The election crisis in Zimbabwe continues: there are reports from the mainstream media, bloggers and human rights organisations about state organised post-election violence against supporters of the opposition, the main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has left the country for Botswana fearing for his life and the “ship of evil” continues to draw bloggers’ attention.
The Evil Ship
KOGY calls the Chinese ship carrying weapons destined for Zimbabwe “the evil ship”:
As the evil ship carrying weapons of mass destruction is stranded in the South African coast, there are cries for ‘freedom’ everywhere in Zimbabwe today. The once prosperous country full of happy people has now turned into an unwanted hunger and disease stricken country. The economy is in shambles, the country is in crisis because the ruling party does not want to release the results of the elections which everyone else besides Zanu PF believe Mugabe lost. The Zimbabwe government has now turned to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, to destroyed the same people whom they want us to believe they voted for Mugabe to remain in power.
Hope questions the logic of buying weapons during “abnormal times”:
Can a transaction in arms ever be considered ‘normal’ during abnormal times?
I’m nothing more than a confused Zimbabwean, but I want to know what happens when the postman arrives at the door of Zimbabwe’s State House asking for the President to sign for the delivery… who signs for it?
Who will come to Zimbabwes aid?:
Already the illegal government is busy buying arms from China either using aid money meant for ordinary Zimbabweans or mortgaging the country's natural resources for the exchange of arms that it intends to use on ordinary unarmed civilians whose sole crime is vote Mugabe and Zanu PF out of power. The Chinese vessel failed to offload its cargo in South Africa thanks to the members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) who refused to offload the weapons and is said to be heading towards Angola or Namibia and we know Angola sides with Mugabe so as does Namibia and the world's superpowers should halt that consignment reaching a blood thirst dictator. If the world does not act now there will be catastrophe in Zimbabwe.
Sokwanele calls for action:
Send a Portuguese email to stop the ‘An Yue Jiang’:
This relates to our action post (at this link), where we are collating efforts and ideas to stop the An Yue Jiang from delivering Chinese weapons to Zimbabwe.
Feel free to copy and paste the text below to send emails to Portuguese speaking recipients. We’ve kept the wording non-specific so you can use it for a variety of organisations. Include a personal English comment underneath this text if you would like to do so.
A very big thank-you to CC for the Brazilian-Portugese translation.
Stop the An Yue Jiang from delivering Chinese weapons to Zimbabwe.
They have posted a petition by Avaaz, a gobal web movement, and have also developed an ‘Action Contact Database’:
The response from everyone to the campaign to stop weapons on board the An Yue Jiang from reaching Zimbabwe has been phenomenal. A wealth of information and contacts poured in to us, but finding all the contributions amongst all the comments was a little overwhelming.
In response, we have developed an ‘Action Contact Database‘.
Following the reports that the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is not planning to go back to Zimbabwe soon from Botswana, Bev Clark writes, “If I had my way I’d put him on a shuttle and send him straight to Mars.”:
I’ve read that Morgan Tsvangirai believes that shuttle diplomacy is the way to go right now. If I had my way I’d put him on a shuttle and send him straight to Mars. I read in the Zimbabwe Independent that Tsvangirai, his family and his advisers have set up camp in Botswana because Zimbabwe is too dangerous. I’m not sure how much more insulting one can get but Tsvangirai certainly takes the cake.
I was at a lunch on Saturday and I just wish Tsvangirai could have been there because the derision with which his name was uttered would surely have made him sit up and take note. I wrote recently about finding these ridiculous stickers in Newlands in Harare likening Tsvangirai to Mandela . . . yeah right.
Kubatana asked Zimbabweans to send their views about Tsvangirai's decision to stay in Botswana. They texted their views to Kubatana:
He has to come back & instill confidence in the electorate but obviously he has to be security conscious lest he runs into a booby trap.
He should come back so that we face this war together he is our man.
Tell Tsvangirai to come back. Lets fight together they can arrest him yes but the revolution spirit will never die.
Tsvangirai should not take refuge in a foreign country. He must come back home and face the reality. He should be like a Kalilombe which sacrifices itself up to death.
What would u do if there is no one to protect you? He is right.
We are going back to war:
The same person who sent us this message also advised us that someone he knows in the Macheke area saw two youngsters walking down the road with AKs slung over their shoulders. He asked another person – a war vet he had a friendly relationship with – what it was about:
The answer was, “Yes we are all being armed; we are going back to war”.
There are torture camps set by Mugabe supporters:
In the Thursday edition of The Zimbabwean there were revelations that, “Militant supporters of President Robert have set up torture camps in parts of Mashonaland East province and stepped up a terror campaign against opposition activists in the province”.
The reason for their deployment is to ensure a victory for Mugabe in their planned run-off election.
Sokwanele is able to report that we are able to verify and endorse this information with a report leaked to us by a member of the defence forces. This was received yesterday.
There are a variety of strategies being employed to hoodwink Zimbabweans, particularly those in the rural areas. What follows is a breakdown of the information we have received.
Coordinated state violence against innocent civilians:
It looks like a coordinated phase of Mugabe’s crackdown against human rights and opposition activists.
In addition to the news of the arrests, we have received further information from a trusted source who says that the awful Obert Mpofu is up to his dirty tricks and thuggery and violence in Umguza. This is what our source sent us:
Obert Mpofu, the ‘former’ Minister of International trade and Industry controls all the intimidation and violence in Matabeleland North. He was also indirectly implicated in the violent murder of Martin Olds on Independence Day in 2000.
One of Mpofu’s main henchmen is Richard Moyo, the Zanu PF Chairman for Ward 8, Umguza.
Moyo runs a store and beerhall on Cranmore farm, Umguza. He drives a new white Nissan King Cab with Zanu PF Umgusa District on the door.
Moyo is very dangerous and has been known to murder anyone getting in his way. He has a murder charge pending on him since 2005 when he beat-up and then burned to death a guy called Zenzo, who had spoken to one of his girl friends.
You may remember that I wrote a post ten days ago about information that had been sent to us about hands being cut off. I relayed the information from my contact like this:
he said a contact of his had phoned him and told him that people in the Musana Communal Lands, in the Bindura / Shamva area (Mashonaland Central), have had their hands cut off.
Read the statement concerning violence and torture from the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights and visit Kubatana's Special Post-Election Violence 2008 Page.
Protests and Riots
Students at Bindura University of Science Education protested last week:
There was mayhem in Bindura yesterday the 22nd of April 2008 when Bindura University of Science Education BUSE students joined other students at tertiary institutions countrywide in protesting against the illegal regime’s efforts to cling onto power despite losing the March 29 harmonised elections. The angry students stormed the streets at around 10am and marched from the new to the old campus site chanting protest songs. The march was disrupted by ruthless and brutal armed soldiers who forced the students to stop the protest and assaulted several students in the melee. This led to the arrest of three student leaders who were quickly whisked away and are to appear in court today charged under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
Last week saw the opening of tertiary institutions nationwide mounted by massive protests by aggrieved students who could not take lightly the exorbitant fee hikes and the illegal delay in releasing the just ended Presidential poll results. The students vowed to continue protesting until the illegal Government of Robert Mugabe swallows its pride, accept defeat and leave office.
And there was a riot at the National University of Science and Technology:
There was a riot at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) yesterday (16 April).
We heard that several activist students called all the students from their lessons to start a boycott of classes until the Presidential results were released.
There was a slow trickle of curious students out of their classes to see what was going on, and at about this point the riot police were called in.
Things turned aggressive and the university was locked down. We believe that the activists have been arrested, but this fact has not yet been confirmed. The whereabouts of the student activists is unknown.
The student situation in Zimbabwe has been very under-reported.
Simon “Dreadman” Mudekwa, the President of the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth Movement was arrested while protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in South Africa. Hope would like people to show support by calling him on his mobile phone:
I just had word that Simon “Dreadman” Mudekwa, the President of the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Youth Movement, was arrested in South Africa while protesting outside the Chinese Embassy.
He is apparently, as we speak, locked up in Sunnyside Police Station – with his cell phone.
Give him a call (we can’t) and let us know in the comments what’s up. Please give him a big cheer from all who love Zimbabwe and stand with him in Solidarity.
Cell phone number: + 27 (0)79 619 2955.
South Africa is about to do the unthinkable:
But after the arrests resulting from a protest outside the Chinese embassy in South Africa, I was alerted to this via 702:
Zimbabwean exiles to be deported after illegal protest
Pretoria police say over a hundred of the Zimbabwean exiles arrested during an illegal protest outside the Chinese embassy today will be deported.
Anti-Zanu PF Tactics
Kubatana blog received tips to counter Zanu PF tactics:
Here are some useful tips sent to us by a passionate man committed to Zimbabwe’s restoration. More than take note – take some of them on!
We need to counter Zanu PF tactics
Communication Fliers, newspapers, rallies, SMS, emails, international media
Violence and Intimidation Build while they burn Support teams of activists to stand up to the bullies We must document the violence, get it into the media and expose the perpetrators
Civil Disobedience Create doubt among Zanu PF Name and Shame Expose them, assets, deals etc.
In the event of a Run-off Pre-election Strategies Election Day Strategies
The ordinary person can – at no personal exposure
* Forward SMS messages of encouragement to friends and colleagues every day * Drive with their headlights on and encourage others to do the same * Give people lifts – especially the police and army personnel – let them do the talking * Talk to friends about the situation – keeping positive, encouraging and creating awareness
The next steps (as people become braver) could be:
* Open palm salutes to everyone throughout the day * More open discussion and encouragement * The distribution of newspaper articles and fliers
From most of you we expect a lot more – we expect you to take charge, LEAD
Government of National Unity
Is there a need for a government of National Unity?:
Now we hear that they want a government of national unity, based on what? They called the elections and lost what needs to be negotiated is the smooth transition of power to MDC the choice of the people. Even Zuma the South African Presidential hopeful's ideas of a negotiation between MDC and Zanu PF should be mooted, there is nothing to negotiate, we won the election, we are ready to govern. This whole idea of that Mugabe will steal this election and declare himself a victor rule for 18 months and then hand over power to Emmerson Mnangagwa who in turn will then instigate negotiations with MDC to resume the flow of international aid and perpetuate Zanu PF's stranglehold on Zimbabwe will be rejected by people of Zimbabwe and if needs be we will defend our vote violently. If I read carefully between the lines of the propaganda mouthpiece the Herald is that Mugabe and his military junta surely know that they cannot revive the economy of Zimbabwe, there want to give MDC piecemeal positions within their illegal government ignoring the outcome of the election.
Hope asks, “Is this a sign that Zanu PF are recognising they cannot simply steal the elections and get away with it?”:
The state controlled Herald (aka The Horrid) has an article today which proposes a government of National Unity lead by Robert Mugabe and outlines what they (read Zanu PF because The Herald is their mouthpiece) want SADC to do:
The Zimbabwe Government and independent international observers are agreed that the just-ended harmonised elections did not produce an outright winner in the presidential race. It is unlikely that the on-going recount will substantively alter that position.
Accordingly, it stands to reason that, the transitional government of national unity, negotiated by the two leading contending parties, under the mediation of Sadc, supported by the international community, should be led by the incumbent president.
Confusing Collage of Symbols and Slogans
Finally, Comrade Fatso describes the streets of Zimbabwe:
The streets are empty. The state has retreated. So has the opposition. All we are left with are their torn posters, pasted over each other in a confusing collage of symbols and slogans.
We also have their space-fillers. Riot police aimlessly walk the streets, batons in belts like forgotten cellphones. Or sometimes unconsciously swung in the air like a stick-picked-up-on-a-path. They walk the streets like the thousands of unemployed H-town youths. Space-fillers. Like the pothole-filling youths who have taken over the suburban streets. Stopping traffic, asking for donations, filling potholes. Unhindered.
Now that the verification of the presidential vote results has began in Harare, I hope we are about to see an end to this madness in Zimbabwe.
It’s so sad that the government and it’s militias have decided to resort to violence ever since the elections on March 29.
But are we any closer to the end? I doubt it, I just hope and pray a peaceful resolution is near.
well to be honest politicians are selfish.people in zimbabwe are dying and them just behind closed doors.why doesnt tsvangirai walk out and deliver wat we the people sacrificed for all our lives.he can just source food for the people as they deliiberate on politics coz who is he going to fule if all of us die of hunger.so that he can truly show the people that he is for the people
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