Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mugabe speaks to youth group

Mugabe continues to cling to power in today's Observer article. Even people in his own party are turning against him. But his police still terrorize people....And he has given speeches inciting his youth groups.

....A defiant Mugabe retorted that his police will 'hit harder' and threatened to expel Western diplomats, in a speech last Friday. Exposing his growing isolation, he admitted that members of his own Zanu-PF party were plotting against him.

Mugabe blamed the opposition for instigating the violence. Speaking to the youth wing of Zanu-PF, he lambasted critical Western diplomats.

'We will kick them out of this country,' said Mugabe, according to the French news agency AFP. 'I have asked the minister of foreign affairs to summon them and read the riot act to them. We shall tell the ambassadors that this is not a country which is a piece of Europe.'

Mugabe also warned the opposition against anti-government demonstrations. 'If they do it again, we will bash them again,' he said. Mugabe said that, because of attacks on policemen, all officers, including traffic police, would now be fully armed.

'We are under a state of emergency: it would just be a waste of breath for Mugabe to declare it,' said political science lecturer John Makumbe. 'We are seeing police beating people in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe. It has spread all over the country.'

Makumbe said police were breaking up groups of people on the street: 'Even people walking to church are harassed. Nightclubs are closing because no one will go out after dark.' He warned that tensions were rising and the opposition was more united and determined.

'There is a risk of more violence. People are saying the difference between dying quietly in our houses and dying on the streets is the same. Only negotiations can defuse the situation. In Zimbabwe, we are pressing for a transitional period and a new constitution leading to free and fair elections. The international community must support that, especially Africa.'

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