The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Southern African leaders to hold emergency meeting on Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

Ralph Gowling ReutersPublished: June 25, 2008

London: Southern African leaders will hold an emergency meeting in
Swaziland's capital Mbabane on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe,
officials said.

Earlier, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged the United
Nations to isolate President Robert Mugabe and said a peacekeeping force was
needed in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has shrugged off Monday's unprecedented and unanimous decision by the
UN Security Council to condemn violence against the opposition and declare
that a free and fair presidential election on Friday was impossible.

The Mbabane meeting has been called by the leading regional body, the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), amid mounting international
pressure on Mugabe to resolve his country's political turmoil and economic

The leaders of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland would attend the meeting in
their capacity as the SADC's troika organ on politics, defence and security,
the Tanzanian government said in a statement.

"Others who have been invited to attend the meeting are the current SADC
chairman, (President) Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, and the SADC mediator for
Zimbabwe, (President) Thabo Mbeki of South Africa," said the statement.

"The meeting will discuss how the SADC and its troika organ on politics,
defence and security can help Zimbabwe to get out of its current state of

Tsvangirai, who has withdrawn from the election and taken refuge in the
Dutch embassy in Harare since Sunday, said Zimbabwe would "break" if the
world did not come to its aid.

"We ask for the UN to go further than its recent resolution, condemning the
violence in Zimbabwe, to encompass an active isolation of the dictator
Mugabe," Tsvangirai wrote in an article in Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"For this we need a force to protect the people. We do not want armed
conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of indignation from
global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of military force," said

"Such a force would be in the role of peacekeepers, not trouble-makers. They
would separate the people from their oppressors and cast the protective
shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns."


Pressure has increased on Mugabe from both inside and outside Africa over
Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis, blamed by the West and the
opposition on the 84-year-old president who has held power for 28 years.

The United States has urged SADC to declare both the election and Mugabe's
government illegitimate.

Angola's state-run ANGOP news agency quoted SADC executive secretary Tomaz
Salomao as saying foreign ministers agreed at a meeting on Monday that a
"climate of extreme violence" existed in Zimbabwe and that the government
must protect the people.

Friday's vote was meant to be a run-off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. The
opposition leader won a first round in March but official figures did not
give him an outright victory.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change won a parallel parliamentary
election in March, sending Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to its first defeat since
independence from Britain in 1980.

Both Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and the leader of South Africa's
ruling African National Congress said Friday's election must be postponed
after Tsvangirai's withdrawal.

Zuma, who rivals Mbeki as South Africa's most powerful man, called for
urgent intervention by the United Nations and SADC, saying the situation in
Zimbabwe was out of control.

South Africa under Mbeki has been an advocate of "quiet diplomacy" with
Mugabe and has resisted calls to use its powerful economic leverage over
landlocked Zimbabwe.

But Zuma, who toppled Mbeki as ANC leader last December, has become
increasingly outspoken over Mugabe.

On Tuesday, Mugabe dismissed the pressure and told a rally in western
Zimbabwe that Friday's election would go ahead.

"The West can scream all it wants. Elections will go on. Those who want to
recognise our legitimacy can do so, those who don't want, should not," said

Mugabe has presided over a slide into economic chaos, including 80 percent
unemployment and the world's highest inflation rate of at least 165,000

He blames Western sanctions for his country's economic woes.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Violence approaching political mass murder

June 25, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The violence in Zimbabwe has reached Stage 6, the preparation phase
immediately preceding political mass murder, a Washington-based human rights
watchdog has warned.

Genocide Watch says the killing tactics employed during the 1980s
Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands have been imported to
the present day in full.

The warning comes as all permanent members of the United Nations Security
Council signed a statement condemning "the campaign of violence against the
political opposition ahead of the second round of presidential elections,"
and said the violence and restrictions on opposition activists "have made it
impossible for a free and fair election to take place."

Southern African leaders on Wednesday were also meeting in the Swaziland
capital, Mbabane for an emergency summit concerning the political crisis in
Zimbabwe. The meeting will also be attended by members of the SADC troika on
Politics, Defence and Security, which comprises Swaziland, Angola and

"Zanu-PF militias, the Zimbabwe army and police, and Zanu-PF mobs have
pushed Zimbabwe to Stage 6, the preparation stage immediately preceding
political mass murder," Genocide Watch said in a report issued Tuesday.
"Families of Zimbabwe's opposition leaders are being targeted for brutal
Genocide Watch, which classifies genocide as a process that develops in
eight stages namely classification, symbolization, dehumanization,
organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial, says
Zimbabwe is now on Stage 6, preparation, a prelude to the extermination

"Mutilation of bodies is one of the surest signs of the de-humanizing of
targeted groups during genocide and politicide (political mass murder)," the
report says. "Zanu-PF's hate speech, torture, and murder have terrorized
Zimbabwe since the Movement for Democratic Change defeated Mugabe and the
Zanu-PF in March's elections.

Now Zanu-PF has stepped up its violence to openly kill leaders of the MDC
and their families. Such acts are prelude to every politicide or genocide."

The human rights group says a sign of the gravity of the danger is the
phenomenon of "mirroring," a strange but common psychological mechanism of
denial used by mass murderers.

"Zanu-PF spokesmen accuse their victims of being traitors or terrorists,
when in fact Zanu-PF is the real perpetrator of atrocities," the report
says. "Mirroring is a predictor of intent to commit crimes against a
targeted group."

More than 90 people have been killed, more than 2 000 injured or maimed and
200 000 displaced since a violent retributive campaign broke out following
President Mugabe and Zanu-PF both lost in elections held on March 29.

Concern is now growing for the thousands of refugees who sought shelter in
the capital and other urban centres.

The conflict in Zimbabwe has followed them to the safe houses where they
have sought refuge with attacks by Zanu-PF militia and secret police,
leaving dozens dead and many others homeless.

Genocide Watch said the terror campaign was being directed by Air Marshall
Perrence Shiri, who was commander of the infamous North Korean-trained Fife
Brigade, which carried out Mugabe's genocide against the Matabele in

"Working with him is General Constantine Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces, and Sydney Sekeramayi, Minister of Defense, both of whom
were senior officers directly involved in the 1983-84 genocide," the report

"The military has taken effective control of Zimbabwe. With military
support, gangs of Zanu-PF marauders sweep through villages at night,
killing, torturing and raping MDC supporters."

Genocide Watch calls on Tanzania, the Chair of the African Union, to inform
President Mugabe that if the election is followed by mass killing, African
Union troops will intervene to stop it.

It also calls on the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation
in Zimbabwe to the International Criminal Court, so that those perpetrating
the crimes against humanity, including Mugabe himself, will be brought to

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe refuses to cancel runoff vote

Boston Globe

Says he won't back down; ANC rejects any intervention

 By Angus Shaw
Associated Press / June 25, 2008
HARARE, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe refused yesterday to give in to
pressure from Africa and the West, saying the world can "shout as loud as
they like" but he would not cancel this week's runoff election even though
his opponent quit the race.

South Africa's ruling party issued a toughly worded statement calling on
Mugabe's government to stop "riding roughshod" over the opposition headed by
Morgan Tsvangirai, who quit the presidential contest and sought shelter in
the Dutch Embassy.

The African National Congress also warned against international intervention
following a report in the Times of London that Britain has drawn up
contingency plans for deploying troops in Zimbabwe to resolve a humanitarian
crisis and to evacuate British nationals and their dependents.

"A lasting solution has to be led by the Zimbabweans and any attempts by
outside players to impose regime change will merely deepen the crisis," the
ANC said.

It singled out Britain, the colonial power when Zimbabwe was still Rhodesia,
saying it had not followed through on pledges to help fund efforts to put
more land in the hands of black Zimbabweans. Britain has cited concerns
about corruption.

Campaigning yesterday, Mugabe was defiant a day after the UN Security
Council voted unanimously to issue a strongly worded statement condemning
violence against the opposition and saying it made a fair poll impossible.
The statement won support from South Africa, China, and Russia, which have
previously blocked such moves.

Mugabe, a vigorous 84, kicked a soccer ball before thousands of cheering
supporters and declared he would not back down.

"We will proceed with our election, the verdict is our verdict. Other people
can say what they want, but the elections are ours. We are a sovereign
state, and that is it," Mugabe said.

"Those who will want to recognize us on the basis of objectivity will do so.
Those who don't, keep your judgment to yourselves. Our people are going to
vote, and that vote will decide whether we have won or lost."

"They can shout as loud as they like from Washington or from London, or from
any other quarter. Our people, only our people, will decide, and no one
else," the Zimbabwean leader said.

Mugabe's plan to go ahead with Friday's vote appeared to stem less from a
desire to validate his rule than to humiliate Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai "is frightened of the people," Mugabe told the crowd. "He ran and
sought refuge in the Dutch Embassy. . . . Seeking refuge from what? Nobody
wants to harm him."

In pulling out of the race Sunday, Tsvangirai said an onslaught of
state-sponsored violence against his Democratic Movement for Change made
competing in the runoff impossible.

The party said yesterday that the chairwoman of one of its provincial
branches was the latest victim when she was attacked and seriously injured
by Mugabe loyalists in a northern region that has seen some of the worst

The party also said the rural home of its national organizing secretary was
attacked yesterday by Mugabe loyalists in military uniform. The party said
the official's 80-year-old father was beaten and two other relatives were
shot in the legs.

George Sibotshiwe, a spokesman for Tsvangirai, said the politician had
received a tip that soldiers were on the way to his home Sunday, when he
announced he was pulling out of the runoff.

Other opposition officials were also in hiding, among them Tsvangirai's
campaign manager, Sibotshiwe said, adding that officials were no longer
working out of the party's headquarters in Harare for fear of arrest.

Tsvangirai told the Dutch national broadcaster NOS radio yesterday that the
Dutch ambassador had spoken to the Zimbabwean government and received
assurances there was no threat. Tsvangirai said he might leave the embassy
yesterday or today.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

South Africa rebuffs West on Zimbabwe

International Herald Tribune

By Alan Cowell and Celia W. Dugger Published: June 24, 2008

Despite an increasingly thunderous chorus of complaints that the
presidential runoff in Zimbabwe will be neither free nor fair, the governing
party of South Africa, the African National Congress, rejected international
diplomatic intervention Tuesday, arguing that "any attempts by outside
players to impose regime change will merely deepen the crisis."

The African National Congress, or ANC, warned against such intervention a
day after the United Nations Security Council took its first action on the
electoral crisis in Zimbabwe, issuing a unanimous statement condemning the
widespread campaign of violence in the country and calling on the government
there to free political prisoners and allow the opposition to rally its

South Africa, the regional powerhouse, is widely considered to play the
pivotal role in bringing about change in neighboring Zimbabwe. And while the
ANC came out with an unusually strong condemnation of the Zimbabwean
government Tuesday, saying it was "riding roughshod over the hard-won
democratic rights" of its people, the party also evoked Zimbabwe's colonial
history and insisted that outsiders had no role to play in ending its
current anguish.

"It has always been and continues to be the view of our movement that the
challenges facing Zimbabwe can only be solved by the Zimbabweans
themselves," the ANC said. "Nothing that has happened in the recent months
has persuaded us to revise that view."

In what seemed a clear rebuke to the Western-led effort to take an
aggressive stance against the Zimbabwean government, the ANC included a
lengthy criticism of the "arbitrary, capricious power" exerted by Africa's
former colonial masters and the subsequent struggle by African nations to
grant newfound freedoms and rights.

"No colonial power in Africa, least of all Britain in its colony of
'Rhodesia,' ever demonstrated any respect for these principles," the ANC
statement said, referring to Zimbabwe before its independence.

Amid the international debate over the crisis in Zimbabwe, its president,
Robert Mugabe, was reported Tuesday as hinting he might be open to talks
with the beleaguered opposition, but only after he won the election. His
longtime rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew from a runoff scheduled for
Friday because of the violence and intimidation faced by his party and its

Mugabe was quoted Tuesday as insisting that the ballot would proceed as he
had planned. But in a speech in western Zimbabwe, Reuters reported, Mugabe
referred to comments by Tsvangirai offering talks on condition that the
violence ended. "He now says he wants to negotiate," Mugabe was quoted as
saying. "We say we won't refuse to negotiate, but for now there is only one
thing for us to accomplish."

His remarks were the most explicit affirmation that he intends to go through
with an election condemned as flawed and illegitimate from a growing roster
of organizations, politicians and governments, from the United Nations to
South Africa.

Tsvangirai has been badly weakened by the widespread attacks on his top
officials and foot soldiers alike, and has taken refuge at the Dutch Embassy
in the capital, Harare. On Tuesday, he said he would leave his sanctuary
there within 48 hours following moves by the Dutch authorities to assure his

The ANC statement was not signed by any individual in the party and seemed
to represent a marked departure from Mbeki's refusal to castigate Mugabe.

The statement was the first official response from South Africa since
Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the planned runoff and the Security Council's
conclusion late Monday that it would be "impossible for a free and fair
election to take place" in Zimbabwe.

The country, once one of Africa's most prosperous, has been reeling from a
widening campaign of violence and intimidation ever since Mugabe, who has
led Zimbabwe for nearly 30 years, came in second in the initial round of
voting March 29.

In a radio interview Tuesday, Tsvangirai said that the Security Council had
blamed Mugabe's leadership for the violence. "I think it's a very important
resolution," he told the Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1. "It recognizes
the people who are accountable for the violence, and it squarely placed that
responsibility at Mugabe's leadership. I am sure that he can no longer
remain defiant to that international position."

Tsvangirai reiterated his decision to boycott the vote Friday. "It's
ridiculous to go into an election of that kind," he said. "It's a one-man

His spokesman, George Sibotshiwe, explained Tuesday that Tsvangirai had
taken refuge in the embassy after learning that soldiers were converging on
his home, The Associated Press reported. "The moment you have soldiers
coming your way, you just run for your life," Sibotshiwe said. "The only way
he can protect himself is to go to an embassy." Dutch officials said
Tsvangirai had not requested political asylum.

Sibotshiwe, Tsvangirai's closest aide, himself fled to South Africa on
Monday as the police raided the opposition party headquarters, rounding up
dozens of people, including women, children and those injured in recent
political violence. Sibotshiwe arrived in Johannesburg, and in an interview
shortly afterward said he had seen four men armed with pistols approaching
the door of his safe house on Sunday morning and only narrowly escaped

Alan Cowell reported from London and Celia W. Dugger from Johannesburg. Neil
MacFarquhar reported from the United Nations.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe backers threaten voters

Los Angeles Times

Zimbabweans say regime supporters have told citizens their ballots will be
traced so they can later be slain if they vote wrong.
By a Times Staff Writer
June 25, 2008

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- At meetings across the nation, officials of Zimbabwe's
ruling party have warned voters how they will know who casts ballots against
longtime President Robert Mugabe in Friday's scheduled runoff election:
serial numbers.

The officials tell people that the ballot number will allow the ruling party
to identify who has voted for the opposition so that they can be killed
later, according to people who attended meetings in three neighborhoods
around Harare, the capital.

Ndaziweye, a 60-year-old domestic worker who asked to be identified only by
her first name because of safety concerns, said she was forced by a group of
youths to go to such a meeting of about 400 people on the outskirts of
Harare on her way back from church Sunday.

"Even the ladies, even the Women's League chairwoman, was talking about
killing, saying, 'Don't vote for Tsvangirai or the youth will kill you. We
have got strong youth and we are not joking. We are serious.' They said,
'This is not America,' " Ndaziweye recounted.

Opposition and human rights activists have also reported forced pungwes, or
re-education meetings, across the nation to intimidate people into voting
for the ruling ZANU-PF party through such methods as talking about ballot
serial numbers. The meetings began a few weeks after the March 29 election,
but have only recently been used to issue threats about the telltale runoff

A ZANU-PF official who was not in accord with the strategy confirmed that
the party's war veterans and militias were spreading fear about the serial
numbers to intimidate voters. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said
there were about 900 militia bases across the country, one in every voting

The atmosphere at Sunday's meeting was loud and frenzied, almost festive,
Ndaziweye said, making it even more unsettling. ZANU-PF youths sang and
danced furiously. People exchanged the party greeting, touching fists with
each other.

"I was shocked because whenever anyone gave a speech, everyone would yell,
'We will kill! We will kill!' The youths were singing horrible songs and

The short, slight woman with ancient spectacles and frayed shoes said that
despite the possible consequences, she would nonetheless vote against
Mugabe, if he defies international pressure and pushes ahead with the runoff
vote Friday.

"I am voting for what I want, even if they kill me," she said. "I don't
mind, as long as I vote for the person who's going to do something so that
people don't starve. I'm voting for my grandchildren so that they can get an

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, citing rising political violence by
Mugabe supporters, formally withdrew from the election Tuesday, informing
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in writing of his decision.

International leaders and bodies, including the United Nations Security
Council, have praised the Movement for Democratic Change leader's step,
saying that a free and fair election is impossible at this point, given the
level of intimidation by the Zimbabwean government.

Nonetheless, Mugabe, who has served as president since 1980, said at a rally
in western Zimbabwe that the election must go ahead "to fulfill a legal

At Sunday's meeting, Ndaziweye knew she stuck out like a sore thumb. She was
one of the few not wearing a ZANU-PF scarf or T-shirt, she said. When she
tried to shake hands with people instead of touching fists, there was a
chorus of accusations.

"The women and youth were accusing me of being MDC. They said 'Why are you
shaking hands? You don't know our slogans!' "

But the most frightening moment came when the provincial chairman said
voters would have to write the serial number of their ballot paper on their
arm before entering the voting booth.

"When you come out, you have to show the number to your party chairman and
they will write it down with your name and ID number. So after voting, they
will know how you voted. If you are going to vote for Morgan, that will be
the end of your life," she said in an interview Tuesday.

"They said, 'Even if you run away, we'll chop the heads off whoever you
leave behind at your house. We don't care if it's your children or your
grandchildren,' " the mother of four said.

Tobaiwa, 33, who also asked to be identified by only his first name, has
been attending meetings in a suburb south of Harare every day for two weeks.

He said he was severely beaten by ZANU-PF youth militias for failing to
attend one meeting because he was at work.

The message about serial numbers on the ballot papers was being repeated
daily, he said.

"You are expected to memorize the last two digits of the serial number and
then surrender the number to the [ZANU-PF] official. Then after the results
they will go back to the ballot box and check your serial numbers."

He said people at the meetings were warned that whoever voted for the
opposition would face severe retribution.

"They will launch another operation, called Operation Elimination, where
people will be disappearing," he said. "They repeat the same message over
and over."

People were given the option of approaching the presiding officer at the
polling station, pretending to be illiterate and telling the official to
record a vote for Mugabe, he said.

Tobaiwa voted for Tsvangirai in the first round of the presidential election
but plans to stay away Friday.

"I voted for the MDC because of the difficulties that we are facing. We had
hoped that there was room for change. But I'm afraid that if I vote for the
party of my choice, they will kill me."

Ruling party officials have said it is the patriotic duty of Zimbabweans to
vote but have not issued specific threats against those who don't.

Ndaziweye was stunned by the hundreds of apparently enthusiastic ZANU-PF
supporters at the meeting Sunday. With most people terrified to talk
politics -- in contrast to the situation before the first round vote in
which Tsvangirai received more votes than Mugabe but not, according to the
Electoral Commission, an outright majority -- she believes they just want to
"be good" and avoid angering the ruling party operatives.

"They want to show they're strong ZANU-PF, or [the ZANU-PF militants] will
say you are just coming there to fool them and you are really MDC, not
ZANU-PF warriors, as they say it," she said.

ZANU-PF youth militias have beaten people at their nearby base, she said.

She believes most youths are there because they are provided cornmeal
porridge, called sadza.

"They were singing [on Sunday] because they had enough food for today. They
don't know about tomorrow. After the vote, they will be thrown away, they
will just go starving because [ZANU-PF] can't keep looking after them."

Despite Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the race because of the violence,
Ndaziweye thought it was still important for people to vote.

"People must be brave, even though Mugabe has said he is not going to give
up. It's better that we show Tsvangirai has won, even if we know he's not
going to be president until after Mugabe dies."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai urges isolation, peacekeepers


Wednesday June 25, 03:01 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai urged the
United Nations on Wednesday to isolate President Robert Mugabe and said a
peacekeeping force was needed in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe has shrugged off Monday's unprecedented and unanimous decision by the
U.N. Security Council to condemn violence against the opposition and declare
that a free and fair presidential election on Friday was impossible.

Tsvangirai, who has withdrawn from the election and taken refuge in the
Dutch embassy in Harare since Sunday, said Zimbabwe would "break" if the
world did not come to its aid.

"We ask for the U.N. to go further than its recent resolution, condemning
the violence in Zimbabwe, to encompass an active isolation of the dictator
Mugabe," Tsvangirai wrote in an article in Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"For this we need a force to protect the people. We do not want armed
conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of indignation from
global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of military force," said

"Such a force would be in the role of peacekeepers, not trouble-makers. They
would separate the people from their oppressors and cast the protective
shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns."

Pressure has mounted on Mugabe from both inside and outside Africa to
resolve Zimbabwe's political turmoil and economic meltdown, blamed by the
West and the opposition on the 84-year-old president who has held power for
28 years.


The United States has urged the leading regional body, the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), to declare both the election and Mugabe's
government illegitimate.

Angola's state-run ANGOP news agency quoted SADC executive secretary Tomaz
Salomao as saying foreign ministers agreed at a meeting on Monday that a
"climate of extreme violence" existed in Zimbabwe and that the government
must protect the people.

No SADC officials were immediately available for comment on media reports
that the regional body planned to hold an emergency summit in Swaziland on

Friday's vote was meant to be a run-off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. The
opposition leader won a first round in March but official figures did not
give him an outright victory.

Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change won a parallel parliamentary
election in March, sending Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to its first defeat since
independence from Britain in 1980.

Both Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and the leader of South Africa's
ruling African National Congress said Friday's election must be postponed
after Tsvangirai's withdrawal.

Zuma, who rivals President Thabo Mbeki as South Africa's most powerful man,
called for urgent intervention by the U.N. and SADC, saying the situation in
Zimbabwe was out of control.

South Africa under Mbeki has been an advocate of "quiet diplomacy" with
Mugabe and has resisted calls to use its powerful economic leverage over
landlocked Zimbabwe.

But Zuma, who toppled Mbeki as ANC leader last December, has become
increasingly outspoken over Mugabe.

On Tuesday, Mugabe dismissed the pressure and told a rally in western
Zimbabwe that Friday's election would go ahead.

"The West can scream all it wants. Elections will go on. Those who want to
recognize our legitimacy can do so, those who don't want, should not," said

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, the current
Security Council president, told reporters the council would consider
further steps if Zimbabwe ignored its statement declaring a free and fair
election was impossible.

But he declined to say what steps the council might take.

Mugabe has presided over a slide into economic chaos, including 80 percent
unemployment and the world's highest inflation rate of at least 165,000

He blames Western sanctions for his country's economic woes.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

US to ignore Zimbabwe poll result


25 June 2008 07:19 UK

The US will not recognise the outcome of Friday's presidential
election run-off in Zimbabwe, a senior state department official has said.

Jendayi Frazer told the BBC that Robert Mugabe could not claim a
legitimate victory amid the current campaign of violence against the

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has pulled out of the poll, citing
attacks by ruling party militias.

Mr Mugabe has vowed the vote will go ahead, despite international

Leaders from the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) regional
bloc are due to meet in Swaziland on Wednesday to discuss the crisis - with
some pushing for the setting up of a transitional government for Zimbabwe.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says some 86 of
its supporters have been killed and 200,000 forced from their homes by
militias loyal to the ruling Zanu-PF party. The government blames the MDC
for the violence.

Mr Tsvangirai has been taking refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare
since late Sunday, saying he fears for his life. He has called for UN
peacekeepers to enter Zimbabwe and protect MDC supporters until a new
election can be held.

Ms Frazer, Assistant US Secretary of State for African Affairs, said
Washington would not recognise the result of any vote held on Friday because
the MDC had been violently forced out of the running.

Her comments came amid growing international condemnation of the
political crisis in Zimbabwe.

"People were being beaten and losing their lives just to exercise
their right to vote for their leadership so we cannot, under these
conditions, recognise the outcome if, in fact, this run-off goes forward,"
she said.

'Deeply dismayed'

Zimbabwe's opposition is hoping neighbouring countries will put
pressure on President Robert Mugabe to step down. In the past they supported
him. How are relations now?

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade is among the Sadc leaders meeting
on Wednesday.
"We will try to install a transition government, a government where
responsibilities will be shared," he said on Tuesday after meeting South
African President Thabo Mbeki, Sadc's chief mediator for Zimbabwe.

Mr Mbeki has so far been keeping with his policy of "quiet diplomacy"
towards Zimbabwe.

South Africa's governing ANC party added its voice to the criticism of
Mr Mugabe's government on Tuesday.

In a statement the party said it was "deeply dismayed" that "hard-won
democratic rights" were being trampled.

It referred to "compelling evidence of violence, intimidation and
outright terror".

The BBC's Peter Biles in Johannesburg says that coming from South
Africa - the most powerful country in the region - the ANC statement is a
further sign of Mr Mugabe's growing isolation.

Monday saw the UN Security Council make its strongest pronouncements
yet against Zimbabwe's government, unanimously agreeing to condemn the
violence and saying a free and fair run-off election would be "impossible".

'Protective shield'

But Zimbabwe's veteran leader has shrugged off the criticism.

Speaking at a rally on Tuesday in the town of Banket, Mr Mugabe said:
"They can shout as loud as they like from Washington or from London or from
any other quarter. Our people, our people, only our people will decide - and
nobody else."

Mr Mugabe has defied calls for Friday's vote to be called off
He accused Mr Tsvangirai of pulling out of the election because he
became frightened of losing when he saw "a political hurricane coming his

Writing in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Mr Tsvangirai says the
standard diplomatic approach has failed to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis and
calls for a more "activist strategy".

He says UN peacekeepers should "separate the people from their
oppressors and cast the protective shield around the democratic process for
which Zimbabwe yearns" until new elections can be held under the supervision
of African and international monitors.

The MDC won the parliamentary vote in March, and claims to have won
the first round of the presidential contest - held on the same day -

According to official results, Mr Tsvangirai was ahead of Mr Mugabe
but failed to gain enough votes to avoid a run-off.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai calls for 'military force' in Zimbabwe

ABC, Australia

Posted 2 hours 9 minutes ago

Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for world leaders
to back their tough rhetoric with military force in his country in a comment
piece published today.

Mr Tsvangirai wrote in The Guardian newspaper that the United Nations had to
go further than verbal condemnation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
and move on to "active isolation" which required "a force to protect the

"We do not want armed conflict, but the people of Zimbabwe need the words of
indignation from global leaders to be backed by the moral rectitude of
military force," he wrote.

"Such a force would be in the role of peacekeepers, not trouble-makers.

"They would separate the people from their oppressors and cast the
protective shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns."

Mr Tsvangirai noted that "intervention is a loaded concept in today's world,
of course".

"Yet, despite the difficulties inherent in certain high-profile
interventions, decisions not to intervene have created similarly dire
consequences," he added.

He wrote that a "new election, devoid of violence and intimidation, is the
only way to put Zimbabwe right".

Fears for safety
Mr Tsvangirai announced over the weekend that he was pulling out of the
election because of rising violence, saying he could not ask supporters to
risk their lives by casting ballots.

The Government however has defied global criticism by vowing to push ahead
with the run-off, even as the Opposition Leader remained holed up in the
Dutch embassy.

Mr Tsvangirai's daughter, Vimbye, lives in Sydney and spoke to her father
yesterday. She says she supports her father's decision not to contest the
election run-off.

"It's the safety of the people and his supporters; he didn't want to run a
country full of dead people, dead bodies," she said.

"He's more concerned about the safety of his supporters and the people in

Meanwhile Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu has told the ABC that Mr
Mugabe - a former friend of the outspoken Anglican Archbishop - had become a
"Frankenstein" for his people.

"He has mutated into something that is quite unbelievable," he said.

Australian assistance
International calls to postpone Friday's run-off vote have intensified, with
UN chief Ban Ki-moon warning that holding the election "would only deepen
the divisions within the country and produce results that cannot be

But he says he thinks it is unlikely that the UN Security Council would
sanction any military intervention in Zimbabwe.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has said Australia would offer to take part
in any peacekeeping force that might be called in to help stabilise
conditions in Zimbabwe.

But Mr Smith agrees that any proposal for a military intervention to oust Mr
Mugabe is unlikely to be supported by the United Nations Security Council.

He wants efforts to bring democracy to Zimbabwe to be led by neighbouring
African countries.

"For any potential peacekeeping force to make progress in the first instance
I think these would necessarily come from Zimbabwe's neighbours," he said.

Mr Smith hopes to speak with the South African Foreign Minister later today
and says South Africa needs to do more to force change in Zimbabwe.

"I'll be urging upon South Africa that South Africa take the same robust
position that Zambia and Tanzania and Botswana have been taking in recent
times," he said.

"[I will be] urging South Africa together with the Southern African
Development Community states and the African Union to put pressure to bear
on Mr Mugabe."


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Washington diary: Tackling Zimbabwe

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 02:56 UK

By Matt Frei
BBC News, Washington

Look around the world and what you see is one nasty regime after another getting away with it.

Robert Mugabe election poster in Bulawayo - 21/6/2008
How will the international community tackle Robert Mugabe?
The generals of Burma thumbed their nose at the global community, first by gunning down monks in the streets, then by watching their own citizens die rather than accept urgently needed aid after the cyclone.

The government of Sudan happily continues to sponsor what President George W Bush has called "genocide", and a phalanx of outrage from Hollywood to The Hague has been powerless to stop it.

Iran continues to enrich uranium - and its own coffers thanks to the soaring price of crude oil - while the Israelis are wondering whether they should put a stop to Tehran's alleged nuclear programme with a unilateral strike sanctioned by the US.

And now it is Zimbabwe's turn to proffer two fingers.

As he prances around the campaign trail in his colourful jackets, the still-sprightly 84-year-old Robert Mugabe reminds me of the Joker in Batman, laughing at a disapproving world.

His opponent Morgan Tsvangirai has been forced to hide in the Dutch embassy.

The wife of the mayor of Harare, a regime opponent, has been beaten to death.

Zimbabwe is a country of destitute, frightened billionaires

There is consistent evidence of systematic harassment and murder of anyone who dares to support the opposition.

And a ham sandwich now costs 3.8 billion Zim dollars, when we last checked.

Zimbabwe is a country of destitute, frightened billionaires. And yet there seems very little that a disapproving world can do about it.

Call it the axis of impunity. It is a club that speaks volumes about the state of the world.

There is no shortage of moral outrage about the members of this club. What is missing is the moral high ground.

When America points a justly accusing finger at Burma's generals, it no longer has the same clout as it did a decade ago.

The double standards of Guantanamo Bay are one reason.

The other is the concept of "the coalition of the willing", the phrase used by President Bush to describe a fairly reluctant bunch of fellow travellers on the regime change express.

This further eroded the weak authority of the United Nations and introduced an air of voluntary laxity into matters of global urgency.

Economic interests

When I put it to Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, that Zimbabwe might be a case for "regime-change", she almost reacted as if she had never heard the phrase.

Diplomacy has replaced the 101st Airborne Division as the administration's tool of influence.

The trouble is that it is firing blanks.

Just when you actually want Uncle Sam to throw his weight around a bit, he says he is bogged down, busy, otherwise engaged - call back later.

The UN is toothless, the EU is gormless and the US has had 'the willing' kicked out of it by Iraq and Afghanistan

Then there is good old fashioned economic self-interest.

Why would the Chinese rein in their clients in Sudan if they need to buy all the oil and copper they can get their hands on?

And what hope is there for Europe to speak with one thunderous voice when its 27 members cannot even agree on a basic common constitution?

And if you're Russia, Iran or Venezuela - the axis of crude - and you can rake in $145 for a barrel of oil, why should you be listening anyway? You're laughing all the way to the refinery.

The UN is toothless, the EU is gormless and the US has had "the willing" kicked out of it by Iraq and Afghanistan.

Age of non-intervention

The emphasis now seems to be on regional bodies that most of the world barely even knew existed until recently.

Asean has tried to grapple politely with Burma.

The African Union is sending peacekeepers to Sudan.

And Zimbabwe awaits the stinging sanction of the Southern African Development Community. Take cover!

The good things about these neighbourhood watchdog schemes is that they are regional.

If his African neighbours berate him, then Robert Mugabe can no longer claim that he is being hounded by Rhodesia's former colonial masters.

Unfortunately the neighbours also need to shed their milk teeth.

Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president-in-waiting, may have called the actions of Zimbabwe's ruling party Zanu PF "unacceptable".

The President of Namibia has chimed in.

But the man who really counts - President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa - has remained mutely on the fence, apparently unwilling to ruffle the feathers of his former comrade-in-arms.

But whatever debt the ANC leadership owes Mr Mugabe from its days in opposition against apartheid, it must know that it would probably never have come to power if the international community had not imposed stringent sanctions against the Pretoria regime.

This crisis is about Zimbabwe's future and South Africa's reputation.

There is clearly more work for sanctions to do.

The British bank Barclays, for instance, opted out of business in apartheid South Africa but continues to function in Zimbabwe, which has made a mockery of human rights as well as the value of money - both of which are surely good reasons to cut ties.

The crisis in Burma, Darfur and Zimbabwe illustrate how messy the global picture has become.

We are living in an age of non-intervention, where the stage is crowded with fuming ringside observers.

It is time to get back to the drawing board.

Matt Frei is the presenter of BBC World News Americawhich airs every weekday at 0030 BST on BBC News and at 0000 BST (1900 ET / 1600 PT) on BBC World News and BBC America (for viewers outside the UK only).

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Who will have the courage to save Zimbabwe?

Boston Globe

By Robert I. Rotberg
June 25, 2008
AFTER IDI Amin terrorized and killed his own Ugandans throughout the 1970s,
President Julius Nyerere of neighboring Tanzania finally sent his army
across the border to end the mayhem and restore stability. Who will now do
the same for beleaguered Zimbabwe? Who will remove despotic Robert Mugabe
from his besmirched and exposed presidency?

Presidential contender Morgan Tsvangirai's courageous decision to boycott
Zimbabwe's runoff election on Friday - after Mugabe's thugs broke up yet
another opposition rally by swinging iron bars and sticks at potential
Tsvangirai voters - compels the African Union, the UN Security Council, and
major powers finally to act. Tsvangirai said that he and his supporters were
facing war, not an election, and they would "not be part of that war."
Serious UN sanctions are a first step.

Second, since South Africa shows no appetite for an intervention and
Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia - Zimbabwe's neighbors - are
unlikely to act militarily without South African agreement, an Africa
stained by Zimbabwe's tyranny should: demand that Friday's poll be postponed
until Africans can patrol the country and oversee a free and fair real
election; demand compulsory mediation by former UN secretary general Kofi
Annan, who pacified Kenya earlier this year; denounce despotism in Zimbabwe;
and ban all Zimbabwean aircraft from flying over neighboring airspaces, thus
effectively keeping Mugabe and his henchmen bottled up inside their decaying
country. Neighboring countries could also squeeze land-locked Zimbabwe's
electricity supplies and slow rail traffic.

Time is short. Mugabe is clearly still intent on ratifying his usurpation of
power on Friday. Tsvangirai officially led Mugabe in the initial
presidential poll in March. In recent weeks Mugabe's military have unleashed
a relentless wave of intimidation against Tsvangirai's Movement for a
Democratic Change and its supporters, killing 86, maiming at least 10,000,
and assaulting thousands more. Tsvangirai was detained seven times before
Sunday and his key deputy was imprisoned last week without trial on a bogus
treason charge. Yesterday, the house of another key deputy was trashed and
his elderly relatives assaulted.

Unless Africa and the UN act courageously, Mugabe will get away with his
brazen attempt to cling brutally to power and impoverish his own people
despite broad global contempt.

Mugabe has also refused to summon Parliament, which is dominated by the
Movement for Democratic Change and was elected overwhelmingly in March. As a
result, many of Mugabe's cabinet ministers and other loyalists remain in
office, drawing salaries, despite having lost their seats. Several times,
Mugabe and close associates have publicly declared that the the Movement and
Tsvangirai would never be allowed to take office or govern. "Only God will
remove me," Mugabe defiantly declared Monday.

Conditions in Zimbabwe, where more than 80 percent of adults are unemployed
and nearly everyone is hungry; where there are startling shortages of staple
corn, wheat and bread, sugar, oil, milk, and gasoline; and where brutality
is always around the next corner are even more horrific today than they were
in Uganda in 1979, when Nyerere invaded. Famously, Mugabe told a BBC
interviewer in 1999 that he was "no Idi Amin."

Mugabe's men have also continued to use food as a political weapon, first
stopping the supply of grain by international relief agencies and last week
physically stealing relief shipments to give to their own supporters.
Mugabe's thugs have also harassed British and American diplomats at
roadblocks, in one case threatening to burn them alive in their cars.

Zimbabwe's inflation now exceeds 160,000 percent a year. One US dollar buys
4 million Zimbabwe dollars at the unofficial street rate. Mugabe and his
close associates exploit differences between official and unofficial
exchange rates to prosper while ordinary Zimbabweans go hungry or are

Zimbabwe is in shambles. The United States and Britain would doubtless like
to act unilaterally, but dare not. Only Africans and the UN have
unquestioned moral authority. Which African leaders will now emulate
Nyerere's profile of courage in Zimbabwe's dire time of need?

Robert I. Rotberg directs Harvard's Kennedy School program on Intrastate
Conflict and is president of the World Peace Foundation

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Close Zim's borders, says US envoy in call to South Africa

Dispatch, SA


SANCTIONS including closing the borders against landlocked Zimbabwe could be
the only effective move that the international community could make before
Friday's scheduled runoff vote that will at the moment see President Robert
Mugabe as the only candidate, says the US ambassador in Harare.

Ambassador James McGee was joined in his appeal by, among others, Archbishop
Desmond Tutu, who wants South Africa to flex its muscles against Mugabe, who
has vowed to stay in power at all costs.

McGee said Mugabe's government had given assurances that Morgan Tsvangirai
"could leave the country if he so desired" and that it would not raid the
Dutch Embassy in the capital, where the leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change has been holed up since stepping aside on Sunday.

The assurances came from a Zimbabwe permanent secretary to the Dutch
ambassador, McGee said, but the US official warned that it was no longer
possible to "take the Zimbabwe government at its word". "Right now, I don't
have a lot of faith in anything this government says," McGee said.

McGee's call was aimed at the regional economic consortium, the Southern
African Development Community (SADC). But President Thabo Mbeki, the
community's lead power broker, refuses to criticise Mugabe despite pressure
even from within his own party, and most other SADC members have followed

The frustration in the international community over SADC's refusal to act
came through in McGee's comments, made a day after the United Nations
condemned the Zimbabwe government for the violence and said the abuse would
make it impossible for Friday's vote to be free and fair.

McGee said 2000 MDC supporters had sought refuge at the party's Harvest
House HQ from physical attacks by Mugabe's supporters. The diplomatic
community warned them of a police raid , and "most left and dispersed" but
police arrested about 30 people who were "too old or infirm to get out in a

Yesterday, ruling party members were suspected of abducting a lawyer, Ernest
Jena, who was representing opposition supporters. His whereabouts were

On Monday, alleged Zanu-PF supporters beat up a magistrate who granted bail
to MDC opposition supporters, said Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Organisation director Irene Petras said the lawyer was due to make a bail
application for MDC members detained in Bindura. "Some men came to his
office saying they were looking for his assistant before they bundled Jena
in a green Datsun Pulsar."

Petras added that magistrate Felix Mawadza was beaten up by youths in
Zanu-PF shirts in Bindura, northeast of Harare.

Despite the violence and Tsvangirai's pullout, the runoff election would
still go ahead as planned, said Zimbabwe' s justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa. If Tsvangirai had wanted to pull out of the race he should have
done so 21 days before the first round of voting on March 29 - not now, he
said. - Sapa-AFP-AP-DDC

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Cosatu plans Zim blockade


    June 25 2008 at 06:51AM

By Sapa-AP, Political Bureau and Staff Writer

Cosatu says it has decided to work with Cosatu Limpopo to start
mobilising for a blockade "to protest against the violence Mugabe has
unleashed against his own people".

In a strongly-worded statement, Cosatu also said on Tuesday that it
would mobilise the world's workers to isolate Zimbabwe's President Robert
Mugabe, whom it accused of ruling illegally.

"The federation is appalled at the levels of violence and intimidation
being inflicted on the people of Zimbabwe by the illegitimate Mugabe
regime..." Cosatu said in a statement.

The two-million-strong labour grouping said it fully sympathised with
the decision of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of Friday's
presidential run-off.

"The June 27 presidential election is not an election, but a
declaration of war against the people of Zimbabwe by the ruling party,"
Cosatu added.

The trade union federation said it called on workers across the world
to isolate Mugabe.

"We call on all our unions and those everywhere else in the world to
make sure that they never, ever serve Mugabe anywhere, including at
airports, restaurants, shops. Further, we call on all workers and citizens
of the world never to allow Mugabe to set foot in their countries."

Cosatu's statement came as the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) said on Tuesday that the chairperson of one of its provincial
organisations was seriously injured by alleged Mugabe loyalists, who also
looted her home in a northern region which independent human rights groups
say has seen some of the worst violence.

The party also said the rural home of its national organising
secretary was attacked early yesterday by Mugabe loyalists in military
uniform. The party said the official's 80-year-old father was beaten and two
other relatives shot in the legs.

Tsvangirai said the onslaught of state-sponsored violence against his
party made its participation in a run-off election impossible.

George Sibotshiwe, a spokesperson for Tsvangirai, said the politician
had received a tip-off that soldiers were on the way to his home on Sunday,
after he had announced he was pulling out of the run-off.

He would not reveal the source of the information and said the
soldiers' intentions were unclear. "But the moment you have soldiers coming
your way, you just run for your life.

"The only way he (Tsvangirai) can protect himself is to go to an

Sibotshiwe was speaking from Angola after fleeing Zimbabwe earlier
this week after he saw armed men approaching a safe house where he had been
staying, and feared arrest.

Suspected Zimbabwe ruling party members on Tuesday abducted a lawyer
representing opposition supporters, and his whereabouts were unknown, a
rights organisation said.

The abduction came a day after other alleged Zanu-PF supporters beat
up a magistrate who granted bail to opposition MDC supporters, Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights said.

"Lawyer Ernest Jena was abducted from his office in Bindura by
suspected Zanu-PF members this morning and his whereabouts are still
unknown," said organisation director Irene Petras.

"He was due to make a bail application for MDC members detained in
Bindura. Some men came to his office saying they were looking for his
assistant, before they bundled Jena into a green Datsun Pulsar."

According to Petras, magistrate Felix Mawadza was beaten up by youths
in Zanu-PF shirts as he walked out of a supermarket in Bindura on Monday.

"His crime was that he granted bail to MDC supporters who were charged
with politically-motivated violence," Petras said.

Police in the eastern border town of Mutare also raided the house of a
human rights lawyer, Petras said.

"It's a continuation of the attacks on lawyers.

"There is a tendency of associating lawyers with the cause of their

The ANC also came out strongly on Tuesday, saying the withdrawal of
the MDC from elections "was an indication of the depth of the political
crisis" in Zimbabwe.

Following the cue of regional leaders, the ANC yesterday also bluntly
rejected the possibility of free and fair presidential elections in Zimbabwe
in the current climate and called for the commencement of a dialogue between
the contending parties.

Meanwhile, ANC president Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday the South African
government could not simultaneously be a mediator and critic in Zimbabwe.
This would be unfair to President Thabo Mbeki's mediation efforts in the
troubled country.

Zuma's comments came as South Africa joined other members of the UN
Security Council in the adoption of a presidential statement on Zimbabwe.

He was addressing the media after a meeting with the leadership of the
Muslim Judicial Council in Athlone.

"(The ANC) has had a clear view about Zimbabwe. But what people should
understand is that if the government of South Africa is mediating, they
can't criticise.

"You can't be mediator and then criticise what we are dealing with,"
Zuma said.

He acknowledged, however, that the situation in Zimbabwe was reaching
crisis point in light of the increasing violence.

"There is a call being made for a political arrangement to cool down
tempers. But we can't be a big induna and send in soldiers to take out the
president and sentence him to death, like other countries. We can't tell
people what to do," Zuma said.

The government's silent diplomacy stance in the unfolding crisis until
now was again defended in Parliament, with Finance Minister Trevor Manuel
telling MPs that those who wanted stronger action against Mugabe should
"form an army and attack" Zimbabwe themselves.

The ANC said after its fortnightly National Working Committee meeting
that while it had been sceptical about a run-off election between Mugabe and
Tsvangerai, it had "deferred judgment" to the leadership of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) peace process headed by Mbeki.

Following SADC members' condemnation of the violence, intimidation and
terror sown in the run-up to Friday's polls, however, the party said it was
"convinced that free and fair elections are not possible in the political

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on June
25, 2008

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Six ways to remove ageing dictator from office

National Post, Canada

Mary Vallis, National Post; Reuters  Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How do you solve a problem like Mugabe? As pressure mounts for the
Zimbabwean President to step down, he digs his heels in deeper. Here's a
look at some of the serious (and not so serious) methods of removing the
ageing dictator. Sanctions It may be time to rethink whether a trade and oil
embargo would do more harm than good, said Marian Tupy, an expert on Africa
with the Cato Institute. "It's possible to imagine a situation arising in
Zimbabwe where the economic situation has deteriorated to a point where
people are not getting food and gas anyway, and so to impose a trade and oil
embargo on Zimbabwe would inconvenience only the ruling class, but not
necessarily large masses of people. I don't know if we are there yet, but
it's possible to imagine a situation like that in the near future." One-way
plane ride It worked with Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was removed from Haiti
by a U. S. jet and ended up in the Central African Republic. "They could get
him on to a plane, say he's going to a meeting and take him somewhere," said
Edmond Keller, a professor of political science at UCLA and director of the
Globalization Research Center-Africa. The problem: "He'd be looking out for

Support for democratic process Relentless pressure on the Mugabe regime for
an internationally monitored and fair election, coupled with support and
sanctuary for opposition leaders and parties, may sound optimistic, but it
might work, said Wesley Wark, professor of international relations at the
University of Toronto and visiting professor at the University of Ottawa. If
an African intervenor also opened talks with elements of the Mugabe regime
who fear losing power, such as the military and the police, it might also
drive a wedge between Mugabe and what remains of his power base. "Some
promises would have to be made about transition, so such a process would be
tricky," Prof. Wark warned.

Endorse the other guy The international community should recognize Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as
Zimbabwe's elected leader to deprive the Mugabe regime of legitimacy.
Diplomats could also be expelled from embassies and international bodies and
sent back to Zimbabwe, Mr. Tupy said. "This will show to the people who have
the power in Zimbabwe, including the armed forces and the police, that
[Mugabe] is well and truly finished. Hopefully, that way we can induce a
domestic regime change through internal overthrow."

Send in the CIA "If this had been the good or the bad old days of the Cold
War, there would have been an obvious instrument at hand -- a
Western-sponsored covert operation," said Prof. Wark. Although using covert
operations for political ends is considered an antiquated tool from another
century, the Central Intelligence Agency could be assigned the task of
getting rid of Mugabe by a variety of means, possibly working through the
South Africans.

Divine intervention Mugabe boasted recently "only God" could dislodge him:
"Only God, who appointed me, will remove me -- not the MDC, not the British.
Only God will remove me!" If that's what he says it will take, why not give
it a try? If churchgoers everywhere outside Zimbabwe included the ageing
dictator in their prayers, it just might work.



EUROPEAN UNION - Imposed visa ban on Mugabe and 19 top officials in 2002
because of Zimbabwe's maltreatment of observers monitoring presidential
elections. Ban now encompasses more than 100 of Mugabe's closest aides and
family. - Froze overseas assets of Zimbabweans subject to the visa ban. -
Imposed embargo on sale and supply of arms and technical advice and of
equipment that could be used for internal repression in Zimbabwe. Technical
and financial assistance related to military activities also prohibited.

THE UNITED STATES - Imposed sanctions in March, 2003, later widening them to
apply to about 250 people accused of undermining democracy. Americans also
barred from engaging in any transactions or dealings with these
individuals. - Imposed ban on transfers of defence items and services, and a
suspension of non-humanitarian government-to-government assistance.

THE COMMONWEALTH - Suspended Zimbabwe from the group of 54 mainly former
British colonies in early 2002, saying Mugabe had rigged his re-election and
persecuted opponents. Zimbabwe formally withdrew in 2003 after the
suspension was extended indefinitely.

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND - Suspended technical assistance to Zimbabwe
in 2002 over its failure to clear arrears and address its economic and
social crisis. Harare has averted expulsion by making small payments toward
clearing arrears.

AUSTRALIA - Cancelled a 2007 tour of Zimbabwe by the Australian cricket

SOUTH AFRICA - Suspended domestic agreements with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union
this week.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Legal opinion divided on withdrawal

June 25, 2008

HARARE - Legal opinion is divided on the status of MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's last-minute withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled
for Friday, June 27.

Some legal experts have dismissed as incorrect the position of the Zimbabwe
authorities that Tsvangirai cannot legally withdraw from the second round
presidential election on Friday.

Interim Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa
said Monday that the election was proceeding as planned because Tsvangirai
should have informed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) about his
decision at least 21 days before the presidential election run off.

But legal experts said Tuesday the Electoral Act made no provision for a
formal withdrawal from a presidential run-off election.

"The only provision for withdrawal by a presidential candidate is in Section
107 of the Electoral Act," said legal service Veritas in a commentary. "But
this refers only to the possibility of withdrawal from the first round by
giving notice in writing to the chief elections officer at least 21 days
before polling day. This provision cannot be applied to a run-off election."

Chinamasa insisted that the run-off presidential poll would go ahead. He
accused Tsvangirai of playing political games as he had yet to officially
withdraw at the electoral commission. Tsvangirai formally submitted his
withdrawal letter the following day.

"He knows that he should inform the chief elections officer in writing of
his intention to withdraw but it must be at least 21 days before the polling
day," Chinamasa said, adding if Tsvangirai was serious he would have
addressed a letter to the chief elections officer.

The chairman of the ZEC, George Chiweshe, said his commission was "in every
sense of the word prepared for this election."

The Southern African Litigation Centre said in a commentary of its own that
Friday's poll was illegal anyhow because the law provided that a second
election should have taken place within a 21 day period after the
announcement of the election result of the first election, which would have
been in April.

SALC said now that the second poll has been called off because of violence,
it follows that the candidate with the highest number of votes from the
first round should be declared the duly elected President, as set out in
item 3 (1)(a) of the Second Schedule of the Electoral Act.

Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential election on March 29, but
the ZEC said he did not gain an outright majority.

The runoff election campaign has been overshadowed by violence and
intimidation, especially in rural areas. Human-rights groups say at least 88
people have died and tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes,
most of them opposition supporters.

ZEC spokesman Utloile Silaigwana said Tuesday the electoral commission had
still not received any formal notification of Tsvangirai's withdrawal from
the presidential run-off election. He declined to say what the position
would be if a formal notification was received.

Veritas legal service said Section 192 of the Act empowers ZEC -
"notwithstanding any other provision of this Act" - to make a statutory
instrument "to deal with any matter or situation connected with, arising out
of or resulting from" an election.

"ZEC has already made use of this section to extend the deadline for the
holding of the run-off election," the legal experts said. "It may be,
therefore, if formal notification of withdrawal is received, that ZEC will
use this section to publish a statutory instrument allowing:

(1) the calling off of the poll and;
(2) the remaining candidate to be declared the winner.

That action would be controversial but would stand unless set aside by a

Veritas said that there was no provision in the Electoral Act for a run-off
election to take place between the remaining candidate Mugabe, and the
candidate with the next highest number of votes, Simba Makoni, a former
Finance minister in Mugabe's government who won only eight percent of the
vote on March 29.

However, constitutional law expert Dr Lovemore Madhuku insisted there was no
legal provision for a withdrawal.

"The strict legal position is that candidature for the run-off or the second
election is not a voluntary exercise, you give your consent when you contest
the first election,"
Madhuku said.

"The second vote is an irreversible process. That is why there are no
nomination papers the second time round."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

AU observers promise honest assessment of Zim poll

The Zimbabwean

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 05:57
CRACKS are emerging in the South African tripartite alliance, which
consists of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Confederations of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Communist Party
(SACP), over the manner President Thabo Mbeki is handling the Zimbabwean
crisis that has culminated in the opposition announcing that it was pulling
out of the presidential run-off election scheduled for Friday.
ANC leader Mbeki has come under fire from the other members of the
tripartite, who accuse him of failing to deal with Mugabe by insisting on
his widely condemned "quiet diplomacy".
"This union expresses its grave disappointment at the role played by
President Mbeki. His insistence on maintaining a failed 'quiet diplomacy'
has abysmally failed to protect the democratic rights of the majority, but
has provided a golden opportunity for the Mugabe regime to unleash a reign
of terror that has sent millions into political and economic exile,"
Nthoahae Theledi, spokesperson of one of COSATU's biggest affiliates said.
Following the MDC's decision to pull out of the election, South
African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU), another affiliate of COSATU,
demanded that an MDC government should be installed following its victory in
the first round of elections in March.
It raised concern at the orgy of violence Mugabe's supporters are
accused of unleashing, resulting in the death of over 80 people and
displacement of thousands others.
"SAMWU demands recognition of the outcome of the last election, and
the installation of the MDC government in line with the popular mandate it
The organisation further stated that: "(SAMWU) expresses its outrage
at the brutality used by ZANU-PF on behalf of the Mugabe regime to undermine
democratic activity in Zimbabwe. The withdrawal of the MDC from the
presidential re-run election is the latest indication of the impact of this
"SAMWU demands the immediate cessation of violence unleashed in the
name of ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe. As a democratic union, SAMWU is
especially concerned about the trade union and political leaders, who have
been detained on trumped up charges and who are denied even the most basic
of rights and protection while in custody."
Allies in the tripartite alliance and cabinet are increasingly
isolating Mbeki for his mediation efforts, which have failed to end the
violence in Zimbabwe.
CAJ News Agency

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's Economy Cannot Recover Without Drastic Monetary Reform


    To stop hyperinflation, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe should be replaced
with dollarization, currency board or free banking

    WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Zimbabwe's economic
crisis can only be overcome if hyperinflation is stopped. The only way to
do this rapidly is to replace central banking -- namely, the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe (RBZ) -- with a new monetary system, argues renowned economist
Steve H. Hanke in a new study released by the Cato Institute.

    "Zimbabwe's hyperinflation is destroying the economy, pushing more of
its inhabitants into poverty and forcing millions of Zimbabweans to
emigrate. The source of Zimbabwe's hyperinflation is the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe's money machine. Any one of three options (dollarization, a
currency board, or free banking) can rapidly slash the inflation rate and
restore stability and growth to the Zimbabwean economy," writes Hanke in
"Zimbabwe: Hyperinflation to Growth."

    Hanke, a Cato senior fellow who successfully advised on how to stop
three of the last hyperinflations of the 20th century, explains that
regardless of the outcome of the current power struggle in Zimbabwe, the
fastest way towards economic recovery is to abolish the RBZ, which has been
used to print money at the government's whim and to provide jobs for
government supporters. Dissolution of the RBZ is necessary in order to
restore stability to the Zimbabwean economy -- a vital precondition for a
return of economic growth.

    Getting rid of the RBZ is not as radical an option as it may seem.
"Central banking is the only monetary system that has ever created
hyperinflation and instability in Zimbabwe. Prior to central banking,
Zimbabwe had a rich monetary experience in which a free banking system and
a currency board system performed well and in which foreign currencies
circulated without problems. It is time for Zimbabwe to adopt one of these
proven monetary systems and to discard its failed experiment with central
banking," concludes the author.

    The study is the first serious look at the Zimbabwean hyperinflation
and provides a step-by-step guide for a transition from the current
monetary system to a new one.

    Hanke is a professor of Applied Economics at The Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore and a columnist for Forbes magazine. He played an
important role in the currency reforms in Argentina, Estonia, Lithuania,
Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Ecuador. In 1998 he was named
one of the world's twenty-five most influential people by World Trade

    This report can be found at:

Cato Institute

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Jesse Jackson Cites Moral Obligation As a Reason to End Zimbabwe Crisis


By James Butty
Washington, D.C.
25 June 2008

African American civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson has called on
all former anti-apartheid forces to assist the people of Zimbabwe find a way
out of their current political crisis. Jackson, who is president of the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition, also urged President Robert Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai to demonstrate their commitment to peace through
negotiation. He has even offer himself, if need be, to help bring about what
he called the restoration of growth in Zimbabwe.

Jackson told VOA he is aggrieved by the suffering of the Zimbabwean people.

"We are pained, given the tremendous role that Zimbabwe played in liberating
southern Africa from colonial rule. Now we must work diligently, together
with President Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai to get Zimbabwe back into a
reconstruction mode again," he said.

Jackson called on all anti-apartheid forces to assist the people of Zimbabwe
find a way out of their current political crisis.

"If this were a white regime in Zimbabwe seen as holding up an election, the
world would cry out to ask for fairness and open, free fair election without
violence so we can again begin to get resources back into Zimbabwe to reduce
inflation, to revive the economy. Zimbabweans need food and health and
housing and capacity to restart their economy," Jackson said.

He said statements last week by South Africa's ruling African National
Congress (ANC) that Zimbabweans be given the chance to resolve their own
political crisis is contrary to what the ANC asked the world for when it was
fighting to end white minority rule.

"That is inconsistent with what ANC asked of the world when they under
apartheid. ANC asked the world to help, and the U.S. Congress passed action
against apartheid in South Africa. We had demonstrations around the world
against apartheid South Africa. So there are some crises that cannot be left
to isolation into their own device. South Africa of course shares border
with Zimbabwe, and there are some diplomatic sensitivities, but I hope ANC
would see itself playing a more aggressive role in bringing about a plan to
reconciliation and growth in Zimbabwe," he said.

Jackson called on leaders of the Southern African Development Community
(SADC), who are holding an emergency meeting Wednesday in the Swaziland
capital Mbabane, to make a choice against violence and tyranny.

"I recommend to reach out to President Mugabe and the opposition leader and
urge that we mobilize other leaders of substance who care to try to do our
very best to get them on the track of reconciliation and security and
economic growth," Jackson said.

Some Africans have accused the West of duplicity when it comes to promoting
democracy in Africa. They said some Western countries did not speak out
openly about elections in some African countries which the opposition there
had characterized as fraudulent.

Jackson agreed that some Western voices have not been loud enough about
elections in other countries where the opposition there had complained about
irregularities. But he said Africans should not look for a reason not to
work for peace.

"We should not stand idly by and by some romantic notion of friendship be
too weak to take a stand for openness, fairness and democracy for all of the
people. If the AU (African Union) cannot resolve this crisis, it weakens
itself by its inaction. If it cannot address in a meaningful way Zimbabwe,
it cannot address in a meaningful way the Congo, Kenya, or Liberia, or
Ethiopia, or any place else on the continent," Jackson said.

He added his voice to the international cry that any election without the
participation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change cannot be

Jackson said it is time for leaders to step forward to help build a bridge
over Zimbabwe's troubled waters. He said if need be, he's willing to make
himself available to help bring about what he called the restoration of
growth in Zimbabwe.

"We must attempt to get some leaders who will take the risk and the burden
of trying to build a bridge. And I'm certainly willing to reach out to other
leaders and be available myself to help do what must done to help bring
about the restoration of growth in Zimbabwe. It's our moral obligation. We
did it for the freedom of South Africa and we cannot stop now in this quest
for people to live freely and without fear and with hope," Jackson said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SADC's credibility at stake over Zimbabwe crisis

Business Day

25 June 2008

Allister Sparks

MORGAN Tsvangirai's decision to withdraw from what he has aptly described as
"a violent, illegitimate sham of an election" in Zimbabwe confronts the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) with both its most shameful
moment and its last opportunity to try to save some face from this regional

I have been in London these past few weeks, where the newspapers and TV
screens have been awash with the most horrific reports and pictures of the
appalling violence President Robert Mugabe has launched on his own people;
of people being savagely beaten in the streets, of homes being burnt and
whole communities abducted; of women having their hands, feet and breasts
hacked off and their bodies thrown into flames.

I have listened to a defector from the Zimbabwean intelligence services
speak on TV of his disgust at the torture he was required to inflict on
opposition supporters in special torture camps around Harare.

And I have listened to people here who were involved in the anti-apartheid
campaign express shock and disbelief that the SADC countries, especially SA,
which they saw as a beacon of enlightenment after the Mandela Miracle, have
allowed this to happen on their own doorstep.

A moment of shame, indeed. For it was not as though this was sprung on us by
surprise. It has been obvious for more than a year that Mugabe was not
prepared to allow a transfer of power to Tsvangirai and his Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Mugabe said so himself repeatedly, and continued to
do so more emphatically than ever as election day drew closer, until finally
he declared quite bluntly that he was prepared to go to war to prevent it.

And still the SADC leaders did nothing. They sat around wringing their hands
and waiting for their official mediator, Thabo Mbeki, to conjure some magic
with his "quiet diplomacy". Even when the MDC became exasperated with Mbeki's
ineffectiveness and broke off relations with him, they still did nothing.

More than a year ago, I first suggested in this column that the SADC leaders
should give Mugabe a clear advance warning that if he stole this election
again, as he had clearly done in 2002 and 2005, they would judge the
election to have failed SADC's guidelines for holding free and fair
elections, and declare his regime to be illegitimate and not recognised
within this family of nations.

This, I argued, would surely give Mugabe pause and might result in an
election at least free enough to make peaceful regime change possible. At
the very least it would have punched a great hole in Mugabe's main
propaganda lie that he is waging a heroic struggle against the wicked west
that wants to recolonise Zimbabwe through its puppet, Tsvangirai, and that
all of Africa is behind him.

But the argument failed to resonate anywhere within our political
leadership. When I once ventured to suggest it openly in a small group of
specialists debating the subject, it drew hoots of derision as it was
considered so preposterous.

Well, as the Afrikaners are wont to say, "Kyk hoe lyk hy nou!"

What is to be done? As the violence and civil unrest continue in Zimbabwe,
perhaps even escalating into civil war, we can expect another wave of
refugees to flood into neighbouring countries.

In SA, we know from the recent xenophobic attacks that we have reached
saturation point in our ability to absorb these refugees. There are an
estimated 3-million Zimbabweans in SA, and a major upheaval in the wake of
this imploding election could well see another 2-million pour in here. We
simply cannot cope with that. It would mean a major destabilisation of our
society, with devastating effects on our national image and our economy.

Nor would SA be the only country to suffer. Botswana, long regarded as the
prime economic success story of this continent, has a population of only
about 2-million, among whom there are now more than 800000 Zimbabweans. The
demographic effect of that is enormous, especially in the northern part of
the country, where locals are already a minority population.

Even if the unrest subsides with exhaustion, the flood of refugees will
continue, for there is no prospect of international aid to halt the country's
precipitous economic collapse as long as Mugabe is president.

With hyperinflation now accelerating beyond an unimaginable 1-million
percent and the United Nations saying mass starvation is imminent, the
outflow is bound to increase.

Can the SADC leaders really allow Mugabe to destabilise the whole region
simply because his ego won't allow him to accept the democratic will of his
own people?

Is his image as a liberation hero really so sacrosanct that a whole
subcontinent must sacrifice itself in craven reverence to it?

There is no easy solution at this late stage, but if Mugabe declares himself
elected unopposed now that Tsvangirai has withdrawn, or, as he may do in
some misguided belief he can still legitimise himself, allows Friday's
election to go ahead with no opponent so that he can announce himself
victorious, I still believe the best response would be for the SADC leaders
to declare the election invalid and refuse to recognise Mugabe as the
legitimate president of Zimbabwe.

They should isolate Mugabe personally and suspend Zimbabwe's membership of
the SADC until the regime agrees to hold a legitimate, internationally
supervised election.

It is time for SADC to stop pussyfooting around this issue. Its whole
credibility is at stake, and that of the African Union (AU) with it. Both,
after all, are bound by their own charters not to recognise any regime that
comes to power unconstitutionally - which is exactly what the Mugabe regime
is doing right now.

It does not even control the legislature, has not sworn in a single one of
the MPs who won seats last March, and retains a string of cabinet ministers
who lost theirs.

Mbeki is still talking about the political leaders in Zimbabwe getting
together to find a solution. Easier said than done when one of those leaders
is prepared to kill rather that relinquish power, and the other was reported
on Monday night to have sought refuge in the Dutch Embassy in fear of his

But at some point it will be necessary, if regional pressure can force the
regime to compromise, or if only when there is divine intervention to grant
Mugabe his wish that he can rule as long as he lives, that there is a
procedure to ensure the legitimate election of another.

Even at this desperate hour, the MDC has said it is willing to enter into
negotiations for an interim regime, combining elements of both parties in
proportion to their parliamentary representation, to hold the ring while new
internationally supervised elections are held.

But not with Mugabe at the helm, of course. Nor any of his military
commanders who form the sinister Joint Operational Command, who are as
culpable as he is of the crimes against humanity being committed in a
country that has suffered too much for too long.

.. Sparks is a former editor of the Rand Daily Mail and a veteran political

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Anglo American to invest 400 million dollars in Zimbabwe: report

28 minutes ago

LONDON (AFP) - Global mining giant Anglo American is planning to invest 400
million dollars (257 million euros) into a platinum mine in Zimbabwe, The
Times reported Wednesday.

The mine at Unki, central Zimbabwe, is set to be operational by 2010, the
newspaper said, citing a spokesman for the Anglo-South African company.

"We are developing the Unki platinum project because we have responsibility
to our employees, contractors and the local community," the Anglo American
spokesman was quoted as saying.

"We are keeping the situation in Zimbabwe under close watch."

A spokesman for the company did not immediately comment on the contents of
the report when contacted by AFP, and a British foreign ministry spokesman
declined to comment.

Several British companies have operations in Zimbabwe, but many of them have
pledged not to expand -- The Times said British American Tobacco and
Barclays Bank would not add investment, while energy giants BP and Shell
were "reviewing their presence in the country" according to the report.

Anglo American said in February that its 2007 net profit jumped 18 percent
to 7.3 billion dollars, boosted by high output and soaring metals prices.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The shame of Robert Mugabe

Jamaica Gleaner

published: Wednesday | June 25, 2008

But for the fact that he is genuinely dangerous, we might have dismissed
Robert Mugabe as a relic, unaware of his state of being, even as the edifice
he inhabits crumbles around him.

Mr Mugabe, however, poses a menace to his own people and is an embarrassment
to those who, in adherence to democratic principles, supported his fight
against white minority rule in Rhodesia.

Jamaica was a key member of that coalition with Michael Manley playing a
leading role in fashioning the Lancaster House Agreement that secured
Zimbabwe's independence. Bob Marley was the featured performer at Zimbabwe's
independence celebration.

Twenty-eight years later, Mr Mugabe, 84, and corroded by power, presides
over an open and vulgar rape of Zimbabwe's democracy. Worse, he is a serial
rapist, violating the country with every serious challenge to his rule over
the last decade.

'Threat to democracy'

This week, Jamaica finally spoke out against developments in Zimbabwe in the
kind of language that we have urged for a long time. For Mr Mugabe and the
process over which he has presided is beyond "a threat to democracy".

At the United Nations, too, the Security Council has condemned Mr Mugabe's
continued use of violence and harassment against his opponents, which caused
Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of Friday's run-off election for the
presidency. In the first round of the election on March 29, Mr Tsvangirai
won more votes than Mr Mugabe, but did not reach the threshold for outright
victory. Mr Mugabe, nonetheless, tried to steal victory by, first,
attempting to rig the vote, then orchestrating a lengthy delay in announcing
the results.

He has gone further with the intimidation. Mr Tendai Beti, general secretary
of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is in jail on charges
of treason, for which he could face the death penalty. And Mr Tsvangirai
himself has had to take refuge in the Dutch Embassy to avoid arrest. There
are continuous police raids on MDC offices and scores of its supporters have
been killed.

Assumes no responsibility

In his delusional world, Mr Mugabe sees nothing wrong with his rule and
assumes no responsibility for the collapse of his country's economy that has
driven more than four million Zimbabweans, who faced hunger and privation,
into exile. He argues that this is the fault of the West and the former
colonial powers, who yearn for the return of white ascendancy in Zimbabwe.

The good thing is, nobody is any longer buying Robert Mugabe's tired and
worn spiel. Across democratic Africa, leaders have grown exasperated with
him. Even South Africa's ruling African National Congress, in a break with
the quiet diplomacy of President Thabo Mbeki, has accused Mr Mugabe of
"riding roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights" of the Zimbabwean
people. Yet, Mr Mugabe insists on going ahead with the election which the
world, including his closest neighbours, deem to be flawed and illegitimate.

While no one is willing to endorse the kind of extreme action to turf Mr
Mugabe out of office, the world must make it clear to him that, if he goes
ahead with the election, his presidency will not be validated. Caricom must
take a stand and tell Mr Mugabe that he has shamed us all.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe's man unmasked


SA Soccer's marketing man brokered the deal that saw Naspers print 130 tons
of propaganda for Robert Mugabe. Mandy de Waal follows her breaking story.

Mandy de Waal*
25 Jun 2008 07:37

In a week when Naspers (JSE: NPN) should be celebrating buoyant financial
results, the multinational media company faces a reputation scandal that
sees it linked by a trail of blood money to Robert Mubabe's terror filled
tyranny. This after Naspers subsidiary, Paarl Web Gauteng, printed 130 tons
of propaganda, worth R2,6m, for Zanu-PF.

Amidst strong media interest and growing public anger, journalists and
staffers at the organization petitioned Chairman Ton Vosloo to donate all
revenue received from the contract to Zimbabwe relief organizations.
Naspers' own reported yesterday that the petition reads: "...we
believe that the acceptance of the Zanu-PF contract constitutes, at the very
least, a very serious lack of judgment and we would hope that Naspers, as
the parent company of Paarl Web, would acknowledge this. We therefore
believe it appropriate that the R3m that Paarl Web apparently received for
this contract be given to organisations which aims to alleviate the plight
of the people of Zimbabwe."

Paarl Web CEO Stephen van der Walt confirmed that some funds would be given
to an appropriate charity. "We will find a suitable fund supporting victims
and will make a small donation," said van der Walt adding: "I cannot
attribute the exact profit figure for the job, but we will donate in the
region of R250k to R350k to a suitable fund."

Van der Walt refused to name the broker or individual who brought the job to
his company, citing a confidentiality agreement but stated that work on the
pamphlet was done by a large Johannesburg based 'creative house' which did
work for Zanu-PF. He added it was a company that regularly placed
significant sized jobs with large printers in South Africa, including retail
jobs. He said they were a well respected business client and that Paarl Web
had done print work for them in the past. He also said that they were not a
retailer, and that retailers at times place their work direct with printers
and not through their creative agencies.

After speaking to Van der Walt I received a phone call from a trusted source
who agreed to speak to me on condition of anonymity. This person said the
man who brokered the Mugabe print job was Peter Mancer, and that Mancer had
also originally briefed the job into Caxton, which refused to run the print.
I left a message with van der Walt to confirm this, but did not hear from
him again.

Peter Mancer is no stranger to controversy. The Premier Soccer League
marketing man was in the news last year when a gravy train story broke about
soccer bosses pocketing millions following a slew of sponsorship deals. At
the time Cape Argus reported that Mancer's company, Diversity Management,
had "a clause in his contract that gives him 10 percent of any PSL
sponsorship deal." A phone call to the PSL revealed that Mancer was in
Australia where he was: "watching the soccer." The PSL would not provide his
mobile number saying it was PSL policy not to do so.

I was unable to confirm with Naspers whether Mancer was in fact Mugabe's
man, however there are links between the PSL and Naspers. Touchline Media's
special projects division custom publishes PSL magazines. Late last year
Touchline (a Naspers subsidiary) was implicated in the circulation audit
scam that rocked Naspers and Media24. Then the PSL struck a R1 billion deal
(over five years) with SuperSport, another Naspers subsidiary, which gave
the pay channel exclusive TV rights to all PSL fixtures.

The figures don't add up? (Do the math):

In his interview with Alec Hogg on SAfm's Market Update with Moneyweb last
night, Hein Brand - group MD, Media24 stated: "It was a R2,6m contract, it
was 130 tons. Put in context, that plant processes 22 000 tons a year, so
it's a fraction of their throughput. It sounds like a lot, but I promise
they handle many of these and that group probably handles more than 800
discrete similar jobs every week, so it's one of 800 similar walk-in
clients." If Paarl Web handled 800 similar jobs a week this would be 800 X
130 tons = 104 000 tons a week. Close on five times the print tonnage
claimed by Naspers for the plant in a year.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe must face action, not words

This is London

Daily Mail Comment:
Last updated at 02:58am on 25.06.08

Torture, rape, corruption, mass murder. . . How much longer can the world
stand by, mouthing strong words but doing nothing, while Robert Mugabe gets
away with his crimes against humanity?

British ministers  -  who haven't even stripped Mugabe of his knighthood  -
say there must be an 'African solution' to his bloody tyranny in Zimbabwe.
But why?

We didn't hear them demanding an 'Arab solution' to Saddam Hussein  -  and
aren't Zimbabwe's sufferings our business far more than Saddam's outrages in

After all, it was our Foreign Office that created the monster Mugabe,
handing him one of the most prosperous countries in Africa on its
independence in 1980.

Since then, he has destroyed his country's economy, seizing land from
efficient white farmers to enrich his henchmen.

Because of him, inflation in Zimbabwe is running at a million per cent, and
eight in ten of the population are jobless and hungry. Because of him, a
Zimbabwean's life expectancy is just 37.

Now this dictator flicks two fingers at the democracy we bequeathed him and
declares that only God can oust him.

Oh, yes? Couldn't Britain and the free world give the Almighty a helping

At the very least, we should freeze the bank accounts of Mugabe and his
elite, ban them from travelling abroad and close our universities to their
children. British companies, too, must surely be made to withdraw their

But isn't there an ultimate sanction too? Watching Foreign Secretary David
Miliband wring his hands, you would think military action was wholly out of
the question. But is it?

The fact is Mugabe's armed forces are fit only for murdering and raping
defenceless women and children. They'd be no match for crack Western troops.

This paper is reluctant to interfere in other nations' affairs. But why was
invading Iraq thought justifiable, while ending the genocide in a former
British colony is said to be unthinkable?

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SA needs to get tough on Mugabe

Business Day

25 June 2008

Gideon Rachman

TRAGEDY is traditionally meant to provoke pity and fear. But the world is in
danger of reacting to the Zimbabwean tragedy with different emotions:
resignation and relativism.

The resignation stems from the idea that nothing short of invasion is going
to dislodge a brutal and ruthless dictator such as President Robert Mugabe.
Nobody wants to invade Zimbabwe, goes the argument, so there is nothing to
be done. The relativists chip in by pointing out there are plenty of other
tragedies in Africa: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Darfur.
Why make a particular fuss about Zimbabwe? But the resignation is not
justified - and neither is the relativism. Zimbabwe can still be saved from
economic and political destruction. But it is urgent that action is taken
now - while the political situation is still in flux.

By using guns and machetes to force Morgan Tsvangirai out of the
presidential election, Mugabe has secured his grip on power. But it is not
true that everything short of invasion has been tried to prise him loose.
Zimbabwe is still a member of important international organisations and
economic sanctions on the country have been limited. International isolation
of Mugabe - combined with tougher, targeted, economic sanctions - might
still force change.

Britain, the US and the European Union need to cut off the access to hard
currency and international banks that allows Mugabe and his cronies to float
above Zimbabwean hyper-inflation. Some of the big names in western business
also need to re-examine their ties with Zimbabwe.

But the biggest source of new pressure on the Mugabe regime has to come from
its neighbours. Mugabe has sought to portray the opposition as the tools of
white colonialists and racists. By still treating Mugabe as a man who should
be respected for his role in the liberation struggle, African governments
are in danger of giving credence to that argument. If, by contrast, the
African Union and the Southern African Development Community expelled
Zimbabwe, they would strip the Mugabe regime of its last fig-leaf of

THE stakes are particularly high for SA. Unfortunately, President Thabo
Mbeki seems unable to face unpleasant truths. He has denied the truth about
AIDS; he denies the truth about crime in SA; and he now denies the truth
about Zimbabwe. Mbeki says that "Zimbabwe is not a province of SA". But SA
has more potential power over its neighbour than any other country in the

In the late 1970s it was the decision by the apartheid government to drop
its support for white minority rule in Rhodesia that forced the government
of Ian Smith to negotiate. South African threats to cut off power supplies
were a critical factor.

Mbeki should recall that history now. Pragmatism, as well as principle,
demands that he put real pressure on Mugabe.

That pressure should start with leading the effort to ostracise him. It
should then extend to economic ties with Zimbabwe.

It is hugely in SA's interests to try to force change. The chaos in Zimbabwe
is destabilising SA, with millions of Zimbabwean refugees crossing into the
country, provoking resentment and violence.

SA's international image is also suffering. Outsiders look at Zimbabwe and
wonder if they are they seeing a vision of SA in 20 years. SA is already
suffering from power shortages and rampant crime. One-party rule - albeit
with elections - is entrenched.

One of the few heartening aspects of the situation is that it is
increasingly clear that South African public opinion has turned against
Mugabe. Jacob Zuma has been much more outspoken in condemning the Mugabe
government and South African trade unions laudably refused to unload a
shipment of arms bound for Zimbabwe.

Mbeki has pursued the path of mediation and moderation for what may have
been honourable reasons. But that path has proved to be a dead end. It is
time to try something much tougher. Financial Times

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Moyo says Tsvangirai dug own political grave

June 25, 2008

By Staff Reporters

MORGAN Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of Friday's presidential election
runoff was a "wrong move at the wrong time", says Professor Jonathan Moyo, a
leading Zimbabwean political commentator and independent MP.

Moyo, a former information minister in President Mugabe's government now
turned one of his most vocal critics, said while Tsvangirai had deprived
Mugabe of the legitimacy he craves, he was gambling on his political career
as well.

"It is the most unwise decision that they have ever made," Moyo said in an
interview. "How can they withdraw five days before the election and yet
people were being beaten and killed all along?"

Tsvangirai said he was pulling out because violence against his supporters
had made it impossible to campaign. But Mugabe's government said his
withdrawal was a nullity as there was no such provision in the law -
clearing the way for elections to be held.

Moyo said it was unfortunate that Tsvangirai had made the decision when all
along he had been saying "no amount of violence or intimidation would stop
the opposition from romping to victory."

"It's a wrong move at the wrong time. There is a danger that by pulling out
of the election, Tsvangirai has dug a political grave for himself," Moyo
said. "It will compound Mugabe's legitimacy crisis, but may wreck Tsvangirai's

Moyo said the move exposed Tsvangirai's weaknesses and inconsistencies. "It
reflects badly on Tsvangirai. As recently as last week, he said he didn't
need to campaign because voters had already made up their minds. He said no
amount of violence will make Mugabe win. And last Saturday, he said was
contesting the runoff which he claimed no-one can cancel.

"Right from the March elections he didn't know what to do," Moyo said.
"First, he said he was not contesting the runoff because he had allegedly
won. Later he said he was in. In the meantime, he left the country on an
unclear diplomatic mission. He built a myth of unassailability, only to
shatter it himself."

It was not all condemnation for Tsvangirai. One of his main foes, Professor
Welshman Ncube, a senior official in the rival MDC faction led by Arthur
Mutambara, said Tsvangirai's decision to pull out was the "right thing to

"He didn't have a choice. Where in the world have you seen an election in
which only one of the candidates is allowed to campaign? Mugabe is the only
one who was campaigning, using state resources and security forces. How on
earth do you have an election in which both of the candidates say even if I
lose I won't accept the result," Ncube said.

"This is no longer an election. It has become a charade, a monumental
 farce." -

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe tour banned - relief for ECB as Prime Minister blocks one-day series

Daily Mail, UK

Last updated at 12:05 AM on 25th June 2008

England will today finally receive the support from the Government they have
long sought when Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces that Zimbabwe will be
banned from playing a one-day series here next May.

Months of talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board will culminate with
the Government taking the decision away from the cricketing administrators
who have been so reluctant to stand up and be counted.

Earlier yesterday the Government said Zimbabwe would not be welcome to visit
England next season but stopped short of banning the crisis-torn country.

Then, late last night, came the news that the ECB have wanted ever since
England's 2003 World Cup squad pulled out of playing Zimbabwe in Harare
without the support of the Government or governing board.

The Government will stop short of banning Zimbabwe from the Twenty20 World
Cup in England next June because that is a world event and a ban might have
implications for other world events, such as the London Olympics.

The launch of next year's World Twenty20 Cup at The Oval yesterday was
dominated by the prospect of Zimbabwe playing in it and facing England in a
scheduled one-day series.

Cricket South Africa, until now long-term supporters of Zimbabwe cricket,
suspended 'bilateral contact' with their neighbours late on Monday as
violence and disruption escalated, prompting outgoing International Cricket
Council president Ray Mali to propose that the Zimbabwe issue should be
thrashed out at next Wednesday's ICC executive board meeting in Dubai.

Unless the 13 ICC board members pass a motion to 'expel a discredited
country' from international cricket, the game will be plunged into yet
another crisis involving Robert Mugabe's regime and England would be forced
to accept Zimbabwe into the Twenty20 World Cup next summer or forgo staging
the event which will be held at Lord's, The Oval and Trent Bridge.

David Morgan, the former ECB chairman, was the man who pleaded with
2003 World Cup squad to play in Zimbabwe and now, five years later, finds
himself dealing with the vexed question again, even before he takes up his
new job as ICC president.

'I have the greatest sympathy with the Zimbabwe people and cricketers but
encouraged that the matter is on the ICC agenda,' he said.

'It is hugely significant that Cricket South Africa have taken this stand
because they are very influential in this area. It is appropriate that
Zimbabwe are discussed again and I'm pleased that that's what the president

The ECB, who are delighted to see a successful conclusion to their talks
with the Government, will hold a board meeting on the issue tomorrow and
will vote to throw Zimbabwe out next week.

With South Africa at the helm, there had always been enough support for
Zimbabwean cricket to avoid a ban. Now, though, administrators who have
feared ICC sanctions should they back action against the country finally
realise that they have to take a stand.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP


From The Times

Back to the Top
Back to Index