Families of Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders are being targeted for brutal execution.Â The mutilated body of Abigail Chitoro, wife of the Mayor-elect of Harare, was found on Tuesday. Mr. Chitoro said, “The body was butchered. They had used heavy objects to crush the head. She still had the blindfold that my kid said they put on her head when they took them away.”
“In the last week there have been three reports of local MDC officials who fled their homes from marauding Zanu PF mobs and who had their homes burnt down. In each case their wives were put to death, two burnt alive, the other battered to death.”
Murder and torture victims have had their ears, lips, and sexual organs cut off.Â Mutilation of bodies is one of the surest signs of the de-humanizing of targeted groups during genocide and politicide (political mass murder.)
ZANU-PF’s hate speech, torture, and murder have terrorized Zimbabwe since the Movement for Democratic Change defeated Mugabe and the ZANU-PF in March’s elections.Â Now ZANU-PF has stepped up its violence to openly kill leaders of the MDC and their families.Â Such acts are prelude to every politicide or genocide.
Â A sign of the gravity of the danger is the phenomenon of “mirroring,” a strange but common psychological mechanism of denial used by mass murderers.Â ZANU-PF spokesmen accuse their victims of being traitors or terrorists, when in fact ZANU-PF is the real perpetrator.
The terror campaign is being directed by Air Marshall Perence Shiri, who was commander of the infamous North Korean trained Fifth Brigade, which carried out Mugabe’s genocide against the Matabele in 1983-84.Â Working with him is General Constantine Chiwanga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Army, and Sidney
Sekeramayi, Minister of Defense, both of whom were senior officers directly involved in the 1983-84 genocide.
The military has taken effective control of Zimbabwe.Â With military support, gangs of ZANU-PF marauders sweep through villages at night, killing, torturing and raping MDC supporters.
President Mugabe’s open declaration that his followers would go to war rather than accept defeat in the election is a sign of the high probability that Zimbabwe is headed for a bloodbath. His termination of relief aid to his own starving people shows his complete contempt for human life.
* Genocide Watch calls on South African President Mbeki to inform President Mugabe that if the election is followed by mass killing, South African troops will intervene to stop it.
* Genocide Watch also calls on the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation in Zimbabwe to the International Criminal Court, so that those perpetrating the crimes against humanity there, including Mugabe himself, will be brought to justice.
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton
Washington, DC 20044
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.genocidewatch.org <http://www.genocidewatch.org/>