|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe has accused Britain of involvement in the murder of a local leader of the country's war veterans.
Speaking at the funeral of Cain Nkala, Mr Mugabe said the killings were part of a carefully planned terrorist plot funded by Britain's main political parties and some white farmers.
This was a day for President Robert Mugabe's supporters from his Zanu PF party to show their strength and their anger.
In their hundreds they attended the funeral of Cain Nkala.
His body was found strangled and dumped in a shallow grave near the town of Bulawayo earlier in the week.
President Robert Mugabe blamed the opposition MDC party for his murder. He also blamed Britain, who he accuses of supporting the opposition and of trying to unseat him.
"No where else, not in Asian nor in Africa, but in Europe, it's there that conspiracies are being worked out and sponsored by the British government," said President Mugabe.
"Let them tell us today who the terrorists in this country are, is it the government of Zanu-PF or is it the MDC that they're sponsoring?"
Robert Mugabe faces difficult elections early next year.
His controversial land reform programme - which has forced many white farmers off their land - has plunged Zimbabwe into an economic and political crisis and he has pitted himself against the western world.
As well as lashing out at Britain he has banned foreign observers from monitoring the elections which he knows he will have to fight tooth and nail to win.
From The Sunday Times (UK), 18 November
Mugabe’s thugs want poll cancelled
Demands by Zimbabwe’s war veterans for the cancellation of elections next spring have raised the possibility that President Robert Mugabe may abandon any remaining democratic pretence in his determination to cling to power. Amid growing attacks on opposition members, Andrew Ndlovu, the leader of the war veterans and a close associate of Mugabe, declared last week that "the presidential election will not be held". Accusing the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of "acts of terrorism", Ndlovu said his association would urge Mugabe to declare a state of emergency and rule by decree.
The comments coincided with the emergence of a strategic planning document purporting to come from Zanu PF, the ruling party, which openly canvassed for the "outright elimination" of Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader. The document spoke of "making sure there is no Morgan Tsvangirai to vote for come 2002". Joseph Msika, the vice-president, attacked the MDC in terms that were interpreted by some as an effective call on Zanu PF supporters to hunt down opposition members. The tension turned to open violence on Friday when hundreds of war veterans, escorted by police, marched into the centre of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, attacking whites and burning down the MDC headquarters. Heavily armed riot police later fired tear gas and chased opposition party supporters through the streets.
The opposition increasingly resembles a hunted resistance movement in an occupied country. Isaac Maposa, the MDC’s chief executive, said police had tried to force their way into the party’s offices three times on Monday and Tuesday but had been turned back because they had no warrants. The next day Steve Chasara and David Mtetwa, two of the most important activists in Chitungwisa, Harare’s largest township, were abducted. "Steve was dumped back in the street barely alive," Maposa said. "They had beaten him almost to death, stamped on his fingers and he needs a lot of stitches. It’s not certain he’ll live. There’s no sign of David Mtetwa. We are desperately worried about him. Nobody is safe."
On Thursday, Fletcher Dulini Ncube, the party’s treasurer, was arrested and charged with the murder of Cain Nkala, a war veteran whose body was found in a shallow grave in Bulawayo last week. More than a dozen other MDC supporters were picked up by the police on the same charge and paraded on state television; some had been badly beaten and could hardly walk. Police said one of the group, most of whom were drivers and security guards, had been paid by Ncube: proof enough, it was claimed, that he had financed Nkala’s murder. The MDC rejected the charge as absurd. "Fletcher’s our treasurer, of course he pays our drivers," a party official said. "When we heard that the police had raided Fletcher’s house in Bulawayo, we arranged to drive him there so he could give himself up. Does this sound like the behaviour of a guilty man?" Ncube, a soft-spoken, middle-aged man, has diabetes and a weak heart.
Nkala was widely suspected of the murder of Patrick Nabanyama, the election agent for David Coltart, the MDC’s justice spokesman, during last year’s parliamentary election. MDC members claimed Nkala had been putting out feelers to them because he wanted to come clean over the Nabanyama affair. According to this version, he was then killed to prevent him from talking. The opposition fears that Mugabe’s real aim may be to force Ncube to divulge the party’s sources of funding. Although the government is believed to receive considerable support from Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan president, it has made it illegal for parties to receive funds from abroad. The Amani Trust, a Zimbabwean human rights group, claims more than 100 MDC supporters have been killed by Mugabe supporters – war veterans, the secret police or Zanu PF activists - over the past year. MDC supporters claim Mugabe was alarmed by a poll this month that showed him trailing Tsvangirai. The government is also concerned at growing calls within Europe and America for sanctions. "All arms of the state are distorted into a single mission – to smash the opposition," said Judith Todd, a human rights campaigner. "The time now is for action, not diplomacy. You can’t treat diplomatically a crazed and criminal thug and his henchmen."
From ZWNEWS, 18 November
Horrific violence in the Valley
This witness statement gives a graphic account of the hell people are going through in the Zambezi Valley. The itching from the huriri (buffalo) bean has to be experienced to be believed. The aggravation can last for eight hours on hard skin and three days on tender skin. Their story tells the rest. About 20 people have been assaulted in similar fashion in the last week. The Members in Charge of Mashonaland Province and Guruve District have been made aware of the stance of the Member in Charge of Mushumbi Pools' police. The torture is compounded as the victims do not have the money to travel for medical help, the Red Cross and United Nations High Commission for Refugees say they cannot get involved because it is political, and there are no safe houses left in the cities.
1. I am a male and live at Nyakatondo village near Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Communal Land of Guruve North.
2. On 28th October 2001 Vengai Kanyoka was forced to lie on the ground on his stomach and was beaten by Koshiwe Jonasi and Stanford Mafunga on his back and buttocks. He managed to escape from the torture of the 11th of November by running away after seeing a group of people coming.
3. On 13th November 2001 Anderson Munyambiri was assaulted by about 20 Zanu PF youths under the leadership of Koshiwe Jonasi who is the Youth Chairman. He had grumbled that some young girls are attending meetings until sunset and he quarrelled with his daughter. She reported this to the youth leaders. This old man was severely beaten and had to lie with his head in a pool with thorns over his head so he could not raise his head to breath. They were attempting to kill him. He lost consciousness and was left for dead. His son rescued him but later that night he went into a coma and his family thought he had died. He has not gone for treatment as the clinic is not allowed to attend to MDC victims. The police also do not help MDC supporters.
4. On 13th November 2001, in another incident, the wife of Zata Munyambari was severely beaten by Zanu PF youths under the leadership of Jonasi. They accused her husband of going to MDC meetings when he had actually fled after they had assaulted him.
5. All this happens in broad daylight because the officer in charge is a war vet named Musukwa. Most of the time Musukwa visits Jonasi for strategic moves. If anything happens he only states that it is public fighting, go and talk to your fellow mates.
6. On 11th November 2001 I was called to a Zanu PF Youth Training centre at the old Neshangwe Primary School. The meeting was being conducted by Koshiwe Jonasi, the Zanu PF Youth Chairman.
7. Whilst there I was surprised when my name was called out and I had to stand out with some other youths, Manikidzo Kopakopa, Wilson Karikoga, Ephraim Kopakopa, Peter Naison and Howard Chitumba.
8. Koshiwe Jonasi told us that we were wanted by the war veterans at Chitepo village in Ward 9. We walked all the way to the village.
9. To my astonishment we were called to a place in the bush near the Dande river.
10. Joseph Musauki, a war vet leader and Zanu PF commissariat secretary, called me to come closer to him. He clapped me and then started to strongly assault me with a wooden log. I was forced to lay flat on the riverbed on the hot sand. He assaulted me with that log countless times.
11. He then handed me over to Emmanuel Kirmukiyani (Dombo), Desmond Gomo, Nyande Musauki and Pius Musauki, who tied me up hand and foot and carried on to assault me for six hours. The assault was by beating, making me roll in the hot sand for more than 150 metres, lying on the hot sand without moving, putting my head in a hole and barking like a dog and doing military drills.
12. During this time Dombo brought huriri, a very hot plant powder, (buffalo bean) and spread it around my body from time to time.
13. During this time they left me in the hot sun for almost three hours without drinking water. I felt that I was dying. Finally I was offered a cup of water which I could not finish as they hit it down after I took two sips. They left me and told me to go and rest under a tree after they notice that I was momentarily loosing my breath.
14. Lastly Dombo opened the foreskin of my penis and brushed the huriri against my penis. With the help of Desmond Gomo, Nyande Musauki and Pius Musauki, he opened my buttocks and dropped this hot stuff inside. While I was in agony with this huriri they then beat me with eighteen cuts.
15. I was then told to go home after they had mixed the huriri into my clothes. I was forced to wear those clothes.
16. As I am speaking my penis has some paining cracks and my anus is developing a wound. I am definitely desperate. They have said they want to set an example on me to show that Zanu can kill.
17. This victimisation is a plot by Zanu PF to silence opposition members. They definitely know that if I am allowed to campaign Zanu PF would never stand a chance.
18. I could not report to the police in Mushumbi Pools. The Member in Charge, Inspector Musukwa, has vowed not to help MDC supporters as he is a war veteran.