Zimbabwe coup plot claim is Mugabe “fairytale”

LONDON - Zimbabwean government allegations that British human rights campaigner and gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, is involved in a coup plot have been dismissed by Tatchell as “Mugabe fairy tales” and “downri

ght delusional.”

“I have never been involved with the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement. Once, in 2003, I was asked by Zimbabwean activists to distribute in the UK a ZFM launch press communique and video recording. That was the start and finish of my connection with the ZFM,” reports Tatchell.

“Mugabe’s henchmen claim I was involved in opening a bank account in Mozambique to finance the overthrow of the Zimbabwean government. This is a joke. I can’t raise enough money to staff an office for my own human rights work, let alone fund an insurrection.

“The liberation of Zimbabwe is a matter for the people of Zimbabwe. I support their struggle for democracy, social justice and human rights, but I am not part of that struggle.

“When the ZFM announced its existence in November 2003, the Mugabe government dismissed it as a hoax and said no such movement exists. Now, when it is politically expedient, the Zimbabwean regime suddenly claims the ZFM does exist and is planning to overthrow the government. Mugabe can’t have it both ways.

“The coup plot allegations are obviously a ploy to discredit the opposition and to pave the way for further repression of the Zimbabwean people.

“The government is trying to link the ZFM with the Movement for Democratic Change. It is no coincidence that all this hype about a supposed insurrection comes just weeks before the MDC congress. It is patently a crude bid to justify a crackdown on the MDC.

“If I was part of a plot I would be shouting it from the rooftops, in the same way that in the 1970s I was open and proud of my support for Zanu’s war of liberation against the white racist regime of Ian Smith.

“Mugabe has betrayed Zanu’s ideals of socialist democracy and human rights. The liberation hero has turned into a tyrant. Zanu (PF)’s leaders are growing fat while the mass of Zimbabweans are jobless, impoverished, homeless and starving. Robert Mugabe is Ian Smith with a black face – only worse.

“Mugabe has murdered more black Africans that apartheid South Africa. In the 1980s alone, in one region of Zimbabwe, Matabeleland, Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade massacred an estimated 20,000 people – a massacre more than 250 times greater than the notorious apartheid massacre at Sharpeville.

“The massacre by Mugabe’s troops in Matabeleland was the equivalent of a Sharpeville massacre every day for ten months,” said Tatchell.

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