March 21, 2007

Mugabe's Campaign


This cartoon was originally posted on March 29, 2005, and is one of over 400 illustrations you'll find in our latest book Black & White World III, which can be ordered via Cox & Forkum, The Steyn Store, and Barnes &

From AFP: Mugabe using 'hit squads': Zimbabwe opposition leader.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is using "hit squads" to crack down on opposition politicians and activists, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in an interview published Tuesday.

Speaking to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Tsvangirai said: "Instead of random beatings at police stations, (Mugabe) is now using hit squads, unidentified men, unidentified vehicles.

"But we know these are units of state agents that have been given this assignment."

Tsvangirai and dozens of other activists were severely beaten as they tried to stage an anti-government rally on March 11.

The opposition leader laid the blame squarely at Mugabe's door, telling the Telegraph: "I can assess who is in charge of this -- it is coming directly from Mugabe."

"Mugabe is a violent man and he doesn't hide it, especially where his power is threatened ... No excuses, no regrets, the defiance epitomises his attitude."

The country's Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, however, denied Tsvangirai's allegations, saying bluntly: "It is a flat lie."

From AFP: Pressure mounts on Mugabe with Blair sanctions call.

Global pressure mounted on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, with former colonial ruler Britain calling for tougher EU sanctions over his "disgraceful" crackdown on opposition leaders.

Criticism of the Zimbabwean regime's violent campaign against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has deepened in recent days, with other African leaders joining a Western outcry over Mugabe's tactics.

Britain has been among the most vocal critics, and Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday said he wanted Europe to take a tougher line with the 83-year-old head of state.

"We will press the European Union to widen the political sanctions that were introduced in 2002 and introduced very much as a result of our prompting at the time," Blair told parliament.

Mugabe himself and his entourage are banned from travelling to the EU under sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in 2002 for human rights violations.

UPDATE I -- March 22: Reader Barry Nimat notes that "There is a lot of criticism in South Africa of [South African President] Mbeki's handling of the Zimbabwe situation" (see articles here and here).

And from The Telegarph: Mugabe associate defies EU travel ban

UPDATE II -- March 28: From Reuters: Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangirai arrested (via LGFer 3 wood)

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested with other members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Wednesday after police stormed the party's headquarters, officials said.

Witnesses said armed riot police surrounded and then entered the building in downtown Harare where the MDC leadership had been due to hold a news conference.

Posted by Forkum at March 21, 2007 07:07 PM