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June 16, 2008

Continued Harassment of Opposition Leaders In Zimbabwe

There has not been a full outbreak of violence but there have been several underhanded operations underway in Zimbabwe. Food aide from international agencies has been stopped, threatening to starve many people. Now, the deputy leader of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has been accused of treason. The Movement for Democratic Change is the party that posed a major threat to Mugabe’s multiple decade strong hold on the presidency. The election that produced skewed results, after a month or so, was thought to be won by Morgan Tsvangiari and the Movement for Democratic Change. However, because the results were skewed, they were tossed out and a run off election is scheduled for June 27th.

In the meantime, supporters of Mugabe’s government have been doing subtle things to deter Tsvangirai and his party. There have been deaths that the opposition claim were dealt out by Mugabe supporters. The opposition leader, Tsvangirai also has been arrested and detained at times. There have been death threats thrown his way and now the secretary-general of the Movement for Democratic Change has been arrested and charged with treason.

It seems that as the election moves closer, more and more incidents involving opposition party members occur. Mugabe has also come out and said that the opposition will not take office during his lifetime. What does that mean? Well, it sounds like a premeditated statement. The world should be watching very carefully. It sounds like Mugabe has an untimely end planned for some of the opposition leaders.

Biti was arrested after he arrived in Zimbabwe after spending some time in South Africa. Some of the opposition leaders went to South Africa to avoid trouble after the election. The case of treason reportedly involved some documents, according to police. These alleged documents concern the initial election that took place on March 29th.

Mugabe has been the only president in the history of Zimbabwe. The country has seen inflation and poverty overwhelm them. There is a need for change and Mugabe knows it. Still, even with large portions of the population starving and unable to afford basic necessities, Mugabe can not put his ego aside and allow the country to move forward.

Mugabe has been known to attack political rivals. Tsvangirai has been brave in his quest to free Zimbabwe from the grip of Mugabe but there is only so much he can do. Mugabe has 28 years of followers on his side and is not afraid to use violence or unfair measures to continue his rein in office. Tsvangirai has run a clean campaign and is testing the old adage that good wins over evil.

At this time it seems that Biti has not been victimized by the police. Being in custody in Africa has long been a dangerous states of being. Hopefully the opposition secretary-general will not be harmed during this custody period. Perhaps he will be held for some time and released the way that other members of the opposition have been. As the days before the run off election become fewer it will be interesting to see how many opposition member are “charged” with crimes.

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