"We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people."
Didymus Mutasa – Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Lands Reform, and Resettlement – August 2002 (source)
Another week in Zimbabwe and more cracks emerge and the regime becomes even more isolated in its own country - though its neighbours largely stand by and watch.
Botswana's Foreign Minister, Phando Skelemani, told the BBC last week that regional leaders will only criticise Mugabe behind his back.
Low ranking soldiers riot after having their salaries stolen from them by senior officers, the ones being payed first to ensure their loyalty, the ones who got farms when Mugabe 'liberated' the land in 2000. The economic (beyond) crisis means there's lietrally not enough money to keep the lower ranks happy.
So now they are resorting to this (report from Robb Ellis, 'The bearded man'):
Obviously, I cannot vouch for this story personally, but having served in the Zimbabwe Republic Police during the time of the Gukurahundi [the early 80s mass killings in Matabeleland] - a time which I was obliged, by virtue of being a policeman in uniform, to clean up the mess of the Fifth Brigade - I can easily believe it.Whilst the so-called 'unity' government talks stall due to Mugabe's intransigence (or plan all along), the abductions and murders of the opposition which reach a peak before and after the July elections still continue. Sokwanele is calling for help with the series of cases, one of which involves a two-year old boy.
Such cruelty, such hatred, such venom... belongs behind bars...
"The embattled Zimbabwean strongman, Robert Mugabe ordered the chilling execution of 16 rioting soldiers in a cold blood murder carried out by members of the Presidential Guard death squads at its PG HQ Base in Dzivarasekwa, North West of the Capital. Three others died during torture, our confirmed source can reveal.
The callous act has been communicated to all members of the armed forces as a chilling warning by the paranoid regime.
Last night, a fast track military court Marshal at Army Head Quarters’ KG6 Barracks was presided over by the retired High court judge Major General George Chiweshe, sitting with three other assessors, two Majors and a Captain. They passed death sentences to the 16 soldiers and it was signed by Robert Mugabe just before midnight and executions were carried out around 4 am in the presents of a military Doctor and the victim's bodies were taken to unknown destination."
I have run this page since the end of February 2005 and it may become my life's work - together with my book "Without Honour" - and it may not be anything I am ever remembered for - but I have stood on the side of what is good and right.,and I have taken some serious shots by detractors who accuse me of racism and call me all manner of names.
All of which I have been called before by instructors on the grounds of Morris Deport in Harare many years ago.
But when I read that Mugabe has ordered - callously - the cold blooded murder of serving soldiers, then I believe that everything I have written over the last three years is the truth - all the words I have typed whilst I have looked at Mugabe's disastrous rule and the damaged he has wrought - I find the strength to carry on.
I now believe that the MDC activists 'arrested' (together with a 2-year-old) have been executed as well.
How sick a man is Mugabe?
"The 16 soldiers executed on Tuesday morning are believed to have been arrested during the skirmish with police in the last few days.
It is also reported that three other soldiers died during torture.
The line of the Zimbabwe regime’s propaganda says the soldiers beat up and arrested illegal foreign currency traders in the streets of Harare on Monday, accusing them of causing severe cash shortages, but our source can revealed that this is all part on the power struggles within ZANU PF.
"They are all fighting for resources to take control, and how would they (soldiers) feel when they see commanders driving Q7s, yet they can’t access their salaries in the banks," said one source. Foreign currency dealers at Road Port are believed to be ZANU PF militia working for the country’s Central Bank to finance party activities against internal ZANU PF factions.
At the Reserve Bank, former police Commissioner Henry Mukurazhizha is in charge of the clandestine foreign currency operations with the assistance of CIO officers stationed at Atlas House, along Samora Machel House and some members of the police force."
And to think that I gave four years of my life to work as a loyal Zimbabwe Republic Policeman. I am sick to the stomach. Without reward, without any ideas of grandeur - I just did what any person would do if they wanted to be a good and successful policeman.
I don't care who says what about me, and I no longer care about the threats of reprisals here in the UK.
And Mbeki has dropped all pretence of being impartial, in responding to Tsvangirai's criticism of the latest SADC concession to Mugabe.
He said that Tsvangari did not have to wait for approval from its “external supporters” (i.e. the 'west') before signing away all real power in a so-called 'unity' government, using words which could have come directly from the regime's mouthpiece the Herald newspaper and repeating Mugabe's line on the MDC.
Zimbabwe's opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai's prominent media headlines do neither help the country, nor will these help himself.Ironically, the report is that Mbeki was riled up after MDC secretary general Tendai Biti questioned his impartiality. Ironic because Biti is still facing 'treason' charges from the regime.
As you secure applause because of the insult against us that we are 'cowards', you will have to consider the reality that our people have accepted into their countries very large numbers of Zimbabwean brothers and sisters in a spirit of human solidarity, prepared to sustain the resultant obligations.
None of our countries displayed characteristics of cowardice when they did this.
All of us will find it strange and insulting that because we do not agree with you on a small matter, you choose to describe us in a manner that is most offensive in terms of African culture, and therefore offend our sense of dignity as Africans, across our borders.
You know this, too, that the rest of southern Africa, your neighboring countries, has also had the unavoidable obligation to carry much of the weight of the burden of the Zimbabwe crisis, in many ways."
I say this humbly to advise that it does not help Zimbabwe, nor will it help you as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, that the MDC-T contemptuously repudiates very serious decisions of our region, and therefore our continent, describing them as 'a nullity'.
And the South African government appears to be following Mbeki's line, saying:
[We] would be extremely surprised if the outbreak of cholera, the death of innocent Zimbabweans as a result of a failure of politicians to reach an agreement, does not spur them to more urgent action.Huh? Cholera has nothing to do with the 'agreement'. It has to do with the deliberate neglect of Zimbabwe's water, health and sewerage - all of which have completely collapsed - and the starvation of the people, in geat part because of the farm seizures (echoes of the Ukraine in the 1930s).
Didymus Mutasa, who I quote at the top, was also the man who led Operation Murambatsvina [Operation Drive Out the Filth], in 2005. Soldiers, police and government militias used extreme violence to destroy the homes of hundreds of thousands of poor people on the outer edges of the country's towns and cities.
Mutasa presented Murambatsvina as a regeneration and renewal scheme to "clean up" urban areas. But most of the 700,000 to a million people who watched their houses being bulldozed, sledgehammered and set ablaze were opposition supporters.
Like Pol Pot's Kmer Rouge, the Zimbabwean leadership simply doesn't care how many of its people die.
All they care about is power.
Here and here are some actions you can take to support Zimbabweans.