Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 11th, 2008
Reprisal attacks by Robert Mugabe’s militias (Zimbabwe)
Originally uploaded by Sokwanele – Zimbabwe.
The blog is run by Sokwanele, described as a “popular underground movement in Zimbabwe” in Wikipedia. Sokwanele means “enough is enough”; it appears to be credible enough for many news organizations seeking up-to-date information about the situation in Zimbabwe.
The blog reports that in the wake of the recent election — which the opposition appears to have won, but which Mugabe is seeking to undo via a run-off — Mugabe’s police have resumed their practice of vicious beatings of opposition voters and party members; a photo of one of the victims, taken yesterday, is on the right. The group also maintains a map of election conditions across Zimbabwe. The legend includes symbols for murder, food supply, political violence, and abduction, to name a few.
The latest development is that Zambian government has called for a weekend meeting of the SADC, a Southern African regional group, to discuss the crisis, and that both elected leader Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe will attend. Sokwanele requests that supporters of human rights and democracy politely contact a number of official e-mail addresses in the Zambian government, the South African government, and the SADC, and tell them that “Zimbabweans have the right to live in a democratic, free and peaceful country…. we voted for change, we got change, and we want change now.”
It seems like a small enough request by people who deserve the support of decent people everywhere. We may have our own house to clean up here in the United States, but we can surely spare a moment to help our friends elsewhere too.
SEE ALSO other posts about Zimbabwe at this site.
UPDATE, 4/11: African history scholar and professor Timothy Burke has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about Zimbabwe, so for continued coverage that’s a better place to go than here; the link leads to a discussion of a recent NYTimes op-ed. Burke thinks Mugabe’s security apparatus — that is, not necessarily Mugabe — is what’s really in control of the Zimbabwean government. Via Jim Henley.
UPDATE, 4/11: An online petition via AVAAZ.org will be presented to South African president Thabo Mbeki when he visits the UN next week. Mbeki is considered one of the few people who might have influence on Mugabe.
We sign to support the democratic and human rights of the people of Zimbabwe. Election results must be released immediately, verified independently, and–if approved as legitimate–accepted by all parties. If a run-off is required, it should be monitored by international observers and be kept free of violence, fraud, and intimidation. World leaders, including South African President Thabo Mbeki, should do all they can to ensure a just result.
UPDATE, 4/12: Two makes a blogswarm! Nell Lancaster (“A Lovely Promise”) notes Mbeki’s incredible “no crisis” statement, under a title that says it all: “Let them know they’re not alone“.
UPDATE, 4/14: General strike tomorrow. More at American Street, where Nell’s title gets another blog home.