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Mugabe's newest wave of terror

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This is why someone needs to usher him out of Zimbabwe today. He's the healthiest looking 84 year old I've seen and has no plans to go anywhere, any time soon, so cut a deal and let the suffering people of Zimbabwe live in peace. The former breadbasket of Southern Africa has become a wastebasket, with cronyism, torture, death squads, cholera and starvation. Bringing Mugabe to justice would be great in an ideal world but at the moment, no one can afford another day of his brutality.

Fears are mounting in Zimbabwe for the lives of more than 40 opposition officials and human rights activists who have been abducted as part of a renewed crackdown by the regime in Harare. At least two more members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have disappeared in the past week, along with a freelance investigative reporter.

"The abductions are increasing and it now seems to be happening nationwide," Nelson Chamisa, an MDC spokesman,said yesterday.

The operation, codenamed Chimumumu according to sources in the army, aims to eliminate political opponents and remove human rights monitors. The kidnappings follow a pattern familiar from the past two years of political intimidation, where key middle- and lower-ranking officials are "disappeared" in an attempt to terrorise or destabilise opponents of the ruling party. Among those taken in the past month are Chris Dlamini, the head of security for the MDC, and Jestina Mukoko, the director of Zimbabwe Peace Project. The ruling party and security services have denied any part in the abductions.

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