President Robert Mugabe is tightening the screws on any form of dissident opinion by arresting and detaining the opposition candidate for president as well as his supporters. Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was again arrested and only released due to a personal plea from President Mbeki of South Africa. Eric Matinenga, lawyer for Tsvangirai and a prominent MDC leader, was again arrested for inciting violence only to be released and then arrested again. All week police have been closing off areas where the MDC was trying to hold rallies. In Magabeland, the police said, “people are free to campaign as they choose,” but Tsvangirai has broken the law by not securing permission to speak.
After weeks of police violence against the MDC, at least 60 of its members are dead and thousands have been displaced from their homes. International agencies which have been feeding poor people are now forbidden to operate leaving thousands without food.
The height of hypocrisy was stated by Mugabe’s chief election agent, Emmerson Mnangagwa who claimed if Mugabe lost both he and his boss would turn over power because “we brought democracy to Zimbabwe and we should defend it.” Mugabe has an interesting way of defending democracy by arresting the opposing candidate and not allowing him to speak!