Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zimbabwe News Update: New York Times Admits Lies; ZANU-PF Meets ANC; Youth Urged to Remain Vigilant

We lied to the world, admits New York Times

Herald Reporters

THE New York Times has admitted to lying to the world that Zanu-PF supporters had broken the legs of an 11-month-old baby, while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has used shock tactics to win support for a tough G8 statement refusing to recognise President Mugabe’s legitimacy.

During a G8 summit at Lake Toya, Japan, yesterday, Brown is said to have convinced other nations to take a stand against Cde Mugabe by showing them a horrific photograph claiming that it was an MDC driver who was brutally murdered last month.

In its June 26 issue, the New York Times, America’s most influential paper, carried a picture of the boy whose legs were in bandages and quoted his mother claiming that some Zanu-PF youths had broken her son’s legs by hitting them repeatedly on the ground.

In a bid to build a case against Zanu-PF, the paper took the baby for a medical examination in Harare and it emerged the baby suffered from club feet and was never assaulted.

According to the medical report issued by doctors who carried out the examination on Monday, the X-rays showed no evidence of bone fractures.

The paper was forced to retract its claims yesterday saying that the baby’s mother had admitted to lying because she wanted financial assistance.

The lies peddled by the New York Times, observers say, lends credence to the Government assertions that the Western media, with the assistance of their embassies here and the opposition, have been stage-managing political violence to ratchet up pressure on Harare.

The New York Times did not say who wrote the story and who took the picture or if the woman was working alone or in cahoots with other elements.

Government has on a number of occasions revealed that the opposition and Western embassies in Harare have been taking foreign journalists and local private media workers on co-ordinated stage-managed tours of areas they claim have been attacked by Zanu-PF supporters.

The US Embassy in particular has been at the forefront of this campaign and has been accused of taking in people hired by the opposition as election agents and parading them before the media as individuals fleeing political violence.

Brown, like his predecessor Tony Blair and the US President George Bush who built a case against Iraq to justify an attack on the Middle East country, told the leaders that "every day the world failed to act, similar tragedies would follow".

As a result of Brown’s shock tactics, some G8 members — Russia and Italy — who had resisted calls for sanctions dropped their opposition thereby distancing themselves from the stand taken by the African Union and China.

Brown’s claims meant to force an illegal regime change are similar to the tactics used by US and Britain prior to the invasion of Iraq which was premised on lies that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Other world leaders were made to believe the US and Britain who had their own agenda against the late Iraq president.

Claims of brutal murders in Zimbabwe were also made by the Daily News when the paper lied that Zanu-PF supporters decapitated a Hurungwe woman in the run-up to the 2002 presidential elections.

Washington is also fighting hard to convince the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and impose a worldwide travel ban and asset freeze on President Mugabe and 13 other officials of election abuses in the country.

The US proposal would also require the UN to name its own special representative in the country, effectively sidelining the current mediator, President Mbeki, in line with the MDC-T demands.

Brown also said the summit had agreed to send a United Nations envoy to press for change in Zimbabwe and to impose financial and other sanctions on members of the Government of Zimbabwe.

Although Russia signed up to the G8 statement, Moscow’s UN ambassador called the US push for UN sanctions excessive and suggested that Moscow might still block the resolution.

"We should make it clear that the Security Council is not about to enter into the whole realm of mediating elections, or judging elections," Vitali Churkin, Russia’s UN representative said.

The UN’s second-in-command, Asha Rose Megiro, called for the speedy creation of a mediation "mechanism on the ground" — diplomatic speak for beefing up the mediation effort with a UN role.

"It is clear Zimbabwe will have to go through a political transition bringing together its people around a common project," she said.

"It will also need a process of national healing and reconciliation that should include wide-ranging and participatory national consultations."

South Africa, also a council member, repeated its opposition to the proposed UN sanctions.

"The African Union has said categorically that we do not need sanctions against Zimbabwe," Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa’s UN representative, said.

"Right now the problem we have is that these sanctions will create more complications."

The Zimbabwe Government has called the G8 statement that states that President Mugabe’s re-election was null and void as racist and an insult to African leaders.

"They want to undermine the African Union and (South African) President Mbeki’s (mediation) efforts because they are racist, because they think only white people think better," said the Deputy Information Minister, Bright Matonga. "It’s an insult to African leaders."

High Court relaxes Biti’s bail conditions as . . .

Herald Reporter-AFP

Inter-party talks resume TALKS between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations are set to resume after the High Court relaxed bail conditions for MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti to allow him to attend the Sadc-initiated negotiations that were supposed to get underway yesterday in Pretoria, South Africa.

Biti — who is accused of treason, publishing falsehoods and causing disaffection among the defence forces — was expected to travel to South Africa last night or today.

This is despite spirited claims by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai that there were no talks going on between the political parties.

Tsvangirai was quoted by AFP on Tuesday dismissing a statement by Cde Patrick Chinamasa — a member of the Zanu-PF negotiating team — on Monday that the talks were set to resume with MDC-T participating.

Analysts said Tsvangirai’s denial of the resumption of talks was meant to give basis for the Group of Eight Summit to disregard calls by African leaders not to impose more sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai and his MDC-T boycotted talks held at Zimbabwe House on Saturday attended by President Mugabe, MDC leader Arthur Mutambara and the negotiators.

President Thabo Mbeki chaired the talks.

Yesterday, MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa issued another statement claiming that the political parties were not engaging each other despite the fact that there have been contacts among the negotiators that have led to them agreeing to hold talks between July 9 and 13 2008 in Pretoria.

The talks are going ahead as the West pressed on yesterday with their intentions to impose more sanctions on Zimbabwe.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday said the G8 decision to ignore African leaders would boost the chances of the United Nations Security Council imposing sanctions on Harare.

He was speaking after the G8 Summit in Japan.

The Security Council was late yesterday expected to "fine-tune" the resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.

But Africa continued to oppose the sanctions yesterday with Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili telling foreign powers to respect the sovereignty of states in the Sadc region.

Asked for his reaction to calls for sanctions on Zimbabwe, Prime Minister Mosisili said it was not for outsiders to decide on the legitimacy of a particular government.

"It’s high time countries and states respected the sovereignty of other countries," the Lesotho premier said.

"Whoever is saying it does not confer legitimacy on the government of Robert Mugabe. Who is he or she to do that?"

His comments come after G8 leaders said they did not recognise the Zimbabwean Government and vowed to impose more sanctions on the country.

In another tacit show of support for President Mugabe, Mr Mosisili said that any government in Zimbabwe had to have the support of the armed forces.

"I don’t care who rules Zimbabwe, but he must be acceptable to the armed forces because he needs their support, but even they must respect the will of the people," he said.

Justice Anne-Mary Gowora granted the application by Biti after the State, represented by Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Joseph Jagada, consented to the unconditional release of the opposition secretary-general’s passport.

Biti’s lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, had applied for the relaxation of his bail conditions, arguing that the politician wanted to attend the Sadc-initiated talks between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations in Pretoria.

The talks, which were scheduled to start yesterday, are expected to run until July 13 under the facilitation of President Mbeki.

Cde Chinamasa and Cde Nicholas Goche are the Zanu-PF negotiators while Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga represent MDC.

The State had initially filed papers opposing the unconditional relaxation of Biti’s bail conditions saying he should return the passport to the Clerk of Court and continue reporting to the police twice weekly on his return from South Africa.

Mr Jagada told the court when it sat in the morning that the State was no longer opposed to the unconditional relaxation of bail conditions.

Justice Mary Anne Gowora told Mr Jagada to put that in writing before she granted the application in the afternoon.

"The requirement that the applicant (Biti) surrenders his passport, reports twice a week to Harare Central Police Station be and is hereby struck off," read the court order.

In his application, Adv Uriri had submitted that Biti was the chief negotiator of the MDC-T formation and required his passport to travel in pursuance of a "negotiated settlement to the Zimbabwean political stalemate".

Adv Uriri submitted that MDC-T is a key and critical integral part of the negotiations without which any negotiations would be an exercise in futility.

"The negotiations are unlikely to be concluded in one sitting and the last negotiations took eight months during which time the negotiators were shuttling between Harare and Pretoria," he said.

The second round of negotiations took place on June 11 2008, a day before Biti returned to Zimbabwe and was arrested at Harare International Airport, said Adv Uriri.

"The next round of talks is more critical, is going to be more intense. The applicant, having surrendered his passport, is unable to travel so as to participate in those negotiations. It is, therefore, necessary that he has his passport," said Adv Uriri.

But it appears MDC-T is confusing the public over its participation in the talks or the contradictions could be some sort of a strategy.

Chamisa issued a statement yesterday claiming that there were no talks going on although facts on the ground reflect otherwise.

"Further to the statement released by the MDC yesterday, the party wishes to reiterate that there are currently no negotiations between itself and Zanu-PF. The MDC views this lack of dialogue as a tragedy given the continued deterioration of the security, social and economic conditions prevailing in the country," said Chamisa.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, was quoted by Associated Press as saying President Mugabe was ready to form a unity government.

The minister said the way forward is for President Mugabe to form "an all-inclusive government where all the political parties take part".

Cde Mumbengegwi was speaking in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, after a meeting with President Blaise Compaore. Burkina Faso is a member of the UN Security Council. — Herald Reporter-AFP.

ANC delegation meets Zanu-PF Presidium

Herald Reporter

THE Zanu-PF Presidium yesterday separately met with ANC vice president Cde Kgalema Motlanthe and secretary-general Cde Gwede Mentashe at the ruling party’s headquarters where the two fraternal parties discussed the idea of holding a conference for Sadc liberation war movements.

Cde Motlanthe told journalists that the purpose of their visit was to introduce Cde Mentashe, who was elected to his post at the South African ruling party’s conference last December, to the leadership of Zanu-PF and to discuss the possibility of holding a conference for liberation war movements in the Sadc region.

He said the visit was also aimed at strengthening the relationship between Zanu-PF and ANC.

"We also discussed ways of developing programmes to pull liberation war movements higher up," he said.

The West has been planning and plotting the downfall of liberation war movements in the Sadc region, starting with Angola where they created Unita and in Mozambique where they set up Renamo.

After their failure to prop up the two parties into government, attention turned to Zimbabwe where they have created the MDC, all in the hope of dislodging liberation war movements.

On the Zimbabwean issue, Britain and the United States have made spirited efforts to divide Sadc by bankrolling some civic organisations and making overtures to individual regional leaders in a bid to effect regime change.

Cde Motlanthe said Cde Mugabe briefed his delegation on the challenges facing Zimbabwe. He said the ANC team understood the Zimbabwean situation since the two parties shared the trenches during the liberation struggle.

"We have a shared history of the struggle. Our experiences are very similar. The revolution has a right to survive and must show a determination to do so," he said.

He said the ANC also supported the Sadc and AU positions that dialogue between Zanu-PF and the opposition parties was the only way to address the challenges facing Zimbabwe.

"Unity of our people is paramount. It is a precondition for development," he said.

The ANC delegation first met Vice President Cde Joice Mujuru before proceeding to hold discussions with Vice President Cde Joseph Msika.

Cde Mugabe was the last port of call.

The delegation was accompanied by Zanu-PF secretary for external affairs Cde Kumbirai Kangai, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Stan Mudenge, party secretary for the Women’s League Cde Oppah Muchinguri and secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa.

Zanu-PF Politburo meets over run-off

Herald Reporter

THE Zanu-PF Politburo met yesterday in Harare to do a post-mortem of the June 27 presidential election run-off, which was resoundingly won by President Mugabe.

Deputy secretary for information and publicity Cde Ephraim Masawi briefed journalists on the proceedings of the meeting.

He said the meeting attended by almost all the members and chaired by Vice President Cde Joseph Msika did a post-mortem of the June 27 presidential election run-off.

Cde Masawi said the meeting was impressed with the results from Harare and Bulawayo provinces, which have previously been labelled MDC strongholds.

He said the report presented by the commissariat department showed that the party won the presidential election run-off because it was more united and focused than during the March 29 election.

The people, Cde Masawi said, had realised that if they did not vote for Cde Mugabe and Zanu-PF the gains of the liberation struggle would be reversed.

"The people also realised that if they did not vote for Zanu-PF and Cde Mugabe the country was going to slip back into the hands of the former colonial powers," he said. Cde Masawi said the Politburo meeting also discussed the issue of celebrations to mark the resounding victory and that all sub-committees formed to spearhead the presidential run-off election presented their reports which indicated that proper planning had paid off.

"We were more prepared this time around. On March 29 we did not perform as expected but this time around we did very well even in Harare, Bulawayo and other towns and cities previously thought to be pro-MDC," he said.

Remain vigilant, youths urged

Bindura Bureau

YOUTHS in Mashonaland Central have been urged to remain vigilant as the country’s Western enemies were still fighting to control Zimbabwe, despite the ruling Zanu-PF’s landslide victory in last month’s presidential election run-off.

Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central Youth League provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios, who is also the Mt Darwin North MP-elect, made the remarks while addressing youths at Pfura Stadium in Mt Darwin where they held a victory march in solidarity with President Mugabe.

The youths, who divided themselves into three groups, marched in the streets of Mt Darwin from three separate points to show they were fully behind Cde Mugabe.

"You are the leaders of tomorrow. You should guard against complacency that the ruling party has won the election because the country’s detractors are employing new tactics to effect regime change.

"Anything can happen from now, but remain on the lookout and be ready to defend the country’s sovereignty," Cde Mafios said.

He said youths were the ruling party’s vanguard and should continue working for the country without demanding immediate remuneration.

"We are happy that you showed the spirit of patriotism.

"Most of you volunteered to take up roles to defend the revolution without demanding payment in cash.

"Your rewards would come in the form of land and other projects which Government is offering you," he said.

Cde Mafios urged the youths to take advantage of opportunities arising from Government’s 100 percent empowerment initiative, which the State would be implementing soon, and work hard for the country’s development.

He urged senior party officials to relinquish some posts and pave way for youths in the Youth League.

"We have to be weaned since we are growing up politically. I cannot remain a youth chairperson. Take advantage of the forthcoming restructuring exercise to take up posts as youths," he said.

War vets appeal to families

Herald Reporter

WAR veterans have released the names of 39 freedom fighters from Buhera and Rusape who were killed in Mt Darwin by Rhodesian forces during the liberation struggle and are appealing to their relatives to exhume the remains and rebury them.

The 39 were buried in shallow graves, especially in Mt Darwin and nearby Tete Province in Mozambique, where they were killed during the liberation struggle in the 1970s.

They were identified through various people who got possessed by the freedom fighters’ spirits.

Through this process, the freedom fighter would identify both his real and Chimurenga names while the war veterans would be writing down.

In an interview, Mt Darwin secretary-general for war veterans Cde Anna Garikayi said families should come forward to Mt Darwin offices and be shown the graves. The 39 freedom fighters have been identified as David Kamba, Aleck Chigwozu, Josiah Machokoto, Christopher Majoni, Naison Mugambi, Gilbert Mudzikatidze, Kudakwashe Fidelis Mandiveyi, Paul Makaripe, Eric Chikomba, Muteveri, Mushipe, Mashiri Mkandela, Temba Sanganza and Adam Sanganza.

Others are Charles Chirume, Charles Saziba, Tedius Toriro, Timothy Mandiregerera, Author Maramba, Isaac Muverera, Jonah Dangirwa, Josphat Nyachiwawo, Charles Makaha, Eric Nyarota, Michael Mujaji, Chakanetsa Togarepi and Chiduku Mudziwetsungu.

Cdes Gift Mudziwetsungu, Solomon Ngwarai, Joseph Chawarira, Allen Kadzunde, Christopher Kazhanje, Petros Mandeta, Naume Rukwezu, Nicholas Ndora, Naison Ndora, Joseph Gonesu and Robson Nyamukono.

Cde Garikayi said relatives of these freedom fighters should contact them on telephone number (076) 3285 or visit their offices in Mt Darwin.


Edzo Raszo said...

So these have been the western countries lies about Zimbabwe? god knows what else have they lied on.

Edzo Raszo said...

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