Zimbabwe Oppositon Leader Beaten
Cris Chinaka reports today that the weekend detention of Morgan Tsvangirai(bio) was not merely an infraction against what remains of a democratic process in Zimbabwe. The head of Zimbabwe's main opposition party received head injuries and his face, according to his lawyers, was swollen and almost unrecognizable.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was "in bad shape" on Monday after suffering head injuries while in police custody, his lawyer said, and rights groups alleged he and other politicians were tortured.
Police detained Tsvangirai and dozens of other opposition figures on Sunday and shot dead a man while crushing a prayer meeting organised in defiance of a ban on political rallies.
Political tensions, which have been brewing over the soaring cost of living and President Robert Mugabe's increasingly controversial rule, erupted when riot squads fought opposition youths in the capital for the second time in a month.
Mugabe, meanwhile, is setting himself up to be drafted for yet another run at the Presidency. He says if his party (ZANU-PF) so desires, he will stand again in 2008, or perhaps in 2010 if elections are delayed to coordinate with parliamentary elections scheduled for that year:
"'If the party says so, I will stand," the Herald newspaper on Monday
quoted Mugabe as saying in an interview with a regional paper co-owned
by the Namibian and Zimbabwean governments.
'Others are of the
view that: No, let's have elections in 2008 and then shorten the term
of parliament ... but whichever way they desire I will go along with
it,' said Mugabe in an interview published by Reuters .
In other words, the world and Zimbabwe be damned. Mugabe will continue careening toward the absolute ruin of his country.