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November 2007

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Mugabe survives assassination plot

Mugabeincar Two men die in a crash involving the President's motorcade, in what security forces believe was an attempted assassination

President Robert Mugabe's motorcade - notorious for its strict security procedures and high-speed travel - came to a sudden halt in Harare today when a mystery vehicle evaded outriders and guards before smashing into a security vehicle. Both drivers died at the scene.

The incident happened on Harare's Seventh Street, only a few hundred metres from the official residence of the Zimbabwean President. Mugabe was unhurt, and continued his journey to the airport, where he left for a diplomatic visit to Mozambique.

Officers of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the Presidential Guards, Mugabe's personal security men, remained at the scene and cordoned off the area. Tipped off by a CIO source, I arrived minutes later, and was able to see the two body bags and the damaged vehicles.

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Monday, 26 November 2007

One movie not to be missed

"Gukurahundi" was a crime against humanity. Now at last one brave film-maker is putting it on record

Zenzele Ndebele is a 29-year-old Zimbabwean journalist and film producer, and he is a man to admire. His latest video, which is becoming available in Zimbabwe at this time, documents the appalling massacres in Matabeleland, when, in the mid-Eighties, upwards of 20,000 people of the Ndebele community are believed to have lost their lives.

The killers were Mugabe's infamous North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade. The term "Gukurahundi" is a Shona expression meaning "The first rain that washes away the chaff of the last harvest before the spring rains." But today to the Ndebele people the word evokes a mixture of dark emotions - terror, anger, even shame.

So terrifying, so brutal was the experience, it has for years remained undiscussed, unexamined. But now Zenzele Ndebele has courageously put together a video documentary, titled "Gukurahundi: A Moment Of Madness." At last the truth is being told - and that truth is terrible.

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Saturday, 24 November 2007

Elections - now the violence begins

Intimidation, threats, evictions, all the trappings of a Zimbabwe election are starting to