Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 10:34 AM

World Is “Shocked, Shocked” that Mugabe Had Opposition Leader Beaten and Arrested

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Leaders all over the world have spewed shocking indignation at Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for ordering the brutal arrest on Sunday of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured left being escorted to court on Tuesday with obvious signs of prison abuse) and others for daring to hold a public “prayer vigil” for their country without his expressed authorization.

But Mugabe can be forgiven his own shocking indignation at their reaction. After all, this was a relatively-benign police action compared to others he has ordered over the years to maintain “law and order” in his country, none of which incited this kind of international outrage. (Click on Related Articles below to read about some of his other presidential orders that were far more brutal, in fact genocidal.)

Indeed, by their silence, world leaders gave tacit approval when he confiscated almost 4000 farms and brutally evicted their white owners. And they seemed relatively unbothered when Mugabe then parceled those farms out to his political cronies as fallow retreats, leaving millions of poor Zimbabweans with no food to eat.

They gave tacit approval when he politically cleansed whole neighborhoods – in an operation he called “Drive out the rubbish” – by bulldozing the homes of people he deemed opposition sympathizers, which left millions of Zimbabweans with no place to live.

And, they gave tacit approval when he dispatched police goon-squads to intimidate voters to guarantee his reelection in 2005 by a far more respectable margin than his 62 to 57 parliamentary victory in 2000. And sure enough, he was reelected with his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party claiming 78 seats and reducing Tvsangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party to 41 seats. (Incidentally, there was little international indignation hurled at Mugabe when he had Tsvangirai arbitrarily and capriciously arrested in 2003 and on many subsequent occasions….)

Clearly, given this record of tacitly approving every iron-fisted act of brutality Mugabe ordered against his people during his 27-year dictatorship, the outrage being expressed around the world today seems disingenuous at best. But, frankly, I’m sure Mugabe’s only response to this chorus of condemnation will be:

So, what are you going to do about it?!

That said, I feel constrained to issue a special indictment against South African President Thabo Mbeki. Because, despite having not only the power but also the political (and moral) obligation to help the MDC end Mugabe’s ruthless and repressive rule, he has pretended for years to hear no evil and see no evil across his border; notwithstanding the constant public pleas of MDC leaders for his aid in their freedom struggle.

In fact Mbeki remains unapologetic about his unconditional embrace of Mugabe. But nothing indicts his leadership more than Mbeki using the canards of “quiet diplomacy [and] constructive engagement” to rationalize his tacit approval of Mugabe’s political oppression against black Zimbabweans. After all, these are the same canards that world leaders who embraced the former Apartheid government of South Africa used not so long ago to rationalize their tacit approval of its oppression against him and other black South Africans.

Related Articles:
Yes, Save Darfur! But what about Zimbabwe?


  1. March 15, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Yes, it is sickening Anthony!

  2. Alan March 16, 2007 at 10:49 am


    Just seen your page linked on TMZ. And I must say after reading serveral of your articles, I find your writings very interesting. I only read onething that I dont agree with and it is minor.

    I will be back daily to read your articles. Very impressed.

    In California

  3. ALH ipinions March 17, 2007 at 1:31 am

    Welcome Al!

    And please don’t hesitate to express disagreements. Just be prepared to defend them :)

  4. Steve March 31, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    I grew up in Zimbabwe, leaving in 1989 in my mid-20’s due to the increasing “political unrest”. It makes me sick to witness the degredation of the vast majority of the Zimbabwe people and a once beautiful country. God help them.


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