| Morgan Tsvangirai, the apparent good guy|
(unless he's yet another tool of Western interests) in this mess.
Photo: Alexander Joe/AFP – Getty Images
"Even the ladies, even the Women's League chairwoman, was talking about killing, saying, 'Don't vote for Tsvangirai or the youth will kill you. We have got strong youth and we are not joking. We are serious.' They said, 'This is not America,' " Ndaziweye recounted.Most of the youth gone wild here appear to be doing it for food.
The atmosphere at Sunday's meeting was loud and frenzied, almost festive, Ndaziweye said, making it even more unsettling. ZANU-PF youths sang and danced furiously. People exchanged the party greeting, touching fists with each other.
"I was shocked because whenever anyone gave a speech, everyone would yell, 'We will kill! We will kill!' The youths were singing horrible songs and shouting."
At Sunday's meeting, Ndaziweye knew she stuck out like a sore thumb. She was one of the few not wearing a ZANU-PF scarf or T-shirt, she said. When she tried to shake hands with people instead of touching fists, there was a chorus of accusations.
"The women and youth were accusing me of being MDC. They said 'Why are you shaking hands? You don't know our slogans!'"
But the most frightening moment came when the provincial chairman said voters would have to write the serial number of their ballot paper on their arm before entering the voting booth.
"When you come out, you have to show the number to your party chairman and they will write it down with your name and ID number. So after voting, they will know how you voted. If you are going to vote for Morgan, that will be the end of your life," she said in an interview Tuesday.
"They said, 'Even if you run away, we'll chop the heads off whoever you leave behind at your house. We don't care if it's your children or your grandchildren,' " the mother of four said.
He [Tobaiwa, 33, who also asked to be identified by only his first name] said people at the meetings were warned that whoever voted for the opposition would face severe retribution.
"They will launch another operation, called Operation Elimination, where people will be disappearing," he said. "They repeat the same message over and over."
She believes most youths are there because they are provided cornmeal porridge, called sadza.Meanwhile, the head of state of the former colonial power that helped make Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia, look that up in your Wikipedia) took a brave step.
"They were singing [on Sunday] because they had enough food for today. They don't know about tomorrow. After the vote, they will be thrown away, they will just go starving because [ZANU-PF] can't keep looking after them."
In a symbolic but deeply significant move reflecting the West's revulsion with the human rights abuses of Mugabe's regime, Queen Elizabeth II stripped him of his knighthood on Wednesday.Whatever. Meanwhile, the South African president, Thabo Mbeki,
The queen acted on the advice of Foreign Secretary David Miliband. It was a highly unusual move, but there was precedent for it: The late Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu was stripped of his title in 1989.
Mugabe was made an honorary knight in 1994, when he was considered an anti-colonial hero. But Miliband said the honor should be revoked following widespread violence and intimidation of Zimbabwe’s opposition ahead of Friday’s presidential runoff election. After Tsvangirai withdrew, Britain said it wouldn’t recognize the result.
has been widely criticized for being ineffective and too soft on Mugabe.Check out some of Mbeki's statements on AIDS, if you have the stomach. And be ready for another Rwanda.