WELKOM, South Africa – The crisis in Zimbabwe – and the West’s inability to provide a solution – continues to dominate headlines in southern Africa, as neighboring nations begin to turn up the heat on the nation’s longtime dictator.
The National Constitutional Assembly – a coalition of women’s lobbying groups, unions, professional associations, students and churches – threatened to defy dictator Robert Mugabe’s ban on street protests and demanded a new presidential election and a new constitution. Mugbe recently was “re-elected” to another term in office in an election widely seen by the world community as full of intimidation and fraud.
No less than 344 women were arrested in Zimbabwe. Many had babies on their backs and children at their feet. They had gathered at the YWCA for a conference and were arrested for meeting without police permission.
Zimbabwean farmer Klaus Burger told WorldNetDaily that his name was registered on the voter rolls twice. “But that could not make up for the millions of voters and ZANU-PF (Mugabe’s party) affiliations that Mugabe created out of thin air,” he said.
“Mugabe’s henchmen, armed and sporting red berets, were lined up at all the polling stations. It was clear who the poor blacks had to vote for. Once we were Rhodesians, part of the British Empire. Today, we have been completely abandoned by our brothers in the UK.”
In neighboring Namibia, a Marxist-dominated country, the main opposition parties, the Congress of Democrats and the DTA, have criticized Mugabe’s election and called for a new poll to be conducted.
“We hence reject the results as not reflecting the overall will and wish of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe, many of whom were deliberately disenfranchised by the Mugabe regime,” said Congress of Democrats representative Ignatius Shixwameni in a statement to the international media.
“Let us not allow President Mugabe and his regime to pull down the whole region in chaos and anarchy.”
The Southern African Development Commission said that Zimbabwe’s election “breached all the rules of fairness and free elections.”
South African President Thabo Mbeki at first endorsed Mugabe’s election, then backed down when the British Commonwealth threatened to derail Mbeki’s southern African economic initiatives.
Mugabe was also stung recently by revelations that his henchmen have taken sex slaves in Zimbabwe. The worst incident involved Felicia Matamure, a young teacher who was kidnapped last month by Mugabe’s youth militia in northeast Zimbabwe and taken to a ZANU-PF military compound outside of Mount Darwin. It was there that Matamure was bound and then gang-raped by 10 young men high on alcohol and narcotics.
Matamure told the international media, “They tied my legs and arms to poles. The men took turns raping me while the others watched and sang liberation songs.”
Where did Mugabe go wrong?
Robert Mugabe was once a celebrated liberation leader. He was applauded in the UK as a “thinking man’s freedom fighter.”
He received a Roman Catholic education as a youth and later studied the works of Lenin and Marx. He received a teaching degree from Fort Hare University in South Africa. He became involved in the independence struggle and, with the help of Russia and China, set up terrorist cells in Mozambique and fought Rhodesia’s white government of Ian Smith. Zimbabwe became independent in 1980. Margaret Thatcher soon after recognized Mugabe’s first “election” as legitimate.
Mugabe then brought in North Korean special forces as mercenaries to kill 30,000 to 40,000 Matalbele tribesmen who opposed his rule. Mugabe made alliances with a series of wealthy, white British industrialists and financiers who to this very day protect him and launder his overseas wealth, much of it gained through mining ventures in Marxist Congo.
However, Mugabe’s farm confiscations, over 1,500 since 2000 – a legacy of his study of the kind of Maoist agrarian reform embraced by Pol Pot – have now brought Zimbabwe to the brink of famine and international pariah status.
Mugabe, says South African military intelligence officer William Hurst, “is very jealous of Nelson Mandela. He is also in failing health with throat cancer and syphilis. His second wife, Grace, turned him away from the Spartan life of a freedom fighter and into earthly pursuits.” Hurst told WorldNetDaily that before Rhodesia fell, “there were almost 300,000 whites in the nation. Today only about 39,000 remain.”
Under white rule, the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe was 61. Today it is 39. Over 2 million blacks in Zimbabwe have AIDS. A million are threatened with famine. Garbage is piling up on the streets, and malaria is returning for the first time in a century. Over 2 million black Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa across the crocodile-infested rivers to find food and work. Many fleeing the nation are Zimbabwe’s black doctors, nurses, engineers and other professionals.
Shock and disbelief
White Zimbabwean farmer Cathy Buckle told WorldNetDaily, “There is a distinctly different feeling in the air in Zimbabwe these days – and I’m not talking about the approaching winter winds.”
“For months before the elections when you asked many people how and when the situation would change, they would say, ‘Hope and pray.’ Soon after the election results were announced, those same people, when asked the same question, said, ‘We are going to suffer, and we are going to die.’ Now, [several weeks after] the elections, the shock, disbelief and reality has set in,” Buckle said.
Buckle said that despite all the pronouncements by Mugabe at his inauguration about a booming economy, huge agricultural outputs, and food and job security for all Zimbabweans, “nothing has changed.”
“Agriculture Minister Dr. Joseph Made continues to seize farms and evict owners. Health Ministers Stamps and Parirenyatwa can still not provide the most basic services, such as disposable gloves and painkillers for use in our hospitals and clinics. Finance Minister Makoni has less to work with than ever before and now has to find Z$95 million to buy food and save us from mass starvation,” Buckle told WND.
“People are tired of broken promises; they are tired of being beaten and chased out of their homes; they are tired of tending the wounds on the backs of their husbands and sons; they are tired of standing for hours at a time to buy sugar and oil and maize meal. People are tired of the lies, the hatred and the violence – and they are hungry. People are tired of worrying where the money will come from to buy a loaf of bread, particularly this week, when it was announced that the price of yeast went up by 142 percent.
“People are tired of hearing that government youths have gone on the rampage and this week prevented 600 tons of sweet potatoes from being irrigated. I do not know of a single household where there is not a story of horror waiting to be told – a husband beaten up, a son abducted, a friend tortured, a relation in hiding, an uncle in prison,” concluded Buckle.