The good news in Zimbabwe: The rains have at last started. It’s a bit late to save the first planting, but at least in the north, December rains will allow people to do a second planting to get a crop.
The bad news? The rains will probably worsen the Cholera epidemic which has killed at least a thousand people, and probably more, since I suspect many rural people will die at home and not be included in the count.
The news keeps getting worse.
South Africa, with the aid of Russia, has blocked any attempt by the UN to alleviate the situation.
The “link” between Mugabe and Russia is that Mugabe is a Marxist, so expect Russia to support him and other leftist ideologues to support him in the name of socialist solidarity, which is why both China and Russia nixed sanctions last July.
This bodes ill for anyone in Europe or in the US to try to stop the democide of the Zimbabwean people. UN and international law is worse than useless: If it were merely useless, it wouldn’t be able to pressure countries from removing murderous dictators; as it is, it means that it can’t stop murderous dictators, but it can prevent “aggression” by other countries to remove them.
But at least Russia has an excuse: They are making mischief against the west. What is South Africa’s excuse? By blocking UN intervention, they are condemning not only Zimbabwe but much of South Africa to more refugees, bringing with them cholera…and there is an election coming up.
The naive western press hailed the power sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
But the agreement was a sham: Mugabe has so far resisted any sharing of power; essentially he used it as a delaying tactic, and is insisting that he keep control of the police, the military, and of course his “green bomber” youth militia to keep people in line via terror. But when Tsvangirai refuses to go along, you have a clueless western press implying the impasse is the fault of both sides.
Just ignore the 23 democracy advocates and MDC leaders who have been abducted in the last few weeks, folks . The terror seems to be worse in Mashonaland Central province, where SWRadioAfrica also reports that many on the Bindura council have fled after one of their members disappeared.
But there have been other reports suggesting problems in ZANU PF:
First, there are reports that a Zimbabwean AirForce chief had been shot in an assassination attempt.
Air Force Commander Perrance Shiri is reported to be in intensive care after being shot in the Bindura area in an assassination attempt.
He is infamous for working with the “fifth brigade” that committed genocide against the Ndebele tribe rebels in the 1980’s, and the MDC claimed he was behind many of the attacks on their supporters before the June Presidential run off, leading to the withdrawal of Tsvangirai from the election.
A single gunman was reported behind the attack; yet three days delay in reporting the attack suggests something more complicated.Â Was the shooter paid for by the MDC? Or by a nearby government (Mugabe is claiming Botswana is behind violent attacks)? Or is it infighting in the ZANU PF party, with various politicians getting rid of rivals in anticipation of Mugabe’s resignation or death?
Mugabe will spin this to blame the MDC and justify his terror attack on these civilians.
But the attack came a few days after the death of another politician, Elliot Manyika, who died in a car accident in early December after a tire blew out and his car rolled over. The government is insisting this was an accident, and gave him a hero’s funeral. Others note that Manyika was the one who develped the youth militia, AKA “green bombers” who terrorized rural areas before the election, especially the violence against civilians in Mashonaland Central.
The Times in South Africa article suggests that the death of Manyika and the assassination attempt on Shiri is spreading fear among others who perpetrated violence, who are now worried about revenge attacks. The Christian Science Monitor (US) analysis suggest instead that the deaths have more to do with infighting among the ZANU PF faction infighting about who should succeed Mugabe if he should die or retire.
Either way, it appears that for the ordinary people of Zimbabwe, peace continues to be elusive, while famine, disease, and violence will continue to escalate
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at MakaipaBlog.