Twenty-four babies, and forty children under the age of six, were among some 250 people rounded up on Friday, and crammed into “filthy cells” at a small prison in one of Harare’s southern suburbs.  (Christina Lamb and John Makura, Sunday Times.)  Their parents were accused by police of “voting incorrectly” during the elections.  Meanwhile in the countryside, “People are living in constant fear of burnings and beatings and are ready, always, to take flight at a moments notice…”  (Cathy Buckle.)  It’s all part of “Operation Where Did You Put Your Cross?” 

The “recount” of parliamentary votes ordered by Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has so far failed to change any results, and there is now no way that Zanu-PF can gain a majority in parliament (AFP, Harare).  This came as a surprise to me, and it shows outstanding courage by the election officials, who must have been under incredible pressure to allow Mugabe’s thugs to alter the results in Zanu-PF’s favour. These election officials are the unsung heroes of this grim struggle. 

Sadly, these courageous officials are still being prevented from announcing the official results of the, more important, presidential elections.  This fact alone means that Opposition Leader, Morgan Tsvangirai must have won outright.   Zanu-PF is insisting on a “runoff” between Mugabe and Tsvangirai; that’s what all the violence and thuggery is all about.  But Operation Where Did You Put Your Cross makes it impossible for the opposition to win any new election – the people of Zimbabwe are being silenced by fear.  Too many have been beaten, too many homes burned and too many people killed.  And the organisation of opposition has been destroyed or exiled.  Mugabe would easily “win” any new “election”. 

Meanwhile, the Chinese shipload of weapons and ammunition that South African dockworkers in Durban refused to unload last week (Chinese troops on streets of Zimbabwe…) is said to be on its way back to China – with the arms still on board.  This back-down follows a boycott by some African neighbours of Zimbabwe, and an outcry by observers (Daily Nation), but no action from South Africa’s President Mbeki – the only person who can make a real difference in Zimbabwe. 

Slowly people are beginning to realise the Chinese role in Africa that I have been writing about for so long (most recently, is China the new colonial power in Africa?)  Now there’s an article in London’s Times “The new scramble for Africa begins”, by Matthew Parris.  The sub-title is telling: “Modern Imperialism on the resource-rich continent will be less benign than old colonialism”.  I have said as much on numerous occasions, but that sums it up neatly.  I disagree with the statement that the scramble has “just begun” – it began fifty years ago when the United States of America forced the United Kingdom to abandon Africa (among other places) to “Democracy”. 

China (who supplied weapons and training to Mugabe’s terrorists during the 1970s war in Rhodesia) is already entrenched in Africa.  It is impossible to change that, and China will continue to tighten its grip.  American and British liberals are entirely responsible for the horror of Zimbabwe today. 

END 

Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.  http://www.peterdaviesbooks.com 

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email patashnix@btinternet.com.

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