|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
"Come to the edge He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge He said.
He pushed them, and
6 June 2003
ZANU PF DEPLOYS RENTED THUGS IN HARARE.
In a clear attempt to provoke violence and bloodshed, the government of Zimbabwe has deployed thousands of the notorious ZANU PF government trained militia in all the major streets of Harare and stationed hundreds more at Africa Unity Square where people are scheduled to march.
The rented thugs who have been issued with T-shirts written NO TO MASS ACTION are walking freely in the streets of Harare in large groups. This freedom to walk freely, tear up copies of independent newspapers and harass members of the public in full view of the police underlines the fact that freedom for the people is now in the pocket of the regime. It is being apportioned to only a few individuals who are willing to sell their souls for pieces of silver.
It is shocking that the Mugabe regime is prepared to pour millions of dollars of the tax payers money in purchasing and printing T-shirts and feed the rented thugs at a time when such resources should be channeled towards bringing fuel and food to a starving nation. It shows quite clearly that the Mugabe regime's priorities are warped. It is now clear that what the dictator is only concerned about is the preservation of its brutal power and nothing else.
The people of Zimbabwe must be commended for having realised the folly of the dictator's grand plan of trying to draw the nation into direct confrontation with the rented thugs and divert attention from its own failures.
The fight for freedom continues and victory is certain. No amount of money and state repression will stop the tide.
Paul T Nyathi,
Secretary for Information and Publicity
THE MDC’S PRESIDENT’S REMARKS AT A NEWS CONFERENCE ON THE OCCASION OF THE JUNE 2-6 2003 PHASE OF THE PEOPLE’S MASS ACTION.
Harare, June 6 2003.
It is a matter of public record that Zimbabweans from all walks of life overwhelmingly responded to the first stage of our final phase of democratic resistance.
The call by the MDC for a national shutdown and mass action represents a national effort to challenge an unpopular regime. This was the first dose of action in the final phase of the people’s collective push against this regime under our code: The Final Push.
True to form, the regime responded with the predictable brute force and mass reprisals. But as expected, this failed to stop the people from demonstrating their unflinching support for the MDC.
Special tribute goes to the men and women who braved the brutality of the Mugabe regime. Some were killed. Others were injured. Scores were arrested.
In a normal democracy, the people’s response to our call for action could have led to the resignation of a sitting regime. Instead, Robert Mugabe still thinks the mass action was a flop.
The national effort to challenge the Mugabe regime to resolve the current crisis will now continue with greater intensity from today. More action is coming as we apply internal pressure on Mugabe for national dialogue.
We have a natural right to intensify the fight for good governance.
In our short history of the struggle against tyranny in Zimbabwe, the June 2 to 6 2003 mass action has been the most successful and indeed, the most devastating in terms of sapping the morale and confidence of the Mugabe dictatorship.
Through peaceful mass action, the people of Zimbabwe delivered a mortal blow to the dictator. They have aptly demonstrated their capacity to set the limits to the dictatorship.
From Monday, June 2, up to today June 6, Mugabe was not in charge of this country. He was busy marshalling his forces of repression against the sovereign will of the people of Zimbabwe. However, even in the context of the brutalities inflicted upon them, the people’s spirit of resistance was not broken and the jackboot or the sound of gunfire will never silence their demand for change and freedom.
For the past five days, therefore, the people of Zimbabwe reclaimed their sovereignty. They were in charge. This was a major installment, indeed a landmark towards a permanent recovery of their freedom.
Throughout the world the struggle against tyranny and the retrieval of stolen freedom and liberty has never been a single event, but a traumatic process of relentless sacrifice and utmost dedication. We in Zimbabwe are not exempt from following the route charted by democrats and fellow fighters for freedom the world over.
Consequently, the peaceful mass action that we embarked upon is the beginning of new multifaceted phase towards a permanent resolution of the crisis. Whereas in the past our mass action concentrated on stayaways, we have now entered a qualitatively different phase where we have added peaceful marches to confront the dictator on the streets of every city and every town.
As a result the dictator is now cornered and reduced to using the hit and run tactics of a bandit against defenceless people.
As we progress in the fight for our freedom we shall continue to explore and add new sites and arenas of struggle on our agenda for change until the ultimate goal is achieved.
The people are now well aware of the exact nature of the crisis and the dimensions and sites of the struggle and in future there will be no need for trumpeting resistance to the dictatorship.
From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship. The spirit of resistance has sunk organic roots in the people and the Mugabe dictatorship will never be allowed again to trample on people’s rights with impunity. More action, as I said, is certainly on the way.
Mugabe has now been exposed as a violent and illegitimate dictator with absolutely no pretence to any semblance of civil mass support. He continues to shamelessly hang on to power through brutal force.
The current phase of the people’s mass action has demonstrated to Mugabe where his power lies. He is now under no illusion about this.
His power now lies completely in the forces of repression supervised by a coterie of his bootlickers.
He has ceased to be a civilian leader ruling with the consent of the people.
He is now a civilian dictator propped up by sections of a subverted police and military.
Not even his regional and continental supporters can alter that fact. The regime is now a self-serving dictatorship in pursuit of its own narrow material interests at the expense of the welfare of millions of Zimbabweans.
Through their weapon of peaceful and steadfast protest the people of Zimbabwe have demonstrated their resilience and determination to confront the dictatorship in the face of mortal peril.
The people have been tortured, brutalized and murdered by a regime that is meant to protect them. Their only crime is that they sought to peacefully demonstrate against the dictatorship, assert their democratic rights and reclaim their freedom.
The people’s message of peace was met with blood and iron. All these atrocities are not in vain. They lay the foundation for a future democratic culture that will never again allow one dictator and his cronies to capture the state and use it as an instrument to oppress the people.
There is life at the end of all this suffering. As I said before, if we want life we must expect pain.
I therefore want to say to the people of Zimbabwe: You have demonstrated tremendous courage in the face of evident danger. You have remained disciplined and peaceful. You have remained steadfast.
The struggle for freedom demands unwavering commitment and sacrifice. Lets maintain our unity of purpose and lets travel the last mile together towards our freedom.
Victory is inevitable.
As you can see from the photos, What STRONGLY resembles Bredenkamp's chopper is involved. They all landed at State House about 30 mins after Morgan was arrested and as recorded by one of our men on the ground:
"All three choppers departed South (to airport?) from State House 1657 hrs., followed ten min later by the two Alouettes that had been on op all day. Probably for the Nkomo funeral in Byo..."
|Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at a news conference in Harare on Friday hours before his arrest on treason charges.|
Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested just after he vowed to continue protests - only now without warning.
"From now onwards we will embark on rolling mass action at strategic times of our choice and without any warning to the dictatorship," he told reporters. "More action is certainly on the way."
But Tsvangirai acknowledged that the unprecedented security crackdown had thwarted huge street demonstrations his opposition movement had planned for Friday to cap five days of strikes and protests.
Government forces have resorted to beating protesters, firing warning shots in the air and opening fire with water cannons and tear gas to break up demonstrations this week. The strikes have ground the battered economy to a halt in the biggest opposition challenge to Mugabe's 23-year authoritarian rule.
Ahead of Friday's planned marches, soldiers, police and ruling party militiamen flooded the capital in the largest security operation since independence in 1980. Military helicopters swooped over Harare's skies, while military vehicles ferried troops through the city and police cars patrolled the streets.
Hundreds of ruling party backers - wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words, "No to Mass Action" - occupied Harare's main square, where opposition leaders had called on their supporters to gather. A few opposition attempts to mass in the streets quickly fizzled.
Tsvangirai, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested at his home on Friday.
"He is being charged with treason for the many statements he has been making calling for the violent removal of the president," said police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena.
Treason carries a possible death penalty in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai already is on trial on a separate treason charge that accuses him of plotting to assassinate Mugabe two years ago. Tsvangirai and two other opposition officials on trial with him say they have been framed by the government.
Shortly before his arrest, Tsvangirai said support for the strike and the government crackdown showed that Mugabe remains in power only through force.
The new treason charges were widely seen here as an attempt to neutralize the opposition leader whose calls for action to protest the Mugabe government have become steadily more defiant.
Tsvangirai said the protests are aimed at forcing Mugabe to the negotiating table, where "his exit would be hammered out in the best interests of the country."
"It is generally agreed he has become a liability to the nation," Tsvangirai said.
Other African leaders have urged Mugabe to enter into negotiations with the opposition, but he has refused, saying Tsvangirai's movement must first drop a lawsuit challenging his election and acknowledge him as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe.
The MDC sued after the presidential election that it alleges was rigged. Most independent observers said the election was deeply flawed and neither free nor fair.
The government, under its draconian new security laws, had declared weeklong protests and work stoppages illegal. Tsvangirai was briefly arrested Monday, the first day.
The opposition blames Mugabe for sinking the country into political and economic ruin. There are shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and currency, and annual inflation is at 269 percent. Widespread starvation has been avoided only with international aid.
"Mugabe has now been exposed as a violent and illegitimate dictator with absolutely no pretense to any semblance of civil mass support," Tsvangirai told reporters.
Reinforcements of police and troops have been deployed across the country. In the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, opposition officials said troops in full combat gear were patrolling the streets.
Nathan Shamuyarira, the ruling party's secretary for information, told state media that the Zanu-PF's politburo, its top policy making bureau, recommended "stringent security measures" to stop the protests.
"The time has now come for a showdown with the MDC. It was agreed that we should also use the manpower resources in our movement to stop the MDC from disrupting the economy," Shamuyarira told the state Herald newspaper.
Some of the ruling party militias were seen shouting at people on the street, demanding that shops adhering to a general strike in Harare be reopened.
Most businesses, however, in Harare remained closed Friday.