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Ben Freeth is abducted in
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
Last Updated: 8:15PM BST
A British-born farmer who helped to bring the violence in Zimbabwe
international prominence was beaten up and abducted along with his
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
Other members of the family including four children were trying
their way to safety as dark fell last night.
Worsley-Worswick, spokesman for the Justice for Agriculture group,
"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.
was the first white farmer to take an eviction order to the
Development Community and won an interim order stopping
His letter is reprinted below:
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.
campaign is being fought on "one hundred per cent empowerment"
everything that belongs to people who are not black and giving it
faithfulls. The Party has got nothing else to offer the
People were told if they did not come they would be
President Mugabe arrived in our little town of Chegutu that
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
must have thrown the organisation for the Mount Carmel
"programme" [as it
was referred to in a letter from one of the
That evening we only ended up with about 500 of the expected
that were to come. They were bussed in from all over on tractor
lorries, car and busses. We even had one bus from Shamva hundreds
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
them on. The noise went on for a few hours. Some of them had
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
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
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.
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
before they get even worse.
Maybe I write this in vain; but I write this
Mugabe sworn in after election
By Cris Chinaka 15 minutes
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was sworn in on
after being declared overwhelming winner of an election which
was scarred by violence and intimidation.
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
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew a week ago saying a
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
Pan-African parliament observers, one of the few groups able to
ballot, said it was so flawed it should be rerun.
elections were not free and fair," said Marwick Khumalo, head of the
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.
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
voting on election day being peaceful.
the above-mentioned observation, the mission is of the view that
prevailing environment impinged on the credibility of the electoral
process," according to a statement by SADC seen by Reuters on
"The elections did not represent the will of the people of
The electoral commission released Friday's results in under 48
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,
military band, marching honor guard and judges in red robes and white
Security chiefs, key backers of the
former guerrilla commander, queued up to
inaugural speech, Mugabe said: "Once again we have shamed all our
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai
invitation to attend the swearing-in and dismissed it as
"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
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.
seems reluctant to back Western calls for sanctions, favoring instead
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
tribute to Mbeki, describing him as a statesman. "Zimbabwe is
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,
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
should be denounced."
But AU security chief Ramtane
Lamamra played down the prospects of
peacekeepers being sent.
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
reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Nelson Banya in Harare,
Marius Bosch and
Phakamisa Ndzamela in Johannesburg; writing by Barry Moody;
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
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
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.
Zimbabwe poll did not represent will of people: SADC
Monsters and Critics
Jun 29, 2008, 18:34
Harare/Johannesburg - A southern African election observer
Zimbabwe's one-man presidential election run-off that returned
Robert Mugabe as uncontested leader for a further five years
Sunday 'did not
represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe.'
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
Despite asking people not to vote for him Tsvangirai received
votes after his name was left on the ballot, against a little
over 2 million
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.
leading to the elections did not conform to SADC principles and
governing democratic elections,' in a statement contrasting with
endorsement of flawed Zimbabwean elections.
SADC teams had also reported
being harassed in the course of their duties,
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
'God bless this country,' 'let there be free and fair elections'
and 'No to
dictatorship', some voters wrote on their ballots.
Sham election results from the Presidential run-off poll
Sokwanele Article: June 29th, 2008
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.
|Mashonaland Central 27/6
|Mashonaland Central 29/3
|Mashonaland East 27/6
|Mashonaland East 29/3
|Mashonaland West 27/6
|Mashonaland West 29/3
|Matabeleland North 27/6
|Matabeleland North 29/3
|Matabeleland South 27/6
|Matabeleland South 29/3
* This 100% figure includes the other Presidential candidates who
competed on March 29th 2008.
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
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
There was a
slight problem with the timing, however. The Zimbabwean
had not released the official results, and did not do so
until late in the
afternoon, well after four p.m.--apparently after the
swearing-in had actually taken place, and all the
diplomats' cars had
already been seen leaving State House. So the "live"
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
Mnangagwa recently has been described as Mugabe's heir apparent;
currently holds the cabinet post of minister for rural housing, but
the election campaign, he was in charge of a government ad hoc body
the Joint Operations Center, which combined police, military and
security agencies in directing election campaign "operations." The
youth militias worked directly under the JOC and were funded by it.
human rights activist describes Mnangagwa as "more vicious than Mugabe,"
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
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
which also had an observer team here, at a press conference
today at the
Miekles Hotel in downtown Harare, issued a devastating verdict.
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
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
Tsvangirai, didn't even take part. For what it's worth, ZEC
Mugabe beat Tsvangirai by 2 million to 200,000 nationwide, and
him in the opposition stronghold of Harare by two to one. Khumalo
harsh words for how ZEC had responded to all the election
"Its deafening silence was alarming."
Drama at AU Summit,SA Lies to AU
By Gerald Harper ⋅ © zimbabwemetro.com ⋅
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.
vice-president, Thokhozani Khupe, who attended a pre summit conference
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.
foreign affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) said the SADC
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
MDC spokesman George Sibotshiwe said at the summit: “The South
foreign minister yesterday — in a meeting with other foreign
placed it in on record that she, on behalf of the SADC, can
they are nearing a deal where we will have a power-sharing
because the results of the March 29 election did not yield a
“Based on that, the AU is supposed to trust the SADC to
deliver a solution
to Zimbabwe — that automatically closes the platform for
leaders to express their positions on Zimbabwe, because if a
imminent, who would want to disrupt that solution?”
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.
African leaders slammed Mugabe for his reign of terror in the
Friday’s runoff election, they have been reticent on what action
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.
“Well, that’s water under the bridge now. We will simply have to
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
Africa's top security body discusses Zimbabwe crisis
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
The AU's 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC), which is
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
Although Zimbabwe's one-man presidential election, which has
branded a farce, was not reportedly on the African council's
agenda, participating heads of state would raise the matter, an AU
Mugabe, 84, was sworn in for another term shortly
before the Sharm meeting
opened, having been declared election winner after
Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew because of
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
Apparently seeking to temper potential African hostility,
Mugabe used his
swearing-in to call for dialogue and heaped praise on the
efforts of South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate
"It is my hope that sooner rather than later, we shall as
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
Burkina Faso President
Blaise Compaore warned that the Zimbabwe crisis could
"Today Africa must be much more interested in Zimbabwe... because
this is a
situation which could, beyond Zimbabwe, affect the whole southern
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
today beacause of the polarisation. So there is a need to
bridge the gap,"
AU foreign ministers spent much of Friday discussing Zimbabwe
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
was) firm and detailed on possible power-sharing in Zimbabwe, but some
people were reluctant and the Zimbabwe delegation opposed its
South Africa, which has been trying to mediate on behalf of
Africa Development Community (SADC), then "submitted another
yet unadopted, which is very flat and simply calls for an end
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
South African cleric and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu
very good argument can be made for having an international force to
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
Human Rights Watch called on Sunday for African leaders to
against Mugabe and refuse to recognise his legitimacy,
calling the election
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.
meeting of the AU's 15-member Peace and Security Council (PSC) ended
three hours of talks amid growing calls for Monday's African Union
shun Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe over his widely discredited
Instead, the PSC referred the tricky issue of how Africa should deal
Mugabe, who was sworn in on Sunday after winning a one-men election, to
summit itself, a source close the AU commission told AFP.
JAG - urgent press alert communique, Dated 29
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org : email@example.com
Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799 410. If you are in trouble
need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to
approximately 3 o'clock this afternoon a group of armed 'war vets' and
(militia?) seriously assaulted Mr. Frank Trott on the Meredith's farm
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.
of the Campbell's and Ben Freeth is unknown at this time and
is cause for
Cell numbers: - 011 610 073, 0912 326
Will Africa take action against Zimbabwe's
Christian Science Monitor
The African Union is expected to discuss the issue in Egypt Monday,
after Mugabe declared a 'sweeping victory' in Friday's presidential
which was widely condemned as a sham.
By Scott Baldauf | Staff
writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the June 30,
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA; and HARARE, ZIMBABWE -
President Robert Mugabe
has long been able to count on African leaders to
sympathize with his goals
of ridding Zimbabwe of the vestiges of white
But with his brutal tactics in what's widely seen as a
presidential election Friday, Mr. Mugabe may have squandered his
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
Mugabe, who lost the first round of elections on March 29 against
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
trucked in to polls and forced to vote under the watchful eyes
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
"Obviously, this means more problems for the country because he
will not be
accepted as the leader of Zimbabwe, neither locally nor
says Mr. Masunungure. "There should be talks to break the
Mugabe and [Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
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
Chinamasa said. "ZANU-PF is fully conscious of its historic
duty to unite
the people of Zimbabwe around common goals. We are committed
measures that reconcile our population, put behind the divisions
But MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the MDC will not engage
rogue president who was not elected by the people of Zimbabwe. He
"presidential question" remains unsolved and that Mugabe has
as the leader of the country.
"We need to hold
presidential elections in a free and fair environment," Mr.
"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
"There's quite a substantial shift in Africa on the subject [of
says Steven Friedman, a senior analyst at the Institute for
Southern Africa in Tshwane, formerly known as Pretoria. "I
pressure to build up, and isolation to build up."
the country on Friday, voters turned out in low numbers, if at all.
opposition stronghold of Matabeleland in the south and west, voter
was estimated to be around 14 percent by the independent civil
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
Voters deliberately spoiling ballots
regions, voters dipped their fingers in indelible ink and then
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
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
. Reporters who could not be named for security reasons
Harare, Bulawayo, Mashvingo, and Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, what now?
By Louis Weston in Harare
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
service will be resumed, at least in the short term. The
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
But although Zanu-PF has been temporarily united by the
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
Analysts say that some of the generals now see him as a liability
him to hand over to an internal heir within six months.
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
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.
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
But it is also the least likely outcome.
Mr Tsvangirai told
the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend that his taking an
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.
Has Mugabe out-foxed the African
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
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
"If the AU does not recognise his presidency Mugabe simply retuns to
and goes on with his life," analyst John Makumbe told Johannesburg's
Press. "Life for Zimbabweans remains the same, if not worse. So the AU
to make a difficult choice: going for Mugabe or going with
The pan-African organisation had for years used a sacred
non-interference to justify inaction against rogue leadership
continent. Many African leaders have been reluctant to condemn
has enjoyed the status of an African liberation hero. But all
changing, with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga leading a growing
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
Retribution in Some Rural Areas As Mugabe Prepares for Another
SW Radio Africa (London)
29 June 2008
the web 29 June 2008
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
election. But many people were depressed, not excited, at the
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
Muchemwa said the urban areas are peaceful but there are
villagers are being assaulted in some rural districts of
there were too many spoiled ballots and not votes for
The areas that were mostly targeted were Chimanimani, Chipinge
According to Muchemwa, the victims were being asked why many of
them had not
voted and why there were many spoiled papers. Reports from
country indicate that many people either stayed home, spoiled
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
From Bulawayo, our correspondent Sindiso Dube reported that
Plumtree are being ordered to go to a war veterans base called
prove that they voted by showing the ink on their fingers. Lupane
are also being targeted because voter turnout was too low. Sindiso
fled on Saturday after voting, clearly because they were expecting
after the election. He believes this is a sign that they did not
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.
African Union Urged to Take Stern Measures Against Mugabe
Radio Africa (London)
29 June 2008
Posted to the web 29 June
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,
most of the world leaders have discredited the
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
'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,'
But on Sunday China balked at US calls for a UN arms embargo
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
Rice told a press conference that the situation in the country
deteriorated to a very grave level. 'We believe that it is really now
for the international community to act strongly, but we are consulting
what measures might be taken,' she said.
Why no international action? - former
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
Benjamin Paradza now lives in Wellington and says he expected
Nations to intervene.
He says sanctions against Zimbabwe
are a waste of time, leading to further
suffering for the
Mr Mugabe was sworn in as President on Sunday after a one-man
has been widely denounced as illegitimate.
Minister Raila Odinga has called on the African Union to send
Zimbabwe. He described Mr Mugabe as "a shame to Africa".
Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said on Sunday there was
"a very good
argument" for sending an international force into Zimbabwe if
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.
China balks at US calls for Zimbabwe arms embargo
5 hours ago
(AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said here Sunday it
for strong international action to stop political violence in
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.
that it is really now time for the international community to
but we are consulting about what measures might be taken," Rice
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
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
China -- one of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the
Council along with Russia, the United States, Britain and France
vague answers when asked if it supported an arms
"The most pressing task now is to stabilise the situation in
Yang, the Chinese foreign minister.
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
"China, as a
responsible country, will also play a constructive role in this
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
dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes.
foreign ministers will meet at the "appropriate time" to discuss
of the last phase of disarmament negotiations, he said.
expressed concerns about China's crackdown in Tibet, while Beijing
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
Yang thanked Rice for the concern she showed the Chinese
Sunday when she visited the site of an earthquake that hit
last month, leaving 88,000 people dead or missing and up to
"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.
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
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.
Zimbabwe's Mugabe promises talks with opposition
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe says he
talks" with the opposition.
World leaders have
condemned Friday's vote, which Mugabe claims to have won
was sworn in soon after official results were announced
Mugabe's counterparts on the continent have called on him to
power-sharing talks with his main rival.
Mugabe was the only
candidate in a runoff that followed a campaign of
opposition supporters. Opposition candidate Morgan
Tsvangirai had withdrawn
from the race because of the violence, and is
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further
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
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
power sharing agreement with Tsvangirai, who said he believed
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
ballots rather than vote for Mugabe.
commission said total results showed more than 2 million votes
and 233,000 for opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai. Turnout
was put at
about 42 percent, and 131,000 ballots had been defaced or
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
A high number of spoiled ballots had been noted earlier Sunday
Khumalo, a member of parliament from Swaziland who led a team of
observers from across the continent under the auspices of the
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
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
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
Khumalo, the observer, urged African and regional
leaders to "engage the
broader political leadership in Zimbabwe into a
With the election discredited
and attention turning to the possibility of
negotiations, the role of Mugabe
in any future government could be a
in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph of Britain that
Mugabe might be
allowed to stay on as ceremonial president of a transitional
with himself as executive prime minister.
"It's being considered within
our structures," the paper quoted Tsvangirai
was once hailed as a post-independence leader committed to
reconciliation. But in recent years, he has been accused of
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.
Zimbabweans warned not to rely on SADC and AU
By Violet Gonda
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
Peta said this was extremely worrying, particularly in light of
that Mbeki will assume the SADC chairmanship in a few months
He said: "I think as Zimbabweans it is high time we reclaim our
this foolish 84 year old man is leading us nowhere."
added: "Surely there are unconventional means that we as Zimbabweans
resort to. Not because that is what we want, not because that is how
things to be done but because Robert Mugabe has blocked all avenues
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
SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news
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.
Independent newspaper ran a front page lead on Saturday "Mugabe's secret
- in Britain. Tyrant uses threats, bribery and surveillance to silence
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.
Zimbabwe situation so much in the public eye we had people queueing
the petition - to refresh your memory it is: "A Petition to European
Governments. We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern
Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of
their time of trial. We urge the UK government and the European
general to suspend government to government aid to all 14 SADC
until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights
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.
· 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
· 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
· A supporter at the Mandela concert on Friday was
next to an
exuberant man who said during every interval "F*** Mugabe". Our
took off her Zimbabwe Vigil t-shirt and gave it to him to wear
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
THE RECORD: 191 signed the register.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
Glasgow Vigil. Saturday 5th July, 2 - 6 pm Venue: Argyle
For more information contact: Ancilla Chifamba, 07770 291
Dzimba, 07990 724 137 or Jonathan Chireka, 07504 724 471.
· Shona /
Ndebele Mass in Southwark. Sunday 13th July at 6.30 pm,
Cathedral will be holding a special Eucharist for the Zimbabwean
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
London N7 6QT, Tel: 020 7607 9764. Nearest underground: Finsbury
more information contact the Zimbabwe Association 020 7549 0355
Tuesdays and Thursdays).
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
Civic protesters in detention in Zimbabwe
From: "woza solidarity"
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 4:06 AM
Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, prominent members of Women of
Arise(WOZA) will appear in court in Harare on 3rd July to face
conducting activities likely to cause public disorder, causing
amongst the police and distributing false information. Williams
were arrested in Harare on 28th May while demonstrating against
related violence and have spent the last five weeks under the harsh
conditions of Chikurube Maximum Security Prison on the outskirts of
When WOZA’s lawyer and several supporters attempted to visit the
detainees in Chikurubi recently, war veterans in a ZANU PF vehicle
them from entering the prison complex and they were told they
would only be
allowed to see the WOZA prisoners ‘when they were dead’.
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
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
On 5th May WOZA again took to the streets in Bulawayo, this
time calling for
an end to election related violence. 59 protesters suffered
either by police baton sticks or by police vehicle (ZRP
2030M), which drove
into the crowd. Two WOZA members, were arrested and
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
arrested as the protest began. Although 12 were later released on
state appealed against granting bail to Jenni Williams and
Mahlangu. Amnesty International has taken up their cause and
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.”
editors - Footage is available of Jenni Williams and Magodonga
interviewed recently before staging a demonstration.
Here I am cooking porridge for the comrades
because we don’t know when next
we will eat if we are arrested.
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.
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
For more information contact Lois Davis (WOZASolidarity
co-ordinator) on +
44 2078019390 or +447811452030
invites Tsvangirai to inauguration
June 29, 2008
- President Robert Mugabe invited opposition leader Morgan
Tsvangirai to his
inauguration on Sunday after a widely condemned election
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
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
you know that the whole inauguration is meaningless as far as I'm
so I can't give support to an exercise I'm totally opposed to.
world has condemned it, the Zimbabwean people will not give this
legitimacy and support," Tsvangirai told Reuters.
He said the opposition
was committed to African Union sponsored talks with
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
Pan-African parliament observers, one of the few groups able to
ballot, said the vote on Friday was so flawed it should be
Results have not been released, but Mugabe said he was heading for
in the poll, dismissed as a sham by much of the world.
government said Mugabe's swearing-in for a new five-year term would be
at 3 p.m.
The inauguration would allow Mugabe to extend his 28 years of
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
because of government-backed violence which he said had
killed nearly 90 of
"These elections were not free and fair," said Marwick
Khumalo, head of the
Pan-African parliament observer
"Conditions should be put in place for the holding of free, fair
credible elections as soon as possible."
Sunday 29th June 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
woke to the sound of shouting on the 27th of June as four young men,
Zanu pf scarves, stretched out across the width of the road and
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.
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
Presidential election in which only one candidate was contesting?
prepared to step into his official limousine after casting his vote
only contesting Presidential candidate, Mr Mugabe smiled for the
"How are you feeling Mr President?" someone asked.
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
re-opened after the elections. This amount is five times the
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
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
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."
five weeks to count the votes cast in the March 29th election. It
forty four hours to count the votes of the June 27th ballot. The
have been officially stated as follows:
Robert Mugabe: 2,150,269
Morgan Tsvangirai : 233,000 votes
Spoilt papers 131,481.
4.17 pm on the 29th June 2008, 84 year old Mr Mugabe was declared the
elected President of Zimbabwe.
Until next time, thanks for reading, love
Mugabe agrees to talks with opposition
Sun 29 Jun 2008, 9:15
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
"The President agreed to the proposal, saying we will have those
He said it must, however, be a meeting of our minds, not a meeting
people's minds through us," an official source told the Mail.
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.
is, if law and order breaks down in the country, or if Mugabe is
resistant to change and continues to oppress violently peoples'
rights, then I hope the African neighbours will do whatever it takes
secure his departure," he said in a BBC television interview.
Mugabe has to go (and) we've got to see what works in terms of
On the upcoming AU summit in Egypt, Lord Malloch Brown said he
African nations would "unequivocally" tell Mugabe they cannot
after he clinched Friday's run-off election by default.
would want to remind the AU that it very bravely adopted a procedure by
which it would not sit undemocratically elected leaders," he
Malloch Brown added that while Italy has proposed that all EU
close their Harare embassies, Britain is reluctant to do so
given the number
of British nationals in Zimbabwe who might need consular
Germany stops Munich based company helping Mugabe
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
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
Officials from the firm, Giesecke and Devrient, were unavailable
Most observers believe that Mugabe's rule is definitely
in the end game,
that there is increasing instability in Zanu PF itself and
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
Close UK embassy in Zimbabwe, says Archbishop
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
Sentamu said that Zimbabwe's embassies across the world should be
"downgraded" and only allowed to operate from another country's
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, he said: "Zimbabwe is a
country and people can actually create a blockade. I have been
it is his [Mugabe's] embassies that he has been using for money
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
The opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is being sheltered in the
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.
would want to remind the AU that it very bravely adopted a procedure by
which it would not sit undemocratically elected leaders," he
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
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
"If you were to have a unanimous voice saying quite clearly to Mr
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
Canada Imposes Immediate Restrictions on Relations
Government of Canada
June 29, 2008
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
designed to seriously restrict its relationship with the
"The Government of Zimbabwe's systematic use of
violence and intimidation
represents a grave violation of human rights and
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
illegitimate and will not be accepted by the Government of
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
following is an initial series of measures Canada is
. 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
. Canada reconfirms its long-standing policy against
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
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
commends the work of regional election observers in Zimbabwe, and
particular the interim report of the Pan African Parliament
Observation Mission, released today, which stated that the
been marred by high levels of intimidation, violence,
people, abductions and loss of life. It concluded that the
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
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
'Mugabe has lost all legitimacy as president,' the chancellor
'I expect that the African Union (AU) will draw the necessary
Merkel said. The AU meets in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt on
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
On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Friday's elections in similar terms to Merkel.
said the other foreign ministers in the Group of Eight (G8) took
He welcomed the decision by the UN Security Council to discuss
the weeks ahead and said the European Union would consider what
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
Hot Seat Interview: Violet Gonda interviews George Charamba (Mugabe's
spokesman) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Broadcast on June 27
SW Radio Africa journalist, Violet Gonda speaks to two individuals
programme Hot Seat this week - and the contrast between them couldn't
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
Please copy and paste link below to your web browser
to listen to audio
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.