DA accuses Mugabe of preparing for war

daouth Africas main opposition party on Thursday warned that Robert Mugabe is preparing for war ahead of the next elections, saying the ageing dictator is in discussions with Venezuela, Cuba and Korea over funding a war chest.


MPs for the Democratic Alliance briefed South African media at Parliament following a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe last week. The MPs, Wilmot James and Kenneth Mubu said credible sources in the country reported that Mugabe was also trying to procure ammunition from South Africa.
I think there is no doubt Mugabe is preparing for war. We spoke to very, very reliable sources, Mubu told SW Radio Africa on Thursday. He said these included various human rights groups in Zimbabwe.
The MPs also cited a recent report by a Belgian research group, the International Peace Information Service, which last month detailed numerous arms shipments that had already arrived in Zimbabwe. The report said that on August 21, 2008, the first of many arms shipments, containing 32 tons of ammunition was flown from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Harare. It also reported that days later, a second shipment of 20 tons of AK-47 ammunition arrived from Angola, including mortar bombs and rockets. South Africa is also apparently planning a shipment of ammunition to the country.
Mubu said that Mugabe and his ZANU PF party appeared to be mobilising for war against their own citizens. He expressed concern about the growing presence of youth militia and war veterans in rural areas, saying there is belief that violence will once again be used to garner support for ZANU PF.

Every time there are elections there is violence, Mubu said. We are now concerned that there is evidence of the same actions that Mugabe has used in the past.
The MPs have now called on South African President Jacob Zuma to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, as well as prepare to send independent election monitors to the country in time for the next elections and for all elections following that.
The pair also called on Zuma to hold Mugabe to account for the ongoing land invasions, particularly land protected under recent rulings by the human rights court of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The SADC Tribunal last year ruled in favour of more than 70 white commercial farmers who had been targeted as part of Mugabes land reform programme, and ordered the government to protect the farmers right to their land. But the SADC order was completely ignored and the same farmers have been targeted by land invaders this year. The farmers returned to the SADC Tribunal earlier this year, which ruled that the government was in contempt for allowing the land attacks to continue.
Meanwhile, Mugabe this year called SADCs land ruling null and void, saying the ruling was nonsense and of no-consequence. Zimbabwe, as a signatory to the SADC treaty, is bound to respect rulings made by the human rights court, and Mubu said that Zuma as the current SADC Chair, has a responsibility to hold Mugabe to account. He continued that some of the affected farmers are South African citizens, and Zuma has a greater responsibility therefore to protect the rights of his own people.

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