The Zimbabwe government has decided to move the base of the North Korean football team to Harare, the capital, after protests threatened in the western city of Bulawayo over that country's involvement in massacres there in the 1980s.
The North Korean squad for the World Cup in South Africa was originally set to be quartered in Bulawayo.
Activists in the city had declared they would demonstrate against the team's presence, after North Korean army instructors in 1983 trained the newly-formed Zimbabwean army brigade that went on to slaughter thousands of civilians during a small insurgency in the western provinces of Matabeleland.
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When former SA president Mbeki brokered the "historic" power-sharing deal between Mugabe and the opposition, there was cautious optimism that African diplomacy had come of age.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the AU, who are guarantors of the September 15 power sharing deal, touted it as the solution to Zimbabwe's decade old economic "of dictators" tag. With a new breed of leaders like Botswana's Ian Khama, Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete, Zambia's Levy Mwanawasa (he has since died) and SA's Thabo Mbeki (he resigned a week later) met, the continent had every reason to believe that SADC would bring the hard-nosed Mugabe into line. But despite tough talk by SA and BW that the Zim crisis had dragged on for too long, those well schooled in African politics did not yet order the champagne...
They knew that when faced with a choice between morality and expediency, African leaders choose expediency. The AU and SADC observers were unequivocal that Mugabe had stolen the June election. Yet it was only Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya and Liberia that rejected the old dictator's posturing and refused to accept him as a legitimate head of state.
Expectations were that the opposition would reject the AU position but it confounded its critics by agreeing to discuss a unity government with the election loser; yes, there was so much optimism that SADC would score a first by finding an African solution to an African problem.
But the SADC initiative hit a brick wall a fortnight ago when an extraordinary summit tried to impose an unworkable solution to the impasse over the sharing of cabinet portfolios between Mugabe's ruling Zanu/PF and the opposition MDC. The 5 out of 15 heads of state who bothered to attend the summit in Jo'burg were outfoxed by the wily Mugabe. He managed to have adopted the unworkable position that the feuding parties co-share the Interior Ministry.
Analysts say the failure of SADC in Zimbabwe can be traced to its unwillingness to tackle regional crises that first emerged in the DRC in 1998. Similar half-hearted attempts have been seen in SADC interventions in Lesotho and Swaziland where dictatorships have been legitimised.
I think the regional body's failure in Zim can be traced to Mugabe's consistent exploitation of the politics of the liberation movements. He continues to hide behind claims that his political opponents are agents of imperialism. As a result, the ruling ANC in SA, FRELIMO in Moz, Namibia’s SWAPO and MPLA in Angola continue to support Mugabe, making it difficult for the regional leaders to censure the dictator.
Even if Botswana, Zambia and to a lesser extent Tanzania have been vocal in rejecting Mugabe's dictatorship, countries led by the liberation movements have managed to drown their voices. To demonstrate that the Harare regime believes its politics of scaremongering works, it's now bogged down in a diplomatic row with Botswana after it made outrageous but familiar accusations that Gaborone was training opposition linked bandits. Duh...
Ps. And now, Zimbabwe has denied access to Jimmy Carter and Koffi Anan. LOL.
Why? Because he's a lying, conniving, power-mad nutter. Let me spell it out one more time: Mugabe holds on to power until there is a crisis. He then agrees to negotiate with someone. Then he holds on to power until there is a fresh crisis. Then he agrees to negotiate... you get the picture.
He has played Thabo Mbeki like a violin, like a banjo, like a mandolin and finally, over the last several months, like a classical guitar.
Both presidents, former and current, are just stage extras on the Mugabe power show.
Analysts said Russia's veto had little to do with Zimbabwe itself...
"The summit was a chance for Medvedev, hand-picked by his popular predecessor Vladimir Putin, to show Western leaders that he is in charge of the world's largest country. The back-and-forth on Zimbabwe undermined that effort."
Pawns in a game. That's what you are. All of you. Meanwhile, people will continue to get beaten there...
Right now I need a chaingun, and a plane ticket to the place of the next G8 summit...
In the past few weeks alone, over 86 MDC supporters have been murdered and hundreds more have been savagely beaten and tortured by ZANU-PF’s thugs. The injuries sustained by many of the survivors are horrific, evidence of an evil barbarity that would scarcely be believable were it not for the mute testimony of gaping wounds on the dead and the dying across Zimbabwe. Only a week ago, Dadirai Chipiro was caught at her house by three Zanu men looking for her husband, an MDC councillor. They held her down and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet, so that she would be unable to run, and used a petrol bomb to burn her alive inside her home. Words are insufficient tools to describe the depravity of men who could do that to an innocent woman.
The final straw came yesterday morning, when an MDC rally in Harare was attacked by dozens of Zanu militia who proceeded (in full view of present policemen) to attack the assembled MDC supporters with such vicious aggression that a party MP now lies in the ICU fighting for his life. It was these conditions that Tsvangirai faced, and which convinced him that even the simple act of voting would be impossible. In fact, he's so uncertain of his own personal safety that he spent last night under the protection of the Dutch embassy.
Whatever happens next, Zimbabwe is going to experience many more dark days of violence in the coming weeks and months. This decision may result in a brief period of calm, but the assault will not stop until Mugabe believes he has utterly destroyed the MDC and made it impotent as a political threat. After all, he has done this before. It was only 2 years after he took office in 1980 that Mugabe deployed the North Korean-trained and equipped 5th Brigade into the rural Matabeleland strongholds of ZAPU, the party of his rival Joshua Nkomo. Over several months the Brigade pillaged the countryside, executing and torturing thousands of innocent people in an orgy of violence very similar to that facing Zimbabwe today. By the time Operation Gukurahundi (the rain that washes away the chaff) was finished, an estimated 20,000 Matabele civilians were dead. It was a crime against humanity, an action far worse than anything even Ian Smith’s regime had perpetrated. Yet the world turned a collective blind eye and let Mugabe get away with it
For the sake of Zim’s people, let’s do all we can to ensure he doesn’t get away with it this time. And whether you’re going to give to a charity, write in to a newspaper or take part in a protest march just do something. You do not want to realise, in 5 years’ time, that you did absolutely nothing to help those suffering in one of the greatest political and humanitarian disasters of our age...
Mr Tsvangirai says he won presidential and parliamentary polls
Zimbabwe's electoral commission has released seven more results from a partial recount of last month's parliamentary elections.
None of the original results were overturned, making it difficult for the ruling Zanu-PF party to overturn an opposition majority in the lower house.
Nearly four weeks after the unresolved presidential election, a state-run newspaper said Wednesday that a national unity government led by longtime leader Robert Mugabe could end Zimbabwe's deepening political and economic crisis.
In a prominently displayed editorial in the Herald, considered a government mouthpiece, columnist Dr. Obediah Mazombwe called a unity government "the most viable and safest way forward."
He said regional leaders, along with "the progressive international community," could bring together key players: Mugabe's party, the opposition, former colonial ruler Britain and the United States.
"The West, particularly the Anglo-American establishment, should stop insisting that President Mugabe and ZANU-PF cannot be part of a future prosperous Zimbabwe," Mazombwe said.
Use this email to send to Portuguese speaking recipients. We’ve kept the wording non-specific, so you can send it to any type of organisation. Feel free to add a English comment underneath if you would like to do so. Big thanks are due to CC for the translation.
This morning’s urging from abroad for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe contained familiar words almost three weeks after an election — “release the results as a matter of urgency” — but the sender this time was South Africa, his neighbor to the south.
South African officials are often seen as handling Mr. Mugabe with kid gloves, but that impression was brought out in sharp relief over the weekend when President Thabo Mbeki visited Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.
After weeks of media coverage reporting a situation that very much looked like a crisis for democracy — not to mention the country’s devastated economy — a headline shot around the world via Reuters: No crisis in Zimbabwe, Mbeki says.
Mr. Mbeki defended his “quiet diplomacy” approach in a BBC interview, saying “the solution to the problem of Zimbabwe lies in the hands of the people of Zimbabwe.” But the people’s votes were exactly what seemed to be at stake, according to several important world leaders on Wednesday:
“No one thinks, having seen the results at polling stations, that President Mugabe has won this election,” [Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain] said. “A stolen election would not be a democratic election at all.”
And the American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, said, “We think it’s very important that the election not be stolen, that the results are released in a way that has credibility and reflects the will of the people of Zimbabwe.”
That apparent contradiction between the South African government’s attitude and the Western view left a conservative blogger spouting a handful of unkind words: “Thabo Mbeki Makes No Sense.”
With his words sparking so much criticism, Mr. Mbeki apparently chose silence on Wednesday as he sat in a prominent seat — as it happens, he is also this month’s president of the United Nations Security Council. On Wednesday, he did not mention Zimbabwe during a day-long Council session, as particularly strong talk was heard from others.
Even the editorial page of The Washington Post took notice this week, asserting that “Mr. Mbeki’s perverse and immoral policy is reaching its nadir.” If that was indeed a low point, today’s news could prove to be the first sign of a rebound for Mr. Mbeki’s reputation.
No, Mugabe is not finished yet. Not before Mbeki has gone.
Zimbabwe Plight Is ‘Normal,’ South African Says
LUSAKA, Zambia — South Africa’s president played down the roiling political situation in Zimbabwe after meeting Saturday with Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, an aging strongman whose government has refused to release two-week-old election results that may have handed him defeat.
Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s president and Africa’s point man for defusing the Zimbabwe crisis, spoke as an emergency meeting of presidents from across southern Africa began here, and they seemed likely to undercut any regional effort to intervene as Zimbabwe slips deeper into political and economic chaos.
“I wouldn’t describe that as a crisis,” Mr. Mbeki told reporters in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, after meeting with Mr. Mugabe, Reuters reported. “It’s a normal electoral process in Zimbabwe.” -- WTF!?
The "general" reason is that I live in Johannesburg which is just a couple of hundred kilometers away from the South African - Zimbabwean border. The situation in Zimbabwe is very desperate. I already explained it in the previous post. So most of the people who flee the country every day are choosing South Africa as their destination. The situation on the border is very complicated and also the situation with the illegal Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa is very similar to that of the illegal Mexican immigrants to USA. They are exploited by their new employers, they are underpaid and live in terrible conditions without a way out. Some people call this a new form of slavery by blacks on blacks in a country which is still trying to bring itself together in reconciliation after the Apartheid.
( The rest of my story )
While he was casting his vote the other day, Mugabe said that "If you lose an election and are rejected by the people, it's time to quit politics". But at that moment he seemed to be pretty confident about his victory. Now it seems he hasn't done as well as he expected. While Zimbabwe's economy is going from bad to worse to disastrous in the last years, Mugabe's political downfall has been predicted many times over and over but he always managed to disprove his critics... at least up till now...