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Jul 22, 2008

Mugabe has to go

This is not the place for a joke but this cartoon really echoes the international actions by SA so far.

I have posted on Zimbabwe before, but at that stage there was the hope that Mugabe would quit, be voted out, or die of unnatural causes, preferably excruciatingly painful in nature. Now the last part is all we can hope for, as while he may be only now a figurehead leader for a military junta he is still there and there seems a reluctance internationally to do anything about it.

Most talk seems to seek a diplomatic solution, which I personally think is a waste of time.

A recent post in ‘Thoughts on Freedom,’ ‘More bad news from Zimbabwe,’ quoted the following: -
… Mrs. Chigoro is one of them. She is considered such a threat she is being kept under armed police guard at a Harare hospital.

Seventy years old, her injuries are so horrific she can no longer lie on her back or walk unassisted. She can only huddle in a claw-like shape. The appalling chemical burns that have removed her lips and melted her right cheek come from an industrial weed killer she was forced to drink. The widow can eat no solids and survives with the aid of a saline drip. Her crime was to survive the death squads that have roamed the rural areas of this bankrupt and terrified country. The police, armed with AK-47s, have been stationed on her ward to stop her from telling her story.

Gibb Chigoro, her son, had known that he was at risk. He was the first Movement for Democratic Change candidate to win a council seat in the ruling party stronghold of Mashonaland Central. After the first round win, he had watched the militia, police and army let loose on opposition supporters, with scores killed, thousands beaten and 200,000 displaced. …..

By the time they arrived at the camp, it was dark. The beatings that had begun mid-morning started again. No one remembers how long they went on. But when their torturers grew tired they brought out the bottles of Paraquat - a Chinese-manufactured herbicide, used to kill weeds. It has become a weapon of choice in Zimbabwe’s political terror campaign and the militia have been instructed to dip their sticks in it before beating victims.

The four terrified survivors were then forced to drink it. Mrs. Chigoro remembers her son, Hamilton, telling her not to swallow the burning liquid. A doctor described the effects of Paraquat: ‘It’s absorbed through the skin, the heart rate plunges and it attacks the nervous system. It acts on skin in a similar way to ammonia.’ ……
A friend who is a former Zimbabwean made the comment: -
The events in that article are truly appalling and sickening. My brother in Zimbabwe recently told me that he’d had unconfirmed reports that white farmers had also been forced to drink a poisonous substance but I’ve seen nothing about it. Why don’t the local press print articles like the one in this blog?

I’d love to see Mugabe have a painful lingering death or get shot but he’s almost a puppet now. The Joint Operational Command are now running the country, so those leaders would take over and also need to be taken out. The only internal options I now see are if economic conditions for the lower ranks of the army and police get so bad that they rebel with a counter coup. South Africa has the power to remove them but won’t.

The one thing all South Africans are looking forward to is the 2010 soccer world cup. If they lost that due to external pressure it would be a major embarrassment and might just prompt them to do something. As it is, most ex-Rhodesians/Zimbabweans are totally despondent and feel there is no justice in the world, not only for them but especially for those like Mrs. Chigoro.
In the Mail Online is an article, ‘The Dirty Half-Dozen: The generals who are even more ruthless and bloodthirsty than Mugabe,’ by Andrew Malone. Read it if you have a strong stomach.
Sitting behind Mugabe at the ceremony, as Chinese-built fighter jets screamed overhead, six men glowered and followed their dictator's every move.

Thickset and bursting out of their heavily decorated military uniforms, the watching men were The Generals - a group of cold-blooded killers who have seized power in Zimbabwe and revel in nicknames such as The Butcher and The Son Of God.

Dubbed the Dirty Half-Dozen or The Gang Of Six by Zimbabwe's traumatized people, The Generals have formed a military junta with terrifying plans to 'eliminate all opponents'. They forced Mugabe to hand over power to them at a meeting in State House, his HQ in Harare, the capital, days after he lost the first round of elections on March 29.

In a chilling turn of events, they arrived in a fleet of black Mercedes on April 5 and issued the President with an ultimatum: withhold the election results, stand aside and let them do their work to ensure they never again face a challenge to their lucrative, blood-thirsty rule.

Faced with exile and disgrace after this unthinkable defeat, not to mention the threat of being tried by the UN for war crimes, diplomats say Mugabe could see no way out.

He could agree to the deal in return for staying on as a figurehead president, or face the wrath of men responsible for some of Zimbabwe's bloodiest massacres, where pregnant women have been cut open and their unborn babies thrown down wells.

According to palace insiders, even Grace, Mugabe's wife, has turned against her husband. She was working as a security guard at State House when the President first spotted her and she officially became Zimbabwe's First Lady after Mugabe's first wife died. Grace relished the role, commandeering the country's aircraft for shopping sprees in Paris, London and Milan.
Now, however, she is furious at the prospect of losing the perks of office, which include five mansions and the delivery of boxes stuffed with millions of U.S. dollars to her home each month. She told Mugabe, 40 years her senior, to accept the deal offered by The Generals. Reluctantly, he agreed. ……

But The Gang Of Six has too much to lose. As one Western diplomat told me before I slipped out of Zimbabwe: 'These men will not give up power. They are in too deep. They have too much blood on their hands. They have shown they will stop at nothing to keep what they have got.'

Pity the brave people of Zimbabwe. For I suspect that even the removal of Robert Mugabe will not be enough to save them.
There are now stories of foreigners working with the death squads: -
“In the rural areas, eyewitness say they mercenaries move from village to village, with translators in two since they don't speak the local tongue.

Patrick Chitaka, the MDC chairman in Manicaland province in the east of the country, said the foreigners had been identified in the past two to three weeks supporting government-backed men.

Mr Chitaka said: "We have observed that some of the people leading the violence are foreigners because they speak a different language and they do not understand our local languages.

"Also the tactics they are using are not peculiar with Zimbabweans because they are cutting out the tongue, removing eyes and genital parts. We are not sure where they come from."

The claims were supported by human rights workers in Manicaland last night. A spokesman for one group who did not want to be named said observers on the ground had witnessed "tens, if not hundreds" of foreigners accompanying government-backed militias.

He said the soldiers were not from neighbouring countries but were more likely from farther north in Africa, possibly Rwanda, Kenya or Uganda.

Local people claim the irregular forces are Hutus from Rwanda, but the human rights representative said he could not be definitive. There are an estimated 4,000 Hutu refugees living in Zimbabwe, some of whom took part in the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.”
More can be found in ‘Zimbabwe Situation,’ if this is not graphic enough to start demanding action. The west have intervened in many humanitarian crises in the past, and at present most armies in Europe are not doing anything useful, Perhaps they might find the courage to act without needing the USA to hold their hands.


  1. Mugabe is not the problem. The army is and the army is only a symptom of Africa's real problem: the pathological attitude towards power. Those who have it abuse it and those who don't suffer passively and fatalistically in silence.

  2. I have noticed they seem to like the 'strong man' so I sometimes wonder if in fact there is a cultural trend towards this sort of thing.