Robert Mugabe apparently has tired of playing recount games. Today, his security forces raided the offices of the opposition MDC party, arresting perhaps as many as 100 members in their attack on the government’s opponents. The move comes weeks after an election whose results Mugabe has refused to release, but obviously had removed him from legitimate claim to his office:
Armed riot police raided the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party on Friday and detained scores of people in the biggest crackdown on the MDC since elections last month, officials said.
The Movement for Democratic Change says it defeated President Robert Mugabe in the March 29 elections as well as ending his party’s 28-year hold on parliament.
A delay to the presidential result and a recount of some parliamentary votes has brought growing international pressure on Mugabe, 84, and stoked fears of bloodshed in a country already suffering an economic collapse.
Dozens of riot police detained around 100 MDC supporters who were bundled into a crowded police bus before being taken away, a Reuters witness said.
The police also confiscated the computers and other materials in MDC offices. They probably want to get their hands on the photographs taken by MDC members of the polling station results posted in each precinct. Those photos prove that Morgan Tsvangirai won the election, and it has kept Mugabe from creating fictional numbers to steal yet another election in Zimbabwe.
The blame for this violence, besides Mugabe himself and his security forces who committed it, belongs squarely on the SADC and Mugabe’s chief toady, Thabo Mbeki. The president of South Africa publicly supported Mugabe, removing his lips from Mugabe’s backside only long enough to proclaim that “no crisis” existed in Zimbabwe. Instead of acting on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, who have suffered tremendously under Mugabe and are starving in the continent’s breadbasket, Mbeki chose to support a dictator — squandering South Africa’s moral standing. It gave Mugabe breathing room and apparently the confidence to start rounding up and silencing the opposition.
At some point, Africa has to quit seeing everything through the lens of a colonialism long past and start taking responsibility for itself. How seriously can we take Mbeki and the other so-called leaders on that continent when they remain willfully impotent in the face of dictators like Mugabe? Nations like South Africa demanded the world’s cooperation to throw off a racist regime that kept them from the freedom they deserved. Now they use that freedom to maintain similarly despotic regimes over their own neighbors. Shame on them for their hypocrisy and their deliberate blindness.