Global Zimbabwe Protest

Jan 15, 2012-01-15

RE: MDC Global Protest

Dear Editor,

Herewith a Press Release on Zimbabwean Global Protest

MDC Midlands North Information

Makusha Mugabe

The Global Zimbabwe Protest is set to be the first global manifestation of the discontent of Zimbabweans living abroad with their government’s failure refusal to be civil and the failure of the international community to follow through on protecting the innocent.

In London, signing of the petitions, singing and informal gathering will be ongoing from morning at the Vigil, outside the Zimbabwean Embassy as well as distribution of placards, said MDC UK organising secretary, Jeff Sango.

MDC Provincial and District representatives will meet with European Union MEPs who will be guests at the London protest following engagement by the Global Zimbabwe Advocacy.

Then they will March to the South African Embassy to hand over the petition.

Netherlands protests will be at the SA Embassy in the Haig and will include the symbolic handing over of a list of Zimbabwean candidates for Crimes Against Humanity trial, Stockholm, Sweden it will be at the SA Embassy, as well as in Brussell where the Global Advocate has been highlighting the plight to the European Parliament

The US, South Africa, Canada and Australia are also ready to go.

Why Zimbabweans Are Taking It To The Streets

By Solomon Mashiri, MDC UK Midlands North

The international community can no longer ignore what is going on in Zimbabwe, nor condone the irresponsible position that has been taken by South African President Jacob Zuma, leader of the regional powerhouse.

World leaders, from SADC and AU leaders, to David Cameron and Catharine Ashton at the EU headquarters, to Barack Obama in Washington had left the Zimbabwean situation to Jacob Zuma.

With a clear mandate from SADC to see through the transition to a substantive, Zuma did superintend over agreements on a process to a free and fair election. But Mugabe has simply torn the agreements to shreds and refused to abide by them.

This has led to lawless in the country where now Mugabe’s police, his military and his intelligence resources are mobilised to derail the process, as the co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone has admitted.

Some analysts say the process to elections and a new government has already been derailed right under the nose of MDC and Jacob Zuma whose silence is becoming worse than his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki’s quite diplomacy.

In fact all the SADC and AU leaders who were in Harare for the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should be ashamed of themselves for burying their heads in the sand and pretending that this is not happening.

World leaders like Obama or Ms Ashton or Ban Ki-Moon are not holding Zuma to account, leading Zimbabweans outside the country to plan to demonstrate this weekend to demand action from the international community – because Zimbabweans had put their trust in the international community’s process.

MDC members and other Zimbabweans are attending the demonstration in London on Saturday and other will be held in Washington DC and other American cities to express displeasure with the world community for letting down Zimbabweans.

As we speak, only yesterday, Mugabe’s War veterans besieged offices of the Constitution Select Committee (Copac), which was tasked to draft a new constitution as one of the major steps towards a free and fair election.

It has now been established that the War Veterans are actually Mugabe’s covert force, where he pretends that he is part of the peace process, but allows the war vets to go and terrorize legislators involved in drafting the constitution.

He also allows MDC activists arrested on spurious grounds to continue to be detained for almost a year now, without any trial, all in an attempt to neutralize the MDC.

The War Vets chairman, Jabulani Sibanda, has been implicated in numerous acts of intimidating villagers, but he is funded by Zanu (PF) and facilitated by Mugabe’s office because he is leading calls for the constitution-making process to be abandoned.

At every stage of the constitution consultations Copac has had to do its work under the shadow of assaults and abuse from war vets who are now said to be unhappy about the composition of the drafting team, even though it was appointed in consultation.

But more importantly people are being killed in a new wave of lawlessness that has engulfed the country, with police complicit in the lawlessness, and there are fears that hunger will once again stalk most Zimbabweans this year.

Hopes for justice for victims of state-funded and organised violence in the 2008 election, which was provided for in Articles 7 and 18 of the GPA, have all but faded.

Even though there was recognition that this violence had to be redressed, architects of the violence are still presiding over the justice delivery system in the security ministries and the partisan Attorney-General’s Office.

Analysts now see clearly that Zanu PF is not committed to abandoning violence as a political tool to be used even in any future poll where they have already rejected the possibility of election monitors from “hostile countries”.

Even the monitors from SADC that have been agreed under the SADC summits have not been allowed into the country because Zanu (PF) does not want them to see the skirmishes between police activists, now becoming a daily routine in central Harare.

Only yesterday about a dozen MDC activists were arrested in police raids on the MDC headquarters, including Barnabas Mwanaka, the Youth Assembly secretary for Mbare District.

Torture and beatings by police has been reported and journalists have also been arrested and interrogated about how they were going to report the story. A photojournalist was ordered by police to delete photos from her cameras.

In the rural areas the same is going on, with soldiers camping at Sheba Estates in Mutasa South reported to be randomly beating up villagers and estate workers as Zanu (PF) tries to take over control of the Border Timbers estate – Zimbabwe’s largest producer of timber.

Other lands have been taken over in the lowveld where a group of commercial farmers whose properties were confiscated are due to appear in Chiredzi Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Zimbabwe now faces the lowest yield of maize in 50 years, according to the Commercial Farmers Union. Only 247,000 hectares were planted which should yield 350,000 tonnes of maize, which, when compared to the consumption needs of 2 million tonnes, means Zimbabweans are going to suffer again this year.

Of about 350,000 families previously housed on commercial farms, the government claims to have resettled 166,000 families – less than half the total evicted from the farms, meaning the rest are drifting homeless.

Meanwhile Zanu (PF) has tied itself into a knot, with its members clamouring for primary elections because they have been told that an election is imminent, yet the very senior officials claiming that elections are imminent cannot roll out a primaries programme without delimitation.

Delimitation can only take place once the Constitution has been concluded and the various commissions and their secretariats appointed, and the whole programme has been funded.

But Zanu (PF) is shooting itself in the foot by sabotaging the constitution-making process and unleashing a new wave of violence and land invasions – all contributing to an assessment that a conducive atmosphere for free and fair elections does not exist.

Monitors whom SADC resolved should come to Zimbabwe to certify the conditions for free and fair elections have still not been cleared to come into the country.

And the illegitimate government is continuing to make decisions that make Zimbabwe look like a failed banana republic – like last week’s reported Mugabe-Nguema Summit at which “bilateral” agreements were reported in the Herald to have been signed, even though Ministers responsible for some of the areas were not present and in fact knew nothing about it.

Apparently the summit was an all-Zanu (PF) affair – another clear message that Zanu (PF) is behaving as it pleases, in violation of all the agreements that it invited AU and SADC Heads of States to come and witness in Harare.

The AU and SADC Heads of States have apparently all decided by bury their heads in the sand and hope that the crisis will resolve itself – as they always do.

The Daily News quoted potential Zanu (PF) candidates saying that they had tried to find out from Zanu (PF) secretary for the Commissariate and Culture, Webster Shamu, when the primaries would be held.

They were becoming impatient and thought Shamu did not appreciate that they needed to prepare for the primaries and the main election in time, rather than in just three months after the dates of the elections have been announced by the president.

Another candidate thought that the bigwigs in Zanu (PF) were not adequately prepared themselves to face the people to ask them for another term of office as they had nothing to show for all their previous terms.

The simple answer might well be that primary elections cannot be held before delimitation, but the President’s announcement that elections are going to be held this year is now fueling suspicion within Zanu (PF) itself, which is costing the old guard votes.

The Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs usually deals directly with the issues of primaries although the commissariat and administration make the formal announcement to party members in an apparent internal Zanu (PF) attempt to distribute powers to run internal elections.

But in this case Emmerson Mnangagwa – who is himself the reputed leader of a faction that wants to bulldoze a shotgun election without due regard to freeness or fairness – is supposed to unpack the primaries process.

With the succession issue remaining unresolved the system might result in a total paralysis of Zanu (PF), which situation suites the military fine as they thrive best in situations of lawlessness, where they only have to wield the gun.

But for the MDC to be able to take advantage of the confusion in Zanu (PF), Jacob Zuma and SADC would have to come in with the necessary guarantees of a free election and that the loser will bow out gracefully.

If they cannot provide such guarantees, the sooner they tell the international community the better so that the UN can take over the role – which is probably what should have been done in the first place.


Midlands North Information

Post published in: World News

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