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UN move on Robert Mugabe as police raid MDC

The Times
April 26, 2008

James Bone in New York
Britain forced Zimbabwe onto the UN Security Council agenda yesterday as
regional efforts to resolve the election stand-off faltered.

Sir John Sawers, Britain's UN ambassador, won agreement for the 15-nation
council to hear a briefing on the crisis from a senior UN official, probably
on Tuesday. The British move is a possible prelude to seeking UN backing for
an arms embargo on Zimbabwe because of the risk of election-related

The disclosure came as riot police raided the headquarters of the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change in Harare and detained about 100 supporters
who had taken refuge there.

The MDC, which claims victory in elections held on March 29, said that 250
police raided the building, taking prisoners away on a crowded prison bus
along with computers used during the election campaign. Results for the
presidential poll have still not been released, but President Mugabe's Zanu
(PF) party lost its parliamentary majority at the ballot box.

Related Links
  a.. Brown calls for Zimbabwe arms ban
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Britain is unlikely to be able to secure the votes necessary to impose a UN
arms embargo on Mr Mugabe's regime, a move which in any case could be vetoed
by China. The Security Council could, however, endorse a de facto moratorium
on arms shipments by Zimbabwe's neighbours, who blocked a shipload of
Chinese arms from reaching the country's ruling party.

Britain succeeded in getting the Security Council to schedule a briefing on
Zimbabwe despite reluctance from such influential members as South Africa
and China. The move takes UN involvement a step further, after Gordon Brown
raised Zimbabwe at a Security Council summit on Africa last week.

Britain acted now so that the UN briefing on Zimbabwe would take place under
the chairmanship of South Africa, before Britain assumes the rotating
presidency of the Security Council on May 1. No council-member objected to
the British proposal, knowing that Britain had the nine votes needed to win.

“We are not opposed to the briefing on Zimbabwe being made in the Security
Council. However, we wonder what value it can add,” Dumisani Kumalo, South
Africa's UN ambassador, told reporters.

A Chinese diplomat said the crisis should be addressed by the African Union.
“Zimbabwe is facing a similar situation to Kenya,” the official said.

Zimbabwe was first discussed by the Security Council in July 2005 following
President Mugabe's brutal slum clearance programme, known as Operation
Murambatsvina, or Operation Drive Out Trash. At that time, Britain won a
procedural vote, where vetos do not count, for the council to hear a report
by UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka calling the demolition of homes a
“disastrous venture”.

Zimbabwe came before the Security Council again in December 2005 when Jan
Egeland, the UN's humanitarian chief, called for action on the food crisis
in the country as part of a wider briefing on African crises. The Security
Council also received a briefing from a UN humanitarian official in March
2007 after the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was arrested and beaten
in custody.

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‘This regime is now operating with impunity'

Globe and Mail, Canada


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

April 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM EDT

JOHANNESBURG — Sixty heavily armed police officers raided the headquarters
of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Harare Friday,
while 25 police swarmed into the office of the country's independent
election monitors.

Police took an estimated 300 people into custody, many of them already badly
injured victims of state-sponsored violence who had sought shelter at the
party office.

The raid is seen as the strongest indication yet that the regime of
President Robert Mugabe has no intention of ceding power, despite a
widespread belief that he and his ZANU-PF party lost the national election
on March 29 to the MDC.

Police detained displaced people and party workers at Harvest House, as the
MDC headquarters is called, and took away computers and piles of documents
related to the election, the party said. Two rooms that had housed some 300
refugees from militia violence were left deserted – in the room that
sheltered women and children, there was only a pile of blankets neatly
stacked against the wall. In the men's room, the floor was littered with
bandages and bottles of medicine; one man with a broken leg was forced to
leave his crutch behind.

Two MDC members of Parliament, who had been collecting victim testimonies at
the time of the raid, were detained. Three security guards, the only people
left in the headquarters, were almost incoherent with shock afterward.

Police said they were seeking opposition supporters whom they accused of
arson and “destabilization” campaigns in the countryside. But Andrew Makoni,
a human-rights lawyer who rushed to the central Harare police station, where
those detained were crammed into small holding cells, said the charge was

“If any person was running away after committing a crime, the last place
they would seek refuge is Harvest House,” he said. “The people at Harvest
House are clear victims of violence.”

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa, distraught after the raid, also denied that
any party supporter had been involved in carrying out attacks.

“This regime is now operating with impunity,” he said. “They are now
accusing our members – who actually fled violence – of beating up ZANU-PF
members. These 300 people came to our offices because they have nowhere to
go … Zimbabwe is a frying pan. We are burning and someone needs to quench
the burning. … It's genocide in the making.”

Last week MDC Leader Morgan Tsvangirai told The Globe and Mail he was
certain that upon his return to Zimbabwe he would face arrest and possible
brutality. He has been outside the country since 10 days after the vote,
lobbying regional and international leaders.

Police also raided the offices of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network – a
coalition of 39 civil society organizations that sent monitors to polling
stations across the country for the vote. ZESN has become a particular
target of government wrath because it published an independent vote tally
two days after the election. Those results showed Mr. Tsvangirai had led the
vote, with a total of 50.3 per cent, with a 2.5-per-cent margin of error.

That independent tally, based on an elaborate and internationally tested
methodology, made it much more difficult for ZANU-PF to claim Mr. Mugabe had
won. ZESN had the support of international pro-democracy organizations such
as the National Democratic Institute in producing the tally, and expatriate
staffers of those groups were the first targets of raids, including one on a
small Harare hotel five days after the vote.

Last night, police raided the home of the ZESN director Rindai Chifunde,
with a warrant to search for “subversive material likely to cause the
overthrow of a constitutionally elected government.” Possessing such
material carries a potential life sentence in Zimbabwe. At press time, Ms.
Chifunde and Noel Kututwa, the ZESN chairman, were in hiding. ZESN program
manager Tsungai Kokerai was arrested at the organization's offices.

Police took people away from Harvest House in three trucks and a bus. There
were 20 children under three years old among those detained, and many of the
adults had broken limbs, while at least one had a recent gunshot wound.

“It was shocking – it was as if they were dealing with a bank robbery,”
Teresa Mano said of the police actions. She was walking past the downtown
MDC headquarters when the raid began. “After 10 minutes I saw them shoving
injured people in to the bus and trucks. They were brutal. Those that
resisted were beaten with batons. Pregnant women were being dragged to the
trucks. There were babies screaming all over the place. You would think they
were dealing with hardcore criminals.”

By nightfall, police had distributed those detained yesterday among police
stations across Harare and were in the process of shipping them back to
their local police stations around the country for processing.

Didymus Mutasa, the Minister of National Security, said the raid was an
effort to root out those fomenting violence.

“There are lots of people who are lying that they have been beaten, hiding
at the MDC offices, when, in actual fact, they are the ones who have been
perpetrating violence,” he told The Globe and Mail. “The police have a duty
to deal with such people, it's the law. That is justice. The police know
what they are doing: they don't just arrest people who have done nothing
wrong. There is too much deception in this country about violence on the

On state-run television last night, Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's Justice
Minister, denounced ZESN as “an appendage of the West.”

Mr. Mugabe yesterday renewed his attacks on former colonial power Britain
and other Western nations for leading what he called a shameless campaign
against his government, speaking at the opening of a trade fair in the
second city of Bulawayo.

“And what is our crime? Simply reclaiming our birthright, namely the natural
resource of our land and for remaining resolute in the defence of our
hard-won national sovereignty,” he said.

Zimbabweans voted four weeks ago today, but the government has yet to
release the presidential ballot results. Parliamentary results gave control
of the house of assembly to the combined opposition, but the
government-controlled electoral commission is in the process of recounting
23 constituencies and is widely expected to return the parliamentary
majority to ZANU-PF.

Western leaders have been increasingly critical of Mr. Mugabe in recent days
(Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said Thursday
that it was obvious Mr. Tsvangirai won the election) and there are growing
signs that neighbouring African leaders have also wearied of him.

But the clique of generals ruling Zimbabwe appears impervious to criticism
and is moving ahead with plans to stage a run-off presidential vote, after
first carrying out a campaign of intimidation in all rural areas where the
MDC edged out ZANU-PF in the first round.

With a report from a Globe and Mail contributor in Harare

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Partial Zimbabwe vote recount puts opposition ahead

Yahoo News

30 minutes ago

HARARE (Reuters) - A partial recount of Zimbabwe's parliamentary vote
suggests that President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF is unlikely to
reverse the opposition's victory.

A total of 13 seats have been recounted so far. ZANU-PF must win nine of 10
remaining constituencies to take back control of parliament, according to
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's (ZEC) count so far, the state-run Herald
newspaper reported in its Saturday online version.
(Reporting by Cris Chinaka)

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Cry, Another Beloved Country


Zimbabweans are depressed and afraid as their political stalemate drags on. An insider's account.

zimbabwe, mugabe, refugee
Tsvangirayi Mukwaz for Newsweek
Dispossessed: Zimbabwean farm workers sit outside the house they say was burned by police as part of an intimidation campaign against opponents of Robert Mugabe

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MDC statement on police raid

25 April 2008

Issued by the Movement for Democratic Change April 25 2008

Police storm MDC HQ - snatch political violence victims

Heavily armed police details today stormed MDC headquarters, the Harvest
House in central Harare and took away over 400 victims of political violence
who have fled from their homes after being persecuted Zanu PF militia across
the country.

Thousands of MDC supporters have fled from their homes following high level
attacks by Zanu PF youth militia who are backed by armed men in uniform and
claiming to be soldiers.

Also arrested by the police in the raid were; Hon. Paurina Mpariwa who is
the MP for Mufakose and Evelyn Masaiti Matongo MP for Dzivaresekwa.

The two parliamentarians were involved for providing food and medical aid to
the victims.

The police also took several MDC staff members and damaged most of the
party's office equipment including computers. Doors were kicked open while
important documents were removed and taken away by the police.

Police took over 300 victims who are mainly women and children who have run
away from their homes following disturbances and they are currently being
held at the Harare Central Police Station.

Most of the political victims who were seeking shelter at Harvest House
along Nelson Mandela Avenue, were seeking medical treatment after they had
been severely assaulted by Zanu PF supporters for voting for the MDC in the
29 March elections.

The MDC won the elections although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet
to announce the presidential poll results after over three weeks after the

The victims are from areas such as Mudzi, Mutoko, Murehwa, Masvingo, Gutu
and Lupane and had fled to Harare seeking treatment and refuge.

Statement issued by the Movement for Democratic Change April 25 2008

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Cosatu calls for release of MDC supporters


April 25, 2008, 17:45

Cosatu has expressed outrage at the reported arrests of hundreds of people
in a police raid on Zimbabwe's opposition MDC's headquarters in Harare, and
demanded their immediate release.

The MDC says its supporters, including pregnant women and children, were
bundled into the back of government trucks and whisked away.

Cosatu spokesperson, Patrick Craven says this raid is the clearest evidence
yet that - what he called -the illegal Mugabe regime has no intention of
respecting the democratic process and the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe.

Cosatu will lead marches in protest over developments in Zimbabwe on the
tenth of next month in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

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Candidate takes Mugabe, ZEC to court over by-election

Zim Online

      by Lizwe Sebatha Saturday 26 April 2008

BULAWAYO – An independent candidate has filed an urgent court application to
force President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to
order elections in a constituency where voting was postponed last month
after the death of an opposition candidate.

Zimbabwe held parliamentary elections on March 29 that were won by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, but ZEC is yet to
issue results of a parallel presidential vote, which Mugabe is believed to
have lost to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Voting was deferred in the constituencies of Pelandaba-Mpopoma, Gwanda South
and Redcliff in terms of the electoral law that allows postponement of
polling in the event of a candidate dying to afford contesting parties an
opportunity to choose replacement candidates.

But Bulawayo lawyer Job Sibanda, who was standing as an independent
candidate in Pelandaba-Mpopoma, says the Electoral Act stipulates that the
ZEC should have postponed elections for a maximum of 14 days and wants the
High Court to order the commission to set a new date for a by-election
election in the constituency.

Mugabe is third respondent in the matter while ZEC and its chief elections
officer, Lovemore Sekeramayi, are second and first respondents respectively.

Sibanda said in papers filed with the Bulawayo High Court: “Respondents have
failed despite the clear provisions of the law stipulating that a
by-election should be ordered within 14 days of the announcement of the
death of a candidate  . . . to announce when the by-election will be held.

“Through their continued silence, the respondents continue to be in breach
of the law. There is an urgent need therefore to direct that the respondents
be ordered to comply with the law.”

The matter was not yet set down for hearing by Friday.

The application just adds another new twist to Zimbabwe’s election stalemate
that began after ZEC withheld results of the presidential vote and which
political analysts say has potential to explode into serious violence and

The MDC, which last week lost a court bid to force electoral authorities to
release results of the presidential poll, says Mugabe’s government has
blocked results while it implements a campaign of violence and terror to cow
voters to back the 84-year old President in an anticipated second round
run-off poll against Tsvangirai.

The MDC says 10 of its supporters have been killed in the violence while 3
000 others have been displaced from their homes, in what the opposition
party has described as a war being waged by state security agents and ZANU
PF militias against Zimbabweans.

Church leaders have urged African leaders and the United Nations to
intervene to end the violence that they say if left unattended could easily
slide into another genocide of the type seen in Rwanda. -- ZimOnline.

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Zimbabwe stand-off: Who will blink first?

Straits Times
April 26, 2008 
BLISTERING WOUNDS: An opposition supporter waiting for treatment for severe burns at a Harare clinic on Thursday. Civil rights groups in Zimbabwe say security forces and party thugs loyal to President Mugabe have unleashed a campaign of violence against opposition supporters after the disputed elections on March 29. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
ZIMBABWE opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is the 'clear victor' of the country's latest elections. That, at least, is the opinion of Ms Jendayi Frazer, the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs.

But, as Ms Frazer arrived in Africa on Thursday, she must have known that 'clarity' is precisely the one ingredient Zimbabwe lacks most. A month after parliamentary and presidential elections took place, no official results have been published.

President Robert Mugabe more or less admitted that the opposition won control of Parliament and once even hinted at the possibility of submitting himself to a run-off against Mr Tsvangirai in order to decide who should become Zimbabwe's next head of state.

But, since then, Mr Mugabe's stance has hardened. His officials have ordered a 'recount' of the vote, despite the fact that some of the ballot boxes have since disappeared. And nobody is now talking about another round of presidential voting.

Everything seems to point towards a major, looming confrontation. Supported by the military and the security services, Mr Mugabe believes that he still holds the upper hand.

He may be prepared to offer the opposition a power-sharing deal. But if opposition leaders refuse it, he is determined to crush them with all his might.

This strategy carries huge risks. Mr Tsvangirai, who is now outside the country, has little incentive to accept such a deal; he may order a campaign of civil disobedience against the government.

And Mr Mugabe cannot be sure that, if ordered, his armed forces would fire on demonstrators. In short, both sides are now at a stand-off. The question is: Who blinks first?

The most immediate losers are, of course, the people. No less than 80 per cent of the population is unemployed. And those who manage to find work discover that their salary is pulverised by an inflation rate exceeding 100,000 per cent. Very soon, the title of a 'failed state' will be a compliment for Zimbabwe.

But South Africa, Zimbabwe's key neighbour, also emerges damaged from this episode. For years, Mr Thabo Mbeki, the South African President, has persuaded the world that his 'quiet diplomacy' was more likely to find a solution in Zimbabwe.

While many African governments are beginning to tire of Zimbabwe's leaders, Mr Mbeki continues to claim that there is 'no crisis'.

The result is that Mr Mbeki, who leaves office next year, is increasingly marginalised inside his own country.

However, not everything is gloomy. Zimbabwe apart, large parts of Africa are booming. Sub-Saharan economies are currently growing by 6.6 per cent, and foreign investments and loans have risen from S$14 billion yearly at the beginning of this decade to S$71 billion last year.

So while Zimbabwe remains a disaster, the rest of the continent deserves continued engagement, and offers much hope.

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Surge in State-Sponsored Violence

Human Rights Watch

Security Forces Raid Opposition Headquarters
(Johannesburg, April 25, 2008) – President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and
state security forces have sharply intensified a campaign of organized
terror and torture against opposition activists and ordinary Zimbabweans,
Human Rights Watch said today. Armed riot police raided the Harare
headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on April
25, 2008 and arbitrarily arrested scores of people, including women and
children seeking refuge there.

“We’re seeing a major increase in government-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe
right now,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
“The ruling party has been sending its allies – youth militia and so-called
“war veterans” – after people it thinks voted for the opposition in last
month’s election. In recent days, the army has been playing a direct role in
the repression, and police have arrested people fleeing the violence. Now
anyone seen as opposing Mugabe is in danger.”

Over the past few days, Human Rights Watch has documented a pattern of
increasing violence by ZANU-PF militias and the military, both in the number
of incidents recorded and the brutality used. For example, one MDC supporter
from Uzumba, Mashonaland East province, told Human Rights Watch that ZANU-PF
militia members had cut off his ear. Another man from Mudzi, also in
Mashonaland East told Human Rights Watch that he received severe wounds to
his buttocks after being beaten with logs. His attackers told him that if he
went to the hospital for treatment, they would come back and kill him. The
man reported to Human Rights Watch that by the time he reached medical
treatment in Harare, his flesh had begun to rot.

For the first time since the post-election crackdown in Zimbabwe started,
Human Rights Watch has documented several incidents of retaliatory violence
by MDC supporters, although the scope of these incidents bears no comparison
to the widespread state-sponsored violence by ZANU-PF and its allies.
Eyewitnesses told Human Rights Watch that in parts of Mashonaland East and
Manicaland provinces, MDC supporters had burned homes of known ZANU-PF
supporters and officials. The emergence of tit-for-tat retaliatory attacks
between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters could further escalate the violence
putting the general population at greater risk.

More than 40 armed riot police raided the MDC headquarters, known as Harvest
House, during the morning of April 25 and forced scores of men, women and
children into a pickup truck and a bus. It is not known where the police
have taken them. They were among 250 persons, including some 60 women and
children, sheltering at Harvest House after fleeing increasing violence and
torture by ZANU-PF in rural areas. Police also confiscated MDC computers and
files. The police claimed those arrested were wanted for assault and arson.

Also on April 25, eight Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police
officers entered the offices of the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network
(ZESN), the only nationwide independent election monitoring organization
which had compiled its own data on the disputed March 29 elections. Police
officers searched the premises and confiscated files and other sensitive
information. They interrogated ZESN’s program manager, Tsungai Kokerai, for
seven hours.

In the wake of the disputed elections, ZANU-PF and its allies set up torture
camps in areas where the opposition has made significant progress and
opposition strongholds
( In the city of
Mutare, for instance, a country club was turned into an informal torture
center. Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern for the welfare of an
estimated 500 people, including more than 100 children, who are believed to
be sheltering in the MDC’s regional headquarters in Mutare to try to escape
state-sponsored violence.

Human Rights Watch investigations have also found that the political
violence in Chivi South constituency, in Masvingo province, demonstrates the
organized nature of state-sponsored violence against the MDC and the
increasing role of the army. According to eyewitnesses, five days after the
election, a group of so-called “war veterans” arrived in the area, and went
from ward to ward, urging people to “repent” for voting MDC. They forced
people to attend pro-government rallies where MDC supporters were made to
burn their party cards and MDC T-shirts, and become members of ZANU-PF. The
“war veterans” severely beat several MDC supporters, and burned the homes of
others. On April 18, a group of army and police officials arrived in Chivi
South and at a meeting with the traditional chief and village headman
demanded that the village headman compile a list of all known and suspected
MDC supporters in their village. Army troops burned more homes of suspected
MDC voters the day after the meeting.

Zimbabwe’s parliamentary elections delivered a decisive defeat for the
ruling ZANU-PF led by Mugabe. Yet, almost four weeks later, the
ZANU-PF-appointed Electoral Commission has failed to announce the results of
the presidential poll that took place at the same time. On April 19, the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission carried out a recount in 23 constituencies
that was seriously flawed because the original ballot boxes had been moved
to undisclosed locations.

“The recount results expected this weekend or early next week will do little
to restore credibility to this election process,” Gagnon said. “The violent
crackdown on the opposition is just one more sign that President Mugabe will
stop at nothing to keep hold of power. A re-run of the presidential race
will have no validity.”

Human Rights Watch said that the dramatic escalation of violence shows that
the initiatives of the intergovernmental Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and South African President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation role
have not been effective in resolving the political impasse and ending the

“The SADC and President Mbeki are standing by as Zimbabweans suffer horribly
at the government’s hands,” said Gagnon. “The African Union should
immediately step in to protect civilians and resolve this crisis before it
gets any worse.”

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MPs demand Mugabe is stripped of honorary knighthood

Daily Mail, UK

By IAN DRURY -  Last updated at 23:00pm on 25th April 2008

Murderous dictator Robert Mugabe should be stripped of his honorary
knighthood, MPs demanded last night.

They said it was 'abhorrent' that Zimbabwe's president retained the honour
despite his appalling human rights record, including beating, torturing and
killing opponents.

Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary David Miliband accused the 84-year-old
of trying to 'steal' the Zimbabwean election held last month. Final results
have still not been declared.

Mugabe was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath by
John Major's Tory government in 1994 - for 'significant contributions' to
relations between Britain and its former colony. In 2003 Tony Blair promised
to look at withdrawing the honour and the Commons Foreign Affairs Select
Committee called for Mugabe to be stripped of it. But no action was taken

Ministers can ask the Queen to cancel a knighthood on the grounds of
someone's 'unworthiness' to hold it.

The action would come through the Forfeiture Committee, which advises on

The Liberal Democrats have now written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus
O'Donnell, who chairs the committee, asking him to 'urgently consider'
removing the title.

Foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey said doubts were raised in 1994 over
whether Mugabe should have been awarded the honour in the first place,
because of his role in massacres of Zimbabweans. He added: 'His fitness to
hold this honour has further deteriorated with his actions in recent years
and months. Surely a man prepared to steal an election is not worthy of an
honour from the Queen?'

Mr Davey said revoking the knighthood would 'send a message that the British
people will stand shoulder to shoulder with a democratic outcome for

Meanwhile, 16 MPs have joined an all-party campaign calling on the
Government to strip Mugabe of his honour. Led by Lib Dem MP Paul Keetch,
they said it was 'regrettable' it had not been revoked.

Ministers are understood to be wary of handing Mugabe ammunition for his
propaganda war against his country's old rulers.

But the Foreign Office said last night: 'We are listening carefully to the
views of those who wish to see Mugabe's knighthood removed and we don't rule
out taking action.'

Very few knighthoods have been withdrawn. Former Romanian tyrant Nicolae
Ceausescu was stripped of his title only three days before he was executed
at the end of 1989.

British nationals can lose their titles if they are convicted of serious
criminal offences.

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Zimbabwe Opposition Member Murdered In Deepening Post-Election Crisis


By Jonga Kandemiiri & Marvellous Mhlanga
25 April 2008

Politically inspired violence continues to mount in Zimbabwe’s rural areas.
Sources in Makoni West constituency of Manicaland Province said Friday that
suspected armed war veterans shot and killed 40-year old Tabitha Marume of
Hera village there.

Marume died on the way to a hospital in the provincial capital of Mutare,
according to the sources, who said her body was at the Mutare offices of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan
Tsvangirai. The sources said three people were abducted in the constituency
and their whereabouts were unknown.

Violence against opposition supporters, which the opposition and civil
society groups charge has been ordered and organized by the ZANU-PF party of
President Robert Mugabe with the help of government officials and agencies.
It is believed that the violence is intended to punish those who voted for
the opposition in March 29 elections, and to intimidate voters ahead of a
presidential runoff ballot.

Such a runoff election has not been called, but observers believe ZANU-PF
sees such an election as a way out of the dilemma created by the suppression
since March 29 of the results of the presidential election. Tsvangirai's MDC
formation contends that he won more than 50% of the votes cast on May 29 and
is the president-elect.

Secretary General Tendai Biti of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told reporters
in South Africa on April 10 that 10 opposition members had been killed as of
that date.

U.S. Assistant Secretary for State for Africa Jendayi Frazer told
journalists during a stop Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa, that
Tsvangirai was the "clear" winner.

Sources in Makoni West, scene of Marume's reported murder, said a camp for
war veterans and ZANU-PF youth militia has been established at Manonga
Primary School in the constituency, with another at the Chiubvure Business
Center in Makoni South. They said there 15 incidents of violence in the
constituency on Friday alone.

In an incident Thursday, youth militia abducted an agricultural extension
officer from his home in Makoni South, brutally beat him and left him for
dead. A good Samaritan  called an ambulance and he was rushed to a hospital
in Mutare.

The attack victim, who identified himself only as Nyasha for fear he would
be subject to reprisals, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7
for Zimbabwe that ZANU-PF has armed the militia and war veterans in the
Makoni area.

VOA spoke with a Zimbabwe Defense Forces member who said he was unhappy at
being ordered to intimidate and commit violence against opposition members.

The Defense Forces member, named Mafirakureva, said his colleagues have been
selected to terrorize the population in anticipation of a presidential

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Angola allows arms ship to dock


19:51 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 20:51 UK

Angola's government has authorised a Chinese ship carrying arms
destined for Zimbabwe to dock, although it says it will not be allowed to
unload weapons.

In a statement, the government said the vessel would only be allowed
to deliver goods intended for Angola.

On Thursday, the Chinese authorities said they would recall the ship
to China after port workers in South Africa refused to unload the weapons.

Other southern African countries had also refused to allow the ship to

Leaders in the region had expressed concern that the weapons could
heighten tensions in Zimbabwe.

The results of presidential elections held there nearly a month ago
have still not been released.


The state news agency, Angop, said the ship, the An Yue Jiang, had
been authorised to dock in the capital Luanda.

But it can only unload "merchandise destined for Angola", a government
statement said.

Angola is a close ally of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

On Thursday, a Chinese foreign ministry official said the ship, which
reportedly contains three million rounds of ammunition, 1,500
rocket-propelled grenades and 2,500 mortar rounds, might return to China.

The US had urged China to recall the An Yue Jiang, while the UK called
for an international arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

Zambia's president urged African countries not to let the arms in.

But Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper condemned the country's
neighbours as "myopic stooges" for refusing to let the cargo dock.

"Zimbabwe is... under attack from the former coloniser and its allies.
As such, Zimbabwe probably needs to arm itself more than any other country
in Africa today," the paper said.

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ICC in turmoil after Speed forced out

Game's governing body blames 'fundamental breakdown' in relationship between
Speed and other ICC members over Zimbabwe

Andy Bull,
Friday April 25 2008

In an extraordinary development today Malcolm Speed, the ICC's chief
executive, was put on paid leave until his contract expires on July 4 after
a severe falling-out with the ICC's president, Ray Mali, over the
organisation's handling of Zimbabwean cricket.

David Morgan, the ICC's president-elect, described the news as "the result
of a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between the CEO and a number
of board members, including the president, over a variety of issues that
include Zimbabwe."

He also confirmed that, with Speed's replacement as chief executive Haroon
Lorgat not coming into office at the beginning of July the ICC's general
manager, David Richardson will fill the chief executive role in the interim.

Mali and Speed reportedly disagreed on the ICC's decision not to take any
major action against Zimbabwe despite a damning independent audit of
Zimbabwean cricket recently carried out by KPMG.

Speed had previously refused to attend a media conference after the March
meeting at which the ICC decided to overlook the audit. He said at the time
that he was not prepared to defend in public a decision with which he
fundamentally disagreed. Speed clearly believed that the conduct of senior
Zimbabwean cricket officials should have been referred to the ICC's ethics

Mali, who has always made it clear that he supported Zimbabwe cricket and
its officials, was believed to have been outraged by Speed's statement.
Subsequently he has gained support from a number of board members and
successfully moved to have Speed sidelined into paid leave.

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