Archive for the ‘Violence’ Category

JOHANNESBURG – To show how the party led
by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe uses
brute force against its opponents, Elton
Mangoma , a cabinet minister in the country ‘s
troubled power -sharing government, rolled up
a pant leg during a recent interview at his
home to reveal scars from a 2007 police
beating that he said shattered his kneecap.
” If South Africa, the African Union and the
international community fold their arms , then
Zimbabwe can descend into chaos, ” warned
Mr . Mangoma , a leader in the Movement for
Democratic Change, or M. D . C . , the party that
fought Mr . Mugabe ‘s rule for a decade before
regional leaders pressured it into governing
with him for the past two years .
On Thursday , the police came again for Mr .
Mangoma , the minister of energy and power
development, who now stands accused of
criminal abuse of office in a deal to procure
fuel – charges he denied through his lawyer.
Also on Thursday , Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court –
viewed by many as partial to Mr . Mugabe, 87 –
invalidated the 2008 election of a speaker of
Parliament from the Movement for Democratic
Change.
The day ‘s events provided yet more evidence of
Zimbabwe’s rapidly deteriorating political
situation .
” The fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe is in a
crisis ,” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ,
leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, said in a statement on Thursday .
Mr . Tsvangirai , who in March 2007 was badly
beaten at the same police station where Mr .
Mangoma said he was beaten , cited signs of
what he called a campaign by Mr . Mugabe’ s
party, ZANU-PF , to ” promote chaos and fear in
the country ” : 73 meetings of the M. D . C .
banned or disrupted by the police in recent
weeks; assaults on Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s supporters
in the slums of the capital, Harare , and in the
countryside; a propaganda onslaught against
him and his party in the state- controlled media ;
and the arrest and jailing of M. D. C . leaders and
activists opposed to Mr . Mugabe ‘s 31 -year rule.
Mr . Tsvangirai , who won more votes than Mr .
Mugabe in a March 2008 general election but
withdrew before a June runoff after widespread
attacks on his supporters , contended that
members of his party were being hounded by a
police force and criminal justice system
controlled by Mr . Mugabe .
” But ZANU-PF cadres and securocrats who
murdered people in the run-up to the 27 June
election are roaming free, ” Mr . Tsvangirai said .
He said Mr . Mangoma and six activists accused
of treason after watching videos of the
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were ” innocent
victims of a barbaric and senseless
dictatorship . “
Mr . Mugabe ‘s supporters said that the activists
were plotting to overthrow him. Jonathan
Moyo, a member of ZANU- PF ‘s Politburo , wrote
in the Feb . 27 Sunday Mail , a state-controlled
newspaper, that with the uprisings in North
Africa, ” no doubt vigilance has become the
order of the day all around .
” Only God knows why these hopeless copycats,
whose death wish is to be arrested at the
Harare Gardens and be charged with treason in
accordance with the rule of law they love
preaching about, honestly think they can do an
Egypt or Libya in Zimbabwe,” Mr . Moyo wrote.
ZANU-PF ‘ s crackdown seems driven by anxiety
about revolutions against autocratic rulers
sweeping North Africa and the Middle East , as
well as by the party’ s own push for elections
this year – elections that leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Change have warned
could lead to another violent and discredited
election .
In interviews in recent days , spokesmen for
both Mr . Mugabe and his party have said that
the elections must happen this year .
But South Africa, tasked by regional leaders
with brokering Zimbabwe’ s power- sharing deal ,
is pushing back against Mr . Mugabe ‘s rush to
the polls with unusual vigor that marks a
surprising break with its long and much
criticized ” quiet diplomacy ” in responding to its
neighbor ‘ s decade -long economic and political
decline.
In a statement on March 1 , Marius Fransman ,
the deputy minister in South Africa’s
Department of International Relations and
Cooperation, said South Africa and the region
took the position that any election held before
Zimbabweans adopted a new constitution
through a referendum would violate the power –
sharing agreement .
Told that ZANU-PF officials had said there
would be an election this year , Lindiwe Zulu , a
special adviser to South Africa’s president ,
Jacob Zuma , said in a recent interview that
pulling one off that soon would take a miracle .
And on a recent visit to Zimbabwe, Ms. Zulu
said , Mr . Zuma ‘s team plainly voiced concern
about a recurrence of violence and
intimidation .
” If they are going to have an election by
October , they would have to do a 360-degree
turnaround at high speed, ” she said .
Even more forceful comments came from
South Africa’ s deputy president , Kgalema
Motlanthe, who acknowledged the harsh
realities confronting his own country , where
more than a third of working – age people are
jobless and often resent the estimated two
million Zimbabweans who have settled here to
escape their devastated homeland .
Mr . Motlanthe called for the next Zimbabwean
elections to be a watershed in the country ‘s
history, free of violence and observed by
international monitors from the region and
Europe, his spokesman , Thabo Masebe,
confirmed .
” It is the will of the Zimbabwean people which
must determine the future of Zimbabwe as a
country , and it is in our interest as a country
that indeed we proceed in that direction ,” Mr .
Motlanthe said last week. ” Because if we fail
and Zimbabwe implodes , literally the border
between Zimbabwe will disappear and we will
sit with all the problems. “

By CELIA W . DUGGER
Published: March 11 , 2011
http://www.NYTimes.com

After hours of waiting in the baking sun and
then rain thousands watched as generals ,
church leaders and other top figures queued up
to sign the document .
The rest of us must wait our turn, which will
come in the form of a door -to -door campaign
in which Zanu -PF militants will arrive at our
homes and ask us to sign a petition to the
European Union and the United States to end
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and
his circle .
” Conscious of illegal and unilateral sanctions
imposed by the West on my country Zimbabwe,
I therefore do hereby append my signature to
register my protest at the said illegal sanctions
and to demand an immediate end to this form
of aggression against my country and my
people,” reads the petition . Below this , we must
write down our names , give our ID numbers ,
state where we live , and sign .
The Movement for Democratic Change calls it a
” Zanu -PF violence petition ” , but Zanu -PF insists
it is the document that will put an end to all our
troubles . At the ” anti -sanctions ” rally on
Wednesday , Mugabe’ s strategy to get the world
to take notice of his new crusade was carried by
the young men who stood behind us . ” Hit list :
Old Mutual , Rio Tinto , Standard Chartered ,
Barclays and many more,” a poster screamed.
By threatening foreign businesses, he hopes to
make the world more amenable .
Mugabe once said the measures against his
ruling elite were a pinprick that would not worry
him. But a frenzied propaganda campaign in
recent weeks has tried to convince
Zimbabweans that all the country ‘s economic
woes are the result of sanctions .
Among the Zanu- PF rank and file, it is taken as
gospel . At the weekend , at a district Zanu -PF
meeting in Mbare to organise Wednesday ‘ s rally ,
the district chairperson , Onesimo Gore, blamed
potholes on sanctions . A youth leader rose to
say if it wasn’ t for sanctions , he would have a
job .
Campaign of intimidation
Few believe this . But even fewer will refuse to
sign the petition when the youths come
knocking . There is little doubt this is the start of
a new campaign of intimidation .
Zanu -PF sees it as some sort of pledge of
allegiance to Mugabe . He has ordered that two
million people must sign the petition , which will
be handed to Western governments as proof
that Zimbabweans are on his side . The road to
the two million signatures began on Wednesday ,
as crowds gathered at dawn at an open ground
on the outskirts of Harare .
Many were supporters, but many others had
been forced to attend , with their markets shut
down by militants and some of them force-
marched to the venue . On one side a group
that has recently been at the sharp end of Zanu-
PF attacks jostled for space , hoping to make
sure the powerful people on the podium saw
their huge banner: ” Nigerian community says
‘NO ‘ to sanctions !”
Mugabe warned again that he would target
foreign businesses if the West did not lift the
punitive economic measures. He mentioned
foreign banks and mines , which he claims are
conspiring to steal mineral earnings. The West
depends on Zimbabwe in many ways, he said ,
and ” we are ready to hit back” . ” We have been
sending our beef to them and they say it ‘s the
tastiest beef they ‘ve ever had , ” he told the rally .
” Our tea goes into the blend they call Lipton and
they call it English tea . “
Zanu -PF ‘ s campaign has entailed hour -long TV
news bulletins dedicated to convincing
Zimbabweans that the economic crisis of the
past decade is the result of sanctions , not Zanu –
PF misrule . The West is blamed for everything,
from the poor drug supply in hospitals to the
run-down stadiums . Zanu -PF says America’ s
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery
Act, enacted in 2001, has destroyed the
economy.
But the US embassy in Harare pointed out this
week that the US had provided more than $ 1 ,4 –
billion in aid to Zimbabwe since 2001 . In the
five years after the US applied targeted
sanctions in 2003 trade between Zimbabwe and
the US doubled and Zimbabwe currently runs a
trade surplus . The EU and US measures include
travel bans and asset freezes on more than 100
Zanu -PF figures and an arms embargo .
However , no asset freezes have been
confirmed . Some argue the list of targeted
companies includes corporations and banks in
which government has only minority shares and
other state-owned enterprises that provide basic
services .
Recently , one of the country ‘ s largest internet
service providers , ZOL , said the sanctions were
more general than Mugabe’ s critics let on . ” Any
business will tell you that sanctions are hurting
all businesses in Zimbabwe and therefore all
citizens. They [ the sanctions ] raise the cost of
supplies since some companies simply refuse to
deal with us, whether or not we are on the
[ sanctions ] list ,” ZOL said .
” PayPal, an online payment [ service ] provider , is
a perfect example . It has banned anyone in
Zimbabwe from using its system on that basis ,”
said ZOL .

JASON MOYO Mar 04 2011 15 : 17
http://www.mg.co.zw

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — Washington has
ruled out lifting sanctions on Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle
until the regime shows a greater respect for
human rights, said a U . S . official visiting the
southern African nation Friday .
Susan Page, the deputy assistant secretary for
African affairs , said the United States was
concerned by the recent rise in ” political
violence , wanton intimidation of the public , and
partisan arrests and prosecutions . “
She applauded Mugabe ‘s statement last week
calling for an end to the violence but questioned
whether that message was filtering down to his
security forces.
” We hope President Mugabe, as head of state
and commander in chief of the armed forces,
also conveys that message to the police and
security services, ” Page said. ” The credibility of
that statement , however , ultimately will be
reflected in if or how it is honoured . “
Page said if Mugabe’ s party wants to play a
constructive role, ” it must reject the use of
violence and fear in its operations. “
Mugabe ‘s critics accuse the longtime ruler of
using violent means to hush his political
opponents, who are part of a unity government
that Mugabe wants ended .
In recent days , police in Zimbabwe have
arrested dozens of political activists, students
and trade union members for allegedly plotting
an Egyptian-style uprising . Defense attorneys
have reported torture of the detainees .
U . S . State Department Spokesman P . J . Crowley
said the activists were charged with treason and
urged Mugabe’ s government to uphold
international human rights laws and ensure due
process for those arrested.
The United States and the European Union
imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe in 2002.
Mugabe blames those sanctions for his
country ‘ s woes — which late last year included a
90 % unemployment and an inflation rate of
231, 000,000% – – and threatened to seize all
Western -owned investments in the country
unless sanctions were lifted .
Mugabe has held power since Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980 . In 2009 , he
formed a coalition government with challenger
Morgan Tsvangirai, who was named prime
minister .
But last December , Mugabe announced he was
tired of working with the opposition party ,
which he said ” lacked ideology and policies ” and
called for an election this year .
Tsvangirai , however , has threatened to boycott
the poll if a referendum on a new constitution is
not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 1855 GMT ( 0255
HKT )
CNN.com

Amnesty International today expressed shock
that at least 45 Zimbabwean activists have been
charged with treason and could face the death
penalty following their arrest at a lecture on the
protests in North Africa.
Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai , a former opposition
parliamentarian , and 44 social justice , trade
union and human rights activists were arrested
by police on Saturday as they were attending a
lecture entitled Revolt in Egypt and Tunisia .
What lessons can be learnt by Zimbabwe and
Africa.
“ This is a clear over-reaction by the state to an
event in which the participants were exercising
their legitimate right to freedom of expression
which the government of Zimbabwe must
guarantee under national and international law, ”
said Michelle Kagari , Amnesty International ’ s
deputy director for Africa.
Amnesty International is also alarmed by reports
that at least seven of the activists , including
Munyaradzi Gwisai , were beaten by security
agents while in custody and called on the
government to investigate the allegations.
“ The safety of detainees remains a serious
concern as the Law and Order Section at Harare
Central Police station has become notorious for
the torture and ill -treatment of activists in their
custody, ” said Michelle Kagari .
“ These persistent abuses demonstrate the need
for urgent reform of Zimbabwe’ s security sector
to bring to an end a culture of impunity for
human rights violations and partisan
enforcement of the law. ”
Defence lawyers told Amnesty International they
had been denied the opportunity to consult their
clients and they were only informed of the
charges facing the activists minutes before they
were brought before the court .
The proceedings were adjourned following
protests from the lawyers and are expected to
resume Monday .
Amnesty International is also concerned about
reports that prison officers at the Magistrates
court in Harare prevented the defence lawyers
from taking instructions from their clients before
they were transferred to Harare Remand Prison
and Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison .
“ This restriction of the right of the activists to
access their lawyer is unnecessary and throws
serious doubts on the likelihood the detainees
will receive a fair trial,” said Michelle Kagari .
“ The police continue to selectively apply the law
in favour of President Robert Mugabe’ s ZANU-
PF party . ”
Last month ZANU-PF supporters carried out
attacks against opposition supporters in
Harare ’ s suburb of Mbare , but to date , the
police have not arrested anyone.

Notes to Editors
• Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai is a former Movement
for Democratic Change parliamentarian . He is
now a law lecturer at the University of
Zimbabwe and the coordinator of the
Zimbabwean chapter of the International
Socialist Organisation
• The activists are being charged with treason
under Section 20 of the Criminal ( Codification
and Reform ) Act [ Chapter 9: 23 ] or alternatively
“ attempting to overthrow the government by
unconstitutional means under Section 22 ( 2) ( a )
( i) of the Criminal Law ( Codification and
Reform ) Act .

24 February 2011
AI Index : PRE 01 / 084/ 2011
http://www.amnesty.org

IN the past three or so months the world has
been following seismic developments
unravelling in North Africa and the Middle East
with fervent interest. First on the line was the
Tunisian revolution that , interestingly, was
triggered by the suicide of a street vendor in the
Southern city of Bauzi.
Herein lies an important lesson to both
politicians and grand theorists of history and
political science: some of the most incredible
historical events are not always explained by
elaborate theories and concepts , but by very
simple day to day events .
Likewise, governments of the fiercest
dictatorships may succeed in setting up
elaborate repressive machineries and securities ,
yet still crumble at a seemingly unimportant,
unexpected event . The Tunisian fires soon
engulfed Egypt to claim an even more significant
figure, President Hosni Mubarak. Trouble has
been brewing in Jordan, Yemen and Algeria .
Only deities know where else next.
Despite the analyses of conspiracy theorists ,
what is interesting about these revolutions is
their spontaneity, the bravery and determination
of the protestors but , more importantly, their
huge levels of success with little influence from
the powerful nations of the world . For the first
time in the last decade or so, the world has
witnessed significant political developments in
the third world that have not aroused
widespread criticism of super -power
unilateralism or their active hand . If there has
been any foreign hand in this it has been , at
most , invisible .
Speculation and hope were rife that the effects
of these revolutions would cascade southwards,
igniting massive anti -government
demonstrations in countries like Zimbabwe
where President Robert Mugabe has continued
to rule with an iron fist since Independence in
1980. It has thus been easy, even tempting , for
many analyses to believe that Mugabe ’ s Zanu PF
is shaken by the happenings in North Africa and
the Middle East .
On paper, there are lots of striking similarities
among Mugabe, Former Tunisian president Zine
El Abidine Ben Ali and Mubarak . All three have
overstayed their welcome in office; Mubarak
and Mugabe have held the sceptre in their
respective countries for over three decades . Ali
was at the helm for more than two decades , still
a very long time by any standards. Like all
dictators, the trio has also maintained a façade
of democracy by consistently holding farcical
elections in their countries, and the results have
been similar — they all claimed electoral
victories suggestive of massive electoral
mandates to their leadership . All three have
claimed to have won the last elections in their
individual countries by phenomenal figures in
the regions of 80 -90 % popularity margins . By a
coincidence of threes , all three elections have
been held within the space of the last three
years .
An obvious shall also be stated, that all three
leaders have been the aces of politics of long
incumbency despite increasing opposition to
their rule by the masses they are supposed to
lead. If not so , why would they have turned all
state machinery to thwart any opposition to
their leadership ? The list of similarities may be
infinite . In light of all these similarities, the
question to answer is why hasn ’ t the Maghreb
uprisings awakened Zimbabweans to follow
suit ?
Informal discussions have often raised the
comparatively high literacy levels as a reason for
Zimbabweans non-confrontational reactions to
misgovernment . Proponents of this line of
argument are quick to point to the unsuccessful
efforts at mass protests and work stay -aways in
the first few years of the last decade in
Zimbabwe as proof . In my opinion, this thesis is
nearly tempting. I
think that the literacy and competitiveness of
Zimbabweans has enabled most skilled
personnel to be accepted in the job markets of
most countries around the globe . This has had
the effect of finding outlets for the Zimbabwean
crisis as people left the country en masse
instead of staying to claw for a way out while ,
on the other hand , the same people have partly
assisted in preventing a full blown crisis through
remittances sent back to friends and relatives
back home. But as the Egyptian example has
shown, there is no direct correlation between
high literacy rates and the ability of a country ’ s
citizens to protest against tyranny. Why even in
the developed world citizens demonstrate
against anything politically unsavory . Recent
demonstrations in Spain , Italy and Britain are a
case in point , this despite their higher literacy
rates .
One may also raise the brutality that has been
demonstrated by the Zimbabwean security
forces over the years , and the consequent fear
that has been inculcated into the ordinary man
on the street as the reason why Zimbabweans
have taken a non-aggressive approach, choosing
to air their resentment by way of the ballot as
was shown in the 2008 election . Heavy
handedness has not been peculiar to Zimbabwe.
History has shown that very few despots have
given power away in bloodless negotiations . The
Egyptian and Tunisian scenarios are a succinct
example of the high price paid in the fight for
democracy . More than 700 revolutionaries lost
their lives in the Tunisian and Egyptian
revolutions .
However , this did not break the fighting spirit of
hundreds and thousands of protestors who
thronged the streets of Tunis and Cairo . The
results have been the victory of good over bad .
The people spoke, and their voices were heard.
This brings us to the realities in our home yard.
The success of the mass protests in Egypt and
Tunisia are largely attributable to the
courageous acts of the Egyptian urban masses
that stood steadfast on their demands. In
contrast , Zimbabwe’ s urban population has
failed several such tests, deciding to sit back and
do nothing , even when sitting back epitomised
extreme fear , cowardice , or both, to most on –
lookers . Examples are numerous: the delay in
the announcement of the 2008 March
presidential election is a recent case in point .
The truth is that Zimbabwe’ s colonial and post
colonial populations have never had a strong
tradition of staging mass demonstrations against
misrule and exploitation .
Of course , such judgment , without qualification ,
is excessive . For the entire duration of the
colonial and post -colonial periods , urban
resistance to injustice in Zimbabwe was mostly
spelt in labour strikes , ( the most outstanding
being the 1945 and 1948 strikes) and other
forms of covert and overt resistance. The only
two examples of widespread popular resistance
in urban streets during this long , century plus
history are the Zhii riots which started in
Bulawayo and spread to other urban centres in
1961, and the food riots of 1997 and 1998 in
Harare and Chitungwiza .
Both cases do not measure anywhere near the
Egyptian scenario either in duration, or in the
numbers involved. This propensity of doing
nothing creates — indeed created — a
tendentious lethargy of silence in Zimbabwe’ s
urban masses. It is irrefutable that these
traditions, though not always determinative ,
have a powerful tendency to persist. Religion
also looms large in this comparison . Although
other religions like the Christianity and the Copts
exist in significant numbers , the Egyptian and
Tunisian populations are largely Islamic. The
majority of Zimbabweans are Christians , and the
numbers continue to swell with the escalation of
both the Pentecostal and Apostolic fevers . The
point is that the two religions proffer different
doctrines to secular leadership . On one hand ,
Moslems are taught that there is honour in
sacrificing one ’ s life in the fight against evil , be it
leadership or infidels .
Jihads or Holy Wars are an example of Islamic
aggression against perceived ills . On the other ,
Christianity preaches turning the left cheek
when you are struck on the right one .
Christianity also holds that all leaders are God –
ordained , even the tyrannical and murderous
like Saul ! To the Christians , the Almighty is the
king – maker, and he alone decides who leads
and for how long . The significance of these
differences is too striking to ignore. While my
pastor and many others were praying for God to
restore good leadership the Moslems in Egypt
were impatiently waiting for the end of the
Friday prayers in order to join the chants in
Tahrir Square .
Should Zimbabweans prove my on -going
analysis wrong and get onto the streets , it also
seems hardly possible that the Zimbabwe
Republic Police will allow the demands of the
people to be heard as did the Egyptian security
forces. Security chiefs in Zimbabwe have made
no attempts to disguise their allegiance to
Mugabe and Zanu PF . Though there could be
scores of army and police officers who
sympathise with the popular voice , it has been
clear in the past that the machinations of the
partisan security chiefs win the day . MDC
supporters have been the targets of arrests on
all sorts of trumped up charges while Zanu PF
supporters with known records of heinous
atrocities are allowed to walk scot – free. In
Mbare and Budiriro recently , only MDC
supporters were arrested following what police
call clashes between Zanu PF and MDC
supporters , while Zanu PF youths are allowed to
retreat into their camps and plan for the next
strike.
For these reasons, it seems unlikely that the
Maghreb solutions will be replicated in
Zimbabwe any time soon. This is in spite of
many Zimbabwean’ s enthusiastic following of
the on -going drama in Egypt . What is likely
though is that Zimbabweans will continue to
wait for plebiscites to air their voices. The ballot
box or the voter ’ s cubicle shall be Zimbabweans
own Tahrir Square . It is here that their chanting
will be heard the loudest . Zimbabweans are
good when it comes to this . During the Ian
Smith regime , Africans successfully rallied for a
“ No” vote to the Pearce Commission
referendum in 1972 .
Several other Tahrirs have been witnessed in
recent years . The election results of 2000 , 2005 ,
and 2008 are all testimony . Two more are yet to
come. Zimbabweans will speak out come the
constitutional referendum and the elections ,
whenever these are going to be and , hopefully ,
this time those with ears will listen .
Brian Ngwenya is a political analyst and a
PhD Candidate based in Pretoria .

Friday , 18 February 2011 10 : 18
By Brian Ngwenya
http://www.theindependent.co.zw

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has blamed
President Robert Mugabe for the current
politically -motivated violence he says is being
perpetrated by members of the uniformed
forces because the President is answerable for
their actions as the Commander- in -Chief of the
Defence Forces .
Tsvangirai told a public meeting in Harare on
Tuesday that President Mugabe sought to
exonerate Zanu PF from the disturbances
claiming there was no violence in the country .
“ We have a structure where we have a
Commander-in -Chief who purports not to know
what is happening , but indirectly orders the
army to act . The buck stops with ( President )
Mugabe. If they ( uniformed forces ) defy his
orders against violence , then we can say we
have a coup in the country of which I don’ t
believe there is one , ” he said .
“ It’ s not sharing in commanding , but in
responsibilities and hopefully when he comes
back ( from Singapore) we will deal with that . ”
President Mugabe is in Singapore where he is
receiving treatment for an eye ailment, the
nation has been told.
“ Over two years they ( the uniformed forces)
have failed to adjust and refused to let go of
their partisan actions ,” Tsvangirai added . But
presidential spokesperson George Charamba
said the police have a position on the matter.
“ Wait for the President to come and he’ ll talk on
that ,” he added .
The PM poured cold water on speculation the
inclusive government , which turned two years
on February 11 , had outlived its lifespan saying
the three -legged coalition would trudge on
despite the stumbling blocks .
He ruled out talk of an election being held this
year saying those that said so were
misrepresenting facts .
“ The issue of the GPA expiring is a matter of
public concern, but it has been misrepresented
left, right and centre ,” Tsvangirai said . There is
nothing that stipulates a time period . There is
no sunset clause for the GPA and last week
when we had a National Security Council
meeting , someone was trying to mislead us that
there would be elections in 2011 and we said
where are you getting that from? Certain actions
will kill the inclusive government but that would
need lawyers to interpret. ”
He went on : “ The inclusive government will end
if a certain process is instituted and a new
constitution is in place then the President and
the Prime Minister will set the date for new
elections . ” Tsvangirai said the public media was
promoting hate , division “ and even genocide” ,
threatening national security.
“ The public media can go for years singing
( President ) Mugabe ane monya ( President
Mugabe has bouncers) but once the mood of
the people is shifted, you cannot stop them ,” the
former trade unionist said.
“ The major lesson from Tunisia and Egypt is the
sanctity and eventual triumph of people power.
Parties that have lost the support of the people
have no power to hang on . The eventual time of
people power will come. ”
Zimbabwe’ s 2011 agenda, Tsvangirai said , was
to mobilise national, regional and international
support for a road map that would guarantee a
free and fair election . The people had the right
to reject the Copac -led constitution -making
process which had failed the test of legitimacy ,
he said.

MOSES MATENGA | HARARE – Feb 16 2011
18 : 27

Zimbabwe’ s government of national unity ( GNU )
was born out of political violence in 2008 , and
analysts see its demise occurring in much the
same way.
The two – year -old unity government was formed
on February 11 , 2009 after two rounds of
violent and disputed elections the year before.
It “ was more like a ceasefire agreement
between belligerent forces and very little has
been achieved under that set-up ” , said Philip
Pasirayi , spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition , a grouping of civic organisations .
Although no election has been announced, both
President Robert Mugabe, leader of Zanu PF ,
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, of the
Movement for Democratic Change ( MDC-T ) ,
have created an air of expectation that a
national poll is being planned for 2011 .
“ As expected , following ( President ) Mugabe’ s
call for elections in 2011, the violence
perpetrated by hired Zanu PF hoodlums has
escalated in the past three weeks.
“ This is not at all a result of political protest by
( President ) Mugabe’ s personal party – rather,
this is well -orchestrated destabilisation of the
GNU . . . This will throw the nation back to the
year 2008, ” political analyst John Makumbe
alleged in an article published on February 9 .
“ The party ( MDC-T ) wants elections , but there
has to be an atmosphere existing for free and
fair elections . . . There has to be security of the
person . We are saying ‘ Yes ’ to elections , but
‘ No’ to a bloodbath ,” Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe’ s
Finance minister and also the MDC-T secretary –
general , recently told an international news
agency .
President Mugabe , who has been in power since
independence from Britain in 1980, extended
his tenure after Tsvangirai withdrew from the
second round of the presidential vote in protest
against political violence , but Zanu PF lost its
parliamentary majority in 2008 for the first time
since independence.
Pasirayi said concerns over an election in 2011
had caused the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to
lobby the recent African Union summit in the
Ethiopian capital , Addis Ababa.
They had approached the African Commission,
one of the guarantors of the unity government,
as well as the regional body , the Southern
African Development Community , “ to impress
upon them that Zimbabwe is not ready for
elections until a lot of reforms have been put in
place ” .
“ The few ( reforms ) that have been put in place ,
like the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ( ZEC ) ,
have not been adequately resourced to run a
free , fair and credible election. ZEC has said it
needs money to come up with a clean voters ’
roll but the politicians are insisting on fresh
elections ,” Pasirayi said .
“ Our demands are ( also ) that when the
environment for democratic elections is in
place , then they should be supervised by Sadc
and the African Union ,” he said .
A report published in January 2011 by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an
independent monitoring organisation, found
that nearly one -third of the people listed on the
voters’ role were deceased .
The unity government was expected to draft a
new constitution and institute media and
security reforms so that a free and fair election
could be held , but none of these tasks has been
accomplished .
A number of issues remain unresolved and
appear to be intractable. In 2002 the European
Union ( EU ) and the United States imposed
targeted sanctions , including travel bans and
freezing bank accounts , on Zanu PF leaders and
companies linked to President Mugabe for
alleged human rights violations .
Political analyst Gabriel Chaibva said the MDC- T
were “ undermining ” the unity government
process because they had failed to persuade the
EU and US to lift sanctions against the Zanu PF
leadership .
The MDC- T has claimed that the appointments
of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and
attorney -general Johannes Tomana were made
unilaterally by President Mugabe and were in
breach of the Global Political Agreement .
In 2000 , President Mugabe launched the fast-
track land reform programme, which
redistributed more than 4 000 white
commercial farms to landless black
Zimbabweans and sent the economy into a
downward spiral .
In the first quarter of 2009 nearly seven million
Zimbabweans relied on emergency food aid ,
and in 2011 donor agencies estimated that
about 1 ,7 million people would require food
assistance .
Nevertheless , there have been some successes
during the unity government’ s two years in
power, most notably abandoning the Zimbabwe
dollar and introducing a multiple currency
system using US dollars , South African rands,
and Botswana pula , which put an end to
hyperinflation.
In December 2008 Steve Hanke , professor of
applied economics at Johns Hopkins University
in the US , and senior fellow of the Cato
Institute, a Washington -based think -tank ,
estimated Zimbabwe’ s annual inflation rate at
around 6, 5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent
– a 65 followed by 107 zeros .
Education and schooling have been placed on a
more even keel again , and health infrastructure
has improved , but Pasirayi tempered the belief
that all was well in these sectors.
“ Even on the economic front , little has been
achieved , with the bulk of the civil service
earning around US $ 200 per month when an
average family requires US $500 to meet its
basic requirements ,” he noted.
“ A large portion of the population is going
without electricity , while local authorities are
providing poor services to Zimbabweans . ” – Irin

IRIN | HARARE – Feb 16 2011 18 : 05
http://www.newsday.co.zw

The Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai says a crackdown by forces
loyal to President Robert Mugabe has intensified
with numerous activists jailed for spurious and
politically motivated charges.
Harare police on Tuesday arrested MDC
legislator Douglas Mwonzora of Nyanga North,
Manicaland , on charges yet to be determined as
he left Parliament .
In Beitbridge, on the southern border with
South Africa, two of Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s official
drivers who were arrested on Friday for putting
a blue police -type light on their vehicle were
released on US $100 bail each by a magistrate.
Attorneys from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights said the drivers were accused of
driving a car with lights exclusive to police .
Their vehicle was impounded . Lawyer Lizwe
Jamela told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
two denied the charges.
In March 2009, soon after Mr . Tsvangirai
became prime minister , his vehicle was run off
the Harare- Masvingo road in a collision which
claimed the life of his wife, Susan .
Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s MDC formation said 13 party
activists arrested Monday in eastern Mutare on
charges of holding an illegal rally remained in
custody on Tuesday and were being denied
visitors and food. Nine party supporters arrested
in Nyanga on Sunday also remained in custody,
according to Tsvangirai MDC sources .
Six MDC legislators in the southeastern province
of Masvingo received summonses on Monday to
face charges they had broken up a ZANU-PF
rally addressed by Jabulani Sibanda , leader of
the Zimbabwe National War Veterans
Association .
Other party activists have been detained in the
capital, accused of fomenting violence .
Police could not be reached for comment on the
many arrests of MDC supporters .
Deputy MDC spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo
that the latest police actions are deplorable.
Tuesday in Harare activists of the group Women
of Zimbabwe Arise demonstrated near
Parliament demanding that the rights of women
be enshrined in the constitution now being
revised, and that electoral system reforms be
put in place .
Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported that
although police halted the march and dispersed
the protesters , they appeared to exercise
unusual restraint , leading to some speculation
authorities do not want to risk evoking parallels
with Egypt ‘s revolt .

http://www.voanews.com

The issue of sanctions has sparked heated
debate in the Upper House of Parliament Friday
where senators from Zanu PF and MDC-T
clashed over the rationale and the extent of the
effects of the Western -imposed restrictive
measures.
The mover of the motion , Zanu PF non-
constituency Senator Aguy Georgias, who is also
Deputy Minister of Public Works , said sanctions
were hurting close to 87 % of the Zimbabwe
population , which he said was now living on less
than $ 1 ,25 per day .
Zanu PF Senator for Chimanimani, Monica
Mutsvangwa, concurred and said Zimbabwe was
being punished for giving land to the blacks .
“ We are talking about a country which is
sovereign and has got its own rights to have
total control of its own resources and no other
country can tell Zimbabwe what to do with its
own resources,” said Mutsvangwa.
“ The countries that have imposed sanctions on
Zimbabwe did that for regime change and now
they have seen it is impossible to bring regime
change in Zimbabwe. ”
Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha
weighed in and said sanctions were illegal
because they were not sanctioned by the United
Nations .
MDC-T MPs interjected fiercely charging Zanu PF
was seeking to hide behind sanctions while
perpetrating acts of violence and human rights
abuses against the people of Zimbabwe. Morgan
Komichi, an MDC-T non-constituency senator
said Zanu PF should concentrate on finding the
root causes of the sanctions .
“ If I have flies continuously following me, it
means something behind my back is attracting
those flies and the only way to chase those flies
away is to wash my body . It means there is
something wrong with Zimbabwe and this land
needs to be cleansed so that sanctions do not
follow us, ” said Komichi .
He said the people in Zanu PF affected by
targeted sanctions should desist from the
culture of violence and non-tolerance of political
divergence , as well as militarisation of villages .
Chitungwiza Senator James Makore said indeed
Zanu PF and Zapu PF fought for Zimbabwe to
gain freedom , but unfortunately after
independence those freedoms were still being
undermined and hence the sanctions .

Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo said the 2002
elections caused the Commonwealth and other
countries in the West to impose targeted
sanctions and that the targeted sanctions did
not in any way affect bilateral trade between
Zimbabwe the European Union and United
States of America as it had doubled since 2003 .
Emganwini Senator Siphiwe Ncube accused
Zanu PF of using sanctions as a scapegoat for
the economic damage the party had visited
upon the country and also to distract attention
from corrupt activities .

VENERANDA LANGA | HARARE – Feb 11 2011
19 : 45
http://www.newsday.co.zw

Harare – Zimbabwe ‘s shaky unity government on
Friday marks two years in power but President
Robert Mugabe ‘s call for early polls has sparked
fears of sweeping violence that marred the
2008 presidential vote .
Mugabe’ s arch- rival-turned – premier Morgan
Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change ( MDC) won the 2008 poll, but failed to
get an outright majority which led to a bloody
presidential run- off .
Tsvangirai later withdrew , citing violence against
his supporters , allowing Mugabe to win the
election unopposed and causing a lengthy
political deadlock .
After negotiations mediated by southern African
leaders , a unity government was formed on
February 11 2009 , but it has been fraught by
infighting .
Last year Mugabe – who is accused by critics of
stifling human rights and stalling democracy –
called for elections , saying the uneasy power-
sharing government ” can ‘ t be allowed to
continue” .
” I wish those who want elections could have
them among themselves without involving us
common people,” said Ernest Tsambo , a
villager.

New clashes

” We are living in peace with our neighbours now
but once the election campaigns start , we start
fighting each other and it is not good for the
country ,” he added .
” If we start talking about elections the first thing
that comes to people’s minds is the trauma they
went through in 2008 ,” said Okay Machisa ,
director of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
which sheltered hundreds of victims of violence .
” We should ( instead ) be talking about reforms in
the security sector , the media and electoral
systems , ” he added .
New clashes between youth supporters of
Mugabe’ s Zanu -PF and Prime Minister
Tsvangirai’ s MDC had been reported in Harare
over the past two weeks, but the violence has
been denounced by both parties.
On the positive side , the new government has
stabilised the economy and curbed
hyperinflation from a peak of 230 million
percent in 2008 to 3. 2 % .
Mugabe, in charge of the country since its 1980
independence from Britain, is pushing for
elections despite the fact that a new
constitution which is supposed to pave the way
for the new polls has not been drawn up .

Voters role

As part of the power-sharing pact , the rival
parties agreed to draft a new constitution and
amend media and electoral laws criticised as
draconian to ensure free and fair polls.
Rindai Chipfunde -Vava , head of the election
monitoring coalition Zimbabwe Election Support
Network ( ZESN ) said any new polls without
reforms would be a farce .
” The voters ‘ roll is in shambles and needs to be
cleansed of dead people and duplicate names ,”
Chipfunde -Vava said .
A report titled Voters Roll Observation Report
released by ZESN in January revealed that
almost a third of the names appearing on
Zimbabwe’s voters roll were of people who had
died .
” We are also calling for free and equal access to
the media by all contesting candidates and the
national healing organ needs to be given more
teeth and attend to the incidents which
happened in 2008 ,” Chipfunde -Vava said .
” Without these minimum conditions we will find
ourselves back to square one , a repeat of what
happened. We feel elections should take us
forward not backwards. “

Elections

Finance Minister and secretary general of the
MDC Tendai Biti said his party wanted elections
only if there was a level playing field .
” The party wants elections , but there has to be
an atmosphere existing for free and fair
election, ” Biti said .
” There has to be security of the person . We are
saying , ‘yes ‘ to elections but ‘no ‘ to bloodbath . “
Takura Zhangazha , a Harare- based independent
political analyst , said free and fair elections were
impossible at this stage .
” There has been no redress of political violence
issues. There is no confidence in the
Zimbabwean citizen that their vote counts as far
as they can see at the moment , said Zhangazha .
– AFP

2011-02 -10 11 : 20
http://www.news24.com