Sunday, June 10, 2007

Digging a grave for Zimbabwe

June 18, 2007 issue - Last Maingehama was on his way to a memorial service when he was kidnapped. A little after 2 p.m. on March 20, in the middle of an upscale Harare neighborhood, government thugs dragged Last out of his car, tied a blindfold around his eyes and drove him into the Zimbabwean savanna.

For the next five hours they beat the 33-year-old businessman and opposition activist relentlessly with hard wooden "battlesticks." They pounded the soles of his feet, he says, in an account verified by two independent human-rights researchers. They broke his left leg just below the kneecap. And then, when he was bruised and bloody and unconscious, the men left Last for dead and disappeared into the night. When Last finally crawled back to the road, half naked and petrified, he flagged down a passing tractor.\

But it is a sign of how pervasive the climate of fear has grown in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe that even to his rescuer, Last lied about what had happened in the bush that night. "I told [him] I was robbed," Last recalled recently. "I was afraid even of that farmer.".....

Behind closed doors, African leaders recently chastised Mugabe harshly. "My understanding is that they took him to the woodshed," says Christopher Dell, U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe. According to several sources, including one in the room at the time who refused to be identified speaking about a private meeting, Mugabe seemed "sort of defeated" and expressed contrition to his fellow leaders.

Inside his country, however, Mugabe's rule is increasingly taking on the outlines of the worst dictatorships—another Burma, or even North Korea. On a rare journey into Zimbabwe, NEWSWEEK found a nation dominated by fear and the ever-present secret police, where a suspicious population is gradually turning on itself....

go to link for the rest of the story..

No comments:

Free hit counters
Free hit counters