Fraud, Repression and Arrests in Zimbabwe PDF Print E-mail

 THOUSANDS ARRESTED, ABDUCTED, BEATEN AND TORTURED
Over 1400 MDC election observers and supporters have been arrested in a massive nationwide retributive backlash, following ZANU-PF’s announcement that they had won the Presidential "elections." Human rights groups have documented over 70 000 human rights abuses in the run up to the elections. These included severe beatings, abductions, torture and murder.

The military has imposed curfews in some towns. ZANU-PF militia and war veterans have vented their wrath on communities suspected of supporting the opposition. An MDC supporter was beaten to death on Friday on a farm east of Harare. Near Marondera, Darlington Vikaveka was beaten along with the farm manager, John Rutherford, by a group who accused them of supporting the MDC. In Kwekwe, Mugabe loyalists killed opposition supporter Funny Mahuni as violence swept across the Midlands. Mahuni, 40, was murdered at a torture camp in Mbizo township after he was captured in the area. A family spokesman said 15 Zanu-PF supporters had "cut his stomach with a knife". The MDC MP for Kwekwe, Blessing Chebundo, said Zanu-PF supporters were hunting down his party members and attacking them for refusing to vote for Mugabe. At Svosve, Munyaradsi Mupazviripo was tortured by Zanu-PF members and war veterans.

On Thursday, militants rampaged through the capital’s residential areas, attacking people indiscriminatily while riot police stood by. On Friday, armed police descended on street vendors in Bulawayo, beat them and confiscated their wares. The vendors said the police told them that they were attacking them because they had voted for the opposition. On Monday 18 March, Terry Ford, a farmer was dragged from his car in the early hours of the morning, savagely beaten, then murdered by a mob of 20 ZANU-PF supporters.

15% PREVENTED FROM VOTING

Violence and widespread irregularities were reported throughout Zimbabwe during the 9th – 11th March elections. As many as 15%, (about ½ million) of all those who attempted to vote were turned away from polling stations by ZANU-PF officials, "war veterans" or Youth Brigade militia and prevented from voting.

47% OF POLLING STATIONS NOT MONITORED

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) election observers were prevented from reaching and supervising over 47% of the polling stations by harassment, violence, roadblocks and interference by police and ZANU-PF militia. The reported voter turn out at these unsupervised rural constituencies was sometimes over 100% - all for Mugabe - even in areas of Matabeleland where his soldiers have massacred their relatives and where traditionally they voted against Mugabe! "Mugabe winning in Tsholotsho was a bit like saying Hitler won a popularity contest in Belsen ... the results were often bizare ... and distorted by electoral fraud... In one constituency the final vote was 6000 more than actually recorded in the voting process. It’s absurd to expect that Mugabe, after the genocide on the 80’s, the fact that ZANU-PF has never won a seat in Matabeleland in 22 years of electoral history; to suddenly find that in many rural constituencies, Mugabe polled heavily. At a time when there is no food, no jobs, drought and ZANU-PF has done nothing but beat the hell out of everyone for the past year - no that is not plausible." (Eddie Cross 14/3/02)

POLICE AND ARMY FORCED TO VOTE FOR MUGABE

The police and army personnel were forced to vote separately from the rest of the population, earlier on, in voting processes which the opposition and independent foreign observers were not only not invited to, but were not even informed of. Reportedly, each soldier or policeman was forced to make his mark next to Mugabe’s name under the supervision of their superior officers.

OVER 2 MILLION DISENFRANCHISED

New citizenship laws and the Electoral Act prevented millions from being registered as voters, including younger citizens who have been unable to obtain identity documents from the uncooperative civil servants, urban residents who could not provide proof of residence, displaced rural people, Zimbabweans studying or working abroad and those who were born in another country.

ZANU-PF OFFICIALS CONTROLLED THE VOTE COUNTING

The regulations governing the elections were changed five times in the 3 months running up to the elections. The last change was just 3 days before the elections, when the President used his emergency powers to reinstate regulations, which had been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court the previous week.

The Marxist President, Robert Mugabe, placed his most trusted military appointees in charge of the entire electoral process. The retired head of his military intelligence, Colonel Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, was the Chairperson of the Electoral Supervisory Commission. Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba was the Chief Elections Officer. ZNA soldiers, ZANU Youth militia and "war veterans" responsible for the 2 year campaign of land invasions, terror and intimidation, were inside virtually every polling station. There are numerous reports of them threatening, hitting or chasing away, from the polling stations, people they recognised as MDC supporters or observers. As Robert Mugabe came to power 22 years ago through a vicious terrorism campaign it should not be surprising that he has ensured that he stays in power through terrorism.

"DEEPLY FLAWED AND DISTORTED"

NOVASC, a Zimbabwean NGO based in Harare, reported that the election was "deeply flawed and distorted", describing the voters roll as "chaotic." NOVASC documented the following irregularities: the disenfranchisement of voters, the state monopoly of the electronic media (radio and television), the bombing of printing presses of independent newspapers, the widespread violence and harassment "in very province and district" by ZANU’s youth militia and "war veterans"; the inability or unwillingness of the police force to restrain the violence of the ruling party’s supporters; the systematic forcing of sympathisers or supporters of the opposition out of the police, civil service, health, education and local government institutions; the severe limitations on observers; the militarisation of the election process; the deliberate confusion and constant changing of the electoral law and regulations; the prevention of the opposition party from freely campaigning; denying the opposition access to the state-controlled radio and TV; cancelling 80 MDC rallies; the mysterious supplementary voters roll; the reduction of polling stations in the urban areas; the logistical confusion of combining mayoral and city council elections with the presidential elections in Harare; the prevention of opposition monitors from supervising 47% of the polling stations; the partisan interference of the police (uniformed, Police Support Unit and Riot Police) at many polling stations; and allowing illegal political activities by ZANU-PF near the polling stations.

AACC REJECT ELECTION RESULTS

The International Ecumenical Peace Observers from the All Africa Conference of Churches reported that on the 5 issues of Universality, Secrecy, Fairness and Freedom, the elections failed to do justice to any of these principles.

ZIMBABWE CHURCHES REJECT ELECTION RESULTS

The Churches in Manicaland released the following post-election public statement: "As a result of these serious irregularities, a considerable number of voters in our provinces were unable to vote freely and the integrity of the voting process was greatly undermined. If one views the pre-election period and the days of voting as part of a single overall process, it is clear that the Presidential Election of March 2002 was not conducted in a free and fair environment in the province of Manicaland. Reports from other provinces indicate that what happened in our province was repeated in other areas. From our experience on the ground, we cannot accept the legitimacy of the electoral process and therefore its outcome cannot be free and fair."

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) in their post-election statement said: "We are aware of many incidents of violence and intimidation both before and during the elections and also the uneven playing field as factors that marred the conduct of the election and preclude us from confirming it as free and fair." Similarly, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference also rejected the legitimacy of the elections.

ACDP REJECTS "ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT"

Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, the president of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) rejected the election results citing "pre-poll violence and intimidation targeted at the members of opposition parties … unjust laws" which prevented opposition parties from "meaningful electioneering", deliberate moves by the Zimbabwe government to deny thousands of opposition party supporters their right to vote. "We strongly condemn Mr. Mugabe’s law enforcement agencies that are cracking down on the MDC leadership with the intention of annihilating legitimate opposition." The ACDP statement described Mugabe as an "illegitimate President" who "has reneged on his promises so many times, changed rules to suit his purposes, challenged and over-ruled the courts whenever he felt like it cannot be trusted to bring justice, peace and reconciliation to a strife-torn nation like Zimbabwe. Mr. Mugabe is a man of lawlessness who does not deserve to be president for another term." The ACDP then noted that "what the ZANU-PF government did in Zimbabwe, the ANC government could easily repeat here."

ANC SUPPORTS MUGABE

Incredibly, the African National Congress expressed their "warm congratulations" to Robert Mugabe for "a convincing majority win." "Indeed, the people of Zimbabwe have spoken and let their will be respected by all." (Cape Times, 14/03/02). Opposition MP’s condemned the ANC’s obscene haste to declare the poll legitimate even before all the reports had come in.

SA OBSERVER MISSION BACKS ZANU-PF

When Sam Motsuenyane, the head of the South African Observer Mission, described the elections as "legitimate" and brushed aside the widespread violence, murder, abduction and torture of observers and massive irregularities – he was jeered by journalists and diplomats alike. When questioned about the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters, Motsuenyane dismissed it as "an administrative oversight"! Journalists laughed out loud, stood up and walked out in disgust, leaving Motsuenyane visibly flustered. One journalist was heard to say "This makes me sick!" While a diplomat said: "I can’t take this anymore!" (Cape Times, 14/03/02).

Mondli Makhanyo of the Sunday Times (17/3/02) commented: to "tell the Zimbabweans that the repression they have been experiencing ... and their deliberate disenfranchisement was ‘administrative oversight’ is to insult their inteligence ... is thoroughly dishonest."

"THE SOUTH AFRICANS ARE SELLING US OUT"

One Zimbabwean declared: "The South Africans are selling us out. They just want to say everything is fine, so Mbeki can do the same thing next time he has an election." Many accused Mbeki of cowardice.

SOUTH AFRICAN OPPOSITION PARTIES REJECT RESULTS

The Inkatha Freedom Party noted the blatantly biased state media, the disenfranchisement of voters and the pervasive violence by Mugabe’s men. "Yes, he did win, but it was a muddied and a bloody trail to victory."

The Democratic Alliance leader, Tony Leon, said "the election was characterised by fundamental violations and had broken the contract … if we again fail to act … our region will be written off by the developed world … The South African government should align itself on the side of human rights and democracy."

Mthutheyeli Khane was quoted in the Cape Times as saying "Our Observer Mission’s attempt to legitimise an autocratic, corrupt, incompetent and irresponsible dictator does not auger well for our own country and the rest of Africa." Another letter to the editor declared "our politicians are making our country a laughing stock by their complicity in Mugabe’s thuggery." (Cape Times 14/3/02)

CHASING AWAY INVESTORS AND KILLING NEPAD

Economists were quoted as unanimously observing that Mugabe had "rigged the election in broad daylight" and that the results would include a massive reduction of investments in Africa. Mugabe’s brutal and destructive policies "would encourage a pessimistic investment world to stop taking issues of good governance in Africa seriously – with negative repercussions for the entire continent" (Cape Times – 14/03/02).

The fact that the ANC government of South Africa has so far refused to condemn Mugabe’s racism, terrorism and fraud for what it is, only compounded the problem, chasing even more investors away – just when South Africa needs them most. "The economic consequences are incalculable. The lawlessness before polling day, plus the shameless conduct of the poll itself, have sent alarm signals to the international investment community." (Cape Times – 14/03/02).

The left liberal Guardian newspaper in Britain declared: "The whole thing stinks!" The general viewpoint in British newspapers was that South Africa’s support for the "fatally flawed" elections would be the gravestone of NEPAD. The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) calls for $64 billion to be invested in Africa a year in return for which African leaders will commit themselves to democracy and stamping out corruption. The official support of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and South Africa’s Mbeki for Mugabe will kill NEPAD, warned the Financial Times.

ANTI-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATIONS IN ZIMBABWE

Supporters of Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe celebrated their "electoral victory" by parading coffins draped with the US flag and pictures of opposition leaders. One coffin clearly threatened the opposition leader (whom most observers agree should have won the election, but for the massive fraud by ZANU): "Tsvangirai is dead!" "We’re going to bury him" declared one ZANU-PF member.

MOST OBSERVERS REJECT ELECTION RESULTS

The head of the South African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum team, Botswana’s Duke Lefhoka, cited the widespread violence and irregularities that prevailed to prevent the elections qualifying. The European Union and USA also rejected the legitimacy of the elections. The Commonwealth Observer group issued a scathing condemnation of the Zimbabwe elections, saying that it did not reflect the will of the people.

The Commonwealth report listed series of violations by ZANU’s Youth militia and denounced the systematic campaign of "intimidation which created a climate of fear." New Zealand’s Prime Minister declared that the Commonwealth would not be taken seriously if it failed to take firm action against Zimbabwe. Denmark announced that it would cut its aid to Zimbabwe and close its embassy in Harare. The European Union and the USA are considering tougher sanctions on Mugabe’s regime.

Despite massive intimidation, widespread violence and state terrorism, Zimbabweans turned out for the Presidential elections in record numbers – demonstrating overwhelming opposition to the ruling party. Some stood in line for up to three days without being able to cast their vote. Some urban voting stations processed as few as 20 votes an hour with thousands waiting in line.

MILITARY MOBILISED

The ZANU-PF government of President Robert Mugabe have placed their 70 000 man armed forces on high alert and cancelled all leave. Some military units were also withdrawn from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mugabe’s forces have been helping to prop up fellow Marxist Kabila since 1998. The African Defence Journal reported that an unprecedented two-thirds of the Army had been deployed. Even the mechanised battalion with 3 000 troops, tanks, armoured vehicles and mobile rocket units left their barracks.

COUP THREATENED

A senior ZANU-PF politburo member and Secretary for External Affairs, Didymus Mutasa, said on SABC television that there would be "mayhem" if the majority of voters chose the opposition MDC candidate. "Under these circumstances, if there were to be a coup, we would support it very definitely," he said. Senior Zimbabwe military officers have also warned that they would not stand by and see Mugabe defeated in any election.

"ELECTIONS ARE A COLONIAL INVENTION"

Comrade Zhou, the leading ZANU War veteran in the Chinhoyi area was quoted in the Mail & Guardian, March 8 newspaper, as saying: "I do not understand why Comrade Mugabe has to have an election. He is our leader … and he should stay our leader until he dies and then our chiefs will choose a new leader. Who said we had to have elections? The colonialists. It is a colonial invention and Comrade Mugabe says we are getting rid of these colonial things ... we know who our enemies are. It does not matter if they are white or black. If they do not support Comrade Mugabe, then they are working with the colonialists. We will have to fight them …"

YOUR VOTE COULD KILL YOU

Comrade Zhou was also quoted as threatening: "We will know if there is a single vote for the colonialists and that person will regret it … There is no law in a war. You try to kill your enemy ... he is your enemy and you must kill him, not put him on trial ... We had to beat one man because people heard him say it was the presidents’ fault there is no food."

RED BRIGADES MOBILISED

Last year, Mugabe created a ZANU-PF Youth Militia Brigade. Apparently the "War Veterans" were not violent enough and got too easily sidetracked into concerns to occupy and till the land and pre-occupation with food. The Youth Brigade in contrast was only pre-occupied with political terror – aimed at intimidating voters to cast their ballots for Mugabe. Failing that, their secondary goal was to prevent those who determine to vote against their leader from making it to the polling booths.

ZANU-PF Minister of Youth Development and Employment, Elliot Manyika, claimed that their controversial national service youths had only been trained in "peaceful skills such as carpentry, agriculture, bricklaying and technical services." However, observers pointed out that the 3 weeks these courses were run were not sufficient for such training.

Numerous graduates of these Youth Brigade courses testified that they only received political indoctrination and military training. This included physical fitness, gun handling and shooting lessons. About 20 000 of these ZANU-PF Youth Brigade militia were deployed throughout the country. The MDC claimed that there were 23 ZANU-PF militia bases in Mashonaland-West alone, from which violent attacks were being regularly launched to assault any opposition members or sympathisers.

The violence against the opposition in all 120 Parliamentary constituencies in Zimbabwe is being co-odinated by the National Command Centre at ZANU-PF headquarters in Harare. The systematic invasion of thousands of farms and businesses, wholsale arson, looting and murders that have destroyed the economy of this once thriving country, have been anything but spontaneous.

THUGS FOR MUGABE

The militia set up roadblocks throughout the country. Drivers and bus passengers were forced to show a ZANU-PF membership card or they risked a beating. In Chinhoyi, these ZANU-PF militia beat up passers-by and even assaulted foreign election observers!

At Nyamgomba farm, when a poster of Mugabe was found to be defaced, the Youth Brigade assembled the entire farm’s workforce and threatened to send them all to a concentration camp "for re-education and interrogation" unless the culprits confessed. A mechanic and the foreman were beaten to extract information. Eventually one of the farm workers came forward and confessed, implicating another man. They were both dispatched to a "re-education camp."

"BEAT THEM UNTIL THEY ARE DEAD"

The local ZANU-PF Member of Parliament and party chairperson, Philip Chiyangwa, claimed that the militia was merely there "to keep the peace." However, there is a video which shows Chiyangwa instructing ZANU-PF supporters: "If you get hold of MDC supporters, beat them until they are dead. Burn their farms and their workers houses, then run away fast and we will blame the burning of the workers houses on the whites. Report to the police, because they are ours." (M&G, 8 March 2002).

ABDUCTION AND TORTURE

Over 100 election observers for the opposition MDC were abducted by ZANU-PF’s Youth Militia during the elections. These polling agents were dragged off and beaten, some brutally tortured. ZANU-PF cancelled or broke up 80 MDC opposition rallies and arrested over 1 000 MDC members during the elections.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (a network of human rights groups such as Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Amnesty International Zimbabwe) compiled a report documenting 142 people tortured, 69 properties damaged and 31 people murdered. These figures were by no means comprehensive. Because of the great difficulty accumulating and verifying such information in such a climate of state-orchestrated violence, these incidents represent only the tip of the iceberg. (Last week 40 more homes of MDC supporters were destroyed by fire in just one Bulawayo township). Collectively human rights observers claimed to have accumulated documentation of 70 000 human rights abuses in the run up to and during the elections.

HIMALAYAN OBSTACLE COURSE

Since the 78 year old Mugabe came so perilously close to electoral defeat in the Parliamentary elections of 2000, he erected obstacles of Himalayan proportions to prevent the opposition from translating their overwhelming popular support into votes. (One of the popular jokes in Zimbabwe is: What is greater than Mugabe’s age? Zimbabwe’s inflation rate!)

Zimbabweans living abroad, about 2 million, were denied the opportunity to vote. Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans of Malawian, Zambian or Mozambican descent and many white Zimbabweans were stripped of their right to vote through a new citizenship law. The Electoral Act also made it nearly impossible for young urban residents (some of the MDC’s most solid support base) to even get onto the voters roll. As one lawyer observed: "Mugabe has assumed the role of legislature and judiciary. He has abused his powers to make or break laws that have a direct bearing on his prospects as a candidate."

BLAME THE VICTIMS

MDC legal spokesman, David Coltart, commented that given the manipulation of the Electoral Act, the elections were illegal as well as not free, nor fair. In addition to rigging the election, ZANU-PF beat up, tortured and murdered MDC members. More than 100 were killed in politically inspired murders before the elections. When ZANU politburo member Didymus Mutasa was asked about the violence he responded with a smile: "When Adam was asked why he had sinned, he replied to God – if you had not sent Eve to be with me, I would not have sinned. So probably the same could be said: If there was no MDC, there would be no violence in Zimbabwe!"

The Human Rights NGO Forum identified 119 bases from which ZANU-PF militia gangs operate, kidnapping MDC members and torturing them. Even when the assailants and killers have been identified and brought to court, the authorities have set them free. Some of the killers identified in court were intelligence officers.

STEALING THE VOTE

One of the ZANU-PF militia’s most effective tactics was to confiscate identity documents of assumed MDC supporters at roadblocks. As these identity documents were essential for voting, this effectively cut down on the number of votes cast for the opposition. Just before the election, the Registrar shocked everyone by announcing a Supplementary Voters Roll! It was not known how this "supplementary voters roll" was drawn up or who was on it! Then it was announced that the police and army had "already voted" – although nobody knew when, how or where. Nor were any observers present.

THE DEAD VOTE FOR MUGABE

Some observers noted that the reported total for the voters roll of 5.5 million was mathematically impossible. Well over 60% of the population are under 18 years old. Some 2 million adults have been disenfranchised, and 3 million had fled the country. Where then did over 5 million voters fit in when the total population is under 12 million? Zimbabwe has an annual death rate of 300 000. The vast majority of these deceased remain on the voters roll. Many Zimbabweans are predicting that all these corpses had their votes cast for Mugabe!

BURNINGS AND BEATINGS

ZANU Secretary for External Affairs, Didymus Mutasa, whose area, Rusape, he proudly claims is a no-go area for the MDC ("There is not one MDC supporter in our area" he beams) has publicly stated on TV that they will give up their Bibles in order to get the land. Recently 12 homes belonging to MDC sympathisers in his area were razed to the ground. Anybody even seen with the only independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, is beaten up by his ZANU militia. When magistrates were hearing cases of assaults by his men, Mutasa danced on their cars outside the courthouse with an AK47 in his hands and a bandolier across his chest to intimidate them.

THEFT AND DEATH

Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of Information, denie that there could be any more private ownership of property: "The land belongs to the people." To emphasise this, ZANU militia even came onto private game reserves and shot rare and endangered wildlife for meat for ZANU-PF party rallies. A whole herd of 35 Eland were slaughtered on one farm, just to feed party supporters. It had taken the farmer decades to build up these eland for his game reserve. ZANU didn’t even leave one alive. Other game reserves with elephants and rhino have also been decimated.

ZANU HELPED VOTERS DECIDE

ZNA soldiers, ZANU militia and war veterans responsible for the 2 year government orchestrated campaign of farm invasions and violence, were inside almost every polling station. In some cases they were "helping" voters to mark their ballots.

ARRESTED FOR A BOTTLE OF WATER

The government drastically cut the number of polling stations in urban areas by 40% (where the opposition has most of its support), thereby guaranteeing long and frustrating queues. Some voters waited in queues over 12 hours before being able to cast their votes. Some waited 3 days and were still unable to vote! Some people were arrested for bringing water bottles for those standing for hours in the sun. Tempers flared at some polling stations in Harare and police hit voters with sticks and batons. At one polling station they only processed 20 votes in a single hour despite thousands being in line. In Harare, tripartite elections (for the Mayor, City Council and President) increased paperwork and delays. The Mayoral election was overdue by 2 years!

PASTORS ARRESTED FOR PRAYER MEETING

Eleven Christians, including four pastors were arrested in Bulawayo by the Zimbabwe Republic Police on 16 February 2002. The Pastors were conducting an interdenominational prayer meeting – praying for peace during the run up to the elections. Those participating were at the Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches.

VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION AND DECEIT

Logistical confusion reigned in some areas with excessive delays and running out of ballot papers. Skirmishes were fought between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters outside some polling stations.

Independent monitors and opposition party election agents were not allowed to travel in the same vehicles as ballot boxes transported to and from the polls, raising fears that the boxes could easily be switched. Some observers complained that ballot boxes were not even sealed before leaving the polling stations.

Incredibly, even amidst all this violence and deceit, some South African journalists and observers pretended that a basically free and fair election took place in Zimbabwe. One SATV commentator described Robert Mugabe as "the man who brought his people liberation, education, health, relative prosperity and now land." Such patently purile propaganda smacked of Gobbels in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union.

Zimbabweans have more accurately described Mugabe as "the man who engineered one of the most spectacular economic collapses in history." What was once the most successfull and peaceful country in the world, with no unemployment, the lowest crime rate in the world, thriving tourism and a currency stronger than the US dollar, now officially has 60% unemployment, 120% inflation, no tourism and it now takes Z$400 to purchase just one US dollar. Starvation is rife - now that the once thriving farming sector has been destroyed by ZANU’s farm invasions.

All this is part of what Mugabe calls "The Third Chimurenga" or third revolution, fought in the name of the witchdoctor Murenga.

DROUGHT AND DEMONS IN ZIMBABWE

At a time when Zimbabwe normally experiences its heaviest and most widespread rains, the country has experienced a drought. January and February are known as some of the wettest months of the year, yet this year there was no rainfall during "the rainy season".

With crops failing throughout the land; President Robert Mugabe held a witchcraft ceremony in Zvimba, his home area in Zimbabwe. The ancestors were invoked by the President – but to no avail. The rain ceremony spectacularly failed. (More recently prayer services in some parts of the country have been rewarded with some rain).In his speeches Mugabe increasingly refers to "the spirits". He claims to speak with ancestral spirits, goblins and demons. Mugabe has also been reported to claim that he is "possessed by the spirit of Murenga." Murenga was the witchdoctor who inspired the war against the white settlers in 1896. This very brutal war was called the Chimurenga because it was waged in the name of the spirit of Murenga.

The vicious bush war against Rhodesia which led to the independence in 1980, was called the Second Chimurenga. Spirit mediums and witchdoctors were very involved in supporting the communist insurgents of ZANU and ZAPU in that struggle.

It is significant that Mugabe and his followers are calling the farm invasions the Third Chimurenga. In political rallies, Mugabe has threatened those who do not support him with curses and evil spells. He has warned anyone who votes for the opposition that the ancestral spirits will torment and destroy them. Mugabe even threatened that "if" he dies he will come back to haunt his opponents and curse them with sickness, drought and death. Some have observed that they have all that already – with Mugabe alive!All this talk of evil spirits, spells and curses seems quite inconsistent with Mugabe’s avowed Marxism, and its inherent atheism. It is also surprising that Islamicists like Col. Muammar Gaddaffi would want to align themselves with such witchcraft by so generously supporting Mugabe with fuel, finance and armaments.

PREPARING FOR WAR

Many observers are expecting severe upheavals and violence to erupt. Most western diplomatic missions have prepared contingency plans to evacuate their citizens in the event of a civil war. South Africa has plans to receive up to 50 000 refugees at Messina near the Beit Bridge border post. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the Red Cross are preparing for Zimbabweans to flee the expected violence or famine over the next months.

There is no doubt that the vast majority of Zimbabwean voters rejected Mugabe and his disastrous Marxist policies. There is also no doubt that Mugabe had no intention of being removed from power, even by an overwhelming electoral defeat. These elections were rigged from the beginning and were hijacked by ZANU-PF. However, the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe have reached breaking point. If they are not able to get rid of the tyrant who is oppressing them by the ballot box, many will resort to bullets. The scene is being set for a violent confrontation in Zimbabwe.

URGENT PRAYER AND ACTION NEEDED

As Mugabe’s CI0, police, soldiers and militia embark on a nationwide clamp down on dissent, arresting hundreds of election observers, it is of the utmost importance that you mobilise your Church to pray for the long suffering Christians of Zimbabwe. It is also imperative that you mobilise as much political pressure as possible against the illegitimate government of ZANU-PF and its dictatorial president, Robert Mugabe. Contact your elected representatives to urge strong and decisive action against the Marxist regime in Zimbabwe. Lives are at stake and time is running out.

We also need to mobilise more practical support for Zimbabwean pastors who are under tremendous threat at this time. Those who courageously preached on Biblical principles during the election process are at immediate risk. If you would like to designate any support for Zimbabwe pastors, it will enable us to make a big difference at this volatile time and to save lives.

(For more reports and updates on Zimbabwe write to: Frontline Fellowship, P.O. Box 74, Newlands 7725, Cape Town, South Africa; or e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

"Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man." Psalm 71:4

"Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets." Psalm 55:11

"Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed." Psalm 21:11

"Evil will slay the wicked …" Psalm 34:21

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord …" Psalm 33:12

Dr. Peter Hammond

 
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