Thursday, November 28, 2013

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE) UK wanted Mugabe out by military force:Mbeki
27/11/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies

COMMENT - Also see:

(YOUTUBE, AL JAZEERA) Talk to Al Jazeera - Thabo Mbeki: 'Justice cannot trump peace' (10:52 to 16:20)

President Mbeki: "There is a retired chief of the British armed forces, who said that he had to withstand pressure from the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair. Tony Blair, who was saying to the Chief of the British armed forces,"You must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe." We knew that, because we had come under the same pressure, that we need to cooperate in some scheme, it was a regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force. And we are saying no."

Also read: (HERALD ZW) UK invasion plot exposed - MrK

FORMER South African president Thabo Mbeki has made startling revelations about how the British government was determined to depose Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe using military force.

Speaking during an interview with Al Jazeera, Mbeki said South Africa was under pressure from the UK to participate in a regime change scheme to depose Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, a move which Pretoria refuted.

Mbeki helped broker a now defunct power sharing agreement between the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu-PF following a disputed election in 2008 which left at least 200 people dead.

"There is a retired chief of the British armed forces [Lord Charles Guthrie]... he had to withstand pressure from the then prime minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair... Tony Blair who was saying to the chief of the British armed forces you must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe," said Mbeki.

"We knew that because we had come under the same pressure that we need to co-operate in some scheme. It was a regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force and we were saying no." Mbeki criticised the manner in which Britain wanted to take the responsibility of choosing a leader for the people of Zimbabwe.

".... You are coming from London you say you don’t like Robert Mugabe for whatever reason, people in London don’t like him... we are going to remove him then you are going to put someone else in his place. Why does it become a British responsibility to decide who leads Zimbabwe?" he said.

Labels: , ,

14 Comments:

At 3:37 AM , Blogger MrK said...

(HERALD ZW) UK invasion plot exposed
November 27, 2013
Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor

SOUTH Africa was under pressure from the Labour regime of British premier Tony Blair to co-operate in a military invasion of Zimbabwe to depose President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, but Pretoria refused, former South African president Cde Thabo Mbeki has revealed.

Cde Mbeki made the revelations in an interview with Aljazeera on Saturday, saying the British wanted to replace President Mugabe with their cat’s paw, MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who is on record pledging to violently unseat President Mugabe.

The three main British political parties – Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – mooted the MDC under the ambit of the Westminster Foundation, and have been sponsoring the party since its launch on September 11 1999 in a bid to effect regime change in Zimbabwe, but the move has failed with Zanu-PF’s resounding victory in the harmonised elections touted by executive director of the Royal African Society Richard Dowden as the heaviest defeat for Britain’s Africa policy in 60 years.

Speaking on the programme “Talk to Al Jazeera”, Cde Mbeki said: “There is a retired chief of the British Armed Forces (Lord Charles Guthrie) who said he had to withstand pressure from then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair who was saying to the chief of the British Armed Forces you must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe.

“We knew that because we had come under the same pressure that we needed to cooperate in some scheme. It was a regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force and we were saying no.”

Lord Charles Guthrie was quoted in some sections of the British media as saying he had warned the blundering Blair that it would be suicidal to pit British troops against ‘‘the tried and tested veterans of the Congo,” in apparent reference to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ exploits during Operation Sovereign Legitimacy in the DRC that helped repel US-backed Ugandan and Rwandan rebels to usher peace that enabled the DRC to hold its first elections in 45 years.

Cde Mbeki, who facilitated inter-party talks that led to the formation of the now defunct inclusive Government made up of Zanu-PF and the MDC formations in 2008, took a swipe at the West for interfering in the domestic affairs of sovereign nations, particularly in Africa and the Middle East in a veiled bid to effect illegal regime change.

 
At 3:37 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued...

“Then we said no. You are coming from London you say you don’t like Robert Mugabe for whatever reason, people in London don’t like him we are going to remove him then you are going to put someone else in his place. Why does it become a British responsibility to decide who leads Zimbabwe?” he asked.

“We were saying no. Let Zimbabweans sit down. Let them agree what they do with their country. Our task is to make sure we stay with them. We work with them. So, the GPA they signed in 2008 was negotiated by the Zimbabweans. We facilitated. We chaired the meeting and so on, but it was them who negotiated the agreement.”

Cde Mbeki said the Syrian crisis and other similar global conflicts could only be resolved through negotiated settlements as opposed to the West’s regime change template.

He said the West believes that the Syrian crisis could only be resolved by removing the government of president Bashar al-Assad and warned such an approach was bound to fail.

“Let the Syrians get together,” said Mr Mbeki. “We will assist them to get to a solution which sorts out the Syrian thing, no different to a position we took with regards to Zimbabwe. Let Zimbabweans sort out their problem. Let Syrians do the same.”

Retired Lieutenant-General Mike Nyambuya described Tony Blair’s military ploy as naive.

“It just shows how naive the British are. Zimbabwe is a very unique country that has a crop of soldiers which is very seasoned, well trained and well experienced in fighting wars. Not only do we have people who participated in the liberation struggle, even after independence we fought in Mozambique and participated in peace operations in Somalia and the DRC, among other countries. We have shown that the country does not have a rag-tag army but a professional army that can stand up to anyone including the British. It could have been a miscalculation by the British,” he said.

Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association leader Cde Jabulani Sibanda said the British still habour those intentions even today and urged the nation to remain vigilant.

“What Mbeki is saying is true. What is happening in North Africa and the Middle East is the same strategy that they want to employ in southern Africa. The only difference is that the strategy has worked in the northern side of the equator judging by the history of coups in North Africa, on the southern side of the equator they have a problem with the strategy because most of the parties that are running governments are former liberation movements and they have been resisting such moves,” he said.

Cde Sibanda said Zimbabweans must remain on high alert politically and militarily as the enemy was not giving up on his intentions.
Political analyst and Midlands State University lecturer Mr Christopher Gwatidzo yesterday said Mr Mbeki must be applauded by all Zimbabweans for his Pan Africanist values and urged the country to remain vigilant as the West still habours intentions to effect illegal regime change.

“He is an example of a Pan Africanist. We must also awaken to reality, the Western world still habours regime change intentions and as we engage them through our foreign policy or through tourism or any other forum, we must always doubt their sincerity. We must not trust them. When on the table with them, we must use a long fork because anything is possible with them.”

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Dr Charity Manyeruke slammed the British government for trying to install a puppet regime in Zimbabwe.

“Behind the closed doors are big regime change agendas. We are Africans and even if you become friends with the British prime minister you will never become a British. We appreciate a lot of what Mr Mbeki has done.”

 
At 5:48 PM , Blogger MrK said...

That would be Charles Guthrie, Baron Guthrie of Craigiebank (see Wikipedia).

Head of the SAS among many other commands, and as it happens, a former director at NM Rothschild & Sons.

He is also a member of the David Rockefeller Trilateral Commission:

From the Trilateral Commission membership list:

" Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie, former Director, N M Rothschild & Sons Limited; Member of the House of Lords; former Chief of Defence Staff, London "

The same NM Rothschild which funded De Beers, in 1887, and with it funded Cecil Rhodes, who became De Beers' Founding Chairman in 1888.

Read more about De Beers role in Southern Africa to this day, here.

 
At 3:45 AM , Blogger MrK said...

From the AFP, for what it's worth.

(NEWZIMBABWE, AFP) Blair denies plotting Mugabe military ouster
27/11/2013 00:00:00
by AFP

FORMER British prime minister Tony Blair denied Wednesday putting pressure on South Africa while he was in office to help remove Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe in a military operation.

South Africa's ex-president Thabo Mbeki claimed in an interview that Britain had urged it to topple Mugabe when a political and economic crisis escalated in the late 2000s.

But Blair's spokesman denied this had happened.

"Tony Blair has long believed that Zimbabwe would be much better off without Robert Mugabe and always argued for a tougher stance against him, but he never asked anyone to plan or take part in any such military intervention," he told AFP in London.

The statement contradicted the account Mbeki gave to Al-Jazeera news channel.

"Tony Blair... was saying to the chief of the British armed forces: 'You must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe,'" Mbeki said in the interview published on November 23.

"We knew that because we had come under the same pressure, that we need to cooperate in some scheme. It was a regime-change scheme even to the point of using military force," he added.

Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga told AFP the statesman stood by his words.

Mbeki, who led South Africa from 1999 to 2008, was the head mediator between Mugabe and his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai after violent attacks followed disputed polls in 2008.

The pair formed a power-sharing government which ended with Mugabe's election victory on July 31 this year.

Mbeki had always called for a negotiated solution, resisting in particular Western interference in African affairs.
"Why does it become a British responsibility to decide who leads the people of Zimbabwe?" he told Al-Jazeera.

In November 2007 Zimbabwe put its military on high alert after retired UK army chief Lord Charles Guthrie said London had discussed invading its former colony during Tony Blair's premiership.
Blair stepped down in 2007.

That year, when Tsvangirai was assaulted and imprisoned, Foreign Office Minister Lord David Triesman told the British parliament's upper house an invasion was not on the cards.

"I don't think there is a prospect of the invasion of Zimbabwe and I don't want to encourage the thought," Triesman said in the House of Lords at the time.

Mugabe, 89, has governed since Zimbabwe won its independence in 1980.

Relations with Britain soured after he launched controversial land reforms in 2000, seizing farms from white farmers - the majority of them of British descent - to give to black farmers.

The two leaders often had strong words for each other. Mugabe frequently accused Blair of trying to force regime change and once told him to "keep his pink nose" out of Zimbabwe's internal politics.

 
At 7:43 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(HERALD ZW) Mr B-liar, we presume?
November 29, 2013 Shingirai Huni Local News
Herald Reporter

ALTHOUGH former British premier Tony Blair, a certified war criminal was at pains trying to deny revelations by former South African president Cde Thabo Mbeki that he had approached South Africa seeking support for a military invasion of Zimbabwe; innuendos in his memoirs, “Journey: My Political Life”, and revelations by former British chief of staff Lord Charles Guthrie prove Mr Blair was being economic with the truth in the same manner he lied about Iraq.

In an interview published in the Independent UK on November 11 2007, former head of the British armed forces Lord Charles Guthrie revealed that an invasion of Zimbabwe had been discussed during Blair’s premiership.

“We used to talk about things,” Lord Guthrie said in response to question on his relationship with Mr Blair, “I could say anything to him, because he knew I wasn’t going to spill the beans.” Astonishingly, the subjects discussed included invading Zimbabwe, “which people were always trying to get me to look at. My advice was, ‘Hold hard, you’ll make it worse.’”

Speaking on the programme “Talk to Al Jazeera”, Cde Mbeki revealed that South Africa had been under pressure from Blair’s Labour regime to co-operate in a military invasion of Zimbabwe to depose President Mugabe and Zanu-PF but dug in, insisting the problems in Zimbabwe could only be solved by Zimbabweans and President Mugabe was part of the solution.

Mr Blair wanted to replace President Mugabe with MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, whom he — along with the Tories and Liberal Democrats — had thrust to the leadership of the MDC.

“There is a retired chief of the British Armed Forces (Lord Charles Guthrie) who said he had to withstand pressure from then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair who was saying to the chief of the British Armed Forces you must work out a military plan so that we can physically remove Robert Mugabe.

“We knew that because we had come under the same pressure that we needed to co-operate in some scheme. It was a regime change scheme, even to the point of using military force and we were saying no,” Cde Mbeki told Al Jazeera over the weekend.

A spokesman for Mr Blair responded to Cde Mbeki’s revelations, saying:
“Tony Blair has long believed Zimbabwe would be much better off without Robert Mugabe and always argued for a tougher stance against him, but he never asked anyone to plan or take part in any military intervention.”

The record will, however, show that the Blair regime approached South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Botswana with the invasion plans but found no takers, a fact Blair alludes to on page 229 of his memoirs, “A Journey: My Political Life”, where he says in part:

“People often used to say to me: If you got rid of the gangsters in Sierra Leone, Milosevic, the Taliban and Saddam, why can’t you get rid of Mugabe? The answer is: I would have loved to; but it wasn’t practical (since in his (Mugabe’s) case, and for reasons I never quite understood, the surrounding African nations maintained a lingering support for him and would have opposed any action strenuously)”.

 
At 7:44 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued...

The memoirs were released in 2010, three years after Blair’s unceremonious departure from office and a year into the inclusive Government that brought together Zanu-PF, MDC-T and the MDC.

Political analysts yesterday criticised former British prime minister Mr Tony Blair for his dishonesty following his attempt to disown revelations by former South African president Mr Thabo Mbeki on Aljazeera television that he pressurised him to assist removing President Mugabe from power militarily.

In an interview yesterday, war veteran Mrs Margaret Dongo applauded Cde Mbeki for his resolute defence of Zimbabwe.
“Mr Blair realised he fought a losing battle and that it was embarrassing for him and his kinsmen to accept defeat. Thabo Mbeki has remained resolute in his defence of Zimbabwe. I salute him for being a principled revolutionary. He has remained committed to the goals of the liberation struggle.

“In fact, he understood the nature of the fight — it was the imperialists’ way of trying to dismantle Sadc. Had he given in to Blair’s demands, that would have been the demise of Sadc. It’s a victory for Sadc. Losers never give up,” she said. Mrs Dongo said the revelations about the push for military intervention by Mr Blair and the subsequent defeat of the MDC-T in the July 31 harmonised elections should be a lesson to Zimbabwe’s detractors.

“If you are fighting a battle with preconceived ideas, you never get anywhere.
“Bob is not Zimbabwe, he is only the current leader who has been mandated by Zimbabweans to lead them, even though there are some who think he shouldn’t.

“Blair left a festering wound on the country — these sanctions. Ten years of sanctions, but we still have a country to talk about.
“Zimbabwe’s detractors should be ashamed. Zimbabwe will never accept these sanctions. Zimbabweans refused to be used as guinea pigs, puppets.

“The Blair saga failed to get results. It’s a shame to those whom he supported. President Mugabe is still in office, but where is Blair? Where is Tsvangirai?

“Ndookunonzi kutsamira tsanga iri mumvura, inodonha mukaerera mese nemvura.

“Had there been that war, women and children would have suffered.”

Another political analyst Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri of the Midlands State University said it was unfair for Mr Blair to portray Mr Mbeki as a liar.
“These are two former leaders of countries — one renowned for promoting African interests and another for wanting to influence opinion in the region,” he said.

“When Blair disputes something he said at a diplomatic level, he is denigrating us as Africans and despises our moral aptitude. To say Mbeki is a liar, is saying that we can’t be relied upon. That is serious colonial attitude.

“Britain and America are known to use the policy of ‘by all means necessary’ to achieve what they want,” said Dr Mhiripiri.

 
At 9:12 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(HERALD ZW) UK invasion plot: Nujoma speaks out

December 4, 2013
Mabasa Sasa in ETUNDA VILLAGE, Namibia

Namibia’s founding President Cde Sam Nujoma chats to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Namibia Ms Chipo Zindoga at his residence in Etunda Village, Namibia

Any attack on Zimbabwe is an attack on the entire SADC region and will warrant a military response from the bloc, Namibia’s founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma, has said. The Father of the Namibian Nation spoke in the wake of revelations that Britain, under former premier Tony Blair, approached South Africa seeking co-operation in a military invasion of Zimbabwe during Thabo Mbeki’s presidency. South Africa rejected the overtures.

Diplomatic sources also told this paper that Britain had approached at least two other southern African countries to provide land and airspace for a possible invasion of Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium.

This was when Zimbabwe had embarked on its revolutionary Fast-track Land Reform Programme.

It is understood that one of the countries (named) actually agreed but backtracked when Zimbabwe sent an envoy to ask the leadership of that nation why it wanted to assist in an invasion of a fellow Sadc member state.

The source said, “At least three countries were approached. One of them rejected the idea flatly, one listened to the proposal and then rejected it, and another went along and only stopped when Harare made it clear it was aware of the plot. That is where it crumbled, but this tells Zimbabwe to remain vigilant as such threats can never be consigned to history.”

In an interview in his home village of Etunda in Northern Namibia earlier this week, Dr Nujoma — who was president from Namibia’s independence in 1990 until 2005 — said while he had not been approached to assist in an invasion of Zimbabwe, it should be made clear to the whole world that such an action would never be tolerated by the region.

He said, “Namibia will never betray an African country to allow an imperialist country to use our territory as a base for aggression against any member of the African Union.

“If anyone attacks any Sadc member we will be there. These imperialists understand nothing, but the language of force. We are ready for them.

“Why all of a sudden is Renamo causing problems in Mozambique? Sadc should raise an army and wipe out the rebels who try and destabilise the region, like we did in the DRC.”

This was in reference to renewed rebel activity by Mozambique’s Renamo after having first instigated a civil war that ran from 1975 to 1992 and cost more than one million lives and affected its neighbour to the west, Zimbabwe.

Dr Nujoma said Africa must be prepared to confront the European Union and NATO in battle if need be.

“Member-states of the African Union must contribute to the Standing Force to defend the continent of Africa. What happened in Libya and now in Egypt should not be allowed anywhere else. No African country should be used to harbor foreign troops on its territory, including the American AFRICOM.

“We know they are stationed in Stuttgart, Germany and they have been there since the Second World War. Now they want to come to Africa. Africa should be prepared to fight them…

“It should be clearly stated that any attack on Zimbabwe is an attack on Sadc. I can be commander myself, we are already fighters and we don’t need guns or training from anyone.”

 
At 9:13 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued 1...

Dr Nujoma added: “We congratulate Zanu-PF and President Mugabe for fighting the machinations of the British and neo-colonialists in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a shining example on the African continent…
“We say no to the return of imperialists in our lifetime and we follow in the footsteps of Robert Gabriel Mugabe,” he said.

Dr Nujoma urged the youth of Africa to follow in the example of the liberation movement generation that sacrificed much to achieve political independence.

Among sitting heads of state and government in the region, only Presidents Mugabe, Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola), Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia), and Jacob Zuma (South Africa) had a direct experience of the liberation struggle.
“The youth of Africa must follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. We must start fighting to liberate our economies.”

He said Africa had won many battles against the West before and it would draw from these experiences to continue resisting oppression as it strives towards economic independence.

Dr Nujoma said empowering African people was the next logical stage in the struggle for true independence, and this battle would be premised on improving education and building capacity in the citizenry to run economies and nations in the best interests of indigenes.



There was no reason why, he noted, Africa could not industrialise within the next 10 years and become self-sufficient.
“All resources of Africa must be used in the interests of the African people. Let us produce for ourselves… We are not poor, they (Europe) are the ones who are poor.”

Dr Nujoma said Europe was vulnerable at the moment and Africa must take advantage of this to surge forward economically and in asserting sovereignty over its resources.

He said he could not understand why Europe and America were busying themselves with developments in Africa and yet they were facing immense problems of their own back home.
“In Greece, in Italy, in Portugal and all over Europe, their people are dying of hunger. They are poor, they are suffering. Why should they bother us?

“Europe and America must concentrate on supporting their own people who are dying from hunger over there.”
A fortnight ago, Cde Mbeki said Blair’s regime put pressure on Tshwane to abet an invasion of Zimbabwe.
The British wanted to depose President Mugabe unconstitutionally and impose MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in his stead.

Interestingly, around the time of these invasion plots, Tsvangirai told a rally in Harare that he was prepared to remove President Mugabe from office “violently”.
Before Cde Mbeki’s revelation, a senior officer in Blair’s uniformed service had also said the military option had been strongly considered.

 
At 9:14 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued 3...


Lord (General) Charles Guthrie, Chief of the General Staff of the British Army from 1997 to 2001, said Blair had asked him to look at an invasion of Zimbabwe. Lord Guthrie said his response was, “Hold hard, you’ll make it worse.”

Labelled Blair’s favourite general, Lord Guthrie is credited with conniving with the then Prime Minister to send troops to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In his memoirs (“A Journey: My Political Life”), Blair said, “People often used to say to me: If you got rid of the gangsters in Sierra Leone, Milosevic, the Taliban and Saddam, why can’t you get rid of Mugabe? The answer is: I would have loved to; but it wasn’t practical (since in his case, and for reasons I never quite understood, the surrounding African nations maintained a lingering support for him and would have opposed any action strenuously).”

A number of factors are said to have weighed against an invasion of Zimbabwe.

Firstly, the Zimbabwean military is battle-hardened, having been involved in frontline action almost every year from the start of the liberation struggle in 1996 up until the deployment in the DRC war that ended in 2003. The British Military Advisory and Training Team was in Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2000 and knew of the Zimbabwe Defence Force’s capacity.

Secondly, there were some 100 000 British white citizens in Zimbabwe at the time and London knew they would be affected by any invasion.

Thirdly, Britain was at the time over-stretched in Afghanistan and then afterwards in Iraq.

Another factor was that at the time the United States – Britain’s largest ally – appeared unconvinced about the efficacy of an invasion, especially after the experience of Somalia in the early 1990s when Zimbabwean troops essentially rescued American troops from a quagmire they had sunk themselves in.

 
At 9:15 PM , Blogger MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABWE, THE GUARDIAN UK) Blair ‘plot’ drove military to back Mugabe

03/12/2013 00:00:00
by Blessing-Miles Tendi
I Guardian.co.uk

FORMER South African President Thabo Mbeki claimed in an interview with Al Jazeera recently that he once came under pressure from Tony Blair to assist in a military invasion of Zimbabwe to remove Robert Mugabe from power. Blair's office has denied Mbeki's allegation. Mbeki, however, remained adamant.

Mbeki's accusation has sparked furious debate, with disagreement about which of the two former leaders is telling the truth. For instance, Ian Birrel writes in the Independent that "it is impossible to determine whether the whisky-drinking president's [Mbeki] recollection is accurate given the emphatic denial by Blair – not that the former Labour leader has always proved the most reliable witness in history". Birrell also asks us to consider whether a military invasion of Zimbabwe "would really have been such a bad idea" – a consideration that critics of Mugabe may find palatable.

Mbeki is a politician who divides opinion in South Africa and Zimbabwe, so while his claim has drawn the critical attention of some, others have simply dismissed it because they regard him as complicit in the political and economic crisis that affected Zimbabwe for much of the last decade. Opinion on Blair, particularly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, is equally polarised.

However, these debates reveal more about the various commentators' predispositions towards Blair, Mbeki and Mugabe, than they do the full meaning of Mbeki's disclosure. It also matters less which one is telling the truth, although it bears mentioning that this is not the first time Mbeki has spoken about this alleged British invasion plot.
When I interviewed him in 2011 he talked at length about the purported invasion scheme, which had South Africa as the intended military base. Mbeki smoked his tobacco pipe throughout our discussion, but there was no whisky in sight. Mbeki was as lucid as a tea drinker – just as he was in his interview with Al Jazeera.

Blair, in his autobiography A Journey, revealed a frustrated desire to topple Mugabe. John Kampfner’s book Blair Wars also records that "on one trip Blair found himself in the company of (former international development secretary) Clare Short. They talked for long periods about intervention. Blair confided in her that "if it were down to me, I'd do Zimbabwe as well' - that is send troops".

 
At 9:15 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued 1...


Crucially, in 2012 I interviewed Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, who served as chief of general staff from 1994 to 97, the professional head of the British army, and chief of defence staff from 1997 to 2001. Guthrie did not name Blair, but was adamant that in 2000 he advised figures in the government against an invasion of Zimbabwe because, as he said, "it is a very difficult military operation. My strong recommendation was do not touch Zimbabwe".

A military invasion of Zimbabwe was therefore contemplated in sections of the British government, but what is more important to consider is whether the Zimbabwean leadership was at the time aware that an armed intervention idea had been floated by some in Britain, and what the consequences of this would be.

In 2000, the Zimbabwean intelligence organisation violated diplomatic law enshrined in the Vienna Convention (1961) when it compulsorily unlocked a freight delivery, which was destined for the British embassy in Harare, on suspicion that it included military equipment for the purpose of overthrowing Mugabe.

No military equipment was discovered but the incident revealed the insecurity permeating the country's intelligence services in this period. Reflecting on this 2000 diplomatic bag incident, Didymus Mutasa, the Zimbabwean minister for state security between 2005 and 2009, said in 2005 that the fear Britain was planning to stage a military operation in Zimbabwe was "very real" in Zimbabwean military and intelligence circles at the time. No doubt, Mbeki had shared Britain's armed invasion plan with the Zimbabwean government.

Experts on Zimbabwean politics have in recent years been attempting to explain how and why the country's military became increasingly involved in politics from 2000. Zimbabwean opposition politicians have also been concerned with this development. The opposition leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai went as far as saying that the choice between him and Mugabe in the July 2013 presidential election was an option between democratic and military rule, because Mugabe was now a "puppet" of the military.

 
At 9:16 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Continued 2...

Indeed, many commentators and opposition politicians believe that Zimbabwe's military generals, who all fought in the country's 1970s liberation war, have sided with Mugabe against the opposition or, as Tsvangirai would have it, they have usurped Mugabe's power in order to ensure that no leader lacking liberation war credentials comes to power in their lifetime.

I have interviewed many of these military generals. Several of them certainly are opposed to Tsvangirai because he did not participate in the liberation war. But they also say how foreign factors have influenced their behaviour since 2000. These external influences include their knowledge of Britain's furtive campaign for military intervention in Zimbabwe in 2000, the imposition of European Union sanctions on Zimbabwean generals in 2002 and former British foreign secretary Robin Cook's abrupt severing of Britain's military relationship with Zimbabwe in 2001.

These foreign influences helped forge a siege mentality in the Zimbabwean military, and partly shaped the Zimbabwean generals' decision to side with Mugabe against internal opposition they regarded as in cahoots with Britain - read more about this in the forthcoming Journal of Southern African Studies article. Whether Blair actually considered military intervention or not is beside the point. What is significant is who in Zimbabwe believed that he considered it, why and with what consequences for Zimbabwean civil-military relations.

Blessing-Miles Tendi teaches African politics in the University of Oxford's Department of International Development and is the author of Making History in Mugabe's Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media

 
At 6:11 PM , Anonymous MrK said...

(NEWZIMBABE) Britain nearly declared war on Zimbabwe: Mugabe
04/12/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FORMER coloniser Britain and her allies came within a whisker of declaring war against Zimbabwe to rid the country of President Robert Mugabe as relations hit an all-time low, the veteran leader claimed Thursday.

Once a darling of the West, Mugabe fell out of favour with his erstwhile friends after he embarked on a land redistribution program meant to redress colonial imbalances.

But the programme was often violent and claimed the lives of both commercial white farmers and black labourers who sought to resist the move.

In his key-note address to the ruling Zanu PF party’s congress currently underway in the capital, Mugabe said the West has sought and still seeks to divide and topple his party and government.

He said his deputy, Joice Mujuru, who is now facing allegations of seeking to topple the 90-year-old leader, had become the latest conduit for the regime change agenda following the failure of the opposition.

“They have tried every trick in the book just short of war which they have contemplated at some stage,” said Mugabe.

“They created well-heeled opposition against us; that opposition has now fallen. They sought and still seek to divide us; that too has failed. They attacked our economy, attacked our currency.

“(But) we have conceived strategies which have exposed to them the futility of those spiteful measures. They sought to isolate us, even mobilizing multi-lateral institutions against us, even blocking trade between us and other nations”.

The Zanu PF leader then turned on Mujuru, accusing her of joining the regime change bandwagon.

“What boggles the mind is why anyone claiming to be cadre of the struggle, cooked the crucible struggle, would hobnob with such politics,” he said.

“Why? Why? Why? We raise you in the struggle, grant you leadership, build your stature, and impart consequence to your person, often against your intrinsic worth. Instead of recognizing all these efforts, you turn against the party and president!

“Today the people reject you, spit you out, and push you into the arms of the very opposition you sided with. I never thought a true cadre of the revolution would decay to that level."

Not done, the Zimbabwean strongman continued: “When you desert your own comrades …

“… desert the ideals of your own revolution, abandon principles that mobilised you for the struggle, commit infamy of joining quislings, you suffer fate of quislings. The people will reject you."

 
At 6:11 PM , Anonymous MrK said...

Continued...


Mujuru has not attended the congress thus far and looks set to be on her way out of a party that she has been a member of since her teens when she joined the liberation struggle in the 70s.

She is joined on the side-lines by other veterans of the brutal bush war Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo. Also out of favour is cabinet colleague Nicholas Goche along with several other leaders, among them nine provincial chairpersons.

Mugabe said the West had now turned to blackmailing his government by withholding mineral earnings due to Zimbabwe.

“They hold our earnings which they have impounded, buccaneer style. Is there international law anymore we ask? But we have remained unflinching, undaunted.

“Now Europe seeks peace with us to re-establish friendship with us,” said Mugabe, inviting Europe and the rest of the western world to “come let us be friends again”.

“As before, we tell Europe; we have been more sinned against as sinning. We have always sought amity and friendship with all nations great or small, black white brown or yellow.

“We have not even sought to hit back at Britain, much as it has assets here. Well, let them come if they want friendship.

“But it has to be on terms that you recognise our sovereign right to exist as an independent African enjoying equal status accorded to all nations under the UN Charter.”

However, while some countries in the European Union wanted to improve relations, Britain still seeks to perpetuate the stand-off for political expediency.

“We are aware of a small cabal of European nations predictably led by the United Kingdom and joined by the United States of America which still opposes a normalization of relations with us,” said Mugabe.

“In the case of the United Kingdom this has something to do with their pending elections. Zimbabwe’s fate must wait while the sons of Albion choose a new Government! What rank madness!

“As for the United States of America we honestly do not know what grievance she holds against us. I doubt even if Obama (Barack US president) understands that grievance, whatever it is.

“I suppose in his case it has to do with being a black President in a White House, a virtual prisoner enjoined to pander to and dutifully mind white interests.

“He retires from office with an African curse this man from whom so much was expected by our continent.”

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home