Whenever I read about human rights charges and the torture of people in Zimbabwe, I cannot but help to think of the travel sanctions in place against Mugabe, and the alacrity he had in deporting the United Nations torture specialist very early this year.
Mugabe, by throwing the specialist out, opens himself up to two critical points.
Firstly – the lack of any transparency of the operations conducted in Zimbabwe by the various arms of the security services. If there were no torture allegations, then the United Nations would not feel obliged to send one of their specialists into Zimbabwe. And, by Mugabe throwing him out again before he even left Harare International airport, he displays the lack of transparency without having to argue the case – and the UN’s case is proven before it even began.
Secondly – by deporting the specialist, Mugabe displays that he has the same choice that countries elsewhere in the world have. He protects Zimbabwean borders (ostensibly) and he has the right to deport whoever he doesn’t want in Zimbabwe. The countries that have signed up to the targeted sanctions also have the right to prevent the entry into their country of undesirable people.
One would think that what the countries preventing the entry of Mugabe and his thugs are, in actual fact, doing him a favour. At least he knows not to plan travel to those countries, unlike the specialist, who had actually arrived in Zimbabwe before being turned around and sent on his way – and thereby they have saved him the cost of the flight to and from…
If you ask me, it is very decent of them to pre-warn him.
“Fresh allegations of human rights abuses have surfaced from the Marange diamond field of eastern Zimbabwe with activists accusing Mbada Diamonds, a partner with the Harare government of setting guard dogs on residents to pressure them to relocate.
Local sources said guard dogs have attacked four residents of the Chiadzwa area of the Marange diamond zone over the past two weeks.
Chiadzwa Community Development Trust Chairman Malvern Mudiwa, currently facing charges of inciting villagers in Marange to resist relocation, said Mbada is deliberately putting residents in a desperate situation so they will agree to relocation.
“There are so many abuses from the security guards, which are being led by a white man,” Mudiwa said. “They are letting their dogs to people and livestock.”
I find it very confusing that the chairman should ‘be facing charges of inciting residents to resist relocation’ – since when is refusing to be moved without compensation, at least, a criminal offence?
And who is the white man that is leading the security guards? Is this the Russian that was reported on quite a while back? If so, this man is already known for his brutality…
“Mudiwa said the attacks began when Mbada created a so-called fireguard around a new claim. Mudiwa said Mbada security guards “are patrolling that area quite frequently with their vicious dogs” even though families are still living within the demarcated claim.
“The fireguard is already in the people’s areas,” Mudiwa said. “You just have to cross it because you can’t avoid it. It’s where you’re staying.” The people who were attacked had been searching for their livestock near the boundary of Mbada’s claim.”
Mugabe and his flunkies make the rules and regulations up as they go along. And no amount of common sense is going to make him/them realise the errors of their ways.
“With police backup, Mbada started relocating residents three weeks ago, moving 44 families from the diamond zone to ARDA Transau Farm in Odzi, about 60 kilometers away. Another company operating in the Marange zone, Anjin, has relocated 178 families since 2010 and forcibly removed another 24 last weekend, activist Mudiwa said.
Manicaland spokesman Pishai Muchauraya of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Tsvangirai said he saw armed police forcing villagers into Chinese lorries over the weekend. Anjin is operated by Chinese investors.
VOA was unable to reach Mbada or Anjin officials for comment.”
Does Anjin have any plans to sign over 51% of their ownership to ZANU PF – sorry, I meant indigenous – ownership? Somehow I don’t think that they are included in the firmgrab…
“Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Head Researcher Shamiso Mtisi says families moved out of Chiadzwa – often forcibly by the military – are only receiving a thousand dollars compensation for the seizure of their homes and farming plots.
“There is lack of transparency in the manner of calculating the compensation,” Mtisi said. “If the process were well managed, these communities would be signing some sort of contract with the mining companies in terms of services and provisions.”
It would appear that Chiadzwa has become close to a war zone, with the army assuming responsibility for the forced re-locations.
I will say it again – Mugabe doesn’t care…
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man