The Rule of Law in Africa
At a meeting in Harare yesterday Mr. Mugabe stated quite clearly, that the persons responsible for the murder of white Zimbabwean farmers during the land invasions would “never be prosecuted”. Tens of thousands of people who were members of Zapu and lived in the south west of the country were murdered, beaten, raped, tortured and harassed between 1983 and 1987 during a campaign that Mr. Mugabe named “Gukurahundi” or the storm that “washes clean”. Over a million-people fled the genocide and moved to South Africa and Botswana. Not a single person has been prosecuted for any of these crimes.
During the campaign that Mr. Mugabe called “Murambatsvina”, which roughly translated means getting rid of the “rubbish”, another 1,2 million people were displaced in 2005, this time from informal settlements around the towns and dumped in the bush hundreds of kilometers from town in the middle of winter. Thousands died of exposure and hunger. Their only crime was to vote against the Zanu PF Party of Mr. Mugabe.
In the seventeen years since the MDC mounted its campaign to get Zimbabwe back to its former status as a democratic State, over 6 000 of its leaders and members have been the subject of abduction and in many cases, never seen again. MDC has records implicating over 2 000 Zanu PF leaders and officers working for the security services which clearly record killings and gross human rights abuse. We have recorded over 700 murders of MDC leaders and the numbers imprisoned and beaten or tortured must run into thousands. So many have been hospitalized that we have an organisation that is solely dedicated to helping these victims with medical expenses.
In our first campaign in 2000, two young activists were burned alive in their vehicle while campaigning for Mr. Tsvangirai. Their killers were known and the case against them irrefutable – one was a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation – they were never arrested and charged. MDC tracked the CIO Officer for 15 years until he died of natural causes – as the leader of the duo he was promoted several times.
In my own case, I made a statement in the House of Assembly as a sitting member of Parliament in 2012 and was threatened in the House by a senior Zanu PF Member, then followed the next day for 150 kilometers, where four young members of the CIO threatened me and stated in front of my wife that “they could shoot me at any time and nothing would happen to them”. I laid a complaint with the police, identified all four with their ID and force numbers and the Bases from which they came – nothing, no investigation, no action.