African Union and SADC.

Peta said the regional groupings have had ample time to do something about
Mugabe but have not, saying instead it's a disgrace that they are allowing
this illegitimate leader to attend the AU summit in Egypt. He said the
influential South African Sunday Times newspaper reported that President
Thabo Mbeki, the mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis, had been lobbying other
African countries to recognize Mugabe.

Peta said this was extremely worrying, particularly in light of the fact
that Mbeki will assume the SADC chairmanship in a few months time.

He said: "I think as Zimbabweans it is high time we reclaim our destiny as
this foolish 84 year old man is leading us nowhere."

Peta added: "Surely there are unconventional means that we as Zimbabweans
can now resort to. Not because that is what we want, not because that is how
we want things to be done but because Robert Mugabe has blocked all avenues
for us to achieve democratic change in Zimbabwe."

Meanwhile Mugabe went ahead and declared himself President on Sunday.
Analysts say he must be a very miserable person right now, as the whole
world sees him as a big cheat.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Zimbabwe Vigil Diary - 28th June 2008

Feelings are so high that one supporter, Ignatius Sibanda, came all the way
down on the overnight bus from Sunderland in the north of England.  We had a
Sky television crew with us all day, apparently waiting for the election
result from Zimbabwe so they could interview us for reactions. We were ready
to tell them "How can anyone recognise Mugabe as President?"

More and more people joined us as the day went on until there was a big
crowd. As usual the singing and dancing captured public attention.  The
drumming was a little thin as two of our three drums are in hospital. We are
told they should make a full recovery.  But the dancing was given a new
balletic dimension with the help of Glynnis Masuku-Zinhumwe, a dancer and
choreographer from Bulawayo.

The Independent newspaper ran a front page lead on Saturday "Mugabe's secret
war - in Britain. Tyrant uses threats, bribery and surveillance to silence
his opponents in the UK."
We have had lots of experience of this at the Vigil.  We are regularly
filmed by the CIO who seem to be the main occupants of the Embassy.. You
might care to look at a picture on our website. It show a man who appeared
early at our special presidential run-off Vigil on Friday and took photos of
everyone so we took a picture of him.  We would like to know his name; we
already know his address. Please if anyone is threatened in any way, let us
know because it will help us to deal with the problem.

With the Zimbabwe situation so much in the public eye we had people queueing
to sign the petition - to refresh your memory it is: "A Petition to European
Union Governments. We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of
Zimbabwe at their time of trial.  We urge the UK government and the European
Union in general to suspend government to government aid to all 14 SADC
countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights
in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the
starving in Zimbabwe."

In view of President Mbeki's support of the dictator Mugabe, the Vigil is to
launch a new petition calling on FIFA to move the 2010 World Cup from South
Africa to a safer place.

A few other points:
·         Vigil supporters are horrified at the type of violence emerging in
Zimbabwe.  They blame outside influences. Supporters say that cutting off
lips, gouging out eyes, attacking genitals and cutting off arms have never
been known in  Zimbabwe.
·         We were visited by Peter Vickers, General Secretary of the
Christian People's Alliance.  He was expelled from Rhodesia during the Smith
regime and is seeking help with two projects he is promoting: (1) a
volunteer aid programme for when Zimbabwe is free and (2) a boycott of
Zimbabwean exports.  The latter is problematic because the last thing we
want to do is worsen the situation for our families back.  What we agreed on
is that efforts should be made to identify the source of all Zimbabwean
products imported into the UK to try to ensure that they don't come from
Zanu-PF sources.
·         Another visitor was Neil Jameson, Lead Organiser of London
Citizens, who has asked the Vigil to support the "Strangers into Citizens"
campaign his organization is running. There is a meeting tomorrow in London
which will be attended by Vigil representatives.
·         A supporter at the Mandela concert on Friday was next to an
exuberant man who said during every interval "F*** Mugabe". Our supporter
took off her Zimbabwe Vigil t-shirt and gave it to him to wear while he
continued his invective.
·         At the end of the Vigil we were joined by John Stewart of the
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum who spoke so movingly at the service for
Zimbabwean victims of torture on Thursday, the UN international day for
victims of torture.

For latest Vigil pictures check:

FOR THE RECORD:  191 signed the register.

·         Next Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 5th July, 2 - 6 pm Venue: Argyle
Street Precinct. For more information contact: Ancilla Chifamba, 07770 291
150, Patrick Dzimba, 07990 724 137 or Jonathan Chireka, 07504 724 471.
·         Shona / Ndebele Mass in Southwark.   Sunday 13th July at 6.30 pm,
Southwark Cathedral will be holding a special Eucharist for the Zimbabwean
community in the Shona and Ndebele languages with a Zimbabwean choir.
·         Zimbabwe Association's Women's Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays
10.30 am - 4 pm. Venue: The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre, 84 Mayton
Street, London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury
Park. For more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355
(open Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Vigil co-ordinators
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place
every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of
human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in
October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair
elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Civic protesters in detention in Zimbabwe

From: "woza solidarity"

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 4:06 AM

Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, prominent members of Women of
Zimbabwe Arise(WOZA) will appear in court in Harare on 3rd July to face
charges of conducting activities likely to cause public disorder, causing
disaffection amongst the police and distributing false information. Williams
and Mahlangu were arrested in Harare on 28th May while demonstrating against
election related violence and have spent the last five weeks under the harsh
conditions of Chikurube Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts of Harare.

When WOZA’s lawyer and several supporters attempted to visit the two
detainees in Chikurubi recently, war veterans in a ZANU PF vehicle prevented
them from entering the prison complex and they were told they would only be
allowed to see the WOZA prisoners ‘when they were dead’.  Meanwhile reports
are tickling in to WOZA of other members being harassed including a 15 year
old girl who was held at Pumula Police Station for several hours last
Saturday 21st June and threatened with death if she did not answer correctly
questions about Williams and Mahlangu.

Back Story:
WOZA is a scrupulously non-violent group pressing for social justice in
Zimbabwe.  They first took to the streets on Valentines Day 2003 giving out
roses and valentines cards and proclaiming ‘The Power of Love Can Conquer
the Love of Power’. In spite of thousands of arrests and hundreds of
beatings they have, since then, maintained a relentless programme of street
actions in an effort to hold the country’s leaders accountable.

Following Zimbabwe’s March elections around 800 WOZA and MOZA (Men of
Zimbabwe Arise) members staged a peaceful protest in Bulawayo on April 19th
calling on the Zimbabwe Election Commission to release the true results of
the election.  The protesters distributed leaflets saying ‘For how much
longer can we wait for the results when we have seen them outside polling
stations and know that we voted for a change?’.

On 5th May WOZA again took to the streets in Bulawayo, this time calling for
an end to election related violence. 59 protesters suffered injuries caused
either by police baton sticks or by police vehicle (ZRP 2030M), which drove
into the crowd. Two WOZA members, were arrested and charged with
distributing materials likely to cause a breach of the peace.  They are due
to go to court in Bulawayo on 8th July.

On 28th May Harare based WOZA members attempted a similar demonstration but
14 were arrested as the protest began. Although 12 were later released on
bail the state appealed against granting bail to Jenni Williams and
Magondonga Mahlangu.  Amnesty International has taken up their cause and
designated them prisoners of conscience.

On June 8th WOZA released a statement saying that the “WOZA believes that in
the current conditions no election can fairly reflect the will of the
Zimbabwean people. ZANU PF was the clear loser in the March 29th elections
but they continue to hold the people hostage. WOZA calls on the
international community to recognize the need to find ways to stop the
violence, and introduce a healing period under the auspices of an
internationally-authorised transitional government.  Only then will it be
possible to return to a viable electoral process to determine the genuine
wishes of the Zimbabwean people.”

Note for editors - Footage is available of Jenni Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu interviewed recently before staging a demonstration.

IV transcripts:-
Jenni Williams;
Here I am cooking porridge for the comrades because we don’t know when next
we will eat if we are arrested.
Q.What made you get involved?
The injustices that I grew up with, the injustices that I continue to see as
an adult; the injustices that I didn’t want my children to have to live
through without me attempting with all my available strength and energy to
stop them from occurring.

I would like to see a transition in Zimbabwe that leads to free elections
where we can choose leaders who will deliver social justice – that’s what I
want; and before we can get social justice we need a people driven
constitution that puts in all the checks and balances so this never again
will happen and our children will not look badly upon us for having failed
to bring them a Zimbabwe that they can be proud of.

Magodonga Mahlangu
I have to do something under the circumstance.  No one is going to talk for
us – no one is going to solve this mess for us;.  Our country is in a crisis
and when a country is in a crisis like this it’s the women and the children
who suffer.  I’m part of the community that’s suffering.  The ordinary
person is suffering – we can’t expect the politicians to be talking for us –
we have to speak for ourselves.

For more information contact Lois Davis (WOZASolidarity co-ordinator) on +
44 2078019390 or +447811452030

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Mugabe invites Tsvangirai to inauguration

June 29, 2008

HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe invited opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to his inauguration on Sunday after a widely condemned election
which African observers said was unfair and scarred by violence and

Tsvangirai immediately rejected the invitation, saying the inauguration was
meaningless after an illegitimate poll. He said he would ask the African
Union not to recognise Mugabe's re-election.

Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, told Reuters the invitation was "done
in the spirit of the president's wish to reach out.It is a major step
towards political engagement."

The veteran Zimbabwean leader is under heavy pressure from within Africa to
enter talks with Tsvangirai over the country's political and economic

"Well, you know that the whole inauguration is meaningless as far as I'm
concerned, so I can't give support to an exercise I'm totally opposed to.
the whole world has condemned it, the Zimbabwean people will not give this
exercise legitimacy and support," Tsvangirai told Reuters.

He said the opposition was committed to African Union sponsored talks with
Mugabe's government although no negotiations had started.

Analysts said before Friday's vote that Mugabe defied a chorus of calls to
call off the one-candidate election so that he could negotiate with
Tsvangirai from a position of strength.

Pan-African parliament observers, one of the few groups able to monitor the
ballot, said the vote on Friday was so flawed it should be rerun.

Results have not been released, but Mugabe said he was heading for victory
in the poll, dismissed as a sham by much of the world.

The government said Mugabe's swearing-in for a new five-year term would be
held at 3 p.m.

The inauguration would allow Mugabe to extend his 28 years of unbroken rule
before attending an African Union summit in Egypt on Monday where he has
vowed to confront his critics.

Mugabe was the only candidate after Movement for Democratic Change leader
Tsvangirai withdrew because of government-backed violence which he said had
killed nearly 90 of his supporters.

"These elections were not free and fair," said Marwick Khumalo, head of the
Pan-African parliament observer team.

"Conditions should be put in place for the holding of free, fair and
credible elections as soon as possible."

Related Articles

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Four against hundreds

Sunday 29th June 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
We woke to the sound of shouting on the 27th of June as four young men,
wearing Zanu pf scarves, stretched out across the width of the road and
roused the neighbourhood. It was ten past six in the morning, the sun was
hardly up and a cold sheet of frost lay across gardens and along roadsides.
"Hey, hurry up, hurry up," the Zanu PF youths shouted; "time for voting!
Let's go, let's go to vote," they yelled.

The arrogant calls were met with silence. Even in urban Zimbabwe people are
deeply traumatized by the events of the past few weeks and so we stay behind
closed doors. The progress of the four men could be tracked by the barking
of dogs and the thought that just four young men could intimidate hundreds
is a chilling reality.

The 27th of June will be remembered as a dark day in our history. How will
we explain to our grandchildren that in the depth of Zimbabwe's crisis there
was a Presidential election in which only one candidate was contesting?

As he prepared to step into his official limousine after casting his vote
for the only contesting Presidential candidate, Mr Mugabe smiled for the
"How are you feeling Mr President?" someone asked.
"Fit, very fit," he replied. "And very optimistic."

Optimistic? Of winning an election without an opponent?

Walking round my home town the morning after the election, there was a
sombre and dejected feeling in the streets. There was no excitement or
expectation and no point talking about results. With only one candidate the
outcome was obvious.

One man held up his red stained finger to show that he'd voted - under
protest but for his own safety. With dry sarcasm he said he'd spoiled his
paper: he said he loved both candidates equally and so he'd given them both
an X ! Moments later he shook his head sadly and said: "so many people will
die now - there is already such hunger everywhere. Now it will be worse."

Another man lifted his red finger but said angrily: "For What?" His daughter
had been told to bring 'top -up' school fees of one hundred billion dollars
when schools re-opened after the elections. This amount is five times the
man's monthly salary. It is his daughter's O Level year so he said he would
sell yet more of his possessions to raise the money - in order to give his
daughter a future.

Two young men stood on the roadside desperately trying to flag down a lift
for their friend who had just come out of hospital after a severe asthma
Because there is virtually no public transport anymore a group of friends
had clubbed together and raised the 90 billion dollars needed for a private
car. 90 billion dollars to travel one way - less than ten kilometres to the
hospital to save their friend's life. As the youngsters moved on, one said:"
We cry for our fair country."

It took five weeks to count the votes cast in the March 29th election. It
took just forty four hours to count the votes of the June 27th ballot. The
results have been officially stated as follows:

Robert Mugabe: 2,150,269 votes
Morgan Tsvangirai : 233,000 votes
Spoilt papers 131,481.

At 4.17 pm on the 29th June 2008, 84 year old Mr Mugabe was declared the
duly elected President of Zimbabwe.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.

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Mugabe agrees to talks with opposition


Sun 29 Jun 2008, 9:15 GMT

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has agreed to
post-election talks with the opposition to resolve the country's political
crisis, state media reported on Sunday.

The state-controlled Sunday Mail reported that Mugabe told Ahmed Tejan
Kabbah, leader of an African Union observer team, that he was open to talks
suggested by Catholic bishops.

"The President agreed to the proposal, saying we will have those contacts.
He said it must, however, be a meeting of our minds, not a meeting of other
people's minds through us," an official source told the Mail.

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Africa should do 'whatever it takes' against Mugabe: Britain


LONDON, June 29 (AFP)

British Foreign Office Minister Mark Malloch Brown urged African countries
on Sunday to do "whatever it takes" to ensure Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe steps down.

Ahead of this week's African Union (AU) summit, he said Mugabe is "outside
the pale of the international community" and that "everything's on the table
now" in the face of global pressure for the veteran head of state to go.

"The fact is, if law and order breaks down in the country, or if Mugabe is
utterly resistant to change and continues to oppress violently peoples'
human rights, then I hope the African neighbours will do whatever it takes
to secure his departure," he said in a BBC television interview.

"President Mugabe has to go (and) we've got to see what works in terms of
ending this regime".

On the upcoming AU summit in Egypt, Lord Malloch Brown said he hoped that
African nations would "unequivocally" tell Mugabe they cannot accept him
after he clinched Friday's run-off election by default.

"I would want to remind the AU that it very bravely adopted a procedure by
which it would not sit undemocratically elected leaders," he said.

Malloch Brown added that while Italy has proposed that all EU member states
close their Harare embassies, Britain is reluctant to do so given the number
of British nationals in Zimbabwe who might need consular help.

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Germany stops Munich based company helping Mugabe

Staff Writer:

Germany said Friday it has asked a Munich-based company to stop supplying
Zimbabwe with paper used for banknotes, saying it was helping prop up
Mugabe's regime.

They said there is "serious concern" that the supplies are "providing
additional support to the system in Zimbabwe, and this was not acceptable."

Germany's Development Minister has written to the firm asking it to
immediately stop the shipments."
Officials from the firm, Giesecke and Devrient, were unavailable for

Most observers believe that Mugabe's rule is definitely in the end game,
that there is increasing instability in Zanu PF itself and that ultimately,
the economic collapse will be the final straw the brings to an end this sad
chapter in Zimbabwe's history. This call by Germany could help bring this
about sooner, rather than later.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Close UK embassy in Zimbabwe, says Archbishop

The Telegraph

By Our Foreign Staff
Last Updated: 8:15PM BST 29/06/2008
The Archbishop of York has called for the Government to close the British
High Commission in Harare as part of tougher sanctions against the
Zimbabwean government.
Dr John Sentamu said that Zimbabwe's embassies across the world should be
"downgraded" and only allowed to operate from another country's mission.

Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "Zimbabwe is a landlocked
country and people can actually create a blockade. I have been saying that
it is his [Mugabe's] embassies that he has been using for money laundering,
for getting in luxury goods.

"Some actions needs to be done and done pretty quickly.

"If you are saying it is an illegitimate government, it is an oppressive
government ... then why do you still give them diplomatic rights?

He added: "I think those need to go and go pretty quickly and then the UN
need to pass a resolution actually calling for tougher sanctions, and I
would never be one of those who has ruled out the possibility of military
intervention because the man is destroying his own country and his people."

Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office minister, said that while Italy had
proposed that all Europen Union member states close their Harare embassies,
Britain is reluctant to do so given the number of its nationals in Zimbabwe
who might need consular help.

The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is being sheltered in the Dutch
embassy in Harare.

Lord Malloch Brown also said that he hoped that African Union (AU) leaders
meeting in Egypt would "unequivocally" tell Mr Mugabe they cannot accept as
Zimbabwe's legitimate leader.

"I would want to remind the AU that it very bravely adopted a procedure by
which it would not sit undemocratically elected leaders," he said.

Meanwhile, Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, said
yesterday that there was "a very good argument" for sending an international
force into Zimbabwe if diplomatic pressure failed to sweep away President

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said the AU could take a lead role in any
such action. "That crisis has to be resolved sooner rather than later and
yes, I think that a very good argument can be made for having an
international force to restore peace," he said.

"I can't see why ... they would be chary and be too reluctant to intervene
forcefully if need be.

"If you were to have a unanimous voice saying quite clearly to Mr Mugabe ...
you are illegitimate and we will not recognise your administration in any
shape or form, I think that that would be a very, very powerful signal and
would really be able to strengthen the hand of the international community."

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Canada Imposes Immediate Restrictions on Relations with Zimbabwe

Government of Canada

June 29, 2008
No. 150

The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today condemned
the illegitimate and illegal actions of the government of Robert Mugabe in
the conduct of Zimbabwe's June 27, 2008, election, and has rejected the
results of this "election." As a result, Canada will immediately put in
place measures designed to seriously restrict its relationship with the
Government of Zimbabwe.

"The Government of Zimbabwe's systematic use of violence and intimidation
represents a grave violation of human rights and democratic principles,"
said Minister Emerson. "The citizens of Zimbabwe have been denied the
opportunity to shape their future through free and fair elections, and they
remain in constant danger of intimidation, injury and loss of life. Canada
does not consider the result of the June 27 election to be, by any
reasonable standard of democracy, a credible outcome. This 'election' is
illegitimate and will not be accepted by the Government of Canada."

The Government of Canada will immediately put in place a series of measures
to severely restrict its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe, and
to send a message of solidarity to the people of Zimbabwe and convey our
rejection of the actions of a desperate and illegitimate regime. The
following is an initial series of measures Canada is undertaking:

.         Canada will impose restrictions on travel, work and study on
senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their

.         Canada will summon the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to convey
messages to her home government.

.         Canada reconfirms its long-standing policy against exporting
military goods to Zimbabwe.

.         The Government of Canada will not allow any aircraft registered in
Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.

The Government of Canada encourages Canadian companies to voluntarily divest
from Zimbabwe. Canada will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to
those in need in Zimbabwe through trusted Canadian and international

"Canada is working with its partners in the G8 and elsewhere to ensure a
concerted international approach to dealing with the flagrant abuse of the
democratic process in Zimbabwe. The current government of Zimbabwe is
illegitimate in the eyes of the international community. We call upon the
United Nations Security Council and the African Union to condemn the
election as illegitimate and to take further measures," added Minister

Canada commends the work of regional election observers in Zimbabwe, and
notes in particular the interim report of the Pan African Parliament
Election Observation Mission, released today, which stated that the
elections had been marred by high levels of intimidation, violence,
displacement of people, abductions and loss of life. It concluded that the
elections were not free, fair, or credible.

The Minister further stressed that the Government of Canada is fully behind
the people of Zimbabwe who have shown courage and determination in these
difficult times.

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German chancellor says Zimbabwe election a farce, urges sanctions

Monsters and Critics

Jun 29, 2008, 17:47 GMT

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the presidential
run-off elections in Zimbabwe as a farce and called on the African Union to
draw the necessary consequences, in remarks published Sunday.

'The recent elections in Zimbabwe were a farce,' Merkel told the Monday
edition of the national German daily, Die Welt, adding that she would press
for more stringent European Union sanctions on the regime of President
Robert Mugabe.

'Mugabe has lost all legitimacy as president,' the chancellor said.

'I expect that the African Union (AU) will draw the necessary conclusions,'
Merkel said. The AU meets in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt on Monday.

The suffering of the Zimbabwean population had to be brought to an end, she

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared on Sunday that Mugabe had won the
election in which he was the sole candidate.

On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned
Friday's elections in similar terms to Merkel.

Steinmeier said the other foreign ministers in the Group of Eight (G8) took
a similar view.

He welcomed the decision by the UN Security Council to discuss Zimbabwe in
the weeks ahead and said the European Union would consider what additional
steps it could take.

South Africa, Zimbabwe's most powerful neighbour, late Friday blocked an
attempt in the Security Council to have the election declared illegitimate.

The EU has imposed travel sanctions on Mugabe and his cabinet but has drawn
back from economic sanctions on the country as a whole for fear of
exacerbating the plight of the population.

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Hot Seat Interview: Violet Gonda interviews George Charamba (Mugabe's spokesman) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Broadcast on June 27 2008

SW Radio Africa journalist, Violet Gonda speaks to two individuals on the
programme Hot Seat this week - and the contrast between them couldn't be
more pronounced. The first is an attempt at an interview with Robert
Mugabe's press Secretary, George Charamba, who replied with nothing but
threats, insults and accusations. Violet then spoke with one of the most
respected men in the world, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who restores some hope
for Zimbabweans.

Please copy and paste link below to your web browser to listen to audio

MAC users

Or go to archives via this link :  and click on HOT SEAT
Friday 27 June

Programmes are available for two weeks on our archives even after broadcast.

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