Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion

Nationwide Activists Meeting in Refugee Cities in Germany
Break Deportation Prepar-Tainment Refugees Platform

The VOICE Refugee Forum – A Network of Refugee Community Initiatives in Germany

Break the Deportation DNA Chain: "Refugee Black Box – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" - Beyond the Court rooms!

Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jawaid: The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption

The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption: Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan

Greetings and Solidarity from Refugee Political Community Germany to Refugee Protest March in Bavaria

English/French/Deutsch:
Sei realistisch, versuch das Unmögliche! Be realist, look for the impossible! Soyez réaliste, chercher l'impossible! Power to the people - Solidarity meeting from Hamburg by Refugee-Migrants Political community

French/English/Deutsch:
"Nous venons chez vous" - La communauté des réfugiés a besoin de vous!
„Wir kommen zu euch“ - Die Flüchtlings-Community braucht euch!
"We are are coming to you" - The refugee community needs you!
Review on Break Deportation Culture – Deportation is criminal and we fight to stop it!

Hamburg: "We are coming to you" – The refugee community needs you!

The Political MOVEMENT - Appeal to Refugee Communities for Solidarity Network in Germany and Europe
Please join us for a life decided by our quest for a free society, equality and human dignity.

No Refugee is Criminal - Deportation is Collective Crime and Corruption

In Solidarity with North African Deportees and Victims of Deportation from Germany.

Appeal for Refugee Community Network from: Konradsreuth – Bayern

Moneer and Nadja's Struggles and Solidirity with the refugee community in Thuringia: - Statements by Moneer Alkadri und Nadia Ghnim from Syria: Demand for official transfer to Jena and payment of social allowance by State of Thuringia and Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Zu Moneers und Nadias Kämpfen und zur Solidarität mit der Flüchtlingscommunity in Thüringen:
- Statements von Moneer Al Kadri und Nadia Ghnim aus Syrien: Forderung nach offizieller Umverteilung nach Jena und nach Zahlung von Sozialleistungen durch den Staat Thüringen und zur Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Miloud Lahmar Cherif von Beleidigungsvorwurf gegen rassistisch kontrollierende Bundespolizisten freigesprochen

Meine Stellungnahme zu den Anschuldigungen der Bundespolizei
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif, The VOICE Refugee Forum

My statement on the federal police's charges against me on racist control
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif

Petition gegen den Abschiebeterror an der Familie Arsič - Breitenworbis Flüchtlingslager in Thueringen

Erfurt Declaration of Radmila Anić concerning her menace in Serbia
Erfurt: Erklärung von Radmila Anić zu ihrer Bedrohung in Serbien

The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany:
The Refugee: Base on Our History 1994 to 2014
Call for a Coordinated Regional Community Assembly
Reward 2015: The refugee political resources in Germany

O-platz Berlin Bus Tour 2015

English German French
Refugee Manifestation For Freedom and Liberty in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 16.04.2015
Stop Abuse! Legalize the so Called “tolerated refugees in Germany! Stop Destroying Refugees' Perspectives! With Guests Speakers from Schwäebish Gmünd

Civil Disobedience - Protest Tour Against Residenzplcht
Grassroots movement and resistance of refugee activists from Schwaebisch Gmuend against residenzpflicht imprisonment

Residenzpflicht bedeutet weiterhin Apartheid”
Weiter Protest gegen Erzwingungshaft für Flüchtlingsaktiviste
Ziviler Ungehorsam gegen Strafverfolgung bzgl Residenzpflicht
27.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum zur Flüchtlingsdemonstration gegen Residenzpflicht in Schwäbisch Gmünd
07.03.2015: Erklärung
English:
“Residenzpflicht still means Apartheid” - “Lager still means elimination”
25.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum on The Refugee Demonstration against Residenzpflicht in Schwaebisch Gmünd - Campaign for Freedom and liberty
07.03.2015: Declaration by Schwäbisch Gmünd Refugee Activists

Videos:
-Keeping Resistance Against Oppression!
-1/3
-2/3
-3/3

Refugee Tour
Solidarity Call for Civil Disobedience from Refugee Initiative Schwäbisch Gmünd
Wuppertal 23.03., Hamburg und Erfurt 24.03., Kiel 25.03., Bremen 26.03., Berlin 27.03.15,. Konstanz 01.04., Schwäbisch Gmd 06.04.15, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 16.04.2015

Breaking the isolation culture – We are isolated from the refugee communities!

Keep On - Close down Breitenworbis refugee isolation camp in Thüringen


Here is the .Radio report and Interview of Mbolo Yufanyi on the 20yrs. The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deportation is the Last Ring of Slavery Chain - Break the Culture of Deportaion, Isolation, Elimination.
Refugee Political Worshops and Media: 20years of Refugee Resistance in Anniversary of 20years.The VOICE Refugee Forum in Germany

20yrs.The VOICE Refugee Forum:
Faltblatt - Flyers in English / Deutsch / French / Arabic
The Call for Donation:
Everyone 20€ --- Dein Geburtstagsgeschenk für 20 Jahre The VOICE Refugee Forum


Review and invitation: Preparatory meetings on of The VOICE Refugee 20yrs. Anniversary in Jena

Deutsch:
Rückblick und Einladung: Die Vorbereitungstreffen zum 20. Jahrestag von The VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena
20. Jubiläum von The VOICE Refugee Forum - 20 Jahre Widerstand von Flüchtlingen in Deutschland

Brutal Police Murder in Germany
Oury Jalloh -Das War Mord / He Was Murdered in Police Cell 5 Dessau:
Innenansichten vor BGH Urteil - Statement Moctar Bah

Revisionsentscheidung des BGH im Fall Oury Jalloh vom 17.08.2014:
Conakry (Guinea): Visum für Bruder des toten Oury Jallohs trotz Einladung durch den BGH verweigert
:

Text in Deutsch:
Pressemitteilung GBA zum Todesfall Oury Jalloh - Gegenvorstellung von Thomas Ndindah gegen den OStA beim BGH Dr. Matthias Krauß
Im Todesfall Oury Jalloh: Thomas Ndindah vs GBA am BGH - Bezug: Ihr Antwortschreiben vom 11. Februar 2014 – AZ 2 APR 308/13-5

Spread the Solidarity - United we speak out for freedom of movement
The VOICE Refugee Forum on Archives of our 10years Anniversary in October, 2004 in Berlin:
As we approach the 20th Anniversary of Refugee Resistance this year in October, we will be spreading the documented texts and impressions from our Archives on Residenzpflicht campaign and the struggles to speak out for freedom of movement

Deportation is Torture and Murder - Stop Police Brutality against Refugees and Activists: - PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - First anniversary of our protest inside and outside of the Nigerian Embassy in 2012

STOP COLONIAL INJUSTICE – STOP DESTROYING OUR COUNTRIES
STOP KILLING REFUGEES – ABOLISH FRONTEX:

FOR THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

We stand together to reclaim the power of human dignity and solidarity against the state repression of refugees in Germany

Refugee Protest Actions - United Against Colonial Injustice

Mass murder in Lampedusa: Shame on EU! Refugee Protest in Rome, 10.October, 2013

The VOICE Refugee Forum - Guideline to Refugee Protest Strike in Eisenberg Reception Camp

Roma Initiative Thüringen: Report of Action Days July 25th – 27th in Jena and Eisenberg

Panel Roma ( Refugee Tribunal )

Streik der Flüchtlinge in der Thüringer Landesaufnahmestelle in Eisenberg für u.a. Flüchtlinge vom 30.07.2013.
VideoDoc: Erste Streik der Flüchtlinge in der LAST Eisenberg

25 - 27. 07 in Jena: ROMENGO DROM – The WAY OF ROMA PEOPLE
Demonstration in Jena - Stop the Deportation of Roma

Bad Mergentheim and Külsheim Refugees Protest in Stuttgart


Liberation Bus Tour in Bad Mergentheim - Refugee Strike in Stuttgart The VOICE Refugee Forum Network Video Channel

The Lager Watch Group on Eisenhüttenstadt - Stop Deportation Factory!

BREAK ISOLATION!
pdf: ABOLISH ALL LAGERS! - STOP DEPORTATION! Refugees of Eisenhüttenstadt!

LIBERATION BUS TOUR – FINALER AKTIONSTAG IN STUTTGART

08.6. Demo for Lampedusa in HH. District Office Hamburg-Mitte prevents the construction of tents with the help of police force

Bundesweite Kampagne und Netzwerk Bericht über Aktivitäten und Unterstützungsaufruf

Refugees gestoppt auf dem Weg zu Blockupy / Refugees stopped on their way to Blockupy.

Everywhere in these isolation-camps people lack their basic human rights - Break Isolation Strike Tour in Niedersachsen

"Lampedusa in Hamburg":
Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte verhindert mit Polizeikräften Zeltaufbau für obdachlose Flüchtlinge

Video Refugee Testimony: More than 20 years in Isolation Camp Brandenburg - Germany

Miloud L. Cherif - Video Collection on Campaign for Civil disobedience against "Residenzpflicht" Refugee Movement Restriction
English: Take Urgent Action! FAX- Campaign against Residenzpflicht and political persecution of Miloud L. Cherif
Deutsch: Fax-Kampagne gegen Residenzpflicht und die politische Verfolgung von Miloud L. Cherif

Aktion am Hauptbahnhof Erfurt; 22.5. um 15 Uhr Residenzpflicht abschaffen – Rassistische Polizeikontrollen stoppen! Freiheit für Miloud L Cherif und alle anderen!

Video Collection of Refugee Testimony and Appeals from Liberation Bus

Break Isolation - Refugee Strike in Germany
26.April till 08.June 2013
New Videos and Reports on Refugee Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern 26th of April till 8th of June in Stuttgart.

Niedersachsen Refugee Liberation Bus Tour (16 – 22 of May 2013) Break Isolation Refugee Strike

Aufruf zur öffentlichen Prozessbeobachtung im Asylverfahren von Salomon Wantchoucou

2nd Declaration and Call for serious conversations "Lampedusa in Hamburg"
„Lampedusa in Berlin, Hamburg and Bielefeld”

The Criminality of the European Authorities - Interview with Affo Tchassei
„Wir sind hier und gehen nicht zurück“
Protest im UNCHR Berlin
„We are here and we don’t go back!” - “Nous somme ici et nous ne retournerons pas!”

Break Isolation Strike in Refugee Lagers - camps

PRENZLAU: Protest against racist attacks of Refugees

Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern
Schließt euch uns an und unterstützt die Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg und Bayern!

Join us to support the Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern

Update News:
Polizei schikaniert die Refugees Liberation Bus Tour: Offene Protestnote an die Grün-Rote Landesregierung von Baden-Württemberg

Demonstration - Samstag, 18. Mai 2013, 16 Uhr, Willy Brandt-Platz:
für ein Ende rassistischer Polizeigewalt und gegen institutionellen Rassismus
In Erinnerung an Christy Schwundeck – Getötet durch die Polizei in Frankfurt/Main

OUR RIGHTS TO EXIST AS FREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CRIMINALIZED BEFORE OUR NAMES ARE KNOWN: WE WILL FIGHT BACK UNTIL WHEN WE TAKE BACK THE POWER OF SOLIDARITY TO BREAK OPEN THE PRISON GATES FOR THE VICTIMS OF RACIST PERSECUTION IN GERMANY.

Action in Thüringen

On the Move! “Break Isolation Strike”
Refugee liberation strike action in Heidenheim Baden Württemberg 29th April 2013
Refugee Demonstration and liberation Bus Tour 2013 Refugees Liberation Bus Tour Video reports by Crosspoint

"Enough is enough" - refugees in Wolfsburg raise their voice
Bericht vom Demonstration am 27.04.2013 in Wolfsburg Break Isolation Solidarity Act - “Genug ist genug”

Polizei kriminalisiert Treffen in Thüringer Flüchtlingsheimen und belagert das Grünowski

BREAK ISOLATION and Solidarity Act in Thueringen: Jena, Greiz, Gerstungen, Waltershausen und Erfurt

Unterstützt die Faxkampagne - Offener Brief der Frauen aus dem Isolationslager Breitenworbis

Thousands of balloons - World Wide Roma Day

Am 8. April war der internationale Tag der Roma, um für die Rechte der Roma zu kämpfen und auf die Situation der Roma aufmerksam zu machen! - Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Pressemitteilung von Miloud Lahmar Cherif zur Situation seiner Familie in Deutschland

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013
*April 2013 in 7 Regionen Deutschlands – Göttingen 08-09.04., Essen - NRW 09.04., Berlin and Prenzlau 08-13.04., Frankfurt 10-11.04. (Kundgebung im Containerlager Oberursel 11.04.), Hamburg 13.04., Bielefeld 16.04., Trier 20.40 Jena / Thueringen , 22-26.04.

English:
We are at a crucial turning point to make refugee isolation lager HISTORY in Germany.

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013 - Input by The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deutsch:
Break Isolation Conference und Solidarity Act 2013 - Input von The VOICE Refugee Forum

Thousands of balloons - 8. April 2013 for World Wide Roma Movement
Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Refugee Workshop in Berlin Protestcamp

Choucha Camp Refugee Protest in Tunisia - Sit-in migrants de Choucha Tunis - Break the isolation! Solidarity with Fighting Refugees Camp in Choucha / Tunisia

Interviews in English and French:

Break Isolation of Refugees - Karawane Festival Speech by Osaren in Jena: Chant down the babylon Germany

We are protesting to close down all Refugee Isolation Lagers in Thueringen:
Refugee lager Camp Protest
Join the ongoing Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Breitenworbis
Greiz
Gerstungen isolation
Successfully Closed down refugee lagers in recent years
2012 Isolationslager Zella Mehlis
2011 Ghetto Sömmerda/Gangloffsömmern
2010 Isolationslager Katzhütte!
2009 Isolationslager Gehlberg
2009 Ghetto: Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Apolda - Stobraer straße in Thüringen
2007 Flüchtlingsheims Freienbessingen

Sachsen-Anhalt
Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Bitterfeld
Flüchtlingsisolationsheim Marke
Vockerode
Successfully Closed down refugee lager in Sachsen-Anhalt
2012 Isolationslager Möhlau

2011 Ein Überblick: Isolation der Flüchtlingslager in der Nachbarschaft zu brechen - Die Agenda von The VOICE Refugee Forum
An Overview of „The VOICE“ Agenda – Break the Refugee Isolation Camps in the Neighbourhoods
2003 Stop all deportations! Close all detention and deportation centers for refugees and migrants!

Asylbewerber Asylbewerber
Abschiebung Abschiebung
Residenzpflicht Residenzpflicht
Frontex Frontex
Refugee Embassy Refugee Embassy
Colonial Injustice Colonial Injustice
Police Brutality Police Brutality
Isolationslager Isolationslager
BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

* * * * * * * *

Dossier zu den Morden an Sakine, Fidan und Leyla Morde an den kurdischen Frauenrechtsaktivistinnen Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan und Leyla Şaylemez, die sich am 9. Januar 2013 im Zentrum von Paris ereigneten

Video: Dessau 7.01.2013 - Oury Jalloh Demonstration

Verbrannt in Polizeizelle Nummer fünf Busse nach Dessau (7.1.) zur Erinnerungsdemo für Oury Jalloh

: Abschiebung und Pressekonferenz - Refugee Camp Vienna
Refugee Protest Camps:
Vienna Austria
Berlin Germany

Break Isolation Berlin – Statement of the Refugee Protest Camp at Oranienplatz Berlin
Enough is enough. It's time for resistance!

New Videos Refugee Protest camps: Solidarity from Vienna and Berlin
Endorse the International Statement of Solidaritya from Refugee Protest in Vienn
Wien Press: Votiv-Lager war angemeldet - War Räumung des Protest-Camps illegal? Flüchtlingscamp vor der Votivkirche

Video: Police Vandalism in Wien - Refugee Protest Camp evicted! Polizeiliche Räumung des Refugee Protest Camp in Wien
Video:Refugees on Hunger Strike / Refugees im Hungerstreik

Reboot FM about the : Refugee Tribunal in Berlin (June 13-16.2013)

PM The VOICE Refugee Forum on Oury Jalloh: Magdeburger Strafgerichtskammer verhindert Aufklärung - (k)ein Ende einer Farce

Austine and the Residenzpflicht

"October 12. 2012. On the way from Schwäbisch Gmund (Baden Württenberg) to Berlin, to take part to the Refugee Protest March Demonstration of October 13, Austine, Charles, Chima, Egbo, Henry and Obinna are target of a police racial profiling control in Hof's Station.

Rex Osa’s Testimony by Affidavit for The INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS TRIBUNAL IN MANILA Quezon City, Philippines
The VOICE- Protocol 11.11.12 in Berlin: O&A with Alassane Dicko and Rex Osa on Beyond the borders Conference in Berlin

CARAVAN for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Strengthening the unity of refugee struggles against colonial injustice in Germany

Stärkt die Einheit der Flüchtlingskämpfe gegen koloniales Unrecht in Deutschland - Abschlusserklärung des Break Isolation Camp

3Sat mediathek Report: Für mehr Menschenwürde
Flüchtlingsproteste in Deutschland: Die Proteste von Asylbewerbern in Deutschland nehmen zu, insbesondere seit sich ein Asylbewerber in Würzburg Anfang 2012 das Leben genommen hat und zwei iranische Flüchtlinge sich die Münder zugenäht hatten und in Hungerstreik getreten waren. Inzwischen hat sich in acht deutschen Städten eine Protestbewegung von Flüchtlingen...?
Break Isolation Protestmarsch und Protest der Flüchtlinge für die unverzügliche Schließung des Isolationslagers in Breitenworbis, Mühlhauser Straße 35 am 29.08.2012 auf 3Sat mediathek

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Please Comment: Zimbabwean Spirit Against The Gathering Storm // Zimbabwe Needs a Political Settlement

Zimbabwean Spirit Against The Gathering Storm

The unfolding anti-Zimbabwean initiative of Britain and the United States government is a part of the racist ideology of the West against a free, independent Zimbabwe. As an African American who worked and lived in Zimbabwe immediately after the Second Chimurenga I am appalled at the lack of understanding on the part of those Zimbabweans who support the activities of the Movement for Demoncratic Change, a party underwritten financially from the United States and Britain.

Indeed, Samora Machel used to say that “The struggle for liberation is a university.” The only problem is that many people never went to war for their lilberation. Harriet Tubman said that she could have saved a thousand instead of the 300 she led to freedom if she could have convinced them that they were enslaved people.

In fact, what we see in Zimbabwe is the attempt on the part of American conservative groups joined with British groups to introduce a Trojan Horse in the middle of the Zimbabwean nation. This is to be expected. This is the pattern of destabilization and it is a shame that many of our own leaders in the United States have not understood the intention of the sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangarai is a creation of the white landed class in Zimbabwe. Through their money, as seen with Tsvangarai’s support from the white farmer Roy Bennett, who is the treasurer of the MDC, and other whites the MDC has been able to buy votes, influence the peasant populations in the rural areas, and create chaos.

I trained journalists in Zimbabwe at ZIMCO in the early l980s and was responsible for its first diploma class. I have been angered by the continuing propaganda of the Western media against the liberties and freedoms of Zimbabweans.

While we all condemn the actions of the goons who attack innocent people, we reserve our greatest condemnation for the political goons who are like Uncle Toms begging their former masters for bread. They will sell their mothers and fathers’ inheritance for money from the West.

MDC is an instrument of the Western imperialists in the most concrete terms. It receives its money, resources, and support from the most reactionary elements in the Western countries and has shown itself to be against the general interests of the masses of people.

Freedom loving people realize the attempt to paint Zimbabwe as a rogue government, disconnected from the people, by the Western media. There is no reason for the people of Zimbabwe to be despondent because there are many friends of freedom and independence who see the hoopla in the British and American media as a part of a wider orchestration of the imperialist corporate attempt to undermine African agency.

On CNN in the United States, Jesse Jackson said on June 24th that Robert Mugabe was a hero but not anymore. This is a heresy. What has Mugabe done to be demoted as a hero? He gave his youth and adult life fighting in the bush against the white occupiers of his foreparents land. Mugabe will always be a hero to freedom loving African Americans. No, Mugabe’s land reform action to return stolen land to the legitimate owners has caused an orchestrated campaign against Mugabe and his government. But the catalogue does not stop there. He captured and put in prison a group of military adventurers who were planning to overthrown an African nation. Many of them had ties to the white community in Britain.

I see Jesse Jackson’s position as part of the international effort to pressure the Zimbabwean people to submit to intervention and international pressure. Even Nelson Mandela was in Britain condemning Mugabe for the tragedy of leadership. This is the power of the Western political system.

When Mandela was in jail, Mugabe allowed the use of his own country and his own resources to aid the ANC fighters in trying to overthrow the minority regime in South Africa. Has Mandela forgot this or did someone fail to tell him?

I think that the progressive elements in the African American community must reassure the Zimbabwean people that they have many friends in the West and around the world who truly understand the reason for the suffering in Zimbabwe and know that the MDC is being used to reassert racist and compradorist elements in the country.

Zimbabweans are the only people who can solve their problems; however, the Zimbabwean people must know that their enemies have been working around the clock to undermine the legitimate functioning of the government.

Since the land reform movement the reactionary white and black elements in the United States, Australian, South Africa, and Britain have been seeking an internal Zimbabwean lever to pry loose the strong, committed, and determined will of the Zimbabwean people.

If the MDC pulls out of the election then the election must continue because Tsvangarai’s name is already on the ballots. The African Union has observers in the country already but Mugabe has wisely kept out of the nation those individuals who would enter the country to spy, undermine, or to create chaos by trying to find enemies of the government.

The MDC is pulling out of the election because it knows it cannot win. They will try to convince the world that the decisions of the people are forced, but Zimbabweans must stand with their heroic history and refuse to allow outside forces to rob the country of its independence. Long live the heroes of the Chimurenga! Long live the comrades who gave their lives in the mountains and valleys of beautiful Zimbabwe.

The European and American dance toward intervention inside Zimbabwe is a part of the same hypocrisy that Africa has experienced for many years. If Morgan Tsvangarai believes that his attachment to the West and its interests in supporting the minority white landholders in Zimbabwe will bring him to power he is absolutely wrong.

The masses of Zimbabweans understand that when 4000 whites held 75 percent of the arable land in Zimbabwe there was no outrage on the part of the Europeans and Americans. These masses may have to tighten their belts, rein in their materials needs in order to maintain their freedom as Britain and American play out their sanctions.

Should Zimbabwe acquiesce to the interests of the white minority against the masses of its own people it will surely be the worst form of slavery that has appeared in southern Africa. The fact that Mugabe at the head of ZANU was a military leader means that he knows what the situation was in his country before the rise of the MDC-T and its supporters from the American and British right wing.

So long as the people elect the ZANU-PF government it should remain in power as the vanguard of the revolution. When the people, without coercion from the outside, choose another party then ZANU-PF should leave office.

There is no wonder that a survey of young Africans a couple of years ago gave Robert Mugabe higher marks for leadership against the West than any other continental leader in Africa. Long Live Robert Mugabe!

Molefi Kete Asante
President, Association of Nubian Kemetic Heritage
Author, The History of Africa
www.asante.net

****

Zimbabwe Needs a Political Settlement

Fahamu (Oxford)

ANALYSIS
11 July 2008
Posted to the web 11 July 2008

By Mpho Ncube

It is common knowledge that the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) party won the parliamentary and presidential elections earlier this year. Based on its performance, it would therefore be fair to say that the MDC would probably have also won last week's presidential run-off had it not pulled out at the last moment. Yet, despite these facts, Zanu-PF still remains in power today. Robert Mugabe has once again outmaneuvered his opponents in Zimbabwe and abroad.

No surprises there then, given that the government had set in motion a chain of events that were designed to pre-determine the outcome of the elections in its favour. Indeed, the MDC cited the systematic harassment, torture and murder of its supporters and leadership as the main reason for its withdrawal from the election.

Given this state of affairs and as the Pan-African parliament observer mission reported, the elections could not have been conducted in a free and fair environment. African leaders meeting in Egypt last week called for a government of national unity to be established in Zimbabwe, thereby conferring semi-legitimacy to Mugabe much to the dismay of the MDC and others who were hoping for outright condemnation and ostracisation.

However, the MDC was right to contest the elections in March even though it was faced with insurmountable odds. By participating in a contest they knew would be pre-determined and still registering more votes than the government, the party won a moral victory in the eyes of many Zimbabweans. That moral victory would have been enough to carry the MDC through last week's presidential run-off election, which was also preceded by the same unfavourable conditions of the March election.

The people of Zimbabwe were denied their fundamental right to choose a leader of their own liking on June 27. This fact alone renders those elections null and void. That the results of both the March 29 elections and the recent one-candidate presidential run-off were allowed to stand is yet another reason, after the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland in the 1980s, that we should not recognise the legitimacy of the Zanu PF government. It goes without saying that to want to hold Zanu PF to account for its actions is to invite accusations from its propagandists of being "an agent of the colonialists."

MDC IN DISSARRAY

Three months since the disputed March elections, the MDC seems to be in disarray. It doesn't appear as if the party has really mastered the art of opposition politics. It has not been able to translate its moral victories since 2000 into power. This, however, is hardly a surprise because having been founded on an anti-ZANU PF populist wave, the MDC will always be re-active rather than pro-active to the political situation in Zimbabwe. It appears to be looking to the masses for signals to act while becoming very good at telling us what we already know - that Zanu PF is now very unpopular and must be replaced.

As things stand, talk of Zanu PF demise is misplaced. The military junta or the Joint Operational Command (JOC) now running Zimbabwe will have been emboldened by the fissures and lack of a united position at the African Union and SADC. It is in this post-election period of disillusionment that all the major players in the Zimbabwe body politic need quiet reflection. I would like to think that the MDC is currently undergoing this process, otherwise how does one explain the series of strategic blunders by its leadership? I would like to see its leaders emerge from this ever-deepening crisis with more courage than they have shown so far.

There is undeniable thirst for a viable alternative to the present ZANU PF government, which once again, is holding the country hostage. Since independence in 1980, Zanu PF has been in open confrontation with the citizens of Zimbabwe - first it was the Ndebele and today it is everybody. For all its intellectual clout, ZANU PF cannot see, or if it does, refuses to accept that reforms both within its ranks and the country at large, are long overdue. Instead, it is gripped by paranoia, blaming everyone and everything but itself.

Zimbabwe is now a country in a state of siege equal to that of the 1980's. When the Fifth Brigade massacred thousands of civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands, international opinion was focused on apartheid South Africa. Similarly today, world focus has shifted to the "war against terrorism" thereby relegating Zimbabwe to the sidelines. Robert Mugabe used apartheid South Africa as cover for his genocide in Matabeleland. Today he is hiding behind the international campaign against Al Qaeda to rape, maim and murder opponents of his government. He should not be allowed to get away with it again.

The ZANU PF government sees land re-distribution as the final act in its black empowerment programme. Judging by its preceding Affirmative Action Campaign, which started off as a well-intentioned plan to promote black economic empowerment but ended up as a vehicle for self-enrichment, it is no wonder that the so-called "Hondo yeminda" (war for land) has suffered a similar fate. Senior government, police and army officials have unashamedly helped themselves to the best farmland, evicting ordinary people already settled on these properties. While there is an undeniable need for land re-distribution in Zimbabwe, the politicisation of the process by Zanu PF has condemned millions of citizens to unemployment, starvation and death. The country has been set back a century. So, given this background and the fact that ZANU PF and MDC are now pitted against each other in a low-intensity civil war, what should be the way forward for Zimbabwe?

THE WAY FORWARD

The first thing to say is that the two main parties in Zimbabwe have to accept that a political settlement is now pre-requisite to any lasting solution and must therefore renew their efforts to talk to each other.

Second, both parties and the MDC in particular, must understand that the negotiation/talks process will be long and hard given their contrasting philosophies. ZANU PF is a party heavily steeped in liberation war politics and therefore reliant on violence, secrecy and war as policy instruments while the MDC is the exact opposite with its emphasis on diplomacy and openness.

Finally, Zanu PF must accept that the MDC is now an indelible part of the Zimbabwean political landscape while the MDC, on its part, will have to understand that no political settlement with ZANU PF will preclude violence. To therefore insist on the total cessation of hostilities, as a precondition for talks is not only unrealistic but also perpetuates the suffering of Zimbabweans because ZANU PF will always use violence as a policy or negotiating tool. It used violence prior and during negotiations with PF-ZAPU in the 1980s and so will have reckoned that the same strategy will work with the MDC this time around.

MDC leaders would therefore be wise to study settlements in South Africa, Northern Ireland or even Zimbabwe itself (Lancaster House Agreement and "Unity Talks/Accord"). In fairness to the MDC, the party has largely refrained from retaliation, instead insisting on democratic re-course to argue its case. This has undoubtedly won it many sympathisers at home and abroad, but how long will they continue to look the other way? We will have to wait and see. There needs to be a conducive platform to work from. The present confrontational and destructive situation does not provide conditions that will make it easy for Zimbabwe to get back on track.

A political settlement between the two main parties must be the starting point. Such a settlement is required to end the current state of siege and allow for the creation of a platform from which to institute a reform programme best suited to Zimbabwe. Solutions to the current crisis lie inside Zimbabwe itself, if only the politicians could cast aside personal ambition and seize the moment for the greater good of the country.

The shape and form of any political settlement is what the MDC and ZANU PF are most likely to be discussing behind the scenes at the moment. The sticking points are likely to be the way ZANU PF will want to cast itself as the senior party and therefore insist on setting the agenda for the negotiations. Indeed, the way ZANU PF is so enthusiastic about the proposed government of national unity (GNU) shows that the party has calculated that it would still emerge better-off were a GNU actually implemented. Remember, ZANU PF is well practised in this type of stand-off, it has the benefit of experience when it was engaged in a similar situation with Joshua Nkomo's PF ZAPU party in the 1980s. Even though the political settlement which culminated in the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 is largely considered as a hostile takeover of PF ZAPU, it will very likely be ZANU PF's template for its negotiations with the MDC. ZANU PF negotiators will be on the lookout for potential "banana skins" in any settlement, which is why they are wary or suspicious of the MDC's much preferred option of a gradualist, transitional government that emphasises the temporariness of Mugabe's government. Of chief concern to ZANU PF will be the provisions for immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity.

Even though a GNU does not mean that ZANU PF will hand over total power to the MDC, Mugabe and his henchmen/women will still want to cover all possible scenarios and buttress themselves against future prosecution. And herein lies the problems for the MDC, who will be under severe pressure, perhaps more than ZANU PF, to be pragmatic and give Mugabe the immunity he will demand in return for peace.

Will the MDC be bold enough in its demands or will it capitulate? That remains to be seen. And what about ordinary MDC supporters who have borne the brunt of ZANU PF brutality in the last 10 or so years? Will they be happy to let their leaders grant Mugabe and his henchmen/women immunity or as some people see it, impunity?

What about the thousands of Gukurahundi victims in Matabeleland, most of whom have voted for the MDC since its inception in 1999 - will they feel that their pain and sorrow counts for nothing when they have been crying out for justice all these years? The MDC has to conduct a fine balancing act to accommodate the sometimes conflicting wishes and expectations of its various membership. In order to do so successfully, it will have to consult widely and deeply within its membership because failure to do so will leave it open to yet more division.

http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200807110717.html

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