The only way to describe what is going on in Zimbabwe is political terrorism. This news excerpt simply says the President/dictator Robert Mugabe does not want to do what the Zimbabwe people want. He would rater kill and intimidate the opposition before giving up power. This is not politics, it is simply terrorism.
HARARE (Reuters) – Angola’s veteran leader has added his weight to appeals to Zimbabwe’s government to end the political violence and intimidation that is threatening the legitimacy of its June 27 presidential run-off election.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, an old ally of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, sent a message urging him to “embrace a spirit of tolerance,” Angola’s state-run ANGOP news agency said late on Friday.
But, despite signs of growing African discontent over bloodshed that has escalated since Zimbabwe’s March 29 general election, Mugabe vowed never to hand over power to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai is his rival in the run-off.
Branding the MDC a puppet of the West, the 84-year-old Mugabe said in Bulawayo on Friday: “The British and Americans want to play God. They have given themselves a role which is not their own, of installing and deposing governments. They want to do the same here but we say to them they are not God.”
The MDC says at least 70 of its members have been killed since that vote, and Tsvangirai is considering pulling out of the June 27 poll, a spokesman said.
“President Jose Eduardo dos Santos urged Zimbabwe’s leader to embrace a spirit of tolerance and respect for democratic norms while at the same time appealing for an end to all acts of intimidation and violence occurring in that country,” ANGOP said.
Some other African nations, the United States and former colonial power Britain have said they do not believe next week’s run-off will be free and fair.
The new appeal to Mugabe carried particular weight coming from dos Santos, 65, who like the Zimbabwean leader, is a former liberation-era guerrilla.
Nearly 30 years in power in his former Portuguese-ruled territory, dos Santos has himself been at odds with the West, refusing to bow to demands that he make his government more transparent and democratic.
The 14-nation Southern Africa Development Community is sending 380 monitors to Zimbabwe for the vote. Zimbabwe has refused to admit Western observers and ignored Britain’s request that international rights officials be allowed into the nation.
Mugabe’s government has also slashed the number of Zimbabwean observers who will be on hand for the election, according to the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network, which had nearly 9,000 observers for the March election.
“We only got invitations for 500 observers,” Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, the national director of ZESN, said.
“A DAMN LIE”
Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the March vote but fell short of the outright majority needed to avoid a second round, according to official results.
The MDC leader has been detained five times during his campaign and MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti remains in custody facing a treason charge and other offenses. Biti is accused of leaking results of the March elections prematurely.
He faces a death sentence if convicted.
Tsvangirai is to address a rally in Harare on Sunday after a court on Saturday overturned a police ban on the event. “The High Court has granted the MDC permission to go ahead with the rally tomorrow,” MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
Mugabe is fighting to cling onto power in the country he has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. Once prosperous, its economy is now ruined and millions have fled the political and economic crisis to neighboring states.
In his Bulawayo speech, he denied security forces were using brutal tactics against the opposition.
“They (the MDC) have been saying their supporters are being beaten up by our soldiers. They say this so that they can later say the elections were not free and fair, which is a damn lie,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted him as saying.