Saturday, May 31, 2008

US Ambassador arranged medical care for injured dissadents

from AFP:

PRETORIA (AFP) — The Zimbabwe government accused the US ambassador to Harare on Friday of transporting opposition victims of post-election violence to hospital and paying for their treatment.

Only days after President Robert Mugabe threatened to expel ambassador James McGee for "interfering" in Zimbabwe's internal affairs, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said there was clear evidence the envoy was siding with supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"The US ambasssador had been collecting from the scene of crime only MDC victims," Chinamasa told reporters at the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa.

"He drove them to hospital where he paid in full, in advance, for their medical expenditure."

Zimbabwe has been rocked by violence since a first round presidential election on March 29 between Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, which has been steadily increasing with the approach of a run-off poll on June 27.

While the United Nations and rights groups say most of the violence has been perpetrated by followers of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, the government says the real picture has been distorted.

"We have heard cases where the US ambassador has been moving round with journalists and photographers in places where there had been no violence," said Chinamasa, who is one of Mugabe's staunchest allies.

"That gives you one conclusion -- they are going to foment the violence in order to take pictures."...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Zimbabwe's state of despair


HARARE (AFP) — Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai launched a scathing attack on President Robert Mugabe's rule of Zimbabwe Friday, saying he had transformed a country rich in natural resources into a "state of despair".,,,

"We have the world's highest inflation rate, 80 percent unemployment, an education sector which has plummetted from one of the best to one of the worst."

Tsvangirai said there could be no justification for the mess in the country which was regarded as a post-colonial role model in the first decade-and-a-half after independence from Britain in 1980.

"We are a rich country with natural resources. We have the resources to attract foreign investors," said Tsvangirai.....\Tsvangirai fell just short of an outright majority in a first round of voting on March 29 needed to avoid a run-off.

But his MDC wrested control of parliament from Mugabe's ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front) in a simultaneous legislative poll.

"We conducted an opinion poll recently and it indicated that Zanu-PF is going to win the forthcoming elections resoundingly," said Ndlovu.

"The electorate has built hope in us because we have put in place measures that are protecting them against the ever-increasing cost of living."

The period since the original polling day has been marked by a steady rise in political violence which the MDC says has seen more than 50 of its supporters killed by por-Mugabe militias.

"The violence that is taking place must stop. There will be no tolerance or amnesty for those who torture or injure or kill other citizens," said Tsvangirai.

"Zimbabweans who are attacking other Zimbabweans must cease and desist now."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Zimbabwe's slow moving horror show

Nat Hentoff at the Village Voice:

"....On May 8, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported that in the capital of Harare alone, "[s]o many victims [of Mugabe's enforcers] have come in with broken bones in the last 24 hours that hospitals and clinics . . . are running out of plaster of Paris" (The New York Times, May 10).

And in rural areas, where the Movement for Democratic Change did well, the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers' Union said that at least 40,000 farm workers and their families were driven from their homes on suspicion of having voted against the Liberator.

A doctor in Harare, submerged in the wounded, said of one night's carnage: "What came in on the trucks was too pathetic for words. They can't walk. Their feet are beaten. Their buttocks are rotting. Their arms are broken. They're trying to walk on their knees." In the Economist's May 10th bloody summation: "Following the aftermath of Zimbabwe's presidential election is like watching a horror film in slow motion."

Have you heard a word of protest from Nelson Mandela, the one African whose voice could awaken the world to these horrors? I asked someone who knows Mandela about his silence on the genocide in Darfur and Zimbabweans seeking real liberation. He told me: "This liberator cannot turn against this fighter who won the independence of his country from the British."

As of this writing, nearly a hundred suspected wrong voters in the March 29 election have been murdered by Mugabe's forces, which include his loyal "war veterans" of the liberation and his merciless youth militia. More than a thousand people—including children—have been badly battered by these goon squads, and over 800 homes have been burned down.....

Mugabe's other face

from the African executive:


following the tone orchestrated by the British, the European Union have made it their primary Africa policy to demonise President Mugabe as a corrupt, fascist and blood-thirsty tyrant whose only purpose in life has been to cling to power by rigging elections after elections while brutalising and starving his people to death, thanks to his firm grip on state institutions. Really?

On April 20, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairman George Chiweshe belatedly announced that Mr. Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF part had lost control of parliament, winning 97 seats, compared with 109 for the combined opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its smaller affiliates.

And on May 2, ZEC announced that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won 47.9% of the vote share against President Robert Mugabe who got 43.2%.

The defeat by Zimbabwe opposition of the ruling Zanu-PF in both parliamentary and presidential elections raises many questions about President Mugabe’s [demonic] caricature, created by the New Labour British government.

How did the Opposition manage to win more votes than the ruling Zanu-PF if Mr. Mugabe is such a corrupt, fascist and blood-thirsty tyrant whose only purpose in life has been to cling to power by rigging elections, thanks to his firm grip on state institutions?

Is it possible that, somehow, Mr Mugabe deliberately [authorised] his own-appointed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and other organs of state to [allow] the opposition MDC to win more votes?....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Zim restoration about to begin

from NewZimabwe:

I will post the entire letter:

By Morgan Tsvangirai
Last updated: 05/27/2008 16:17:28
TODAY marks the 45th Anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union.

It is a day that we must think of ourselves not just as Zimbabweans, but as Africans, with a common history of liberation and emancipation. It is a day that we must ask ourselves what is our role on the continent as Africans?

For too long, Zimbabwe has been isolated, first from the international community and now from the African community, due to the policies of intolerance and repression imposed upon us by Robert Mugabe. For too, long we have suffered under the burden of economic hardship and poverty as a result of misguided policies.

For too long our potential to contribute to the community of nations has been wasted because of the regime's wanton disregard for the rule of law and disrespect for the dignity of our people. These policies have now begun to impact the region, with horrific xenophobic attacks – Africans killing Africans. Tragically, many Zimbabweans who had to flee violence at home, now face new violence in South Africa. These poorest of the poor feel betrayed, isolated and alone -- now with nowhere to go.

We hope and pray that this madness will cease, and that our country's era of isolation will soon end. MDC's historic victory on March 29th, will result in a new era in Zimbabwe. An era where freedoms will be restored, the economy will be rebuilt and our peoples will be healed.

Our victory again on June 27 will not only empower us to reach our full potential as citizens of this great nation, but will finally free us to realize our full potential as an equal nation of this great continent.

Although the regime has tried to punish people for their votes on 29 March, next month Zimbabweans will again join together and vote for change. By standing up to tyranny, by refusing to be silenced by oppression, by refusing to allow our futures and those of our children to be betrayed once again, the Zimbabwean people on 27 June will finally be liberated once again.

In the past eight weeks more and more African countries have come to stand alongside us in our fight for democratic freedoms. Many of our African brothers and sisters now acknowledge that what has happened in Zimbabwe does not resemble anything like the hope and freedom first promised in 1980.

We all know that our election process has been an embarrassment to Africa. We appreciate the words of support and commitment of our African brothers and sisters to assist the Zimbabwean people to hold an election on 27 June that peacefully and fairly represents their will for change.

When we release ourselves from this oppression at the end of June, when the world realises that our African brothers and sisters assisted us with this struggle, it will be a victory not only for each and every peace loving Zimbabwean, but for the continent as well. For we will have shown the world how Africans can overcome brutality, not with guns and violence, but with unity, courage and an unwavering belief in our right to be free in a democracy that we have built for ourselves.

My fellow Zimbabweans, the coming weeks will not be easy. Those who fight against freedom and democracy know that their days are numbered. They know that a new era of democratic governance is about to begin. We welcome them to change their ways and join our ranks.

The time is now to work together to transform Zimbabwe into the peaceful and prosperous nation we dreamed of in 1980. We tasted freedom then, and we will never stop resisting oppression until we and our children have freedom again.

My fellow Zimbabweans, the day that we take our rightful place as a proud member of the African family of nations is upon us.

May God Bless Africa.

I thank you.

Morgan Tsvangirai is leader of the Movement for Democratic Change

Abducted MDC candidate Jani found dead

from SWRadioAFrica

The body of the abducted MDC Senatorial candidate for Murehwa has been found on a farm in Goromonzi. Shepherd Jani was abducted last Thursday by 4 men who forced him into a vehicle. Residents in Murehwa had tried to rescue him by picking up rocks and threatening the perpetrators, but the gang pulled out guns and fired warning shots. Throughout the ordeal Jani was screaming; “Ndibatsireiwo”.

MDC activists in Murehwa believe the same twin cab car was used in the abduction of Langton Mafuse, the MDC candidate for ward 10 Murehwa North, who was taken from his home last week and has still not been located.

On Saturday the farmer in Goromonzi who found the body had traced vehicle tire tracks on his property, believing they were from livestock thieves. But he discovered Jani’s body instead. Our Murehwa contact Kumbirai, reports that Jani was also the provincial treasurer for the MDC and lived at a complex called Kudakwashe Stores. Kumbirai said Jani’s family and friends, as well party members who want to mourn his death, are being blocked from going to the complex. Many of our contacts in Murehwa have fled the area and it’s become increasingly difficult to get information. ....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Three million Zim in SA, why not have them vote

I am getting emails from Zim democratic activists, and they are discussing if they could bus people home from South Africa to vote.

Imagine if you manage to transport 1 million Zimbos to Zim for election!! Only 1.3 million voted in the last election- don't you think it will make a big difference?

Ok let's bring down the number to 300,000 or even 100,000 people. Won't the number be big enough to get us some effect!

Ironically, Pinoys who work overseas can vote here, and of course as a US Citizen, my husband and I can vote in the US. (returning workers, known as Balikbayan, are considered dual citizens). So why can't Zim allow absentee ballots?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

VIolence in South Africa

The African Executive says that the problem is the false view that more people mean less jobs as if it were a pie to be cut into pieces.

A better view would be to see more hard working people as an asset who make new jobs and more wealth so more people can be hired.

Hippo or Cheetah?

one million percent inflation

from the AP:

...Independent finance houses said in an assessment Tuesday that annual inflation rose this month to 1,063,572 percent based on prices of a basket of basic foodstuffs. Economic analysts say unless the rate of inflation is slowed, annual inflation will likely reach about 5 million percent by October.

As stores opened for business Wednesday, a small pack of locally produced coffee beans cost just short of 1 billion Zimbabwe dollars. A decade ago, that sum would have bought 60 new cars.

And fresh price rises were expected after the state Grain Marketing Board announced up to 25-fold increases in its prices to commercial millers for wheat and the corn meal staple....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Buying food in South Africa

The article from the ChristianScienceMonitor starts with Zimbabweans buying food to sell back home...and then mentions some in SA blame this for the increase in food prices.

But here in the Philippines, our food is going sky high too...and our president has given poor people cards to buy discount rice etc. and distributing cheaper rice via churches and why isn't South Africa doing this?

From the article:

You know it's bad when you have to go to another country to buy bread.

That's just what Bellarms and his brothers do every day, buying enough loaves of bread in the South African town of Musina to fill the back of his pickup truck and take it back across the border to his native Zimbabwe to sell for 200 million Zimbabwe dollars (roughly $1 US) a loaf.

"Eish, it's bad there," says Bellarms, who declines to give his full name because of possible reprisal from Zimbabwe police. "We come every day except Saturday, buying boxes of soap, cooking oil, the same commodities that you just can't find in Zimbabwe anymore. We just wait for God now. He knows that we face trouble here."

In a country where many farmers have stopped farming, where a chicken can cost a quarter of a teacher's monthly salary and bread half that – if you can even find it – hunger is a looming crisis that is sending increasing numbers of Zimbabweans out of the country for their mere survival.

The rising number of Zimbabweans in South Africa – estimated to be nearly 3 million – has created growing anxiety among the working-class South Africans who compete with them for jobs. This anxiety has recently turned to anger, as a wave of antiforeigner attacks in Johannesburg townships such as Alexandra and Diepsloot, and even downtown Johannesburg itself have killed 22 in the past few days, and left 217 others injured and nearly 6,000 homeless.

"If you listen to the reasons given by the people who have participated in the violence, you hear about how foreigners have taken their jobs, foreigners have taken their houses, foreigners are committing crimes, so you see there are socioeconomic concerns in the communities where the violence is taking place," says Prince Mashele, head of the crime and justice program at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Tshwane, as Pretoria is now called.

The longer Zimbabwe's political crisis continues, the greater the economic hardship on the Zimbabwe people, and the more those people come to South Africa and other countries for relief....

New unrest tagets Zimbabwean immigrants

from the scotsman:

....In a country with 40 per cent unemployment, ordinary black South Africans have accused the foreigners of stealing their jobs, houses and women. And they have been growing increasingly angry with their own head of state, President Thabo Mbeki, accusing him of being more concerned with appeasing Mr Mugabe than recognising the scale of the problem caused by the flood of Zimbabweans into South Africa.

Eight days ago, in Alexandra, a poor township in the shadow of Johannesburg's business district and the richest square mile of earth in Africa, Jacob Ntuli, 67, a community leader and former security guard, called a meeting of residents to discuss the rape of four women and a girl.

Somehow, what began as a discussion about crime ended in people seething with anger about foreigners. They decided it was time to act, and soon, with cries of "Let's go and kill foreigners", a mob armed with guns, steel bars and whips was descending on non-South African homes.

The first to die was Sipho Madondo, a 41-year-old South African who refused the mob's demand that he join the planned killing spree. He was shot dead in front of his wife, Pretty.

Soon afterwards the first Zimbabwean died. Lungile Mtweni, 31, had just arrived jobless from his own country and was due to begin work the next day as a gardener for a white South African in the hope of providing for his wife and two children. He had borrowed the equivalent of 65p from a neighbour so he could travel to his job and was walking home when he was overwhelmed by the mob. After hearing his accent, they beat and stoned him to death, before moving on to loot and burn the homes of other foreigners....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chinese arms are now in Zim

from the UKTelegraph

Two Zimbabwean ministers and senior army officers visited Luanda three weeks ago to negotiate the docking and unloading of the ship.

George Chiramba, a spokesman for Mr Mugabe, said in the state-controlled newspaper, The Herald, that "the arms will be delivered to Zimbabwe, one way or the other".

The Chinese foreign ministry said yesterday that confirmation of the delivery was "groundless rumour".

The SA Times
has a similar report:

The weapons destined for Zimbabwe have arrived in Harare, The Weekender reported today.

# Arms ship heads for Congo

# Nowhere to hide for Mugabe’s arms ship

The report said the Zimbabwean government confirmed that 3-million rounds of assault rifle ammunition, 3000 mortar rounds and 1500 rocket-propelled grenades - ordered from the Chinese government - had arrived in Harare.

The South African government denied media reports that it assisted in the delivery of the arms by fuelling the Chinese vessel, An Yue Jiang, that was transporting the arsenal.

There were fears that Robert Mugabe was planning to use force to storm back to power in the presidential runoff election to be held on June 27.

He had deployed the army, police and intelligence units across Zimbabwe to campaign for him through intimidation and coercive tactics, the report said.

The Weekender quoted a Mozambican online newspaper, Canal de Moçambique, which reported that the ship had been refueled by the SAS Drakensberg off the coast of South Africa before sailing north to offload its deadly cargo.

It reported that the ship was offloaded at Ponta Negra in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Zimbabwean government officials said it was offloaded in Angola.

Canal de Moçambique reported that President Thabo Mbeki gave "a direct instruction" to Deputy Defence Minister Mluleki George to send the SAS Drakensberg to refuel the An Yue Jiang....

George said he had no instruction from Mbeki to dispatch the SAS Drakensberg and that the allegations had no substance.

However, the Canal de Moçambique article also said the arms were flown to Harare in an Ilyushin Il-76 belonging to Avient Aviation, a freight charter airline based in Zimbabwe but registered in the UK.

South Africa mobs kill 7

from Breitbart

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Mobs rampaged through poor suburbs of Johannesburg in a frenzy of anti-foreigner violence over the weekend, killing at least seven people, injuring dozens and forcing hundreds to seek refuge at police stations.

The attacks capped a week of mounting violence that started in the sprawling township of Alexandra. Angry residents there accused foreigners—many of them Zimbabweans who fled their own country's economic collapse—of taking scarce jobs and housing.

Police and government officials say organized criminals are also taking advantage of the anti-foreigner sentiment by using it as a cover for looting and shooting sprees. President Thabo Mbeki said Sunday that he would set up a panel of experts to investigate. African National Congress President Jacob Zuma, who is likely to succeed Mbeki next year, condemned the attacks.

"We cannot allow South Africa to be famous for xenophobia," he told a conference in Pretoria. The government is trying in vain to change South Africa's image from the crime capital of the world—it has a murder rate of more than 50 per day—before the 2010 soccer World Cup. Police said the worst violence erupted after midnight Saturday in a rundown inner city area called Cleveland that is home to many immigrants. Two of the victims were burned and three others beaten to death. More than 50 were taken to hospitals with gunshot and stab wounds.

"It's spreading like a wildfire and the police and the army can't control it," said Emmerson Zifo, a Zimbabwean teacher.

Johannesburg is South Africa's economic hub and home to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Many of them are illegal, but many have also been here for more than a decade and possess South African identity documents.

There has been sporadic anti-foreigner violence for months, mainly aimed at stores run by Somalis accused of undercutting local storeowners, but nothing to compare with the current scale....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Zim police unleashed against Anglicans

from the NYTimes

JOHANNESBURG — The parishioners were lined up for Holy Communion on Sunday when the riot police stormed the stately St. Francis Anglican Church in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. Helmeted, black-booted officers banged on the pews with their batons as terrified members of the congregation stampeded for the doors, witnesses said..... A lone housewife began singing from a hymn in Shona, “We will keep worshiping no matter the trials!” Hundreds of women, many dressed in the Anglican Mothers’ Union uniform of black skirt, white shirt and blue headdress, lifted their voices to join hers.

Beneath their defiance, though, lay raw fear as the country’s ruling party stepped up its campaign of intimidation ahead of a presidential runoff. In a conflict that has penetrated ever deeper into Zimbabwe’s social fabric, the party has focused on a growing roster of groups that elude its direct control — a list that includes the Anglican diocese of Harare, as well as charitable and civic organizations, trade unions, teachers, independent election monitors and the political opposition. ,....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

US State Dept denies Chinese Arms in Zim

Status of Chinese-Origin Arms Shipment to Zimbabwe (Taken Question)

Question: What information do we have about the Chinese-origin arms shipment destined for Zimbabwe that was allowed to dock in Angola after being turned away from South African ports? Do we think that the recent increase in violence in Zimbabwe is related to this arms shipment?

Answer: We understand that the Chinese-origin ship docked in Angola in May, and at that time Angola stated publicly its refusal to allow the unloading of arms that were destined for use by the Zimbabwean Defense Force. The ship has since departed. According to public statements made by a People’s Republic of China spokesperson, the arms shipment is returning to China without being delivered to Zimbabwe. As such, we are not aware of any relation between the arms shipment and the current violence in Zimbabwe, which is being orchestrated by the regime against members of the political opposition and civil society.

zim runoff election the end of june

from Aljezeerah

The electoral commission had earlier in the week extended a deadline for the election to be held from May 23 to July 31.

Tsvangirai had previously said that any ballot held after May 23 would be illegitimate under Zimbabwe’s electoral law and has only reluctantly agreed to contest the run-off.

Your Views

How will a second round of voting affect Zimbabwe?

Send us your views
He believes that he won enough votes in the first round of voting on March 29 to cross the 50 per cent threshold needed to win the presidency.

The MDC now holds the majority in parliament after defeating Zanu-PF in elections for the legislature, held simultaneously with the presidential poll.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Zimbabwe end game

from the cheetah index

It’ not very often that I find myself siding with Condoleeaza Rice. But she’s right - it’s embarrasing that the African continent’s leaders haven’t put more pressure on Robert Mugabe to step down… or at least to release election results. South African President Thabo Mbeki, in particular, no longer looks like a fair broker in this process - continued delay looks to strengthen Mugabe’s hand and weaken Tsvangarai’s. As MDC faction leader Arthur Mutambara argued in his letter issued to celebrate Zimbabwe’s independence, “What does Mugabe need to execute his evil strategy? Just a one word answer would do: Time.” As long as Mbeki continues to insist that there’s no crisis in Zimbabwe, there’s less pressure on Mugabe, and ZANU-PF gets the time to challenge parliamentary seats, to attempt a more effective rigging of run-off elections, to portray the first round of elections as incomplete and incompetently run. Th... [Read More]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mugabe to postpone runoff election

from AlJezeera

George Chiweshe, the chief of the electoral commission, confirmed on Sunday that by law a run-off should be held within 21 days, but he said the date is likely to be extended because government officials needed more time to prepare.

Tsvangirai said over the weekend that he would participate in the run-off but added that failure to hold the second round within the time limit risked rendering the election process illegitimate.
Justifying delay
Government officials say the electoral commission has up to a year to hold the second round.

"It was ambitious for the legislature to think 21 days would be enough," Chiwesh told the state run Sunday Mail newspaper.

He also said there are legal provisions to extend the period before the election is held.

"We want to make it clear we intend to hold the run-off at the earliest date because the period set by the legislature shows that it should be held as soon as possible."

The electoral body is waiting for the government to allocate funds to hold the poll, Chiweshe said.

Your Views

How will a second round of voting affect Zimbabwe?

Send us your views

It took the commission more than a month to announce results from the disputed March 29 presidential election.

blog update

The storm two days ago caused brownouts and took out our router. We finally figured out what was wrong late yesterday, so today I'm blogging directly from the modem...sharing the computer time with the business.

We are in the rice area, inland, so usually storms just give us rain...and my husband built our house on a small rise, so we are fine...the rain might flood the streets ten cm but we are dry...but it does bother the electricity...and using the generator is not good for computers, so we try to keep our time on line to a minimum...

Sorry for lack of posts.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Violence continues in Zimabwe

sorry for the light blogging...storms have made our internet connection on and off all week.

SWRadioAfrica has a bunch of articles:

MDC dumps Mbeki as mediator
saying they no longer have confidence in his mediation efforts.

Doctors report escalation of violence & intimidation
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights have released a report expressing deep concern over the escalating cases of organised violence and torture and the increasing intimidation of medical personnel. The report says over 900 victims of violence have been documented in the post election period, but many cases go unreported. In the last 24 hours alone, 30 victims of violence were treated for limb fractures in Harare hospitals and clinics.

ZCTU leaders to spend weekend in custody
The President and Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions will spend the weekend in police custody, after the state deliberately delayed their appearance in court Friday. Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibhebhe were arrested Thursday over allegations they incited people to rise against the government during their May Day speeches. Meanwhile Davison Maruziva, the editor of the weekly Zimbabwe Standard, was released Friday after spending the night in custody.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chinese arms are now in Zimbabwe

From BNN:

On April 25th, the Angolan press agency reported that Mugabe sent the Zimbabwean minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as a special envoy to Angola.

On Saturday, April 26, the Chinese ship was given permission to land in Luanda, Angola, but only to unload “merchandise destined for Angola.” The news story cited a government statement that “The weaponry that the ship brings destined for Zimbabwe is not authorised to be unloaded on national territory.”

A follow up report on May 6th by Reuters claims only the cement was offloaded in Luanda, and that the International Trade Unionists had monitored the situation to prevent the arms from being offloaded.

Yet today, SWRadioAfrica reports that government officials now claim the arms are in Zimbabwe:....

An editorial in the Nyasa Times (Malawi) protests the involvement of their country in the slight of hand that allowed the arms to be offloaded:

Malawi’s involvement in the Zimbabwe crisis has become highly questionable, especially with the prospect of Malawi clearing the Chinese arms cargo from Angola. Malawi’s suspicious dealings with Zimbabwe goes back to 2005, when there was an international outcry over claims that the country was flouting western sanctions in supplying the Zimbabwe police force with tear gas. The tear gas was linked to the death of 11 people in a single incident in Zimbabwe. In the event of the second round, there is great fear that the police, army and militias will use weapons to intimidate and terrorise the electorate to facilitate Mugabe’s victory......

Those Chinese arms have been offloaded and are now in Zim

from SWRadioAfrica

Press TV’s ‘Four Corners’ programme hosted a debate between Matonga, Briggs Bomba from Africa Action, Zanu PF apologist George Shire and an unnamed journalist. Bomba spoke to Newsreel Tuesday and expressed his disappointment at how Angola, contrary to its official position, might have helped Mugabe’s regime get their hands on the deadly cargo.

The Chinese ship ‘An Yue Jiang’ was carrying 3 million rounds of ammunition for AK-47’s, 1500 rocket propelled grenades and 3000 mortar rounds and tubes. Pressure from trade unions and civil society groups in the SADC region ensured the ship spent weeks failing to get permission to offload. Emerson Mnangagwa, the man in charge of Zimbabwe’s terror campaign through the Joint Operations Command, is said to have travelled to Angola and met President Eduardo dos Santos last week, in an effort to have the shipment allowed through.

Angola officially declined to authorise the offloading of the Zimbabwean arms shipment, but no one knows if they kept their word. The picture continues to get to murkier with other reports suggesting the Angolan President’s jet, a Falcon 900, was sighted in Zimbabwe Tuesday evening. No further details were available. Malawi’s Nyasa Times newspaper added to the speculation by claiming intelligence agents from Malawi had travelled to Angola to help clear the shipment on behalf of the Zimbabwean regime.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

tenth journalist arrested

from all africa: Press release

Reporters sans Frontières (Paris)

On 1 May 2008, Reporters Without Borders condemned the arrest of freelance journalist Precious Shumba in a police raid on the Harare office of the international aid NGO ActionAid, where he works as a programmes officer. A reporter for "The Daily News" until it was forced to close, Shumba is the 10th journalist to be arrested since the general elections.

"The police are still operating as the armed wing of a beleaguered government, instead of keeping order and protecting citizens," the press freedom organisation said.

"Zimbabwe's police force was gradually turned into a militia that looks after the interests of Robert Mugabe and his cronies and cracks down on those who get in their way. Any peaceful solution to Zimbabwe's crisis must include the release of all the victims of this unjust situation, in which journalists have been favourite targets."/////

Monday, May 05, 2008

Africa and China

from the African executive

The economic fundamentals of doing business with China are beyond reproach. Between 2002-2006, Sino-African trade rose from $ 12 billion to $ 40 billion,...

China’s cosy relationship with African autocracts holds. While Africans generally welcome China's pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to doing business, loud alarm bells go off where this business includes arms deals to the likes of Robert Mugabe. Many Africans, myself included, salute without reservation the role played by iconic freedom fighters in ridding the Continent of colonialism, apartheid and other such perverted ideological imports. Alas, how quickly the heroes of yesteryear metamorphosize into inglorious villains !

Africans expect African leadership to respond vigorously and resolutely when it comes to defending African strategic interests. Outsourcing this sacrosanct responsibility to our so-called development partners, the amorphous ‘international community’ or ‘Africa experts’ in the West simply doesn’t cut it. This only serves to reinforce the stereotype that Africans are weak and vulnerable, and need to be spoken for.

Levy Mwanawasa deserves credit for mobilizing and instigating African leadership to refuse the ship entry. Pressure from Zambia and Mozambique, as well as concerted efforts from civil society groups, succeeded in sending the ship packing. Sustained, decisive leadership will be necessary as Africa responds to the next crisis. This is unlikely to be the last time a ship full of arms attempts a dubious docking in an African country rocked by political turbulence. Lest we forget, all the permanent members of the UN Security Council are major weapons producers, with an illustrious track record of supplying arms to Africa.

The next questionable consignment that arrives on African high waters, be it Chinese or otherwise, should be rejected out of hand. At this crucial juncture in its development trajectory, Africa needs less arms (and alms) and more trade.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thugs shut down churches

from the zim standard

It said the Assembles of God church in Dola in Bubi District was closed down as its resident pastor fled after being tortured by Zanu PF supporters on suspicion he was an MDC sympathiser.

A CIB official, Josephat Amuli, said the pastor, now being treated at a secret location, was still "too traumatised" to be interviewed.

"It is a cause of great concern that one church in the Inyathi area that falls under the Bubi constituency has been forced to close down," Amuli said. "This is an infringement of our constitutional right to freedom of worship./....

Last week, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference (ZCBC) and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) issued a statement calling for international intervention to end the political violence.

They said people were being "abducted, tortured and humiliated", and forced to "attend mass meetings where they are told they voted for the 'wrong' candidate" and in some cases murdered.

"Organised violence perpetrated against individuals, families and communities, who are accused of campaigning or voting for the 'wrong' political party, has been unleashed throughout the country," the churches said in a statement....

China in Africa

from strategypage:

April 20, 2008: China's support for African tyrants was spotlighted when a Chinese ship was unable to unload a container of ammunition for landlocked Zimbabwe. The container had to be trucked into Zimbabwe, and popular action by port workers in several countries caused the Chinese to declare that they would take the ammo back to China. The incident hurts Chinese efforts to establish itself in Africa. While China has been generous with business deals in Africa, and sent over half a million Chinese to work, invest or settle in China, African tyrants were favored. That's because these thugs were shunned by Western nations and businesses. But now China is seen as a supporter of evil governments, and that has generated a widespread hostility towards all things Chinese.

Friday, May 02, 2008

officials start verifying results

from the NYTimes:

A month after Zimbabwe’s disputed election, representatives of the presidential candidates finally met to begin verifying an outcome that has yet to be announced. Ministers in the government of President Robert Mugabe, left, have maintained for weeks that a runoff will be necessary with his chief rival, Morgan Tsvangirai. The verification process, which allows candidates to challenge what they think are erroneous or fraudulent tallies, could take days or longer.

The state-controlled newspaper, The Herald, reported that the police said the opposition party’s No. 2 official, Tendai Biti, was wanted for questioning for illegally claiming his party had won when the law requires that the electoral commission first declare the winner. ...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Zim gov't insists run off needed

From the IHTribune:

...."As far as I'm concerned, there is going to be a runoff," Matonga told The Associated Press. "We have got our own results."

On Wednesday, CNN television quoted an unidentified senior official with Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party as saying results from the March 29 election gave opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai 47 percent of the votes while Mugabe trailed with 43 percent.

Matonga would not say whether the CNN report was correct or give details about the figures he said the government has. But he said no one won the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff....

The opposition says a campaign of terror and violence since the first round of voting has left the movement in a disarray, with its main leaders staying out of the country for fear of arrest.

Independent rights groups also say postelection violence makes it unlikely a runoff could be free and fair....

Zim works to verify election

from the BBC

Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission is due to start verifying the country's delayed presidential election results.

Representatives from both the governing Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change will oversee the collating process in Harare.

There is no indication when the result of March's election will be announced.

Meanwhile, the MDC downplayed official reports that Morgan Tsvangirai had defeated President Robert Mugabe while failing to secure an outright victory.

The opposition criticised what it said appeared to be a government leak of some results....

Zimbabwe faces it's greatest threat

from the Zim Herald (Gov't controlled press)

ONCE again, imperialist nations and their allied Press agencies along with other surrogate organisations have set out to destabilise the Government of President Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF.

Using circumstances surrounding the delay in the announcement of results of the March 29, 2008 poll for the Parliament and presidential elections, the chorus of calls for regime change have dominated the airwaves and print media...

the rest is routine leftist tirade...hmmm...sounds like Obama's friend Reverend White's propaganda a the US press club last week...US evil..UK Evil...white people evil.....
Free hit counters
Free hit counters