Tuesday, April 08, 2008

zim opposition wants help from SAfrica, West

from the LATimes:

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- Amid rising concerns about violence and intimidation in rural Zimbabwe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called on Western and African leaders Monday to demand the release of presidential election results, still not announced nine days after the vote.

The state-owned Herald quoted President Robert Mugabe as warning that white farmers were poised to grab farms from black Zimbabweans, in what has emerged as the centerpiece of the ruling party campaign in a second round.

"This is our soil and the soil must never go back to the whites. We don't want to hear this fight is going backward," Mugabe said Sunday, according to the Herald.

Commercial Farmers' Union spokesman Trevor Gifford said 23 farms were besieged Monday by mobs of Mugabe-aligned war veterans demanding white farmers vacate within hours. There were also further reports of opposition activists in rural areas being beaten, threatened or arrested.

Opposition leaders are angry about the failure of southern African leaders to condemn the delay in announcing results of an election they believe they won and the renewal of intimidation by hard-line war veterans allied with the Mugabe-led government.....

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