|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo were expected to urge Mr Mugabe to form a national unity government with the leading opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The two leaders did not comment on the progress of the talks. They later began a meeting with Mr Mugabe's defeated rival, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the French news agency AFP reported.
The South African and Nigerian presidents will decide in London on Tuesday - with Australian Prime Minister John Howard - whether Zimbabwe should be suspended from the Commonwealth.
As he left for their meeting, Mr Howard said this was "quite a moment of truth.
"The Commonwealth has been held together by a number of things and one of them has been a common commitment to democracy.
"We have to face, fairly and squarely, the responsibility we've been given," he said.
Commonwealth observers issued an interim report condemning Zimbabwe's election, which has also been criticised by the United States, the European Union and the UK.
However, many national African monitoring teams described the result as fair.
The MDC says militants loyal to the ruling Zanu-PF attacks have stepped up attacks since the election.
One white farmer was killed near his farm early on Monday, apparently while trying to escape an attack by self-styled war veterans.
Commercial Farmers' Union spokeswoman Jenni Williams said that Terry Ford - owner of a farm about 40 km (30 miles) southwest of Harare, was found shot through the head.
Senior aides to Mr Obasanjo were quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying the Nigerian leader was unlikely to back Zimbabwe's suspension.
South Africa's position on Zimbabwe is particularly important, partly because it has political weight and economic leverage - it is the most powerful economy in southern Africa and it supplies Zimbabwe's fuel and power.
In what appeared to be a related effort, Presidents Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique met Mr Tsvangirai on Sunday and urged him, too, to work for national unity.
BBC Southern African correspondent Barnaby Phillips says neither side in Zimbabwe appears ready to compromise.
Mr Tsvangirai says Mr Mugabe is no longer relevant to the search for a solution to the country's economic and political crisis and should step down.
At his inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Mr Mugabe vowed to accelerate his controversial programme of land reform and said his victory was a triumph against "British imperialism".
What do South Africa and Nigeria hope to achieve in Harare and London?
A way out of the crisis which simultaneously maintains African solidarity, preserves some credibility for the Commonwealth and offers hope for the future to the people of Zimbabwe.
It is a tall order - maybe the circle cannot be squared.
Have Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo any specific ideas?
Various reports suggest they are exploring the possibility of a national unity government.
It seems unlikely that President Robert Mugabe would be willing to share power, or that the leader of the opposition MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, would agree to take part in a government with people he accuses of stealing the election.
At the very least, the MDC would want the clear prospect of a new poll.
Is Mr Mugabe likely to take any notice of them?
He might perhaps be tempted to make some kind of offer in the conviction that the opposition would turn it down and he could portray himself as the flexible one. Otherwise, probably not.
What are the prospects for Tuesday's Commonwealth meeting in London?
It looks like being very difficult. This month's Commonwealth summit in Queensland mandated the leaders of Australia, South Africa and Nigeria to decide on Commonwealth action in the light of the verdict by the organisation's election observers.
Their preliminary report said conditions did not adequately allow for a free expression of the people's will.
They said there was systematic intimidation of the opposition, the police often did not investigate incidents of violence, and thousands of people were prevented from voting.
That suggests strong action by the Commonwealth?
The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, is in favour of suspending Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth - the strongest measure the meeting can take.
But Thabo Mbeki in particular does not seem ready to agree to that - South Africa's position has been confused, while several of Zimbabwe's other neighbours have endorsed the election.
Mr Mbeki wants to keep African states together, and is afraid of anything that might worsen the crisis and infect South Africa itself.
What about Olusegun Obasanjo?
In Australia he said they should wait for the election, but added "what has to be done, must be done".
On the other hand, Mr Obasanjo has invested a lot of energy in trying to bring about a political settlement of the Zimbabwe crisis - diplomats say he would still like to find a helpful role for the Commonwealth rather than a punitive one.
Is the Commonwealth itself in any danger?
The organisation was deeply split at the summit, partly on black-white lines. The traditional consensus was maintained only by delaying a decision.
If the divide was repeated in London, it would do great damage to the Commonwealth's role as a multi-racial association.
On the other hand, not to act on Zimbabwe would undermine its claim to uphold fundamental political principles like democracy and the rule of law.
Does Zimbabwe threaten Mr Mbeki's dream of an African renaissance?
The ambitious New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) commits the region's leaders to good governance in exchange for increased Western aid. The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has been one of its main backers.
Western donors will be far more reluctant to commit resources if African states are not prepared to back even symbolic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
I am a white Zimbabwean who was born in this country, as were my parents. I do not have any claim to any other citizenship in the world. Unlike most of my white country folk I do not have anywhere else to go and I do not want to leave my country and the people both black and white that I love.
This week I have had countless black friends, colleagues and employees literally break down and weep over the result of this election. I have been a political activist for the past 2 years. Now I speak to you all with a desperate plea from my shattered heart over the terrible news of having Mugabe rule us for six more, tyrannical years. We cannot survive three more months. As just an ordinary, peace loving person I cannot understand, like many of my countrymen many things.
Do not believe for a moment that the rural people voted for Mugabe. They simply did not vote so Mugabe’s men did for them. Quite easy when you have arranged that there is no MDC representation at 42% of polling booths, so there is no check on the boxes. The road to the polling station is lined with militia (with red berets) And the CIO are conducting things their way. There was a large element of his terror tactics working, mentioned later in this document. How do you explain an 80% poll anywhere in the world but they managed it in Mashonaland East. The area of greatest intimidation in Zimbabwe. That means they had to process 14 votes per minute. I voted in one of the more efficient urban stations and by the time a voter was checked off the voters roll, had is I D checked been given his ballot paper, had it explained how to fold it, mark it and a present it to the polling officer the entire process took approximately 1 person per minute.
Why can’t the international human rights bodies, governments, United Nation, Commonwealth do more to help us?. You have talked and talked – we need drastic action. As with Hitler, is the world going to continue to talk to this maniac. Are you in 50 years time still going to be trying to charge him and his cronies for human rights violations - are you going to continue to turn another blind eye, or just verbally condemn what is going on but do nothing. Isn’t the 1980’s Gukurahundi enough evidence of ethnic cleansing to demand more than talk – now twenty years later!! Why would sanctions worry a man who has absolutely no moral fibre at all. The international community’s handling of this man is like a mother with a spoilt brat throwing tantrums and the mother feeding it sweets in the hope it will shut up and behave. As soon as the mother’s back is turned the child taunts her.
Sanctions won’t worry them because you can be sure they will have so much money hidden away under other names you don’t worry them. I doubt it is even bothering them that their children have to leave their universities. You also gave them so much warning of your sanctions they have had ample time to make a plan.
I know it is not international policy to interfere in the courts and laws and running of another country but surely the time has come now to change that before we have a million dead Zimbabweans. You can only play by the rules if both sides know them. Thus there is no point in suggesting a coalition government because Mugabe does not even listen to the parliament he has, having bought a comfortable majority of ministers on his gravy train. People who have already seen enough of their colleagues killed in mysterious car accidents because they tried to be brave and speak out. There is no point in taking this to court in Zimbabwe because he has fixed that with bought judges. Funny that some of his new judges are suddenly the owners of lovely new farms!!!
You know he stole the majority in parliamentary elections rigging 30 seats that were rightfully MDC and what have the by-elections of those likely to bring but more rigging and deaths. We are as helpless as the Jews were in the concentration camps and I can promise you much of the ‘seen support’ for ZANU PF is poor innocent people being led to believe they will live and see their starving children fed. Do not underestimate the power of the gods in the beliefs of the black man. Mark my words they have used these evil powers fully. Can you imagine, as a small child, seeing your parents and brothers and sisters being herded into a hut and burnt to death (just close you eyes for a minute and hear the screaming). Now 15 years later as a young adult a troop of the same terrifying men in the same red berets arrive and at gun point march you to a polling station. I defy anyone to take anything but the line of peaceful resistance. I know because in 1982 I was marched off into the bush with my sister at gun point whilst I left my 6 month old baby in the car being prodded by a man in a red beret with his bayonet. We were very lucky and were rescued but I can assure you there is no fear like it.
Ask the BBC for a copy of the film shown on Sunday 13 March at 8.05pm. Panaroma called "The Price of Silence" Look at your pompous High Commissioners and Foreign Diplomats, with the hot potatoes in their mouths. I quote their interviews on this film "Reports of FAIRLY brutal" "It is a pity", "Reports rather blown up" "Steer clear of it" "Not risk a row with" "Use quiet diplomacy" "We talk nicely to them but they wouldn’t listen so we left and DID NOTHING". The Foreign Office told Prince Charles "It was all exaggerated". The Deputy High Commissioner "We condemn it but have no right to interfere" "It was a side issue" Shame on all of you, people like you, share the blood on Mugabe’s hands. How can you comment "it’s a pity" as if a child spilt the milk, when, in fact, a bunch of hired, carefully trained maniacs brutally cut the foetuses out of pregnant women’s stomachs. I’m sure if it was your wife "it’s a pity" would hardly be your comment. How DARE YOU comment so pompously when 10’s of thousand of the most innocent people in this world were and still are being massacred. ‘Wake up’ this man has no morals. Listen to people like Bishop Pius Ncube and please protect him, he, above all people needs to be awarded a bravery award of the highest level. When ARE YOU going to arrest Perence Shiri for his crimes against humanity like you have done with Milosovic.
Mugabe is worse than Hitler because he leaves the maimed behind to serve as a constant reminder to the rest of the village of what he is capable of. Death from his wrath comes to the lucky ones. There are thousands of reports, all documented by the Amani Trust for anyone who has the gut to read even a portion of it. Your silence is deafening. Why can’t one of you arrest this man, and charge him in an international court of justice for human rights violations. After all he has ordered rape, murder, burnt our houses, stolen land for his people (I don’t mean his recent redistribution but the farms taken from farmers as far back as the 1980’s) and given it to his cronies instead of the people who have waited 20 years for him to deliver. Land that now stands derelict and unused. If we could see that land given to the people was producing food for the people, farmers would happily give more and help poor peasant farmers get started. What is the point of giving to war vets – a true war vet in this country should be facing retirement because if he made a substantial contribution to the liberation war he should have served that for at least 5 years of his adult hood must make his age at least 45 years old. The land must be made available to young (at present unemployed) Zimbabweans coming out of Agricultural college, together with soft loans to develop and make economic progress with it. But please use what you have already stolen before you grab more.
We cannot rise up in Zimbabwe because, contrary to Mugabe’s belief MDC does not have weapons . If the people were to rise he would simply gun them down with his ridiculously huge army which has drained our resources for years. We don’t want a bloody Sunday. We can’t do a sustained stay away because the average Zimbabwean is living hand to mouth so cannot afford to put away enough food to survive it. Aside from which Mugabe has made it abundantly clear he couldn’t care less about the economy, therefore the economic effect of a long stay away would only affect the people. Most of his army are our relatives anyway, people forced to do what they don’t believe in or they face death and death to their extended family. Oh yes!! If I was brave enough to stand up on my own my whole family would be punished.
My friend was arrested this weekend ( together with at least 1 300 others) for carrying a catapult (sling shot) – a toy most little boys carry from the age of six!!. He is still in prison – or shall I say in a Zimbabwean concentration camp. Unlike the prisons in Europe they do not get a T.V to watch or a book to read. The prisons have absolutely NO form of amusement, education or rehabilitation therapy. They have no working toilets, you are only allowed to use the toilet twice a day outside. The blanket you might be offered is so full of human faeces you would rather freeze than use it. You are not allowed to wear underwear, you are not given or allowed to receive from outside basic human needs, sanitary towels (Yes let your imagination run wild, HIV etc), soap, toothpaste, toilet paper. So a prison sentence for any woman is a death sentence. You are given two small bowls of maize porridge with a small raw leaf of rape a day. There are 20 people in cells designed to house six. To sleep you have to all turn over at the same time. Does this not ring a few bells of Germany in the war!!!! And they all come equipped with their own torture chambers. Bear in mind that many people are in prison at the moment are only guilty of ‘love of his country’. I keep toilet paper, toothpaste and soap in my bag all the time. What a joke they probably wouldn’t let me keep it anyway.
Please do not insist on another election and then let Mugabe run it. The evidence is all there, how this election was mastermind of rigging. Why didn’t the international community insist that SADCC run these elections. We have to have Perspex ballot boxes, that are held outside the country until the day before and watched from the minute they arrive here. Ballot papers need to be printed by an independent body and the layout, colour of paper etc kept absolutely secret until the minute the first voter arrives. There needs to be an army of well-trained observers to ensure that the pre-election groundwork is not carefully orchestrated long before monitors arrive
Start looking now (especially South Africa) for observers who have some guts and will go out to rural areas and actually see for themselves the villages surrounded by militia, instead of sipping Gin and Tonic in your hotel then ambling off to an urban, low density polling station at 4.00 in the afternoon. There were more than enough people around to show you where to look!! What? were you on some sort of sight seeing safari!!
Mr Mudede’s voters roll is a joke. My name appeared twice (lucky me!!!) and my deaceased sister is still on there. No doubt the Zanu PF supporters (leaches) probably appear 6 times each. Mind you I suppose if I saw my children starving before my eyes I might be inclined to go to rallies and chant songs and beat up a few people on the way for five hundred dollars a day and a bag of unobtainable mealie meal. We should all be allowed to vote if we have any form of Zimbabwe identification – even someone who has only just got his Zimbabwean residency has a concerned interest in how he is ruled. Why can’t Zimbabwean’s living outside this country vote when they are probably economic exiles who long to come back to live here. They probably have a bigger concerned interest in the recovery of their country because they are prisoners elsewhere.
South African’s it’s time for you to ask questions about how this affects you?
What can you do??
Send this to anyone you know who would be remotely interested in Zimbabwe and ask them to sent it to their M.P/senator anywhere in the world and ask them to take it to parliament. Send it to anyone you know who has connection with The Hague, U.N., E.U., NATO, SADCC, Commonwealth and any newspapers. If possible follow them up with a phone call next week and ask them "What have you done??". Bombard Embassies with it and demonstrate (peacefully), photocopy it and dish it out, Cause mail overload, phone and physical pressure and when you have done all this PRAY FOR US. We are as helpless as the Jews were during the 2nd world war. Wasn’t the man Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi enough to raise at least international suspicions of who this man’s role model is.
PUT ALL THIS PRESSURE ON these bodies – THE MESSAGE IS STOP WASTING TIME TALKING. WHAT WE NEED NOW IS ACTION AND FAST!!!
I face two years of imprisonment for expressing these views in this country, so I'm forced to use a pseudonym - but many of you will know who I am
Thank you all for your support