world

Mugabe vows 'war' to keep opposition out of power

17 Comments

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Saturday vowed to fight to keep his rival from taking power in an upcoming run-off poll as the opposition's number two appeared in court facing a charge carrying a potential death sentence.

"Should this country be taken by traitors... it is impossible," Mugabe said, referring to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a speech given at the burial of a former independence fighter.

"It shall never happen... as long as we are alive and those who fought for the country are alive," the 84-year-old leader said. "We are prepared to fight for our country and to go to war for it."

Mugabe also raised the specter of war on Friday if MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who officially fell short of an outright majority in the March 29 first round vote, wins the run-off poll on June 27.

The opposition has warned of a campaign of intimidation ahead of the election and claims more than 60 of its supporters have been killed since the March vote.

Meanwhile MDC secretary general Tendai Biti appeared in a Harare court on Saturday facing a treason charge, whose maximum punishment is a death sentence.

He was arrested two days ago when he returned after a long stay in South Africa.

Biti appeared in court in handcuffs and was escorted by an armed police officer but appeared in good health. He was later taken back into police custody.

Biti's lawyer, Lewis Uriri, said he could now have unfettered access to his client. Police had at first refused to reveal his whereabouts, prompting a judge to order them to bring him to court.

Uriri was allowed to visit him and deliver food at Harare's central prison.

After the meeting, Uriri said Biti had been interrogated continuously for 24 hours by three different teams following his arrest.

Police indicated they would bring him to court again on Monday, said Uriri. He was to be taken later to Matapi police station in the western Harare township of Mbare.

Authorities have said they plan to charge Biti for allegedly authoring a document which is said to have contained details of a plot to rig the election outcome.

He is also accused of "communicating and publishing false information prejudicial to the state" for proclaiming victory for his party in the March 29 polls ahead of official results.

The MDC has faced major obstacles in seeking to campaign, and police detained Tsvangirai on Saturday morning for a fifth time in some 10 days, holding him for two hours before releasing him without charge.

Authorities have also banned a series of MDC rallies and on Friday seized two of the opposition's campaign buses, one of which has since been returned, Tsvangirai's spokesman George Sibotshiwe said.

Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980, has blamed the opposition for the increase in violence ahead of the vote, but the U.N. has said the president's supporters are responsible for the bulk of it.

He has frequently portrayed Tsvangirai as a puppet of former colonial power Britain and wealthy whites, thousands of whom lost their land when he launched a controversial program of farm expropriations at the turn of the decade.

"Once again we want to make it clear to the British and Americans that we are no one's subjects and will never be," Mugabe said on Saturday.

"This country shall not again come under the rule and control of the white man, direct or indirect. Never, ever.

He launched a new diatribe against British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who called on Friday for "an end to violence, an end to repression ... and for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe."

"Brown, prime minister of Britain, continues to interfere in our internal affairs, making us a subject matter of British policy as if we remain a permanent colony of Britain," said Mugabe.

© Wire reports

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

Madverts: Laugh all you want. I'm not defending anybody. I'm stating the facts about my country. He's squandered nothing! The carpet was pulled from underneath him. Zimbabwe had an artificial economy - by which I mean, all farming was by law restricted to members of the white community, all mines are operated from Rhodesia by the same multinationals that are behind the coup - the same bunch that lost mining 'rights' in Zaire when Mugabe defeated the Rwandan army. Haven't you ever wondered why no white farmer has sued Mugabe for so-called damages? He has all the written evidence against them and it clearly implicates Peter Hain, Tony Blair, Claire Short, Robin Cook, Mandela, Chissano and a bunch of other thugs. Which court in the world will dare make a fool of itself? All the transcripts of communications between London and Harare are available - the Russians. Only two years ago Britain relented that it had miscalculated the depth of Russian involvement in Zimbabwe. Hey, look at it this way - Mugabe was the one that exposed DPRK's mandrax and US dollar bill counterfeit distribution system. Harare has been an asset for the US in its war on terror - thanks to Mugabe. Simon Mann was picked up in Harare because somebody repaid a favor to Mugabe. And let's not forget that CNN was hunting for that Boeing for two years! Executive Outcomes were using it - with Mandela's blessing. There is no saint in Africa. Mugabe is untouchable. Lay a finger on him and watch the suicides in London and Pretoria - the dossier will be published. Sir I have suffered for 22 years. Nobody in Zimbabwe lifted a finger to arrest my persecutors. I lost family members, friends... a whole country. Defend anybody in ZImbabwe? Hell no! Oh, and Gaddafi lodged an official complaint about me to Mugabe in 1987. I'll die without seeing my family again. I couldn't careless about who lives or dies in ZImbabwe. But what I can tell you sir, is that I know where this is all leading to,. Unless the world wakes up to the charade Rwanda is going to look like a picnic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rejects,

I'm sorry but your defence of Mugabe is laughable:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7463034.stm

Mugabe is a demented fool who has squandered the once flourishing economy to the highest inflation in the world.

He needs to go. A long time ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Madverts: There's no hiding what is being done there (election violations etc.). The problem is that wht we have in Zimbabwe is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. The MDC is not what the BBC have made it out to be. They are nasty unionists! Brutal! Bank rolled by COSATU another unsavory bunch. These guys up to Nov 1997 controlled the War Veterans. In fact the WV's were there 'Pinckerton men'. Ask Trudy Stevens - google her.

Triumvere: The competent white farmers crashed the agricultural industry deliberatlyfrom Oct 1997 - I have a copy of the letter used by Standard Chartered Bank of South Africa which quite plainly told them "It's an offer you can't refuse - lay down your ploughs for 18 months or else we call-in your loans..."sic On farming the real farmer has been black for the past fifty years!. The white has merely delivered the seed and collected the money from the Farmers Co-op. The Kutsaga Research Station that proved all the seeds was run entirely by blacks - with university degrees - ask Allen Savory - google him. Mugabe's beef with the farmers is that they grew tobacco only from the late 80's causing Zimbabwe to become an importer of food. When he tried to persuade them to parcel out some land for food crops they called London, burnt their harvests on the eve of delivery, doused wheat and maize in DDT... we're not talking about angels here. Zimbabwe is the most dysfunctional nation there ever was and ever will be. Somebody should try calling Suzuki Muneo and asking him about his part in the plot... If Iraq was a yarn, Zimbabwe is the sheep that grew the fleece.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unscrejects,

I would be curious to know how you blame the west for the collapse of the farming industry in Zimbabwe; While foreign powers could certainly conspire to isolate Zimbabwe economically (to the great detriment of the people), I fail to see how they could have destroyed the internal agriculture of the greatest food producer in Africa. It seems to me that there is no-one to blame but Mugabe; he took the farms from the competant white farmers, but failed to replace them with competant black farmers. There is no reason to believe that blacks should fair worse at farming than whits, given the proper training. But yet, Mugabe seems to have distributed them to cronies rather than farmers. And if their were no competant black farmers available, would it have not been better to do the land redistibution differently?

Lack of food is the number one issue in Zimbabwe right now; it over shadows everything. Please explain to me, if you disagree with the above analysis, why the people of Zimbabwe cannot eat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Mugabe's got the Army, the guns, and the muscle."

Perhaps - I saw first hand what happened in Kenya. Happy people turning into blood-thirsty savages because of third world tribalism.

If there's one place that did need a regime change, then here's one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

reject,

So what about the election rigging, rounding up of the opposition leaders or supporters, beating of the opposition, giving the army direct orders to hassle those not voting Zanu PF.......?

Can I put all this down to ignorance too?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

PLEASE LISTEN TO ME

As I've been saying for ten years now: Mugabe has been wronged and he is going to make them pay. Zimbabwe is going to get a massive killing. And it will not be political,tribal or any of that mumbo jumbo the 'europeans' love to use in concealing their dirty deeds in southern Africa. Zimbabwe's distruction is the biggest flop by the multi-national criminal clan - Standard Bank, AA, BAT - some Japanese individuals too. Simply to punish Mugabe for his intervention in the Congo they destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe - call the British embassy in Tokyo and ask about their hand in it circa Nov 1997. Call the British embassy in Harare and ask them about my fax revealing that I was aware of their hand in plotting the destruction of ZImbabwe's economy with the help of Mandela, Mbeki and the usual SADC suspects. I know Zimbabweans and the crises. There is no way what-so-ever that Tsvangirai will be allowed to rule the country. The people aware of the plot are so numerous and their experiences with the hardship he brought through his treason... god help him. I have not returned to ZImbabwe for 20 years because the very same white people that call for so-called rights in ZImbabwe have threatened to kill me every year - simply for going to college in America. My crime? Fraternizing with whites in Texas. Did you know that it took a middle-eastern prince suing another Arab to reveal to us(Zimbabweans) that diamonds were in fact being mined in Zimbabwe? And in huge amounts too. Regardless of what the politcal morons say about Mbeki's so-called silence, the truth is that the minute he opens his mouth to tell the truth about Zimbabwe the whites in Jo'burg will shoot him dead! The only good Mbeki can do about ZImbabwe is to snitch on Mandela and his connections in destroying Zimbabwe, other than that there is zero he can say without Mugabe having his throat. Mugabe knows what each one of them did in 1997.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mugabe's got the Army, the guns, and the muscle. I don't think there will be much in the way of a civil war. Perhaps a "genocide."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The world needs to take notice, and to act."

I predict the world will do nothing as usual and that if Mugabe's plan for "re-election" fails to work, there's a good chance of a bitter civil war.

It doesn't take much for an African country to end up in bloody fundie feuding....look what happened to "peaceful" Kenya.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What I think he's trying to get at is that Zimbabweans' specific support of the land redistribution fiasco, and their general support of Mugabe over the years has brought them to their current plight.

Now, I think the land redistribution was unjust (not to mention a rather obvious disaster). However, there are quite a factors that need consideration. Its hard to argue agaisnt the fact that the blacks were screwed over by colonialism, and the legacy of colonializm continues to disadvantage them today. Its easy to see how they would have supported the redistribution and it is possible to argue they deserved some sort of repairations from a moral standpoint. Its also easy to see how they would have supported Mugabe, who is considered (whatever the truth of the matter) to be a revolutionary Hero. By all accounts, he was not always the tyrant he is today, but has become so gradually over the years, becoming ever more irrational and power hungry. His grip has slowly tightened as well, first with propaganda, then with vote rigging, then with threats and violence, then wielding starvation as a weapon, and now with the specter of open warfare and genocide. Zimbabweans have not been free for years, and whatever their complicity in the initial decline, it seems unfair to blame them for being able to extract themselves from their current conditions. The tremendous bravery shown by the MDC and its supporters puts to shame so called African "leaders" who have done less than nothing to improve the situation. Ditto for the UN and world powers. The world needs to take notice, and to act.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

""The bastards"... which bastards? The over 50% of the population that voted Mugabe out of office?"

And they're the ones that dared to go out and vote in the face of intense pressure by the ruling party, with the military actively engaged in mugabe's re-election campaign.

Then again, we're discussing this with someone who feels a white supremacist has been "vindicated".

Heh, never a good position to be in!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The bastards"... which bastards? The over 50% of the population that voted Mugabe out of office? I don't think its fair to blame the people of Zimbabwe for their plight. That falls squarely on Mr. Mugabe and his cronies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The bastards made their bed, so why does anyone really care?"

Probably because lots and lots of people will die in the event of a civil war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ian Smith, vindicated. Rhodesia, vindicated. The bastards made their bed, so why does anyone really care? Tomorrow it will be Angola or Tanzania or the Congo. The West tried to help (in its own way), the Africans rejected it. Let's just keep the Africa - Western Europe/America relationship on a business level and not meddle in their internal affairs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mugabe is learning FAST from Burmese generals who learned by heart from Mao's "power comes from barrel of a gun".Maybe the change of this situation will wait until US has its new president.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he loses it's war, is it? Mr. Mugabe is a model of demcratic leadership isn't he? Thabo Mbeki must be proud. His "quiet diplomacy" has sure paid dividends. What fools all those who doubted that soft, behind the scenes, diplomatic pressure would control the crisis. I'm sure the mass exodus among Zimbabwe's population and a brutal suppression of people who don't support Zanu PF, not to mention denying food to starving non-supporters whose jobs have been destroyed thanks to Mugabe policies, will all work out in South Africa's best interests. Thank God cooler heads prevailed and serious international pressure was avoided.

At least other neighboring African states are finally starting to wake up to the very real possibility that their turning a blind eye to this fool's posturing and incompetence may very well land a civil war on their collective doorsteps. A little late to do much about it though. Anyone ready to make any predictions about how a civil war will effect the other nations of the horn?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mugabe,Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe's never ending stories of african muscle style politics, muscle more important than brains in politics, in developing parts of world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites