Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is being urged by several political and human rights groups to implement media and security sector reforms in advance of the next elections. (Reuters)
Press Intimidated in Zimbabwe By Jeffrey Moyo, Al Jazeera 24 April 2013
HARARE - As Zimbabwe heads to the polls later this year, media analysts and journalists are concerned about increasing crackdowns on both the judiciary and the media.
This comes as stalwarts from President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) remain defiant about implementing the media reforms outlined in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The GPA is a 2008 pact between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change that paved the way for the current unity government and the elections later this year.
"Forget about security sector reforms, forget about media reforms. What we are going to have are elections soon after June 29 this year when the term of parliament expires. Zimbabweans should brace for the polls," Goodson Nguni, a well-known Zanu-PF leader, said. (read more)
Zimbabwe: Religious Zealot Leader Preaches Violence & Hate iNewp The Peoples Press 15 April 2013
As the date of the 2013 general elections in Zimbabwe draws near, political dissidents and MDC- T members supporting current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have heard much from the dominating ZANU-PF party which the infamous incumbent president Robert Mugabe leads. EU- blacklisted War Veterans’ Association leader Jabulani Sibanda has been preaching hate and violence to audiences.
Sibanda has raged in 2 hour lectures against Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his party calling him an agent of the Devil.
Sibanda has also threatened violence in Zimbabwe if ZANU-PF loses the upcoming elections. Sibanda uses a combination of religious and political rhetoric that endorses Mugabe as a “man of God” and the ZANU-PF as the “one party under God”. (read more)
Will Zimbabwe hold free and fair polls? Namibia Press Agency, the Namibian 22 March 2013
Harare – With a new constitution approved, Zimbabweans are now looking toward a fresh general election, while wondering whether the polls will be free and fair. The overwhelming nod for the charter at a weekend referendum raised much optimism for democratic changes in a country long regarded by the West as a pariah state.
The new supreme law protects against all forms of violence and torture and guarantees freedom of expression. But observers say there is little in it that directly affects the way elections are run.
“The constitution does very little to affect electoral conditions,” said Zimbabwean legal and political analyst Derek Matyszak.
“If people are thinking the new constitution is going to create conditions for free and fair elections they are going to be very disappointed.”
The scars of election chaos are still fresh in Zimbabwe. (read more)
Zimbabwe Rights Lawyer to Spend 3rd Night in Jail By Gillian Gotora, Associated Press 19 March 2013
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Prominent Zimbabwean rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was set to spend a third night in jail Tuesday after a court adjourned a hearing on charges she faces of allegedly obstructing justice.
Police brought her to court after ignoring a judge's order to release her Monday.
Her arrest, the day after a referendum on a new Zimbabwe constitution, prompted an outcry from African and international law organizations.
"Her arrest is not just an attack on her profession but on the people of Zimbabwe who have just voted yes to a new constitution that enshrines fundamental human rights," said her lawyer, Thabani Mpofu. (read more)
Human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa arrives at court in Harare, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Police have charged Mtetwa for obstructing justice after ignoring a judge's order to release her a day earlier. (AP Photo)
An estimated six million citizens were eligible to vote for the new referendum (AP)
Zimbabwe votes in support of new constitution Al Jazeera 19 March 2013
Almost 95 percent of Zimbabweans have voted in favour of a new draft constitution which is supported by both President Robert Mugabe and his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, which paves the way for new elections.
Tallies, released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commisison after Tuesday's results, showed that an overwhelming 3,079,966 voters were in favour of the new constitution and 179,489 were against it.
"Since the majority of the votes were received in favour of the adoption of the draft constitution and, it is declared to have been adopted by the people of Zimbabwe," said Lovemore Sekeramayi, the official in charge of the vote tally. (read more)
2 Years Late, Zimbabwe Votes on New Constitution By Lydia Polgreen 16 March 2013
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Batsi Munyaka, 27, an unemployed mechanic, had not read the document that could govern his nation for decades to come. But he said he was tired of trying to cobble together a living with little ventures that did not add up to much, and he hoped that a new Constitution, whatever its provisions, could help get Zimbabwe’s economy on track.
“I have the right to vote, and maybe it can make a change in our country,” he said with a shrug.
More than two years late — and in far smaller and less enthusiastic numbers than their leaders had hoped for — Zimbabweans went to the polls on Saturday to vote in a referendum on a new Constitution, a crucial step toward holding presidential elections this year. (read more)
A woman cast her ballot Saturday at a polling center in Harare, Zimbabwe. The new constitution places some curbs on the president and bolsters the bill of rights. (Pete Muller, New York Times)
Sten Zvorwadza (r) is not sure it is worth reporting the attack to the police.
Zimbabwe attack reveals potential for violence By Andrew Harding, BBC 15 March 2013
We were in Mbare, a tough, poor neighbourhood close to the centre of Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.
We were following a group of about eight activists for the MDC who were putting up posters calling on Zimbabweans to vote "Yes" to the new draft constitution in Saturday's referendum.
Sten Zvorwadza, who hopes to take over as the next MDC MP in Mbare, was wearing a smart grey suit and waving a copy of the constitution while his colleagues used a bucket of home-made glue to put up their posters. (read more)
Zimbabwe MDC politician Sten Zvorwadza beaten in Mbare BBC 15 March 2013
A Zimbabwean politician has been attacked in the capital, Harare, during the last day of campaigning before a referendum on a new constitution.
Sten Zvorwadza, who hopes to become the next Movement for Democratic Change MP for the city's Mbare suburb, was punched as he tried to put up posters.
He escaped uninjured and says the youths were almost certainly Zanu-PF supporters of President Robert Mugabe. (read more)
Riot police break up Zimbabwe PM meeting Sapa-AFP, SABC 6 March 2013
Riot police in Zimbabwe blocked yesterday’s address by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose uneasy unity rule with President Robert Mugabe is set to end within months at the ballot box.
"Riot police have just disrupted a community meeting I was due to address," Tsvangirai tweeted last night. "Their actions today show that the leopard has not changed colours."
A pick-up truck loaded with helmet-clad police officers carrying riot shields and batons could be seen in pictures posted on Tsvangirai's Facebook page. (read more)
MDC leader and Zimbabwe Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai (Reuters)
Communities rely on shortwave radios to tune into independent radio broadcasts from Europe and the US (Brandie Minchew/Flikr)
Zimbabwe police ban radios, crack down on NGOs IRIN 26 February 2013
HARARE (IRIN) - Police in Zimbabwe have announced a ban on the possession of shortwave radio receivers, saying they are being used to communicate hate speech ahead of next month's constitutional referendum and elections set to be held in July.
Wind-up, solar-powered radios sets have been distributed by some NGOs to rural communities, where villagers have established listening clubs to tune in to popular independent radio stations like Radio Voice of The People, Studio 7 and SW Radio Africa. The broadcasts are produced by exiled Zimbabwean journalists based in Europe and the US.
Zimbabwe has four state-controlled radio stations with a history of supporting President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. Two recently established independent radio stations are also perceived to be pro-ZANU-PF. There is demand among listeners, especially those supportive of the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), for other viewpoints. (read more)
When a White Farmer in Zimbabwe Gets Shot in the Face By RNW Africa Desk, Radio Netherlands Worldwide 26 February 2013
Farmer Piet Zwanikken was shot in the face, while standing outside his home on the tobacco farm in Mashonaland West that he's owned for the last 11 years. Although Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers may not regularly make headlines these days, pressure to get off land seems to be rising as the country's elections loom. Zwanikken says the trouble began a year ago when someone in the elite with political ties had set his eye on the farm. Here's his story as told to RNW correspondent Arne Doornebal.
On the 17th of December at about 7 o'clock in the evening, I heard a knock at my gate. My wife told me to be careful when I went out with my torch. My 14-year-old son followed me to the gate and, when I got within about ten metres, I shone the torch. I identified three of the people waiting for me as people staying on the farm for the last ten years. I knew them as trouble-causers who were part and parcel of helping remove me from the farm.
So, after greeting them by their names, I asked from a distance what they wanted. The shooter - I knew him very well - addressed me first. He said: "Good evening, Mr. Zwanikken, we have uncovered a big problem with tobacco being stolen from your field." (read more)
SA to Investigate Mass Rapes in Zimbabwe By Richard Lee, OSISA 26 February 2013
In a remarkable turn-around, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) have formally agreed to open an investigation into widespread rape perpetrated in the lead-up to Zimbabwe’s 2008 presidential elections – a landmark decision that was made in response to a legal submission filed by AIDS-Free World, requesting that South African authorities investigate and prosecute the crimes.
The submission included testimony from 84 victims, reports from witnesses, doctors, and domestic and international NGOs, and the names of over 200 suspected perpetrators and orchestrators of the politically motivated rape. The Priority Crimes Litigation Unit of the NPA and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation of SAPS wasted no time in responding to the submission, demonstrating the gravity of the charges and the fact that, if left unaddressed, such crimes could be committed again during the 2013 elections.
The decision is a major surprise to anyone who has followed the twists and turns of the Zimbabwe torture case brought by the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), which the NPA and SAPS made no effort to pursue. And even when they were compelled by a High Court ruling to investigate the detailed torture allegations, the South African authorities opted to appeal the judgment rather than open investigations. (read more)
Zimbabwe: Stage 5 "Polarization"
By Genocide Watch
June 07, 2012
The Zimbabwean crisis has been the result of internal and external political forces that have been mounting for years. Internal tensions have been high between the two major political parties, ZANU PF and the MDC. The animosity between these two groups has continuously mutated since the original political rift between Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU. Mugabe ordered the Gakurahunde, the genocidal massacres by the Fifth Brigade against the Matabele people in the 1980’s, and forced Nkomo to dissolve ZAPU so that Zimbabwe became a one party state.
Zimbabwe’s external crises began in the 1990’s when the Zimbabwean government had a falling out with the British government under Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had recently been elected. His administration decided not to continue funding the land resettlement program in Zimbabwe, a program the Conservative party had honored since the 1989 Lancaster House agreements that brought independence to Zimbabwe. Blair’s administration cited misuse of the funds by ZANU, allegations that the Zimbabwean government vehemently denied.
The tides changed for Zimbabwe when a rival political party emerged, posing the first real threat to ZANU-PF. This party called itself MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) and was led by Morgan Tsvangirai, a Shona. Mugabe argued that this party was backed by foreign powers whose motives were to infiltrate the country and impose their agendas upon Zimbabwe. Mugabe then approved the violent farm invasions in which marginalized black people simply approached farms of their choice and ordered the white people off the land. Mugabe asserted that forced land redistribution constituted “liberation” of Zimbabwe from prior forced takeover of land by white colonizers.
In preparation for the 2002 presidential election, draconian laws were enacted by ZANU-PF, which made it virtually impossible for the opposition (MDC) to compete or campaign. An example was the “Public Order Security Act” (POSA), which gave the police power to arrest or harass any public gatherings not sanctioned by the police themselves. This stopped MDC members from campaigning and in the rare event they managed to obtain authorization to gather, the red tape and bureaucracy they encountered proved to be so onerous that they usually ignored the process. Another law enacted in 2002 was the “Access to information and protection of privacy act” (AIPPA) which dictated the limits within which all forms of media could operate. This meant all material that did not sympathize with the ZANU-PF agenda was banned, preventing the MDC from campaigning in newspapers, TV or radio. Imposition of this law caused many foreign media companies to close their doors and leave Zimbabwe. These laws were enforced with a single purpose in mind, to consolidate the power of ZANU-PF and eliminate any possible threats to its dominance.
In addition to these laws, the Zimbabwean government trained a special ZANU-PF youth brigade,” which terrorized and intimidated the electorate all over the country before the elections. Even MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai himself was physically attacked. The elections were held and Robert Mugabe was declared the winner despite widespread evidence of voter intimidation and fraud.
In a nation in which many people do not believe in violence, Tsvangirai knew he could not galvanize the people to revolt or fight back, so instead he campaigned for sanctions against the Zimbabwean government with the hope of backing Mugabe’s regime into a corner. The sanctions came from the West and the economy of Zimbabwe was brought to its knees by way of mismanagement and the brutal effects of the sanctions. This only made ZANU-PF dig deeper trenches. They labeled Tsvangirai a traitor who wanted nothing but pain and suffering for Zimbabwe and blamed his efforts for the great suffering the people have endured. These sanctions have ultimately had a greater negative effect upon the citizens of Zimbabwe than they have had on the ruling party.
In 2005, the MDC split, with one side led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the other by Arthur Mutambara.
As the 2008 elections approached, the atmosphere was calm in comparison with the 2002 elections. People voted, but it took months for the results to be announced, and when they were released, no official explanation for the delay was given. The results announced that Morgan Tsvangirai had received the majority of the votes, but they fell just short of the absolute majority necessary to clinch victory so there would be a run off election. Tsvangirai feared that violence by the ZANU-PF youth brigades would resume, so Tsvangirai did not participate in the run off election. By default, Mugabe was re-elected President.
Financial sanctions were biting, and the formerly productive commercial farms no longer produced the surpluses they once did before the land invasions, sending food prices sky-rocketing. The Zimbabwean currency became worthless. Due to its clear loss of legitimacy, ZANU-PF decided to create a coalition government with the MDC. Tsvangirai agreed to join this coalition, a decision that was met with disappointment from many MDC supporters. In this coalition government, Mugabe would remain President and Tsvangirai would be the Prime Minister, with Arthur Mutambara as Deputy Prime Minister. Although the purpose of this coalition was to form a power sharing structure, Mugabe marginalized Tsvangirai by placing MDC ministers over powerless ministries while keeping the powerful ministries of defense, public security, and the intelligence service in the hands of ZANU-PF.
The coalition government is set to expire in March 2013, and Robert Mugabe has expressed the desire to hold elections in 2012. Tsvangirai on the other hand, wants a new constitution to be drafted in hopes of creating a level playing field to avoid a repeat of events that occurred during the last election. There is speculation that Mugabe is looking for a successor to take his place after he wins. Factions are emerging within ZANU PF along tribal lines and by political patronage.
Zimbabwe remains deeply polarized and politically unstable. Genocide Watch considers Zimbabwe to be at Stage 5, Polarization.
Zimbabwe: Human Rights Commission Bill Signed Into Law
Tichaona Sibanda, AllAfrica 15 October 2012
The government on Friday finally gazetted the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill, that will give the nine member commission powers to investigate rights violations in the country. However, and more controversially, the Bill prevents the commissioners' from dealing with any political violence before 2008. A clause in the Bill allows Human Rights Commissioners only to look at rights abuses after they were sworn into office on 13th February 2009. (read more)
Zimbabwe Minister Detained Over President Insult
ABC News, Associated Press 10 October, 2012
HARARE, Zimbabwe The Zimbabwe prime minister's party says its minister of energy was detained for questioning by police on allegations he insulted President Robert Mugabe by wishing him dead. The party says Elton Mangoma, who is in charge of power and gasoline supplies in the troubled economy, was released later Wednesday. He allegedly said at a political meeting in May: "Mugabe die. Mugabe go." It is an offense under sweeping security laws to undermine the authority of the 88-year-old longtime ruler Mugabe. Insult offenses, with a penalty of a fine or imprisonment, are common. A Zimbabwean salesman spent four months in jail earlier this year after being found with cartoons of a naked Mugabe on his mobile phone. Mangoma was cleared last year on corruption charges he says were a political ploy. (article)
Zimbabwe: EU Should Negotiate in Utmost Good Faith
AllAfrica 1 October, 2012
The world goes through cycles of conflict and history has taught us war resolve differences, but it has never provided a lasting solution. Even in instances where one party is vanquished in such a battle, disdainful resistance would continue to rear their heads and hence lead to intermittent flare-ups. Zimbabwe's differences with the British over the land issue is well documented and due to the internationalisation of the conflict, the European Union was dragged into the issue culminating in the EU bloc imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. The sour relations between Zimbabwe and the EU have not benefited anyone with Zimbabwe losing out on development assistance while firms in the EU also had their trade with Zimbabwean companies disrupted. This is how far-reaching the consequences of political decisions can be. Having traded uncomplimentary statements for more than a decade, it is quite heartening to note that the same political players are now set to negotiate the normalisation of relations between Zimbabwe and the EU. (read more)
Zimbabwe monitors: March polls 'impossible'
Angus Shaw, Associated Press 30 September, 2012
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean independent monitoring group says it will be impossible to hold free and fair elections in March when President Robert Mugabe wants the polls. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network said Sunday the call by Mugabe for full elections in the last week of March doesn't allow enough time to establish conditions for a free vote. The group said it is "adamant that logistically it is impossible" to meet Mugabe's timetable and complete constitutional and electoral reforms demanded by regional leaders. It cited disputes in finalizing a new constitution, continuing political intimidation and gross inaccuracies in voters' lists that still name "ghost" electors who have long been dead. Rushed voting couldn't be held on "a fair playing field" and the outcome would be unacceptable by democratic standards, the group said. Mugabe has also called for a referendum on the 150-page draft constitution in November, but a parliamentary panel in charge of compiling the draft says it must be put to a stakeholders' conference first. That conference of political parties and civic and interest groups has already been postponed to late October. (read more)
Zimbabwe: At General Debate, Zimbabwe's President Calls for Steps to Avoid Marginalization of UN
AllAfrica 26 September, 2012
While re-affirming his country's commitment to multilateralism and the role of the United Nations in dealing with international peace and security issues at the General Assembly, the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, today called for steps to ensure that the world body is not marginalized on such matters, citing developments Libya and Iraq as examples. "Equally important, the United Nations must in future never allow itself to be abused by any Member State or group of States that seeks to achieve parochial partisan goals," President Mugabe added in his statement to the second day of the 67th Assembly's General Debate. "The Charter of the United Nations clearly stipulates it as an international body that should work for the good of all the peoples of the world," he added. The President pointed to the involvement of countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in efforts to topple the regime of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, who ruled the country for more than 40 years until a pro-democracy uprising last year led to civil war and the end of his rule. (read more)
Zimbabwe's Mugabe wants elections in March
Nelson Banya, Reuters 27 September, 2012
HARARE | Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe wants to hold elections in March, court papers showed on Thursday, a timetable that could cause tension with his coalition partners and regional leaders who first want reforms to avoid a repeat of 2008 poll violence. Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, was forced to form a government with rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister, three years ago after the disputed 2008 election. Under the terms of the power-sharing deal new elections must be held by next year. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party wants the vote held as early as possible, while Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change says it should come after the adoption of a new constitution and electoral, security and media reforms. The Supreme Court ordered Mugabe last month to announce dates for by-elections to fill at least 26 vacant parliamentary seats by the end of September. (read more)
Zimbabwean ruling party accused of using youth militias
BILL CORCORAN, The Irish Times 20 September, 2012
ZIMBABWE’S ZANU-PF party has been accused of reviving the youth militia groups it used to wage a terror campaign against political opponents in the run-up to the disputed 2008 presidential run-off. Rights group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said in a report it posted online on Tuesday that six different groups were harassing and intimidating people around the country ahead of a referendum in the coming months and a general election expected next year. At least 200 supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change were killed by Zanu-PF youth militias in 2008, and thousands more rural people were displaced in the weeks leading up to the presidential run- off between Robert Mugabe and then opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. (read more)
Zimbabwe’s President Says he has Turned to China for Military Defense
The Washington Post 14 September 2012
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s president says his country turned to China to beef up its military training capabilities after what he called threats of an invasion from Western countries intending to lead to “regime change.” (read more)
Zimbabwe: stage 5 ‘polarization’
By Genocide Watch 7 February 2012
According to the 8 stages of genocide, Zimbabwe is currently at stage 5: ‘polarization’. Like many other African countries, the tensions within the country have much to do with the country’s ethnic and colonial history. Polarization has always been high between the Shona and the Matabele and between the black population and the white minority. Robert Mugabe has ruled the country since 1980, after years of guerrilla war against harsh white minority rule. After taking power, Mugabe’s party (ZANU-PF) has tried to eliminate all sources of opposition in order to stay in power.
In 1983 and 1984 massacres of over 20,000 Matabele citizens of Zimbabwe were committed by the Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe Army. These massacres are called the “Gukurahundi”. This mass atrocity meets the definition of genocide because it targeted ethnic Matabele people. The massacres were carried out by the North-Korean trained, exclusively Shona Fifth Brigade under orders from President Mugabe. Genocide Watch called in September 2010 for prosecution of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and other leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity for the Gukurahundi (see below).
The small white minority (under 100,000 people) was targeted by Mugabe’s dictatorship in order to gain support from the black population. Mugabe launched a “land reform” campaign to return white-owned land to black Zimbabweans, but without adequate compensation. Much of the land went to Mugabe’s political cronies. The rest has returned to subsistence farming. Land invasions by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF militias have caused agricultural and economic collapse, as white farmers fled Zimbabwe with their families before black managers could be trained to run the commercial farms that had made Zimbabwe agriculturally self-sufficient.
Agricultural workers fled to Zimbabwe’s cities when the commercial farms collapsed, and built shantytowns around them. In a vicious policy called “Drive Out the Filth”, Mugabe’s government bulldozed the shantytowns and left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans homeless and starving. This policy was declared a Crime Against Humanity and an early warning sign of genocide in a resolution of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in 2007.
Since 2000, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has faced growing opposition from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which transcends ethnic divisions. After the 2008 elections, which were accompanied by systematic fraud and attacks on thousands of suspected opposition voters, a government of national unity was formed with the MDC. Nevertheless, ZANU-PF is still trying to rule the country on his own.
Mugabe and the ZANU-PF are not facing the truth about the Gukurahundi, despite courageous MDC members like Minister for Education David Coltart who has stated that the Gukurahundi was genocide (see articles "It was genocide - Coltart" and "Rights violations: Zimbabwe must face the truth"). Currently, the 87-year old Mugabe is pushing for a quick election so the MDC cannot organize against him. If ZANU-PF militias again try to steal the next election, the situation could degenerate further into the preparation stage for genocide or politicide.
Alimentation: Le PAM met en garde contre la faim au Zimbabwe
29 juillet 2012
Environ 1,6 million de personnes devraient avoir besoin d'une aide alimentaire au cours de la prochaine période de soudure, qui s'étend de janvier à mars, au Zimbabwe, indique un rapport du Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) publié vendredi à New York, aux Etats-UNis. Selon Felix Bamzeon, son responsable au Zimbabwe, le PAM et ses partenaires se préparent à réagir à cette forte augmentation des besoins en nourriture dans ce pays.
M. Bamezon a expliqué que son personnel sur le terrain rapportait déjà des signes de détresse en zone rurale, comme des greniers vides et des éleveurs qui vendaient leurs bêtes pour joindre les deux bouts. (read more)
Genocide Watch calls for prosecution of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe for genocide
Washington, DC and Capetown, South Africa 16 September 2010
Genocide Watch, Chair of the International Campaign to End Genocide, based in Washington, DC and Capetown, South Africa, today called for prosecution of President Robert Mugabe and other Zimbabwean leaders for genocide and crimes against humanity for the "Gukurahundi," the mass murder of over 20,000 Matabele citizens of Zimbabwe in 1983 and 1984.
"There is no statute of limitations for genocide or crimes against humanity," said Dr. Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch. "We campaigned for over thirty years to bring the leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia to justice for genocide and crimes against humanity, and they are finally on trial. We call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a full investigation of the Gukurahundi, with the aim of establishing a mixed UN -- Zimbabwean Tribunal to put Mugabe and his co-perpetrators on trial for their crimes. They think they have gotten away with mass murder. It is time to end such impunity in Zimbabwe." (Click to download full release)
Zimbabwe's run-off Presidential elections on 27 June will take place in an atmosphere of terror.ZANU-PF militias, the Zimbabwe army and police, and ZANU-PF mobs have pushed Zimbabwe to Stage 6, the Preparation stage immediately preceding political mass murder.
Families of Zimbabwe's opposition leaders are being targeted for brutal execution.The mutilated body of Abigail Chitoro, wife of the Mayor-elect of Harare, was found on Tuesday. Mr. Chitoro said, "The body was butchered. They had used heavy objects to crush the head. She still had the blindfold that my kid said they put on her head when they took them away."
In the last week there have been three reports of local MDC officials who fled their homes from marauding Zanu PF mobs and who had their homes burnt down. In each case their wives were put to death, two burnt alive, the other battered to death. Four more MDC leaders have been abducted and murdered in the last week, bringing the number of political assassinations to over one hundred in the past two months. Hundreds more have been beaten and tortured.
Murder and torture victims have had their ears, lips, and sexual organs cut off.Mutilation of bodies is one of the surest signs of the de-humanizing of targeted groups during genocide and politicide (political mass murder.)ZANU-PF's hate speech, torture, and murder have terrorized Zimbabwe since the Movement for Democratic Change defeated Mugabe and the ZANU-PF in March's elections.Now ZANU-PF has stepped up its violence to openly kill leaders of the MDC and their families.Such acts are prelude to every politicide or genocide.
A sign of the gravity of the danger is the phenomenon of "mirroring," a strange but common psychological mechanism of denial used by mass murderers. ZANU-PF spokesmen accuse their victims of being traitors or terrorists, when in fact ZANU-PF is the real perpetrator.
The terror campaign is being directed by Air Marshall Perence Shiri, who was commander of the infamous North Korean trained Fifth Brigade, which carried out Mugabe's genocide against the Matabele in 1983-84.Working with him is General Constantine Chiwanga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Army, and Sidney Sekeramayi, Minister of Defense, both of whom were senior officers directly involved in the 1983-84 genocide.
The military has taken effective control of Zimbabwe.With military support, gangs of ZANU-PF marauders sweep through villages at night, killing, torturing and raping MDC supporters.
President Mugabe's open declaration that his followers would go to war rather than accept defeat in the election is a sign of the high probability that Zimbabwe is headed for a bloodbath. His termination of relief aid to his own starving people shows his complete contempt for human life.
Genocide Watch calls on Tanzania, Chair of the African Union to inform President Mugabe that if the election is followed by mass killing, African Union troops will intervene to stop it.
Genocide Watch calls on the United Nations Security Council to demand that Zimbabwe immediately lift restrictions on direct food aid by non-governmental and UN organizations to Zimbabwe's people, without regard to their political affiliation.
Genocide Watch also calls on the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation in Zimbabwe to the International Criminal Court, so that those perpetrating the crimes against humanity there, including Mugabe himself, will be brought to justice.