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African Tears Beyond Tears Innocent Victims Imire Can you hear the drums, by Cathy Buckle


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Diamonds are our new dictator
February 22, 2013, 10:45 am

 

Dear Family and Friends,

Already Zimbabwe has got that tired sort of ‘here we go again’ look on its face as the silliness of pre-election season starts again. Already the adjectives are littering the speech making; words like: peaceful, non violent, free, fair, transparent and credible but the everyday actions of authorities are contradicting the descriptive words. Confusion is lying heavy in the air like the dank, unexpected mist of mid- summer.

For watchers of the never ending situation in Zimbabwe, this latest round started at Christmas with Zimrights; first two employees were arrested and a few weeks later the director of Zimrights was arrested. The next unexpected and dramatic news came when we heard that the Chairman of ZEC (the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) had resigned. From then on the news reports have been growing increasingly disturbing as they changed from political bickering to an onslaught on human rights groupings. The headlines tell it best:

Police force their way into Peace Project offices in Hillside (11th February)

WOZA women beaten & detained after anti-constitution demo (13th February)

WOZA: 195 arrested, scores beaten (13th and 14th February)

Elderly Pastor and 3 others arrested from Church of Christ in Chegutu (15th February)

Police raid MDC MP home (17th February)

Reporter arrested while reporting death threat by ZANU PF official (19th February)

Crackdown on civic groups continues as police raid ZESN  offices (19th February) (Zimbabwe Election Support Network)

Police ban ‘radios’ in Zimbabwe (20th February)

Gunmen raid ZESN offices again and ZPP accused of espionage (21st February) (Zimbabwe Peace Project)

MP’s home raided by security agents as crackdown intensifies (21st February)

For people in Zimbabwe it has been  very, very hard to understand why, when all these things are happening, the EU went ahead and lifted their targeted sanctions against 21 people. It’s hard not to believe that diamonds are our new dictator. Cynicism perhaps best describes our response to the two news reports which offered the most likely explanation to the EU’s decision:

Belgium and UK clinch deal on Zimbabwe diamonds (15th February)

Violent Chegutu ‘war vet’ removed from sanctions list (19th February)

Until next time and as we get closer to elections, please keep watching, following, lobbying and praying for Zimbabwe. Thanks for reading, love cathy



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