Robert Mugabe’s iron-fisted rule has subjected Zimbabwe to a reign of terror for the last twenty-seven years:
- Lela Kogbara, Chair of ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) has said: “As with every oppressive regime women and workers are left bearing the brunt. Please join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle for peace, justice and freedom.”
- Mugabe has waged a violent campaign against homosexuals, arguing that prior to colonization Zimbabweans did not engage in homosexual acts.In September 1995, Zimbabwe’s Parliament officially approved persecution of homosexuals. In 1997 a court found Canaan Banana, Mugabe’s predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault. Banana’s trial proved embarrassing for Mugabe, when Banana’s accusers alleged that Mugabe knew about Banana’s conduct and had done nothing to stop it.
- In 2005, Mugabe ordered a raid conducted on what the government termed “illegal shelters” in Harare, resulting in 10,000 urban poor being left homeless from “Operation Drive Out the Rubbish.” The authorities themselves had moved the poor inhabitants to the area in 1992, telling them not to build permanent homes and that their new homes were temporary, leading the inhabitants to build their own temporary shelters out of cardboard and wood. The UK’s Telegraph noted that Mugabe’s “latest palace”, in the style of a pagoda, was located a mile from the destroyed shelters. The UN released a report stating that the actions of Mugabe resulted in the loss of home or livelihood for more than 700,000 Zimbabweans and negatively affected 2.4 million more.
- On March 11, 2007 opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested and beaten following a prayer meeting in the Harare suburb of Highfields. Another member of the Movement for Democratic Change was killed while other protesters were injured Mugabe claimed that “Tsvangirai deserved his beating-up by police because he was not allowed to attend a banned rally” on March 30, 2007.
- Veteran human rights activist and author Judith Todd, daughter of former South Rhodesia prime minister Garfield Todd, said in an interview published Monday that she was raped by a Zimbabwean army officer after criticising President Robert Mugabe’s regime.Speaking to the Daily Telegraph from South Africa — she now lives in Cape Town — Todd said the assault occurred the day after she told the then army commander and another senior officer that an army brigade was killing civilians in Matabeleland, southern Zimbabwe.”It was rape. I was in a complete state of terror,” she told the newspaper, following the publication of her memoir, “Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe” in which she named the man.
- In the rape camps of Zimbabwe, young girls are horrifically abused—often to punish Mugabe’s political opponents. . . . Mugabe has stationed two officers from his feared Central Intelligence Organisation in every village; merely talking to a murungu, or white man, can lead to interrogation or beatings. Christina Lamb, Sunday Telegraph, London, August 25, 2002
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), life expectancy at birth for Zimbabwe men is 37 years for men and 34 for women, the lowest such figures for any nation
I can go on for weeks about what a horror Mugabe has been to his people. But the real question is how could such a horrible man get ELECTED to run Zimbabwe. The answer is three words–James Earl Carter. Zimbabwe is another causality of the Peanut President/worst foreign policy President in the history of our great nation.
Carter’s Role in Zimbabwe
President Carter’s most recent moralizing on American foreign policy in the Middle East is exasperating particularly in light of President Mugabe’s misrule of Zimbabwe, where Mr. Carter’s role in bringing the dictator to power has been mostly forgotten.
Mr. Mugabe is one of the nastiest dictators in Africa — he has inflicted a “silent genocide” by starving his own people. The effects of his authoritarian rule have been made all the worse by his staying power. In more than 27 years as head of state, Mr. Mugabe has turned one of Africa’s most productive economies into a shambles. A country whose currency once beat the British pound now boasts an inflation rate nearing 10,000% per annum and a land that once exported beef and grain now has a population desperately in need of food and humanitarian aid.
Last month, Mr. Carter termed the American and Israeli government’s boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government “criminal.” It would be more enlightening though to hear what he thinks of the terrible situation he helped to create in Zimbabwe.
In 1978 Ian Smith, the prime minister of white-ruled Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, who had just declared two years earlier that majority rule would not come for “1,000 years,” reached an agreement with black moderate leaders for a transition government. Under this plan, termed the “internal settlement,” whites, who represented about 4% of the population, would be reserved 28 out of 100 parliamentary seats as well as control over certain government ministries — privileges that seem ripe for condemnation today but hardly unusual for an African country emerging from nearly a century of colonial rule.
The plan facilitated by the American and British governments that Mr. Mugabe would eventually accept in 1980 put aside 20 out of 100 seats for whites — eight less than the arrangement stipulated by the internal settlement.
In April of 1979, the first fully democratic election in Zimbabwe history’s occurred. Of the eligible black voters, 64% participated, braving the threat of terrorist attacks by Mr. Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, which managed to kill 10 people. Prior to the election, Mr. Mugabe had issued a death list with 50 individuals he named as “traitors, fellow-travelers, and puppets of the Ian Smith regime, opportunistic running-dogs and other capitalist vultures.” Nevertheless, Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the United Methodist Church emerged victorious and became prime minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, as the new country was called.
Yet the Carter administration, led by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, would have none of it. Mr. Young referred to Mr. Muzorewa, one of the very few democratically elected leaders on the African continent, as the head of a “neo-fascist” government. Mr. Carter refused to meet Mr. Muzorewa when the newly elected leader visited Washington to seek support from our country, nor did he lift sanctions that America had placed on Rhodesia as punishment for the colony’s unilateral declaration of independence from the British Empire in 1965.
Messrs. Carter and Young would only countenance a settlement in which Mr. Mugabe, a Marxist who had repeatedly made clear his intention to turn Zimbabwe into a one-party state, played a leading role. Mr. Young, displaying the willful naiveté that came to characterize Mr. Carter’s mindset, told the London Times that Mr. Mugabe was a “very gentle man” whom he “can’t imagine … ever pulling the trigger on a gun to kill anyone.”
Mr. Mugabe already had pulled the trigger on many innocent people, though. And not long after taking power in 1980, he killed about 25,000 people belonging to a minority tribe, the Ndebele. In spite of this, in 1989, Mr. Carter launched his “Project Africa” in Zimbabwe, a program aimed at helping African countries maintain food sustainability.
Now, however, the Carter Center maintains no programs in Zimbabwe. There is probably more of a reason for this than simply due to Mr. Mugabe’s recent ban on foreign aid groups.
Since Mr. Carter was thrown out of office by the American people in 1980, he has spent his post-presidential years lecturing others on morality. The same year Mr. Carter lost a democratic election, Mr. Mugabe ascended to power in a violently flawed one. Yet over the past 27 years Mr. Mugabe has escaped being a target of Mr. Carter’s frequent hectoring.
Rather than criticizing the American and Israeli governments for their stance towards Hamas, perhaps Jimmy Carter ought to focus his efforts on how to rid the world of the murderous despot in Zimbabwe whom he helped create.