Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement: Inside Mugabe’s Oppression

I’m reminded again why I support an aggressive US foreign policy.

President Robert Mugabe summoned his top security officials to a government training center near his rural home in central Zimbabwe on the afternoon of March 30. In a voice barely audible at first, he informed the leaders of the state security apparatus that had enforced his rule for 28 years that he had lost the presidential vote held the previous day.

Then Mugabe told the gathering he planned to give up power in a televised speech to the nation the next day

But Zimbabwe’s military chief, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga, responded that the choice was not Mugabe’s alone to make. According to two firsthand accounts of the meeting, Chiwenga told Mugabe his military would take control of the country to keep him in office or the president could contest a runoff election, directed in the field by senior army officers supervising a military-style campaign against the opposition.

the plan was given a code name: CIBD. The acronym, which proved apt in the fevered campaign that unfolded over the following weeks, stood for: Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement.

It gets even worse once you read the tactics the military used…

Women were stripped and beaten so viciously that whole sections of flesh fell away from their buttocks. Many had to lie facedown in hospital beds during weeks of recovery. Men’s genitals became targets. The official postmortem report on Chaona opposition activist Aleck Chiriseri listed crushed genitals among the causes of death. Other men died the same way.

When Gibbs Chironga emerged, a militia member shot him with an AK-47, said Hilton Chironga, his 41-year-old brother, who was wounded by gunfire. Gibbs died soon after.

His brother, sister and mother were beaten, then handcuffed and forced to drink a herbicide that burned their mouths and faces, relatives said.

Both Hilton Chironga and his 76-year-old mother, Nelia Chironga, were taken to the hospital in Harare, barely able to eat or speak. The whereabouts of Gibbs Chironga’s sister remain unknown. The family home was burned to the ground.

And the liberal peace groups are once again missing in action…

One thought on “Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement: Inside Mugabe’s Oppression

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