Zimbabwe: Arms Ship leaves harbour. New destination: Mozambique?

Durban High Court Judge, Kate Pillay, ruled that the Chinese ship, An Yue Jiang, which is bearing 77 tons in arms destined for Zimbabwe, may not be off-loaded and that the arms may not be transported via South Africa. Soon after the judgement was made, the ship lifted anchor and left Durban harbour.

Considering the complete absence of an appeal and that Captain Sunaijun told the media that he was awaiting instruction from his ‘owner’, one cannot help bit assume that both the wily Chinese government and the desperate Mugabe government have some sort of a contingency plan in place.

Feasibility of a Contingency Plan
A contingency plan could involve setting sail to one of Zimbabwe’s only other two sea bordering neighbours: Mozambique and Tanzania. Tanzania is a ‘civil’ neighbour but not friendly enough to be prepared to handle this particular international political hotcake.

Considering this, Mozambique could prove to be the most feasible alternative.

Robert Mugabe and the Frelimo president of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, have been firm friends since their freedom fighting days. They had shared enemies – the old Rhodesia, the old South Africa and the Imperialistic West – and shared friends – Cuba, communist USSR, North Korea and China.

It is reasonable to assume that Guebuza will probably be a little worried about repercussions (especially those appertaining to the substantial international grants the country is receiving), that could arise from transporting the arms through his country, but considering that he is highly unlikely to invoke his large South African neighbour’s political wrath, chances are really good that he will grant Mugabe the favour.

There are two ports in Zimbabwe that could potentially deal with the cargo: Maputo and Beira.

The challenge with using the larger, better equipped harbour of Maputo is that the cargo will still have to be transported by road to Beira before being loaded onto trains to Harare. The road between Maputo and Beira is not in a good condition, and there could also be some issues around finding enough trucks to get the job done.

Beira presents a far better option. Once the ship docks, the cargo could be transported by the Beira Railroad Corporation on the Machipanda line which runs through Malverna (Port of Entry between Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and which ends in Harare. The only other available railway line which runs from Beira, the Sena Line, will not be used, as it is not fully operational yet after it was partly destroyed by Renamo during the 80s.

Stopping the Shipment: What are the options?
The SALC: The SALC indicated that should the An Yue Jiang sail to Mozambique, they will seek remedy from the Mozambique courts. The challenge here is that the laws of that country may be insufficient in respect of matters such as these. There is also a very real chance that the courts could be influenced by Armando Guebuza not to grant such an application, even if the application could be granted under Mozambique law.
The Mbeki factor: As an influential economic partner of Mozambique, President Thabo Mbeki could exert diplomatic pressure on President Armando Guebuza not to allow the cargo to cross his soil. Considering that some of Mbeki’s cabinet members (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence, Secretary of Defence) were some of the respondents in the urgent High Court applications yesterday, and that he has done less than nothing to manage the entire debacle the chances of Mbeki intervention is close to non-existent.
International pressure: Mozambique is the beneficiary of World Bank and IMF funding – funds that the country simply cannot do without. Both institutions could use this reliance on funding to stop Mozambique from allowing the weapons to be transported through the country. The World Bank and the IMF may however feel that it is neither ethical nor appropriate to hold a sovereign country hostage in this way.

These three options are the only options available and none of them are great.

The best outcome will be if Mozambique – in view of international sentiment – had to offer China and Zimbabwe a polite, but firm “NAY! Considering how quickly the ship rushed away, there is a really good chance that they may have already secured a polite and firm “AYE!” instead.

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Zimbabwe: The Chinese Arms Saga Continues

The saga of the weapons cargo carried by the Chinese ship An Yue Jiang, continues after the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) announced yesterday that their members will neither unload the ship, nor transport the deadly freight to Zimbabwe. The Union also indicated that they were going to approach the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) for support. Indications are that a further Union may join they fray. The United Transport and Allied Trade Union, told reporters that their members were not happy about the arms shipment and that they will be taking a firm decision in this regard shortly.

In spite of the strong resistance offered by the unions and equally strong criticism from a variety of bodies inside the country, the South African government appears to be doing their level best to get the arms to Zimbabwe. To resolve the logistics, they will be using Armscor (SA government owned) to get the job done.

The SA Government acts as Mugabe’s Forwarding and Clearing Agent
Here are three glaring anomalies:

Anomaly 1
Normally, cargo cleared at a Port of Entry, is fetched and carried by the importer’s own devices and not fetched and carried by the government of the day. At the same time, Maseko sticks to his original story: “South Africa is not at all involved in the arrangement: it’s a matter between the two countries.”

Would you agree with Maseko that carting Mugabe’s weapons equals not at all involved with the arrangement? No reasonable person would…

Anomaly 2
Normally, well before cargo that consists of arms and weaponry is shipped, a conveyance permit will be sought by the exporter. No conveyance permit was requested by China before shipment because said shipment was rushed: it left China on the 15th of March and arrived in Durban on the 10th of April 10. An urgent conveyance permit was issued by Defence Secretary January Masilela (and herein lies the irony) in between sittings of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC). Then Maseko commented that “It would be possible, but very difficult for South Africa to start intervening and saying that we will not allow the shipment through.”

Would you agree with Maseko that he could not stop or at least seriously delay the shipment? Considering the lack of paperwork, BOTH Masilela and Maseko had every opportunity. Any reasonable person would have found a way to cause a delay…

Anomaly 3
The very same NCACC chaired by January Masilela has a policy NOT to export weapons, arms and ammunition into conflict areas or to countries (to quote there policy verbatim) where “systematic violation or suppression of humanitarian rights and fundamental freedoms” exist. Masilela still went ahead and issued the permit AND defended the decision by saying that the violence etc. in Zimbabwe was nothing more than allegations. He might as well have said ‘conjecture’.

Would you agree that Masilela ALSO had the ability, given the NCACC policy and the strife in Zimbabwe, to stop the shipment? Any reasonable person would say ‘Yes…”

Then what is the Low Down
Weapons kill. That is their only purpose in the hands of an army that is already perpetrating violence, intimidation, torture and murder. By allowing the weapons to land on our soil and facilitating its shipment into Zimbabwe, President Mbeki and his henchmen will be complicit to every life taken and for every person harmed by any one of these bullets and grenades on the cargo list.

The pride I feel to be South African in view of the preparedness of the Unions to make a stand and do the right thing, and the pride I feel to be South African as more and more Groups/Bodies/Parties step forward condemning the SA government’s handling of the Zim / China Arms Crisis, are in stark contrast with the feeling of shame I am filled with by our government’s shoddy behaviour: their blatant, wilful denial of the truth; the lies that are being perpetuated in defence Mugabe – who is nothing more than an ego-driven murdering maniac; and that now, when Mr. Mbeki’s leadership and moral fibre are needed most, all we as South African citizens are witnessing is his pathetic grovelling at the feet of his erstwhile comrade and mentor, Robert Mugabe.

It is a shame indeed…

State Owned Zimbabwe Herald Praises Thabo Mbeki

Here is an excerpt from the Zimbabwe Herald today:

Mbeki deserves special honour
“… President Mbeki needs to be specially commended and honoured by the whole Zimbabwean leadership and people for the sterling work that he has been doing in the past eight years. His “quiet diplomacy” and “soft power”, are actually not as quiet as the world wants to believe.

The backlash against President Mbeki’s presidency and his own personality has been immense. This is why Zimbabwe, as we celebrate 28 years of nationhood today, should say a big “THANK YOU” to this gallant son of Africa, just as we are saying thank you again to our gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed limb and soul for the independence of this nation. There is no substitute for genuine friendship; just like there will be no substitute for homegrown, genuine regional co-operation and integration. The least we can do is name one of our roads after Cde Mbeki and give him the freedom of the City of Harare.

As Wafawarova put it: “President Mbeki has had to face the agony of eight-and-a-half years of a crisis-waving Britain, but the ever alert and revolutionary Mbeki has not been fooled, even once. He saw no crisis with the land reclamation . . . He saw no crisis with the 2000, 2002 and 2005 elections . . .”

Apart from his now famous “No crisis in Zimbabwe” statement, President Mbeki also made the same statement a week earlier when he told dinner guests in London: “We have been very pleased with the manner in which the elections were conducted; the opposition had access to every part of the country, there was no violence, no one was beaten up. You have a very serious effort by the people of Zimbabwe to resolve their problems, we could see there was a common spirit among them and that’s the sense we got. And in the conduct of the election none of the parties came back to us to intervene to say something was going wrong.”

Something wrong with this picture
One has to ALWAYS take whatever is said in this Mugabe-an mouthpiece with a couple of bags of salt because it perpetuates half truths and lies nearly all of the time. However, there is an old maxim that says: The enemy of my enemy is my friend and the friend of my enemy is my enemy… or something like that, at least.

Is Robert Mugabe busy blowing sunshine up Mbeki’s behind? Or is Mugabe viewing Mbeki as a friend because he has not, at the face of it, quite given in to the pressure from within and from without South Africa? Or is Thabo Mbeki being viewed as a real friend by Robert Mugabe because he has maintained his soft (or is it wet) approach to the land grabs and the election fixing over the years?

In the final paragraph above, Thabo Mbeki is quoted by the Herald to be saying that All is Well. This may indeed be quoted out of context, or some measure of poetic license may have been applied to it. Who knows? However, regardless of the context, saying that there was no violence etc on the day of the election and then failing to mention the extent of the violence in the nearly three weeks post election, is highly irresponsible, fairly manipulating and somewhat dishonest.

The Political Plague in Africa
Behind the words in the Herald, Mugabe’s imperialistic rhetoric and Mbeki’s deafening silence, is one of the reasons why democracy in Africa is such a resounding failure.

For some reason, some of the African governments have not quite heard the penny drop that when they are democratically elected, they ARE governments and NOT liberation movements any longer. Because the majority of the population support them and have legally and democratically illustrated such support, the whole boring story of Struggle, is neither relevant nor appropriate.

But, for some reason – perhaps it is an attempt to use the past to play the audience – these elected leaders don’t move on, don’t salute the past and embrace the future, and don’t lift their eyes to the horizon. Their regressive behaviour debilitates progressive behaviour. It kills growth and it kills development.

Countries such as Botswana have not stepped into this trap of self-pitying retrospective-ness. That is why their economy is sound, their political landscape stable and their incidence of crime very low when compared to the rest of the continent. Now, Ian Seretse Khama is carrying the torch, which he took over from Festus Mogae, which he took over Quett Masire, which he took over from Ian Khama’s father: Sir Seretse Khama. A torch that burns brightly and that should be viewed as an example of what can be achieved, (by doing the right things), by their counterparts in Africa.

President Mbeki has done many right things during his term, but he has also failed miserably in others – the latest being his inability to manage the abominable situation in Zimbabwe. Fortunately it is nearing the time for him to step down: time to allow somebody younger, somebody more visionary and somebody bearing less baggage to carry the South African torch forward. There is political talent enough in our country. And, when we hold our elections next year, may the best man…or woman…win.

Zimbabwe: To Coup or Not to Coup

The courts refused ordering the election results and Mugabe has, according to his own laws, only until Saturday to hold a presidential run-off election. The lack of election results together with a run-off not being planned before Saturday means that Zimbabwe will theoretically be without a government come Sunday morning.

What are Mugabe’s options at that point in time? The one is to carry on regardless, to continue his own personal feud against the rest of humankind and to grudgingly maintain the façade of democracy by putting up with the likes of Morgan Tsvangirai. The other option he has is to stage a coup d’état and to install himself as the de facto ruler of Zimbabwe in that way.

How well is Mugabe positioned to pull off a coup?
To effectively stage a coup d’état, the following elements are required:
1) Control of the military and law enforcement arms;
2) control of the media; and
3) the ability to force the populace into submission.

Mugabe has:
1) The ownership and support of the official military, the police and the courts
2)A private army comprising of war veterans and youth militia.
3) Promoted 407 police officers last Friday: 11 officers from Chief Superintendent to Assistant Commissioner; 42 officers to Chief Superintendent, 72 to Superintendent and 282 to Chief Inspectors.
4) Placed an army general in each and every Zimbabwean province. Since 29 March, the training of new recruits, the regrouping of the war veterans and the mobilization of the Riot Units, all started in earnest.
5) Instructed the governor of the Zim Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono, (who has owned up to this) to bankroll the refurbishment of 260 Defender vehicles for the military, the purchase of police uniforms and to pay for generators and borehole drilling at the Chikurubi Camp.
6) Complete control over the media.
7) Ability to quickly and violently suppress any resistance from within the country.

The answer is: Better Than Most

How likely is it for the coup to be successful?
For a coup to be successful the chances of intervention from outside the borders have to be low and should such intervention take place, it must be defendable by the military

Mugabe has:
1) The diplomatically silent allegiance of Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki is unlikely to oppose the coup by using his armed forces. Of note is that when the MDC started planning protests, the SAPS riot units were placed on standby. (First hand information) I wonder whose side they will be on?
2) No threat from any of the other neighbours. They are simply not strong enough.
3) No threat from the West. There is no oil or anything else of strategic value to gain from this. (Cynical, but pragmatic, I know)

The answer us: His chances of success are very high.

What if he fails?
No risk to the man with the small Hitler-ian moustache. He can seek and will be granted asylum in South Africa, where he is currently building a Beverly Hills type of mansion in the vicinity of the Lipizzaners in Kyalami. Mugabe won’t be destitute as he will still have the proceeds of his blood diamond and mineral mines in the Congo, not to mention income from his other shady little-publicized ventures too. And he will still have his old friend close by for a bit chit-chat after the demands of his current position cease come the time for the next South African election.

Will he do it?
Who knows whether this volatile megalomaniac is going to continue running his kleptocracy on an as-is basis or whether he is going to go for the country’s jugular by means of a coup. The choice is his – there is precious little that will influence it, except perhaps his own delusional mind.

Zimbabwe: A Situational Update

Farm Invasion Update

The farm invasions have grown progressively worse since it started on Saturday last week:

 

1)Between 60 and 100 farms and 1 game lodge have now been invaded by War Veterans according to Trevor Gifford, the president of the Commercial Farmer’s Union.

2)The local media officer from the Ministry of Information, Mr Maunganidze, is said to be paying people to invade the farms.

3)The farm invasions have now spread to include Masvingo, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central. The land of two black farmers was also grabbed because they were said to have voted for the MDC.

 

 

Intimidation & Violence Update

“Militias are being rearmed, ZANU-PF supporters are being rearmed … The long and short of it is that there has been a complete militarization of Zimbabwean society since the 29th of March 2008,” said Morgan Tsvangirai. From the accounts received to date, this is not opposition propaganda:

 

1) Zimbabwean Police arrested seven election officials, accusing them of undercounting votes cast for President Mugabe, and are to be charged with fraud

2) Zimbabwean police have assaulted more than 80 opposition activists in the western provinces of Manicaland and Matabeleland. The attack is thought to be part of Mugabe’s tactics to intimidate voters ahead of the planned presidential run-off.

3) According to informed sources, 200 senior officers of the armed forces have been deployed to lead the war veterans in a military operation aimed at forcing Zimbabweans into voting for President Robert Mugabe in the run-off.

4) In Nyamandhovu in Matabeleland North, supporters of the opposition MDC and those of independent presidential candidate Simba Makoniave been beaten up and tortured by Zanu-PF youth militias and war veterans.

5) In Sigaba Village two MDC youths, were assaulted by a group of 10 Zanu-PF youths who accused them of being sell-outs.

6) The shop of former ZIPRA freedom fighter, Stanley Wolfenden, was raided and shut down on Friday. He was accused of drumming up support for Makoni during the election campaign.

 

South Africa’s Attitude Update

Nothing has really changed…

 

1) Aziz Pahad, South African deputy foreign minister, said that “foreign media and the international community were orchestrating the destabilisation of Zimbabwe and had unfairly accused Mugabe of wanting to “steal” the elections by delaying announcement of the results.”  

Sies Aziz!!! Been there of late?

 

2) Mbeki, Tsvangirai talks ‘not on the diary’

The president is in India now, doing goodness knows what – shirking his responsibilities back home.

 

3) ANC president Jacob Zuma crtiticised the delays in releasing the election results.

He took no stance in as far as Mugabe is concerned, but this is a good start at least.

 

4) Archbishop Tutu said: “They are tipping over the precipice. Violence is very much in the air. I would have hoped there would be a great deal more pressure, not just from South Africa but from the international community.On the whole, African leadership has not done themselves proud on this one.”

Could not have put it better myself. Not inclined to maintain Diplomatic Silence (hint, hint, President Mbeki), the Archbishop has said his say, and hit the nail on the head. That is why I (and many others) respect him so much!

The Mugabe… I mean… The Zimbabwe Herald Today

You have to read the state-owned Zimbabwe Herald to appreciate just how ridiculously extensive Mugabe-an control over this excuse-for-a-newspaper is. If the matter was not so serious, it could even be downright funny – like a good old April Fool’s Joke. His propaganda litters all the pages, at an enormous density per square inch. There is no attempt to camouflage it – on the contrary, it is right in your face.

 

The editor and the journalists are anonymous as are most of the sources quoted. The golden thread of the paper is that the mess Zim finds it in is no fault of Mugabe: There are strong conspiracy-type theory undertones; and everything and everybody other than Bob, are blamed. The underlying message is venom and hate. Not a pleasurable reading experience at all.

 

Here are some of the headlines forced on their captive readership today:

 

Headline 1: ‘Tsvangirai Begs for VP Post’ by anonymous Herald Reporters

“MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai asked Zanu-PF to accommodate him as one of the Vice Presidents in a government of national unity after being told by his advisors that a possible run-off with President Mugabe for the top job was not in his best interests, The Herald can reveal…”

Okay, you get the gist… the rest of the article – all 975 words – quoted a variety of sources – all of which were (naturally) anonymous and, to appease the Zanu-PF handler, a fair dollop of Anti-MDC Anti-Tsvangirai Anti-The-Rest-OF-The-Evil-World propaganda was added for good measure.

 

 

Headline 2: ‘Don’t withhold goods; Govt warns business’ by anonymous Herald Reporters

“GOVERNMENT expects the business sector to fulfil its social responsibility by ensuring continued supply of basic commodities as opposed to dabbling in politics as part of the regime change agenda, a senior official has said.”

This comes in the wake of the increasingly empty shelves in the Zimbabwean shops. So, what is the reaction of Mugabe? You are right, blame business for this and be silent about the fact that his government has not been importing enough Maize and that they are not exactly paying their Maize accounts either…  and, to be honest, the warning is not a warning, it is a threat…

 

Headline 3: ‘Let’s protect heritage during run-off’ by anonymous Editor

“Fellow Zimbabweans, as we head for a possible presidential run-off, let us make an informed decision best for the future generations and us.”

Starting with an impassioned appeal the remainder of the article launches into a full frontal attack on white settlers: past present and future. He pointed to the fate of Malawi under British influence and extolled the virtues of the Cubans. Anonymous editor neither made an attempt at disguising his racial hate speak, nor of his intentions to fuel it. Quite chilling, actually.

 

Headline 4: Poll results: Solve anomalies first by anonymous Editor

“I have been following election-related events over the past few days and conspiracies and counter-conspiracies that have been emerging over delays in announcing presidential poll results.”

Naturally, Editor blames it all on the MDC. He accuses them of rigging, tampering, yak, yak, yak… and then – as could be expected – dedicates the second half of the article to hurling a variety of personal insults at Morgan Tsvangirai.  

 

Headline 5: White Farmers Free to Apply for Land by {nobody}

“WE salute the police for moving in to stop the new wave of farm occupations that threatened to engulf the countryside, and war veterans for heeding police directives to move out of the farms they occupied in retaliation to threats by hordes of white former commercial farmers.”

Yup, hordes, I am sure…there were 4,000 to start of with, but that was a long, long time ago. Now there are only 300, minus 8, and they are spread all over the country. Be that as it may.., The article warns (or threatens, you decide) these imaginary hordes of farmers that:  ”…those who are lucky enough to still hold farms continue harbouring the unrepentant farmers without counselling against provocative actions, they only serve to brew mistrust in the State and the populace. This mistrust may culminate in a take-over of the remaining white-held farms for distribution to landless black Zimbabweans, many of whom are on the waiting list.” Then, in the very last sentence white farmers who have left Zim are invited to return where they can “apply for resettlement just like other citizens.” Need I say more? Perhaps, best that I don’t.

 

 

On the off-beat side, the property and entertainment sections of the newspaper were …well…empty. I wonder why?

 

Zimbabwe: The Deafening Noise of South African Silence

Comment: How does one transform so much chaos into one harmonious piece of written work? The answer is: You can’t. So, if the blog entry seems a little incoherent, I apologise in advance.

No, enough has not been said about the matter of South Africa’s spineless approach to the travesty of democracy in Zimbabwe and no, not enough is being done about it either, by anybody.

Yesterday, the Belfast Telegraph reported that Gordon Brown’s renewed efforts to convince South African President Thabo Mbeki – who is attending the Progressive Governance Conference in the UK at present – to intervene, is falling on deaf ears and that Mbeki is not prepared to criticise the vampiric Mugabe regime at all. Does this construe an endorsement of this political vampire’s rule on the part of the South African government?

How I hope that this is not the case…

I read an article written by one of the best journalists ever produced by our country: Justice Malala – http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/News/Article.aspx?id=736745. This, together with a special report that appeared in my favourite newspaper, The Mail And Guardian – http://www.mg.co.za -, have inspired me to share with you just how loud the Sound of South African Silence on the Zimbabwean crisis really is.
Drinking the Life Blood of the Press
In addition to the one television station, both the Zimbabwean newspapers are state controlled and, to practice journalism, you have to be licensed by the Mugabe regime. This control enables Mugabe to relentlessly portray the likes of Makoni and Tsvangirai as puppets of the West, sell-outs and agents of imperialism. Makoni, who has left Zanu-PF, has been portrayed as a bull frog and a prostitute, both of which are despised in the African cultural context. This control also enables Mugabe to prevent any hint at positive press for the opposition.

The fate of journalists who do not toe the line, is imprisonment – at best. Here are three examples of how Mugabe deals with journalists:

1) 2007: Edward Chikombo, who was a part-time cameraman for the state broadcaster ZBC, was murdered after releasing pictures of Tsivangirai – after he was beaten within millimetres of death by Mugabe’s henchmen – to the international media.
2) 2007: Around the same time, Gift Phiri, a senior reporter for the exiled The Zimbabwean newspaper, was detained and tortured by police. He was beaten with a baseball bat, a metal handle and a police baton.
3) 1999: Mark Chavunduka, 34, editor of the independent Standard newspaper, and reporter Ray Choto, 37, were detained and tortured by military police after they reported the arrest of 23 soldiers over an alleged coup plot during December that year.

Foreign journalists are not welcomed and many have been detained and deported over the past ten years. During the recent elections, the presence of journalists from CNN, Sky etc., was expressly forbidden.

What was the South African Government’s response? SILENCE

Drinking the Life Blood of Free and Fair Elections
In the 2008 elections no observers were allowed from anywhere in the world except for those from the SADC. As was the case in the previous elections, observers were intimidated and beaten up – even though it neither as severe nor as well reported on this time round. SADC once again endorsed elections that the rest of the world declared rigged, free and fair – a travesty of democracy:

To give you an idea: More than 75,000 members of the security forces were allowed to vote before the election date without observers present and on election day, voters were (kindly) assisted by Mugabean police:

1) The same police, who for the past ten years, have put a stop to any kind of democratic activity by the opposition or civil society
2) The same police who were instrumental in “Operation Murambatsvina”, which destroyed the homes and lives of more than 700,000 Zimbabweans.
3) The same police beat opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to within an inch of his life at the end of March 2007.

What was the South African Government’s response? SILENCE

Drinking the Life Blood of Innocent People
The Green Bombers are being mobilized in Zimbabwe again and were spotted marching through the streets of Harare last Friday.

This murdering Zimbabwean squad was responsible for:
1) The massacres in Matabeleland during 2000;
2) House-to-house raids, harassing and beating opposition supporters during the run up to the previous elections
3) The arrest and torture of opposition activists during 2002, by using water torture, electric shocks and sadistic beatings. The reason for the onslaught was Mugabe losing a 2000 referendum on the constitution. In 2005, several activists were killed or disappeared, and white farmers were terrorized and chased from their land.
4) Shortly after the parliamentary elections of 2005, Mugabe launched Operation Murambatsvina, or “Clean Away the Filth,” which left about 700,000 people from urban opposition strongholds uprooted.
5) Then, last year, Tsvangirai and more than 100 activists were rounded up and beaten. This violence is typical of the violence that preceded the 2005 election: a brutal clean-up before the poll, followed by relative peace during the election – while African observers are present.

What was the South African Government’s response? SILENCE

Drinking the Life Blood of the Economy
You cannot call a country where the thieving ruler has his left hand in the cash register and his right hand in every cookie jar, an economy. The country has a 100,000% inflation, bare shelves, no fuel most of the time and an unemployment rate of 80%. The population is, by and large, starving. It is estimated that no less than 4,000,000 have sought refuge in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.

What is the South African Government’s response? SILENCE

The Silencing of the Lambs
1) Nelson Mandela, our much loved and iconic former president, criticised leaders who hung on to power at the expense of their people (i.e. Mugabe). He was told by Mbeki to shut up.
2) Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a winner of the Nobel Peace Price, was maligned by the two M-s, Mbeki and Mugabe, when he dared to criticise the inhumanity of the goings-on in Zimbabwe.
3) When the gentle Father Paul Verryn gave refuge to hundreds of Zimbabweans, his Johannesburg church was raided by the South African Police who arrested refugee children as young as five months old.

So, what was the South African Government’s response? BE SILENT

To conclude
Zimbabwe, under the regime of Mugabe, is a study of villainy – evil in its purest form: There is a Dracula on the loose in Zimbabwe and no van Helsing to put the stake in its heart.