Friday, April 11, 2008


Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe: worlds dirtest little bastard!

BY Terry Bankert 4/11/08
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Full Article at
And summary at Flint Talk

An argument for democracy![trb]

I WON DAM IT! The leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he will not be part of an election run-off, claiming that he won the election with over 50 percent of the votes. But the government dismissed Tsvangirai’s accusation as mere rhetoric. [V]

JUST HOW LONG DID FLORIDA TAKE? Almost two weeks after polling day, the official result has still not been announced. Independent monitors say that Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, came first. [T]

THE OLD COUP D’ETAT After waiting 12 days for an official announcement of the outcome of Zimbabwe’s presidential election, Tendai Biti, the opposition’s secretary general, accused the governing party, led by President Robert Mugabe, of carrying out “a constitutional coup d’état.” Independent monitors say Mr. Tsvangirai won the vote, though probably not by enough to avoid a runoff.[n]

PRESIDENT BUSH GETS IT RIGHT! US President George W. Bush on Thursday called on Zimbabwe's election authorities to release the results from the country's disputed March 29 presidential vote, the White House said.[AFP] In a telephone conversation with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Bush "reiterated calls by the United States for the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to release the presidential election results as soon as possible and that they reflect the will of the people," said spokesman Gordon Johndroe.[AFP]

GOVERNMENT THE government yesterday broke its silence on the protracted delay in the release of Zimbabwe's presidential election results, and called for their immediate publication.[a]They finally have the results they want.[trb]

MILITARY WILL HELP COMMUNICATE MUGABE’S BRAND OF DEMOCRACY The opposition says it has obtained a leaked copy of a military plan to deploy 200 senior officers of the armed forces to coordinate a campaign of intimidation against its supporters. Luke Tamborinyoka, director of information for the Movement for Democratic Change, estimated that 600 people had been arrested or beaten up so far.[N]

TRIBUNALS ON THE HORIZON? With the country in an economic meltdown, facing 80 percent unemployment and out-of-control inflation, the people who staff the machinery of the state have been “leaking like a sieve,” Mr. Tamborinyoka said, tipping off the party to raids and various acts of skulduggery.[N]

ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe (pronounced /zɪ?mˈ'bɑ?ː?bweɪ?/), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, and formerly Southern Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe Rhodesia, is a landlocked country in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east. The official language of Zimbabwe is English, however the majority of the population speaks Shona, which is the native language of the Shona people; it is one of the native languages of Zimbabwe along with Sindebele, which is spoken by the Matabele people.[W] PHAD Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad said that the Zimbab Electoral Commission delay was "almost like keeping the international community in suspense".[a] “I think my personal opinion about the latest development is that we should not really be worried or be surprised by what ZANU-PF has done to move the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to a secret location because we have already known from the onset that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission who is not independent from the ruling party…I think that anybody outside Zimbabwe knows that ZANU-PF has been trying as much as possible to discredit the electoral process, and to try and rig the electoral process and to prove that there were flaws in the electoral process,” Fungano noted.[V]

ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION "It is important that the expressed will of the people is respected. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should explain the delay in the announcement of the results. This will calm the situation and ease the tension ," he said.[a]

BAD ELECTION OFFICIALS OR BAD POLICE? Beyond that, the police have arrested eight election officials on charges of fraud in vote counting. The opposition and trade union groups say the arrests appear to be a bald attempt to intimidate the country’s electoral commission to rig the vote in a recount.[N] The first solid evidence of ballot rigging in Zimbabwe's presidential election emerged yesterday when a senior policeman told The Daily Telegraph that officers marked extra votes for President Robert Mugabe.[T]

IT’S THE TEACHERS! The government acted severely against some of the election officials involved in counting the more than 2 million votes cast. The Herald reported, for example, that the police had arrested a primary school headmaster, Shadreck Mufute, 47, “on allegations of depriving President Mugabe of 10 votes, which he allegedly gave to Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential race.”[N]

BALLOT FRAUD Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has described as desperate measures by the ruling ZANU-PF party to move the offices of the electoral commission to a secret location. The MDC says the move is a calculated attempt by supporters of incumbent President Robert Mugabe to thwart its victory and force a presidential election run-off. This comes after supporters of incumbent President Robert Mugabe reportedly told MDC officials as well as independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni that they have no right to be present for the final count of the presidential vote.[V]

WHEN YOU HAVE SECRET BALLOTS, SHOULD SECRET COUNTS BE PERMITTED? The police officer, who cannot be identified for fear of reprisals, saw a number of ballot boxes carried into a room at police headquarters in Harare last weekend, seven days after the election.[T]

CORRUPT POLICE, NO BLIND SUPPORT FOR THE MEN IN BLUE Five or six new recruits from Morris Depot, all in uniform, then filled out extra votes for Mr Mugabe. Ballots for Mr Tsvangirai were removed, the officer added, to bolster the president's share of the vote.[T]

A ROOM 96 CONSPIRACY! "We were in the corridor and saw the ballot boxes being taken into Room 96," the officer said. The police headquarters is only about 300 yards from Mr Mugabe's office in Harare. "We asked somebody who went in there and saw the trainees filling out the ballot papers. I am not the only one who knows this, there are others. The recruits will do anything they are asked to do. They were all desperate for jobs. If they have to beat people they will do that."[T]

84 IN A NATION WITH A 37 YR LIFE EXPECTANCY! The officer said that senior police commanders were desperate for 84-year-old Mr Mugabe to hold power to protect their own interests.[T]

BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME The force, he added, was "very, very corrupt because surely we cannot survive on what we earn". Despite recent salary rises, policemen earn only £10 a week, before tax.[T] Shortly before the election, the ruling Zanu-PF regime changed the rules to allow police to "assist voters" inside polling stations. The police were also responsible for transmitting the presidential results to the Electoral Commission's "command centre" in Harare.[T] Tendai Biti, the secretary-general of the MDC, said the party had evidence of nine million ballot papers being printed before the election, despite Zimbabwe's registered electorate of only 5.9 million.[T]

ZANU - V- MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE The ruling Zanu (PF) was preparing for a run off poll while the outcome of the presidential contest was not yet known -- this despite the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai having claimed victory, Pahad said.[a]

RULERS WANT TO REMAIN RULERS- LETS GET THE YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED! With evidence accumulating that youth militias organized by Mr. Mugabe’s party are moving through rural areas, beating up opposition supporters and threatening worse, Mr. Biti said heads of state from southern Africa must tell Mr. Mugabe to step aside when they meet Saturday to consider Zimbabwe’s crisis.“This is the endgame of the endgame,” Mr. Biti said. “Checkmate already happened on the 29th of March.” [N]

CHALLENGE RESULTS Zanu (PF) was also challenging results at some polling stations -- while the MDC had no knowledge of what these results were, he said.[a]

I AM GOING NO WHERE, .....I AM MUGBEE! Nor has he accepted defeat. His party has demanded a recount of the vote, even though no results have been officially announced yet. And while the party, known as ZANU-PF, lost control of Parliament in last month’s elections, it said Thursday in The Herald, the state-run newspaper, that it was now contesting the results in 21 seats in Parliament’s lower house. That would be enough to swing the parliamentary majority back to ZANU-PF.[N]

CONSPIRACIES Pahad's concern was a marked departure from his stance a week ago when he berated the media's coverage on delays, calling the reports "instruments of conspiracies and destabilisation".[a] SADC His latest comments come on the eve of an emergency Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit called by chairman Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa to discuss the crisis. President Thabo Mbeki was expected to attend the meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.[a]

MUGABE MUST RESIGN MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti said yesterday that regional leaders should push for Mugabe's resignation.[a]

FATHER OF THE COUNTRY On 18 April 1980, the country attained independence and along with it a new name, Zimbabwe, new flag, and government led by Robert Mugabe of ZANU. Canaan Banana served as the first president with Mugabe as Prime Minister. In 1987, the government amended the Constitution to provide for an Executive President and abolished the office of Prime Minister. The constitutional changes went into effect on 1 January 1988, establishing Robert Mugabe as President.[W] Under the leadership of Mugabe, land issues, which the liberation movement promised to solve, reemerged as the vital issue in the 1990s. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe began an effort to redistribute land from white holders (predominantly large farms) to 250,000 Africans.[W] Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a hard currency shortage, which has led to hyperinflation and chronic shortages in imported fuel and consumer goods. Mugabe's critics blame his programme of land reform. However, Mugabe claims that massive financial isolation through American, British and EU legislation such as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery act of 2001 is the actual cause of hyperinflation. Under ZDERA, the IMF and other financial institutions are prohibited from extending loans, credit or cancelling debt to the government of Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe needs to import all its energy, and oil is paid for in US dollars, this made the country vulnerable to financial sanctions like ZDERA.[W] Zimbabwe's current economic and food crisis, described by some observers as the country's worst humanitarian crisis since independence, has been attributed, in varying degrees, to a drought affecting the entire region, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the government's price controls and land reforms.[1][W]

OR THE WORLDS 7TH WORST DIREST LITTLE BASTARD! Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has ruled his country with an iron fist for 28 years.[TT] In just over two decades, he has driven an estimated three million Zimbabweans into exile and his land reforms have seen 4000 farmers evicted from their farms, leaving over 350000 farm workers unemployed. Commercial agriculture, which produced 227726 tons of tobacco in 2000, has collapsed and the economy is crippled. Zimbabwe now depends on food programmes and support from outside to feed its population. Once regarded as a war hero, Mugabe has single-handedly orchestrated Zimbabwe’s collapse[TT]

BODIES WILL LITTER STREET! "We don't know why the world has to wait until ... bodies start littering the streets of Harare."[a]

BOYCOTT A MUGABE RUN OFF IS WHERE THE OPPOSITION- RUNS OFF! Biti hinted the opposition would boycott any runoff poll.[a] "Morgan Tsvangirai won this election without the need for a runoff, and we will not accept any other result except one that confirms that we won this election," he said.[a]

IT CAN ONLY HAPPEN ONCE. “Then they said that they will kill me,” he continued. “They said, ‘Everyone who voted for Morgan Tsvangirai. We will deal with them.’ They had my hands behind my back. Then when I tried to run away, some other guys came, so they hit me, hit me, till I managed to flee.”[N]

IF YOU VOTE YOU DIE,..... YOUR ANSWER? The opposition contends that such violence will sway a runoff, a sentiment with which the man agreed. “No one is going to vote,” he said. “These guys mean business. If you see a grown-up person running away, it’s not a joke.” [N]

ELECTION OFFICIALS SHOULD BE NEUTRAL. The MDC launched a legal challenge to get the electoral commission to release the presidential poll results.[a] Judgment has been reserved until Monday.[a]Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu confirmed that President Robert Mugabe would attend the SADC meeting.[a]

ENGINEERS OF DEMOCRACY Mr Biti said: "They want to re-engineer the results. They have re-stuffed these ballot boxes. An illegitmate government is in place. The failure of the regime in Harare to give in to those who were elected in our view constitutes a constitutional coup d'etat."[T] The election crisis will be the subject of an emergency summit of southern African countries in Zambia's capital, Lusaka, tomorrow. Both Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai could attend, raising the possibility of a public row.[T]

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: STORM COMING! It would be the "last real chance" for the SADC to help resolve the country's worsening political crisis, said Human Rights Watch, the latest body global to raise concern at the crisis. It also accused Zanu (PF) of "resorting to extreme measures" and preventing the electoral commission from announcing the results.[a]

IT HAS AN INSTITUTE- WHERE? The Institute for Democracy in SA said it had information from observers still inside Zimbabwe that increasing military and paramilitary mobilisation were breeding community level violence.[a] Pahad also said that the government was concerned about those acting outside the law by intimidating rural communities and invading the farms of people perceived to have voted for the opposition.[a]

HOW POLITE He said the South African embassy had sent a diplomatic note to Zimbabwe's foreign ministry on Tuesday to plead for the protection of South African farmers after two South African-owned farms near Chinoyi were invaded.[a] Asked what the government was likely to do if Mugabe ignored SA's plea for calm, observance of the rule of law and the publication of results, Pahad said people overestimated what SA could do.[a] Right![trb] He said that SA was not a hegemonic power that could impose its will -- at the whim of South Africans -- on any other country.[a] "There is no South African government that will try to impose its will... that will never happen.[a] "We can't take on the weakest countries and we don't intend to do that."[a]

BY ANY OTHER NAME A COUP In an interview with Time magazine, Mr. Tsvangirai seemed to echo these concerns, saying that Mr. Mugabe was carrying out a “de facto military coup,” but that he would be ousted with the help of other African countries.[N] “We’ll manage to get Mugabe out,” he said. “Mugabe is being deserted.”[N]

IS THERE A POPULIST LEADER IN THIS GROUP? Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is calling on African leaders to help get rid of incumbent President Robert Mugabe, whom he accused of being a dictator.[V]

JUST WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO WITH OUT AMNESTY OR SAFETY? But Mr. Mugabe, who has governed, often ruthlessly, for 28 years, is likely to have a few moves left. A spokesman for the government told news agencies in Harare, the capital, that Mr. Mugabe would attend Saturday’s meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. Mr. Mugabe has often rallied support among African leaders in the past with angry denunciations of meddling Western nations. [N]

7TH WORST DICTATOR IN THE WORLD Robert Mugabe, (82 yrs old in power since 1980) once was hailed as a symbol of the new Africa, but under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, which is as much an abuse of human rights as arbitrary arrest and torture. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world’s shortest life expectancy—37 years for men and 34 for women. It also has the greatest percentage of orphans (about 25%, says UNICEF) and the worst annual inflation rate (1,281% as of last month). He last allowed an election in 2002 but “won” only after having his leading opponent arrested for treason.[p]

Posted here
by Terry Bankert 4/11/08...
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—where did this stuff come from—
[a] All
[V] VOICE OF AMERICA [TRB] Comments of Terry Bankert to include cap headlines
[N] The New York Times
[afp] AFP
[TT] The Times
[p] Parade

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