Monday, June 02, 2008

Democracy's Skull Crushed and Shot In The Back

There is no reason to think Robert Mugabe is going to give up power without a bloody fight. Compare this to Iraq, where they are rolling in petro-dollars and US taxpayer dollars and yet, nobody really cares about democracy. Iraqi soldiers abandon their position, money constantly disappears and nobody cares much about democracy other than repeating a few words to the US in order to keep the money flowing. Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe are actually risking their lives to promote democracy with very little help from the outside world. To hell with Iraq, we should be supporting people like this who really give a damn.
Tonderai Ndira was an activist campaigning against Mugabe. He was very active in his neighborhood in Harare in the last election when Mugabe was in reality defeated. He will not be campaigning in the "run off" because he is dead.
His body was found by accident in a morgue about 2 weeks ago with his tongue cut out and his eyes gouged out. He was so badly beaten, that his father had trouble identifying his body and was only able to confirm it was him by the ring he always wore.
Ndira has been compared to South Africa's Steve Biko. He had been arrested over 30 times but kept up his resistance to the Mugabe government. His body, with a crushed skull, bullet wound in the chest and blood stained shorts are a depressing silent testimony to the violent repression of the Mugabe's forces. Now the Mugabe Government wants to disinter his body. His family and supporters are sure it is to destroy all evidence of the murder.
This June 27, this bankrupt and terrorized country will will go back to the polls. A wave of murders and beatings of activists is surging as the government tries to crush all hints of opposition. At least 50 organizers have died, 1500 are in hospitals and 25,000 have been driven from their homes and countless more have lost their livelihoods.
In spite of all this, the opposition, led by Mr. Tsvangirai, still believe that the people will triumph in the election. The head of the army has decreed that all the soldiers had better vote for Mugabe or quit the army. Perhaps, finally, some of the soldiers will realize that life might be better without Mugabe?
Would it be too much for the rest of the world to show real support for the opposition in Zimbawe, instead of simple lip service? Would it be too much to ask for some real assistance in helping these oppressed people get rid of this murderous tyrant? Will the death of Tonderai
Ndira and other brave individuals like him forever be in vain because there was nothing to be gained by assisting them?

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