Crimes against Humanity – Eddie Cross

via Crimes against Humanity – Eddie Cross November 14, 2013 at 2:30pm

Talking to a senior diplomat the other day I was asked if the MDC (T) still supported the travel restrictions on Zanu PF leaders and the remaining sanctions on the financial sector and certain companies. My response was that in the GPA we agreed to seek their removal and had advocated this throughout. Now that the GPA is a dead letter, we felt that the remaining restrictions were not having any impact and were counterproductive in that they gave Zanu PF a fig leaf behind which they could hide. Further they aggravated our relations with other African States and therefore we felt that they no longer served any purpose and should be removed.

But the difficulty of that position is that Zanu PF has done nothing in the 15 years since the first imposition of restrictions to warrant such an action by the countries and organisations that imposed them in the first place. Now that Zanu PF has resumed full control of the State after yet another flawed electoral process that did not meet accepted benchmarks, the countries still wanting to see compliance with accepted standards of governance and human rights are reluctant to relinquish what they feel is their only way of applying pressure on the Party to behave.

My response to that point of view was to say, try another way of going about the operation which will have the same effect on the targeted individuals and organisations. For example, lift the travel ban and then state very clearly that any individual visiting their country and who, in their view had violated human rights or committed crimes against humanity, would be arrested and tried in the local Courts.

In that way every individual would have to make a calculated estimate of what information they had on them, what the legal and political implications were and what was likely to happen in a real Court of law. Believe me I know of over 2000 individuals in the leadership of Zanu PF and the State itself, who would be very nervous of stepping off a plane at New York or London, let alone the 140 or so individuals who are currently listed.

This would raise a further issue for civil society and human rights groups all over the world as to what criteria to apply to such arrest warrants. How wide do we cast the net?

In my view we could cast the net as wide as the infractions occur in a country like Zimbabwe. We could go right back to 1983 and Ghukurahundi, or we could reach back to Murambatsvina. In the first instance we would have rich pickings – it is already established in law, that this was genocide; a deliberate attempt to wipe out a tribal or ethnic group by means of physical violence, extra judicial killings on a large scale and deliberately withholding food supplies to whole communities for extended periods.

We can certainly identify the individuals that were directly responsible for this “moment of madness” as Mr. Mugabe called it, and we could also identify many hundreds of perpetrators on the ground. Very few of the 140 individuals on the present list of restrictions would escape attention.

Murambatsvina is already classified by the United Nations as a mass violation of human rights. 700 000 people were made homeless, 1,2 million were displaced and hundreds of thousands were forcibly displaced from their urban homes. Tens of thousands died every month following these forced evictions in the middle of winter and we can identify the people responsible very easily.

Right now Murambatsvina mark 2 is under way and it would be even easier to identify those responsible starting with Chombo and his new deputy.

Then there are all those who have been directly involved on the political oppression of the MDC and its supporters since 1999. We have maintained careful records of these incidents and we have police reports, sworn affidavits, photographs, video, as well as recordings of statements and media reports, as well as many Court records of cases that have been brought to trial but never concluded. These records make gruesome reading and we have already had legal experts review the cases and give us their assessment of whether or not these would find traction in their Courts. They have indicated to us that many of the cases are absolutely water tight and would lead to conviction in a decent Court.

Then there are the not so easy things to assess. In 2008, 300 000 people died in Zimbabwe, 17 000 women died in childbirth, tens of thousands died of TB and Malaria – both diseases we thought were beaten. Thousands died of water borne disease, hundreds of thousands of children died of all sorts of preventable causes.

Hospitals were just large mass mortuaries, clinics non functional, public health systems, water and sanitation collapsed. Life expectancy fell precipitously from 60 years on average to 34 years. In a decade, life in Zimbabwe was returned to conditions last seen in Europe 400 years ago. Was this deliberate? Many of us think so. Was it just the collective result of years of stupidity and mismanagement? Perhaps; either way people were responsible and surely, they should be held accountable.

The reality is that Zanu PF had declared war on its own people and in the process they had destroyed agriculture, reduced two thirds of the population to absolute degradation and starvation and collapsed the economy, thrust 5 million people out into the diaspora and reduced employment by half.

In my personal view, any group of people responsible for such a state of affairs should be subject to global condemnation and isolation. They should be held accountable and when the population is virtually in a “national detention camp” and cannot fight back, it is the responsibility of other countries that enjoy responsible government and open democracy with freedom, to ensure that the people who wreck such havoc on a country and its people face judgment and condemnation. The UN system would be the best vehicle for such actions but is totally hopeless when it comes to such issues as demonstrated by the many times the UN General Assembly has saluted and applauded the leaders who have committed such mass crimes against their people.

But let’s not continue with the farce that “sanctions” explains the incompetence and brutality of the Mugabe regime. Let’s strip them of that fig leaf that they use to cover their shame and do something effective for once, something that would give their victims in Zimbabwe a sense of justice and that somewhere, out there, people do really care.

Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 9th November 2013

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 28
  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 8 years ago

    Facts we have got, the problem is to find the way forward as a team

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    Michael 8 years ago

    My vote is for Eddie Cross as leader of the now dying MDC. MT whilst he may be a nice and likable guy, is now redundant, three strikes and you’re out.

    These are my thoughts, remember I am not a Zanu supporter, remember I am not a MDC supporter, but I am a voter and my vote counts.

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    Michael 8 years ago

    The problem is that MT would not be able to write an article of this calibre without having to rely on an educated personal scribe.

    If MT remains as leader till 2016 and is them voted out at the party congress, the MDC would have lost 3 years of valuable time. More worryingly it would only leave 2 years for the new leadership to prepare to challenge Mugabe, I fear the new leadership would not be ready for the enormous task.

    These are my thoughts, remember I am not a Zanu supporter, remember I am not a MDC supporter, but I am a voter and my vote counts.

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    William Doctor 8 years ago

    Eventually Zanu will be held accountable – just a matter of time. And zanu-kids should be held accountable to – or at least stripped of their ill-gotten assets.

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    Africanson 8 years ago

    Michael you are nither zanu nor mdc. You suggested a leader for mdc, whats your proposed leader for zanu? Are you concerned for mdc only and happy for zanu leadership?

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      kenneth R nedziwe 8 years ago

      I like this guy Cross, Him and n Arnold Tsunga are my best. the outside world ,USA and other Western countries please take hid. These are words of an educated responsible person on the ground. The facts he has stated are real ,he speaks like any village woman or man would put it. Remove the sanctions and on what has been stated, it would be interesting to see how many of the looters would take that challenge.Non of them is clean and they know it. This is not a duplicate Mr editor.Just post.

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    kenneth R nedziwe 8 years ago

    I like this guy Cross, Him and n Arnold Tsunga are my best. the outside world ,USA and other Western countries please take hid. These are words of an educated responsible person on the ground. The facts he has stated are real ,he speaks like any village woman or man would put it. Remove the sanctions and on what has been stated, it would be interesting to see how many of the looters would take that challenge.Non of them is clean and they know it.

  • comment-avatar
    kenneth R nedziwe 8 years ago

    I like this guy Cross, Him and n Arnold Tsunga are my best. the outside world ,USA and other Western countries please take hid. These are words of an educated responsible person on the ground. The facts he has stated are real ,he speaks like any village woman or man would put it. Remove the sanctions and on what has been stated, it would be interesting to see how many of the looters would take that challenge.Non of them is clean and they know it. This is not a duplicate Mr editor.Just post.

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    Eddie’s views are no doubt one way the international community can assist BUT that “international community” does not really care Mr. Cross. It is their interests and the plight of the Zimbabwean people who are held in “a national detention camp” is not a big deal. They would probably say that you are exaggerating. That is why they talk of “engaging”. If the MDC-T discussed this at their highest council meeting it would never come to fruition. Some senior members would bring their Zanupf solutions that they know would not achieve anything. As for the other parties their priority is the MDC-T and not Zanupf. Even those led by so called very educated people the struggle is to position oneself and also loot under the protection of the Zanupf machinery although claiming to oppose it. It is therefore necessary to publish more of such awakening articles and call for genuine cadres in the struggle for freedom, justice and democracy in our country. These facts are just well thought out and the situation would not be the same if sanctions are removed but more effective measures taken against perpetrators.

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    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    The article misses the point completely. African states want to defend their serial murdering brothers in Zanu – that is the motive behind their opposition to sanctions. The liberation brotherhood would be even more opposed to the threat of prosecutions in Western countries. What I am saying is that the only thing SADC and others would be happy with is that we treat Zanu as if they had done nothing. So that’s why we shouldn’t care what SADC or Zanu think. My answer is sanction them and prosecute them. Evil people.

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    Bhola 8 years ago

    Mr Editor, post my comment… In the name of freedom of speach and democracy!!!

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    The flawed elections did not meet the accepted benchmark? All national observers said free, fair and credible, and only non observers say otherwise. If this human rights enforcement can go backwards, as far backwards as possible, I am sure Mr Cross will also get into the net. Lets get as far back as 1893.

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      Chivulamapoti 8 years ago

      All Observers allowed by Mugarbage that is Shebah. He only invited those goons he knew would tow his Nikuv line, the idiot.
      Would be nice to see a coffin come back from Singapore (or two, Dis-grace as well), wouldn’t it?

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    msizeni silwelani 8 years ago

    I cross my fingers Cross, ours is a revolution, we shall conquer and all the records we have will be used against this monstor. You brought a point on sanctions, this has never crossed my mind, i concur. I like the communicative nature of your article, certainly the dictator (Mugabe) and his strongmen got the message. He will read it, mine too as he lies somewhere in cosy island while we remain in “national detention camp” with a collapsed health system. Mandela remains in Pretoria.

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    Bhola 8 years ago

    How far back should we cast the net Mr Cross? To pre 1980? To the Rhodesian army officers who raped and tortured people in Headlands, Macheke, Rusape? To the RAF officers who strapped the dead bodies of suspected terrorists to the back of their jeeps and paraded them through growth points and townships? To the prison guards who tortured and humiliated my father for 11 years when he was in jail? Many of these people live freely in the undemocratic nation of Zimabwe, meeting for drinks at the Country Club and Old Georgians. Many of them are living peacefully in Australia, USA, Britain… Were these people arrested when they set foot in these countries? Or do human rights abuses only become relevant when they are carried out by ZPF? If justice is what we want, let it be unconditional.

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    Michael 8 years ago

    Africanson

    Currently I don’t believe there is a suitable Zanu party leader amongst the old guard, however there may be a future leader lower down the file and rank of the party. Unfortunately Zanu is so indoctrinated and drunk on their despotic, brutal and plundering ways it is unlikely that we will see a suitable leader emerge from within the party any time soon. Having said that I believe that a change of government under a new democratic party would force Zanu to rethink their policies and perhaps, just perhaps a suitable Zanu leader will come forward.

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    Michael 8 years ago

    I am very worried for the future of Zimbabwe. Many people whom comment on this forum regarding MDC leadership renewal, I believe, have only ever lived under the tyrannical rule of Mugabe. I guess they would be aged between 18 and 38. They have only ever lived in Zimbabwe, therefore they have no firsthand experience of what democracy is or how it functions.

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    Michael 8 years ago

    This is clearly evidenced by those who accuse people of being Zanu infiltrators when they voice their opinions and desires for a stronger MDC through leadership renewal. Some even go as far as to erroneously claim that Zanu fear Tsvangirai’s leadership of the MDC-T and that Zanu are propagating the calls for MDC leadership change, this fallacy couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that Zanu would prefer that Tsvangirai stayed as leader of MDC-T because they know exactly how to defeat him in elections (rigged or not), this is borne out by Zanu’s continued position in government (illegal or otherwise is not the point here).

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    msizeni silwelani 8 years ago

    I cross my fingers Cross, ours is a revolution, we shall conquer and all the records we have will be used against this monstor. You brought a point on sanctions, this has never crossed my mind, i concur. I like the communicative nature of your article, certainly the dictator (Mugabe) and his strongmen got the message. He will read it, mine too as he lies somewhere in cosy island while we remain in “national detention camp” with a collapsed national health system. Mandela remains in Pretoria.

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    Boss MyAss 8 years ago

    32 years of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF misrule has turned what was once a paradise, with one of the strongest currencies, healthy economies, highest literacy and education rates on the continent, with an excellent agricultural base and the lowest unemployment, in the continent, to the Marxist hell-hole that it now is. Under Mugabe’s Marxist policies, Zimbabwe has attained the highest rate of inflation in history, the worst unemployment on the continent, and the most complete destruction of commercial agriculture ever seen.

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    Getting more exiting. Cross we should start from 1890 by the time we get to 1965 those who put Mugabe in jail will have left this planet, in fact we might be left with very few whites when we approach 1980, maybe every one will find a way to his mother land.
    By the way Cross what is your home area??

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    Shebah 8 years ago

    Boss MyAss I have a rural home, but if I tell the MDCT thags are like to harm me.

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      Boss MyAss 8 years ago

      And why is that ? What exactly they have against you especially ?

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    farai 8 years ago

    I totally agree with Eddie, “the people who wreck such havoc on a country and it’s people should face judgement and condemnation” but his piece falls short by not sharing his view and recommendation on how to bring the coalition of the willing and the anglosaxon countries before the a UN system that has never been able to bring the western bullies to book.

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    Chivulamapoti 8 years ago

    That Shebah has a very profitable tobacco farm, making oodles of ZANU dollars and is a Mugarbage troglodyte. Probably a buddy of Dis-grace’s, they sit around sipping warm milk at her filthy dairy!

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    Eddie needs to appreciate that there is no crime saying guilty of being a target of propaganda.
    You need evidence no the MDCT type which disappears when put to the test.
    When those like Cross make claims there should be a case with the strict understand that those promoting rubbish should personally bear all costs when it fails.