Sunday, July 6, 2008

‘Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement.’

Why have I been posting so much about Zimbabwe? One reason is purely dramatic. What’s been happening in Zimbabwe the past few months is one of the world’s great political narratives.

The Washington Post yesterday published a fascinating report peeking behind the closed doors of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party, Zanu-PF.

According to the Post, Mugabe was ready to announce his surrender of power after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai received more votes in the presidential election in March.

But Gen. Constantine Chiwenga (pictured), Zimbabwe’s top military official, told him “the choice was not Mugabe’s alone to make.”

Chiwenga persuaded Mugabe to stand against Tsvangirai in a run-off election... and he said the army would ensure Mugabe’s victory.

At an April 8 meeting, the army’s strategy against the opposition was given a code name: CIBD. That stood for Coercion, Intimidation, Beating and Displacement.

And it worked. The violence unleashed on supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change resulted in Morgan Tsvangirai’s withdrawal from the election.

Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a new term as president last week.

For yesterday’s article, the Post relied on a Zimbabwean reporter who’d interviewed participants in the Zanu-PF planning meetings. That journalist’s name wasn’t revealed “for security reasons.” Clearly, he put himself at great risk to tell this story.

It is worth reading.


Lola Gets said...

I caught this over the weekend, and I have to say that I was truly astounded by the depths to which some will sink to get what they want. I feel so sorry for the citizens of Zimbabwe.

L said...

Hey there!
{raised fist}

Thank you for your coverage of this is extremely important that we keep our eyes on this.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Undercover Black Man said...

... I have to say that I was truly astounded by the depths to which some will sink to get what they want.

I'm struck, Lola, by the courage of those who have stood up against this onslaught... and continue to stand up against it... just to exercise their right to vote.

Christina said...

I saw this story in the Post over the weekend. I have to ask, what is it about running a corrupt regime that makes you have to have the most gaudy, ridiculously over-the-top military uniforms? They had a picture of the army leader accused of instigating this violence, and he looked like he couldn't stand up under the weight of all that iron.

I guess I'm being unfair. But I wonder what kind of medal you give yourself for "beating unarmed women until their flesh comes off."

madamjujujive said...

The Zimbabwe situation is heartbreaking. And there is really no safe haven for those poor people to turn to. I was in South Africa in May and there was a spate of horrific xenophobia mainly aimed at Zimbabwe refugees - many of whom were killed. Terribly sad events to see occurring in South Africa, too.

Here is a good source of frequently updated news reports on Zimbabwe.

Big Bill said...

It has been over seven years now.

They came for the white farmers who were feeding the whole country and their black farmworkers first.

Back then all I hear from the bruthas was how it was all the British and the farmers' fault.

Telling them that it was black folk who were going to starve didn't make much difference.

I have given up on Zimbabwe. It is a permanent black basket case. Although I am glad to see that some educated black folk have finally come around and are no longer making excuses for Mugabe.

Pity so many black folk had to die before black Americans gave a damn.

Now that y'all have found Jesus, consider this SA joke:

Q: What is the difference between Zimbabwe and South Africa?

A: About ten years

Christina said...

You know what, big bill? I think you may be right about this. I remember hearing on the news when Mugabe was conducting his seizure of white-owned farms, and I remember thinking "That doesn't sound so good. How can he justify this?"

But it didn't hit me as hard as his current actions, and I think that was wrong of me. All that was showing is that Mugabe is an equal opportunity dictator. It wasn't right when he was rampaging among white people, and it isn't right when he's rampaging among black people.