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Zimbabwe Prod for Goff

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Zimbabwe Prod for Goff

After weeks of prodding by the Libertarianz Party, the Labour government, in a statement released by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Phil Goff, has spoken out publicly about the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe. "While we applaud the government belatedly condemning Mugabe," said Libertarianz leader Peter Cresswell, "the Minister's comments are a classic example of understatement."

The Minister said Mugabe's regime engaged in "violence and intimidation against all those seen to oppose" it. Said Cresswell: "Mugabe engaged in systematic genocide against the Matabele people, not just violence. His agents didn't just intimidate opponents, but assassinated them. We are not dealing with someone who merely has no respect for the principles the Minister mentioned. We are talking about a man who has systematically attacked those principles in the most violent manner possible."

Cresswell agreed with Goff that the independence of the media has been "undermined" but said: "Again that is a weasel word to describe what has happened. Journalists have been tortured, newspapers have been bombed, and editors placed on hit lists. This is far more than simply undermining a free press. This is war on a free press."

Goff said that "corruption and mismanagement has turned a once wealthy country into an economic and political disaster area." Cresswell again agrees: "But the Minister only tells half the story. He doesn't mention how Mugabe is a committed socialist who used the gospel of Marx to direct his economy. Mugabe, like this Labour government, believes that the state is the all-wise Nanny that can direct all uses of private property, control and regulate businesses, and manage the lives and the 'culture' of the people."

"And I want to know what the Minister means when he says that "the Commonwealth must confront Mugabe," said Cresswell. "Over the years the Commonwealth has confronted Mugabe using all the diplomatic language that governments like to use. And it has amounted to nothing. For two decades Mugabe has acted exactly as he is acting today. The genocide against the Matabele didn't happen last week but several years ago. Mugabe needs more than fine words; he a good hard kick in the ego." said Cresswell.

Cresswell suggested:" The Minister says the Commonwealth can not prevent Mugabe from attending a meeting where he will be treated like a legitimate head of state. But there is nothing to prevent Helen Clark from walking out of the room the minute Mugabe walks in except he rown cowardice. We call on all the Commonwealth heads of state to leave Mugabe in an empty room. Mugabe is a notorious ego-maniac and he needs to know that no civilised nation respects him."

Cresswell completely disagreed with Goff's call for Commonwealth "observers" being sent to Zimbabwe to ensure the presidential election is "free and fair". Cresswell said Mugabe has a history of using violence and murder to intimidate the voters "but he doesn't do this on election day. His agents, who were trained by the North Koreans, spend months intimidating the voters and then they disappear a few weeks before the election. But the people have already learned their lesson. Mugabe has been using intimidation for almost a full two years now. It's too late for any election to be free and fair unless Mugabe is behind bars and, along with his thugs, on trial for murder."

Cresswell says he is afraid that once again the Commonwealth "will be deluded into believing that they can deal with Mugabe in a civilised way. But the man is a savage who interprets civil behaviour as an endorsement of his right to act like a monster. Diplomatic wording and such will only be seen by Mugabe as appeasement and with good reason. For twenty years he has been acting this way and the Commonwealth has turned a blind eye until his atrocities become too noticeable. They complain, Mugabe lies, they accept his lies, and the whole thing starts all over again. It is time to say that Mugabe has crossed the line and is no longer a civilised individual worthy of any respect but a criminal who has based his politics on the principles of Hitler and Stalin. And that means that no official from this government should sit down to speak to this man. It hasn't worked for twenty years and it won't work this time either."

"Hypocrites" is how Cresswell described the political Left. "They bayed for the arrest of Pinochet, rightly arguing that he did not deserve diplomatic immunity. They had him arrested. But when it comes to one of their own they talk about giving him a tongue lashing. No, Mugabe is a criminal and that is how he should be treated. He is not a legitimate head of state anymore than Hitler was, or Stalin or Mao." Cresswell said: The Libertarianz are drawing up an indictment of Mugabe listing some of his crimes. And we will release the damning fact proving that Mugabe has no right to sit down as a legitimate leader at any conference table."

It's enough to make you vote Libertarianz!

ENDS

For more information contact:

Peter Cresswell

LIBERTARIANZ LEADER

(025) 861 927, organon@ihug.co.nz

www.libertarianz.org.nz

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