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Liberator Germaniae
Tuesday, February 27th, 2007, 02:54 PM
Mugabe faces hostile reception in Namibia

Brigitte Weidlich | Windhoek, Namibia

27 February 2007 12:02

Human rights groups in Namibia were on Tuesday preparing a hostile reception for Robert Mugabe at the start of a three-day state visit to Windhoek by the veteran Zimbabwean president.

Mugabe, who was due to arrive in Namibia on Tuesday evening, is to meet with Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba and sign a number of bilateral agreements during the course of one of his rare forays outside Zimbabwe.

He will also tour a Windhoek diamond-cutting and -polishing plant before making a dash for the coast on Thursday, where he will visit a fish factory.

However, local activists are determined that Mugabe, isolated by the West over allegations of rights abuses and vote-rigging, will not be given a free ride during his visit to the normally tranquil Southern African nation.

"We will organise a peaceful demonstration outside the Zimbabwean High Commission on Wednesday morning," human rights activist Phil ya Nangoloh said.

"We will together with other civil organisations register our strongest disapproval of the outrageous human rights, humanitarian and political situation in Zimbabwe," he said.

Ya Nangoloh, who heads the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), sent an open letter to Pohamba on Monday informing him of the demonstration.

"Mr president, I let you know about our solidarity with the oppressed people of Zimbabwe," the NSHR executive director wrote.

"Their oppressor is the Zimbabwean government under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe."

Mugabe (83) was a close ally of Nambia's former president, Sam Nujoma, with both men having led their countries since independence.

While relations with Pohamba, who became president in 2005, have been somewhat cooler, many within the ruling South West African People's Organisation (Swapo) still regard Mugabe as a liberation hero.

Swapo's youth wing has condemned the planned protest as symptomatic of the "reactionary and unpatriotic tendencies of Western-backed NGOs".

The "crime" Mugabe committed was to "embark on the long overdue land distribution from whites to indigenous African people", Elijah Ngurare, information secretary of the Swapo Youth League, said.

"As a result, the United States and European Union governments and Britain imposed racist sanctions on Zimbabwe," he said.

"Swapo Youth League is calling on all progressive forces in Namibia ... to render the necessary support to the people and the government of Zimbabwe, which is under hegemonic and racist sanctions."

Mugabe and his immediate coterie have been subject to sanctions from the EU since disputed elections in 2002. Relations with the West began to sour when Mugabe launched a controversial land-reform programme in 2000 which saw thousands of white-owned farms seized by the state.

The Zimbabwean president, battling an inflation rate of nearly 1 600% and an unemployment rate of about 80%, has laid much of the blame for the economic crisis on the US and former colonial power Britain.

Warning
On the weekend, Mugabe lavishly celebrated his 83rd birthday with a warning to his opponents planning protests against a proposed extension to his rule.

"Misguided youth and, indeed, adults who believe in violence and vandalism should understand that no society can countenance these," Mugabe said in a written speech to supporters gathered in a stadium in the south-western city of Gweru.

"Appropriate measures will always be taken to maintain law and order. This is a message we also send to the sponsors and instigators of the opposition," he said.

Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader, turned 83 last Wednesday and was showered with praise and birthday wishes from his supporters, but faces mounting pressure to his regime over economic recession that has condemned most people in the former regional breadbasket to grinding poverty.

The party came just under a week after police used water cannons and tear gas to break up a rally planned by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the capital to launch a campaign against plans to extend Mugabe's term in office by another two years.

Police arrested scores of opposition activists, including three lawmakers, and later banned political rallies and processions in Harare, saying there were fears they could degenerate into widespread rioting.

But Tsvangirai has vowed to ignore the ban. -- Sapa-AFP



Source (http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=300354&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/)

Liberator Germaniae
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Namibia rolls out red carpet for Mugabe

Brigitte Weidlich | Windhoek, Namibia

28 February 2007 07:20

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived in Namibia on Tuesday at the start of a three-day visit which will see him hold talks with counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba and sign a number of bilateral agreements.

Pohamba was on hand to greet Mugabe who was given a red-carpet reception at Windhoek airport.

After a 24-gun salute and the playing of the national anthems, the two leaders then headed into town ahead of a state banquet.

Their formal talks are scheduled to take place on Wednesday when Mugabe will also tour a Windhoek diamond cutting and polishing plant before making a dash for the coast Thursday, where he will visit a fish factory.

While Mugabe received the red-carpet treatment from Pohamba, human rights groups are preparing a more hostile reception for Mugabe.

They are determined that the 83-year-old, isolated by the West over allegations of rights abuses and vote-rigging, will not be given a free ride during his visit to the normally tranquil Southern African nation.

"We will organise a peaceful demonstration outside the Zimbabwean high commission on Wednesday morning," human rights activist Phil ya Nangoloh said.

"We will together with other civil organisations register our strongest disapproval of the outrageous human rights, humanitarian and political situation in Zimbabwe," he told Agence France-Presse.

Ya Nangoloh, who heads the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), sent an open letter to Pohamba on Monday informing him of the demonstration.

"Mr President, I let you know about our solidarity with the oppressed people of Zimbabwe," the NSHR executive director wrote.

"Their oppressor is the Zimbabwean government under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe."

Mugabe was a close ally of Nambia's former president Sam Nujoma, with both men having led their countries since independence.

While relations with Pohamba, who became president in 2005, have been somewhat cooler, many within the ruling South West African Peoples' Organisation (Swapo) still regard Mugabe as a liberation
hero.

Swapo's youth wing has condemned the planned protest as symptomatic of the "reactionary and unpatriotic tendencies of Western-backed non-government organisations".

The "crime" Mugabe committed was to "embark on the long overdue land distribution from whites to indigenous African people," Elijah Ngurare, information secretary of the Swapo Youth League, said.

"As a result, the US and EU governments and Britain imposed racist sanctions on Zimbabwe," he said.

"Swapo Youth League is calling on all progressive forces in Namibia ... to render the necessary support to the people and the government of Zimbabwe, which is under hegemonic and racist sanctions."

Mugabe and his immediate coterie have been subject to sanctions from the European Union since disputed elections in 2002. Relations with the West began to sour when Mugabe launched a controversial land reform programme in 2000 which saw thousands of white-owned farms seized by the state.

The Zimbabwean president, battling an inflation rate of nearly 1 600% and an unemployment rate of around 80%, has laid much of the blame for the economic crisis on the United States and former colonial power Britain. - Sapa-AFP



Source (http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/&articleid=300458)

Liberator Germaniae
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, 02:59 PM
MPs desert Parliament to rush off to welcome Mugabe

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - Web posted at 7:04:09 GMT

BRIGITTE WEIDLICH

THE visit of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe brought yesterday's parliamentary session to a standstill after only one hour, when Cabinet Ministers quietly disappeared at the start of the tea break to rush to Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Mugabe's arrival was scheduled for 17h10 and protocol requires Cabinet members to line up along the red carpet at the airport.

Members of Parliament, whose session started at 14h40, were adamant to take their usual tea break just one hour into the session instead of skipping it to at least sit until 16h00.

When it came to the tea break at 15h40 sharp, out they went - either for tea or to their ministerial vehicles.

The few who were left took their time strolling back to the Chamber instead of being back in their seats punctually at 16h00.

The bell to call MPs back rang many times, but only 28 seats were filled.

According to the Standing Rules and Orders, those present must wait 30 minutes in such circumstances, in case the required quorum of 37 MPs with voting power can still be achieved.

After the 30-minute wait was over by 16h40, Speaker Theo-Ben Gurirab adjourned the session until today.

The Minister of Labour, Alfeus Naruseb, who two weeks ago announced in the National Assembly that he would table the long-awaited new Labour Bill yesterday, told the House yesterday afternoon right at the start that he wanted to postpone the tabling until next week Tuesday.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, March 1st, 2007, 04:07 PM
Demonstrators tell Mugabe to repent and retire

Thursday, March 1, 2007

TANJA BAUSE

DEMONSTRATORS yesterday gathered in front of the Zimbabwean High Commission in Windhoek to protest against visiting President Robert Mugabe.

An estimated 70 people, mainly Namibians, were protesting in solidarity with Zimbabweans and the posters carried messages outlining the plight of the country and its inhabitants.

Around 40 Police officers turned out to "guard" the High Commission, and "watch" the protesters.

Five million Zimbabweans are currently in exile while 700 000 were left homeless during Mugabe's controversial 'Remove the Filth Operation', also known as Operation Murambatsvina, in May 2005.

The operation affected the lives of more than two million ordinary Zimbabweans.

Public meetings are banned in the country while poverty, inflation and unemployment are skyrocketing.

The protest was organised by the National Society for Human Rights.

Protesters of different ages, colours and genders stood side by side in solidarity with Zimbabweans suffering under the rule of Mugabe.

Posters with slogans like 'Retire Tyrant' and 'Mugabe Repent' were among the 70-odd placards held up in the silent and peaceful demonstration.

"Robert Mugabe should be in prison for human rights violations," said Phil ya Nangoloh, director of the NSHR.

"He is not welcome here or in fact anywhere else in the world.

The only place where he would be welcomed is in court in Den Haag [the International Court of Justice in The Hague]," said Ya Nangoloh.

Mugabe will be visiting the coastal towns of Namibia before returning home on Friday.

No one turned out to demonstrate in favour of the Zimbabwean leader.



Source (http://www.namibian.com.na/)

Liberator Germaniae
Thursday, March 1st, 2007, 05:13 PM
Protesters greet 'tyrant' Mugabe

Desiwaar Heita | Windhoek, Namibia

28 February 2007 12:33

Rights activists in Namibia on Wednesday shouted "tyrant" and waved placards condemning Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms in a protest to mark the Zimbabwean leader's visit to the Southern African nation.

Mugabe, facing growing unrest at home over policies that critics say have ruined Zimbabwe's economy, was kept away from scores of protesters who chanted and paraded outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Windhoek, the Namibian capital.

Two dozen police officers kept a wary eye on the crowd, which carried signs that read "Retire Tyrant Retire" and "Mugabe Repent", outside the building. Zimbabwean officials remained inside during the demonstration.

"Robert Mugabe should be in prison for his human rights violations," said Phil ya Nangolo, director of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), a Namibian group that organised the protest, which was joined by a number of Zimbabwean exiles and Namibian opposition members.

"His land redistribution has not empowered any Zimbabweans but has just brought poverty," Nangolo said.

Mugabe, who arrived in Namibia on Tuesday on a state visit, has been accused of destroying Zimbabwe's once-thriving agricultural sector through the seizure and redistribution of white commercial farms to landless blacks.

A subsequent drop in production of maize and other key crops has worsened a deepening economic crisis there, marked by inflation of about 1 600% -- the world's highest -- soaring unemployment and chronic shortages of basic necessities.

At least 1,4-million Zimbabweans, or about 15% of the population, will need food assistance in the coming months, according to the United Nations World Food Programme. The food crisis has also added to rising political tensions in the country.

But Mugabe, who turned 83 last week, defended his land redistribution policy during a state banquet on Tuesday night in Windhoek.

"Our programme has addressed and reversed a skewed land-ownership pattern, which favoured the minority at the expenses of the majority of our people," Mugabe said as he addressed Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and other attendees.

He also repeated his accusation that the United States and Britain had sabotaged the Zimbabwean economy, punishing the African nation's people for "daring to take their destiny into their own hands".

The two Western giants are among a number of nations that have imposed sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on Mugabe and other members of his government.

Mugabe's visit to Namibia is his first foreign trip since his government imposed a three-month ban on political rallies and protests in volatile townships in the capital Harare after clashes between police and opposition supporters.

Anti-Mugabe groups have described the move as effectively a "state of emergency" designed to stifle the opposition. -- Reuters



Source (http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=300523&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/)