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Page last updated at 23:33 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2004

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If you would like to comment on the Secrets of the Camps programme, then click here to find an email form.

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When was this footage taken, because the last time I was there nothing that bad was going on. My mum is there and she says everything is okay. There is no violance going on.
Rumbidzai, Cardiff, moved here from Zim a few years ago.

Being one of many thousands of Zimabweans living in the UK, I was almost in tears watching last nights programme. I cannot believe that Mugabe is still in power after all these years and nobody is doing anything to stop him. Britain and America always interfere everywherelse - why is Africa always forgotten?
Louise, London

Firstly.. Well done to the Panorama team for doing such a professional job. Please continue to expose the madman and his gang 'tenfold'. As a Zimbabwean myself - my utmost thanks to British Journalism in 'telling it like it is' even though Mugabe has made it so difficult for international journalists. What a shocking programme. I hope that Bono of U2, who is very influential in African matters, saw this programme. We now need a concerted effort from those with the powers to bring Mugabe to justice. Thank You - Thank You - Thank You once again Panorama. Please continue to do the good work.
Farai, London

Zimbabwe, my home, I cried last night as I watched your wounds and scars splashed across public television and knew that nothing would come of it. Zimbabwe, your brave fight for democracy has gone sour, your desparate battle for freedom has been lost. So many years of fear and suffering has brought you to this; children taught to hate, to rape, to kill, to steal. The youth and future of our country has been stolen from us and there is nothing that we can do. I cry for you Zimbabwe and remember you as you were, strong, brave and independant but now you are dying, slaves to Mugabe's new style democracy.
Ciara, Southampton, UK

I watched the last 25 minutes or so of this programme by chance and it reminded me of the horrors documented by John Pilger in his programmes on the killing fields of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge some 20 years ago. We watch and are horrified and we do nothing. Our governments watch and wait to see if it opportune to intervene or comment and our news bulletins cover petty (by comparison) infighting amongst ex-government ministers ad infinitum. Why can Mugabe not be removed when there is evidence of this brutal, evil,and systematic planned strategy to secure his re-election? Is he not guilty of crimes against humanity by poisoning the minds of the children of Zimbabwe so that they commit the atrocities that incite fear in his country? Villagers join his Zanu party to get a bag of maize or face starvation? Thank you for the programme that once again has brought this evil regime to our attention. As we go about our daily business let us hope that those of us who have been shocked by what we saw have the commitment to act in some meaningful way to raise other people's awareness of the situation in Zimbabwe.
Francesca Taczalski, South Norwood, London

With all the atrocities shown and pure evil that is taking place in Zimbabwe, we cannot standby and just let it carry on. Surely now that this evidence has been made public, the government will not be able to sit back and pretend that nothing is happening. Mugabe and his party (ZANU PF) must be stopped. It is heart breaking to see what Mugabe has done to what was once a thriving nation. Well done to Hilary Andersson and her crew for risking their lives.
Richard Bird, UK / Ex-Zimbo

Firstly, what is the point of these documentaries as it is not the first one we've seen. Maybe it's a way of putting more tourists off from visiting Zimbabwe hence another loss to their economy. We all know what goes on in Zimbabwe yet we all turn a blind eye. This is not just about humanatarian rights of those involved but it is also an insult on those that that are supposed to put a stop to it and choose to do nothing. Instead they they make excuses (yes we've heard them all) or is it because they know there's no oil or diamonds in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is nothing but a coward and he has to be stopped. These measures that you've taken will only kill more people not him. As a British citizen married to a Zimbabwean I'm embarrased to say that this country (England) is full of hypocrites.
Surita, London, London, UK

Where are all the anti war demonstrators when it comes to Robert Mugabe's excesses? Surely this cause is worth demonstrating about? Congratulations to the BBC, please repeat this programme again on prime time.
Brian Andrews, Louth Lincs

Unfortunately we were not able to see Hillary Andersons programme here in Zimbabwe, however the most frightening aspect of this all is that whilst all this is happening the agency responsible for law enforcement in Zimbabwe is under the control of the very people that sponsor this systematic camapign of violence. Mbeki and his mates are more interested in what is happening in Haiti and the Middle East than the tragedy that continues on their doorstep. We Zimbabweans are powerless to do anything but then again we don't have oil so there is no use in crying out for help.
Anonymous, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Last nights Panorama was followed by a plug for next week's programme with the question " What is the BBC for?". Hilary Andersson's brave reporting had just answered that question. To tell the wider world about the blighted lives of ordinary folk who are unlucky enough to be led by a despot. No failings of the former Rhodesian regime (and there were many) justify what Mugabe is doing. It is vital that Zimbabwe remains in the media spotlight and does not simply become colateral damage of the media's preoccupation with other (none-the- less important) world events
Hugh Stewart, Durham UK

As a Zimbabwean I thank Hilary for her brave reporting. However, Zimbabweans have known about these camps since 2001. How many more people must die in Zimbabwe? South Africa is the key and it's high time the rest of the world really exerted pressure on Thabo Mbeki and South Africa before civil war kicks off or we have another Rwanda on our hands.
Graham , London, UK

A remarkable programme by a very brave team. All who have lived in zimbabwe or who have family there would have wept as they watched. After watching something like that our lives here in the UK seem trivial.
Shaun, South Shields, UK

If Zimbabwe had oil would the world care more?
Michael, London, UK

If this is what passes for journalism then it's about time they tore up the licence fee. Hillary Anderson brave? Don't make me laugh. Fueling the West's drive to remove Mugabe is not brave. Propaganda is easy. When are you going to go back to honest reporting?
D Hamandishe, England

I am a young white Zimbabwean, I fled Zimbabwe early last year for fear of my life, after watching the programme I realised that yes, I feared for my life as a youngster but what of all those poor youngsters who cant get out, and end up in these camps. I was crying as i heard the stories, but I have have heard them all before and will hear them time and time again, nothing will ever be done to help them. As long as Zimbabwe has no oil or anything else that Blair and Bush want they will never do anything to help, it's not in their best interest to intervene, all they care about is themselves, I'm sure a reason will come to light as to why they have sent troops to Haiti, there must be something there that Bush wants. I am sickened by how this is ignored, how long has it been going on? Years now and still nothing is done. Thank you BBC for having the courage to show that program, all of it, including the animals, they are as big a victim as all of us. I would like to see more programmes on Zimbabwe, even the old ones in the archives of when the problems first started, but advertise them, let people know that they are going to be broadcast so more people will take the time to watch them.
Sean, Blackburn, UK

Thanks brave Hillary Andersson. It was horrible to see, but you warned us for a new genocide in the making. Is the World going to let this happen? There are so many vulnerable children in todays Zimbabwe. Are we just spending our time and money and treatment programmes when all is over? We can prevent this new genocide if we want. UN (and UNICEF) take your responsibility.
Jet, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thanks for your programme. I have been making donations to Zimbabwean organisations which hope to make a difference but these have become a bit of a burden of late. After watching your programme they feel as light as a feather again. I am so full of anger. Please help us.
Timothe N Murphy, UK (Zimbabwean)

What has to happen in Zimbabwe for action to be taken, is this not enough to show the world that the situation is out of control and getting worse. I still have family in Zimbabwe and worry every day for their safety. If we were to all of a sudden find an oil supply would you then come in to put an end to this horific situation? Mugabe is one man but he is causing a lot of hurt to so many thousands, surely something can be done?
Lara, London, UK

I just don't understand why the problems in Zimbabwe are ignored by governments around the world. They seem to be turning a blind eye. Surely something must be done.
Mark, London

While watching the Panorama programme I could not stop thinking of our friends and family, who are praying for peaceful elections next year. What hope have they got? Opposition supporters until now withstood the call for arms and fought their battles in court...but against these killers, how much longer will they hold out. Let this not become another civil war in Africa!
Kerstin Hacker, London, UK

Shame on Mbeki and his "silent diplomacy" It seems that the lessons of Rwanda have not been learnt. As a Zimbabwean, I feel the onus is with us first and foremost to make a stand. Look at Haiti...we must act now!
Muchineripi Shokaz, Walsall

We should all speak out concerning Mugabe. I have already sent an email to the Foreign Office enquiring as to how the British government will help the thousands that are suffering human rights violations. Tomorrow I am contacting my MP, and I will be getting a petition together to urge Blair to act on the situation. It's only a small thing to do, but if we all do it, there is power in numbers.
Amanda, Bridgend, South Wales

I feel sad and horrified after watching tonight's Panorama programme. Our hopes for salvation from this political bondage are dwindling by each day. I just think it is a complete shame that the Western world has completely removed Zimbabwe from their agenda. Surely if the main reason for the removal of Saddam from power was dictatorship...why can't the same rule apply for Mugabe?
Crimson Tazvinzwa, London, England

You opened up old wounds. I was farming in Zimbabwe and on the 4th of Jan 2004 experienced first hand some of the intimidation that you have shown on your programme. I was lucky because I was white and held an EU passport so I managed to talk my way out of trouble, my workers were not so fortunate. Mugabe was well known for his brutality even before independence in 1980. One would think that Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela would be stopping or at least speaking out against these atrocities. In my opinion they are complicit by their silence. If whites were doing this to blacks the whole world would be up in arms. It would amaze me that these crimes (largely against their own people) are acceptable to the African leaders, but I was born there. In Africa "racialism" is only a word reserved for people who hate the opposite colour and in particular whites who dislike blacks.
John B, Woldingham, Surrey, England

I was greatly upset and disturbed by the programme this evening on the Secrets of the camps in Zimbabwe. Surely some one can do something about the barbaric treatment these children receive. They are training a load of brainwashed murderers. Can't someone somewhere challenge Mugabe? Surely this is a Human Rights Issue. Someone has to help them. I was also greatly upset when the beatings of the dogs took place. Did you have to show that poor black dog all bloodied and obviously in pain and dying.
Sue, Devon

I was really terrified and horrified by what I have just seen tonight. I broke into tears, it reminded me of my brother and uncle who were killed in Bulawayo by Mugabe's Gukurahundi's army. Please, please it's high time America and Britain intervene before its too late.
Jona , London

Horrific. That's all anyone can say, as a Zimbabwean living in the UK I'm getting tired of seeing all these terrible things happening back home, and wondering what Iraq and many other places around the world have that Zimbabwe doesn't to warrant Western help. Your programme really shook me. However thank God Hilary Andersson got out.
Darren, Hereford, UK

May I take this opportunity to thank you for the Panorama programme on Zimbabwe. I think your programme will make or help to make people know how bad the situation in Zimbabwe is under the dictator Robert Mugabe. I cried as I watched poor victims trying to tell of their ordeals and at the same time they are afraid to speak. Thank you for airing that. I think a lot of exposure is needed so that the world knows how human rights are being abused in Zimbabwe. Thank you very much and especially to the broadcaster who put her life on the line while interviewing for the programme.
Lucy Crabbe, United Kingdom

It's nice to see from the few comments received so far that at least a few people saw tonight's programme. But how many of the people who are in a position to do something about it bothered to watch? Where is the pressure from Peter Hain, who spent time there? Or is the oil and natural resources factor truly more important than human lives, whatever colour or nationality? Well done to Hilary and her team for another brave report on the truth of the now stale bread basket of Africa.
Shaun, Burnham-On-Sea, UK/Ex Zimbo

Zimbabwe is the real Reality TV only there's no phone number to vote him out. Are the free nations going to sit on the sidelines and 'observe' what goes on as usually happens. Action is needed now, not left until a generation is brainwashed and many people killed.
Stu, UK

I have to say I found this abhorrent watching. Not from the viewpoint of your reporting, but basically just the facts that were revealed during the programme - is this not terrorism? Is this equally a weapon of mass destruction? Is anyone going to do anything?

I have two children aged 13 and 14 and it just beggars belief that children are abused and brain washed like this in civilised(?!) society. I am also a psychology student and I find it disturbing that "I was only obeying orders" (thus implying I am beyond reproach) are still common reactions - albeit from children who themselves have their souls taken away by what is essentially torture.

We must do something now before Zimbabwe is left with a generation which has no moral or social conscience as in past history. I guess that's what you're saying! But let's not be too late this time.
Michelle Harding, Dover, UK

Like many others, I'm truly disturbed at what was being reported on tonight's programme about the plight of the people in Zimbabwe. I think all European governments should put pressure on the UN to act now before we have another genocide on our hands this century.
Richard, Cornwall, England

I'm horrified at your expose on the secret camps in Zimbabwe. It's unthinkable that a whole generation of children are being brainwashed to become zombie killer rapists without a shred of human morality and dignity left in them, and all respect for life beaten out of them. How can the world's governments stand by and let this happen. As a victim of rape myself, I found the programme hard to watch. I find my own rape difficult to live with, so I can't begin to imagine what this military regime of systematic rape must be like to live with. I cannot believe that in the 21st century a government can get away with instituting a programme of the systematic rape of a whole generation of girls/young women.
Anon, Hampshire

I was watching your programme on Zimbabwe camps. I have been traumatised, and if it has caused such disturbance in me what more of those children directly involved in torturing, the relatives and friends of those tortured too. It's time the United Nations should take action. Journalists and many more people have done more than enough to prove Mugabe's cruelty and to see him saying he could be tenfold Hitler was more disturbing. Zimbabwe people have suffered more than enough. Surely Mugabe must be worse than Saddam. People in Zimbabwe are no less important than people in Iraq. There is no question about it. It's violating human rights and totally against the law and to use children to do such type of work is evil.
Anon, Zimbabwe/UK

l am also from Zimbabwe and l am hurt to see our brothers and sisters being tortured by these people called Zanu PF. Can the government of UK and America do something before Mugabe gets out of hand. You'd better act now before many people lose their lives.
Sharon, Manchester

These documentaries are all very well, but if nothing is done by the international community to put a stop to the atrocities taking place in Zimbabwe on a daily basis, then one has to ask if there is any point. Zimbabwe used to be my home and still is to family and friends - all of whom have suffered because of the tyrannical rule of Robert Mugabe. How many more people must die because of his dictatorship and the rest of the world's apathy.
G Brewer, Buckinghamshire, England

A truly shocking programme. Scandalous to think of the effort we went to get rid of Saddam Hussein whilst allowing this self-confessed Hitler Mark II to stamp his horrifically cruel mark across Zimbabwe. How long until this tyrannical bampot decides to invade a neighbouring state? When will Britain take affirmative action to oust Mugabe? I don't think a single UK citizen would object to that war.
Fraser, Dunblane, Scotland

I watched your programme tonight with tears stinging my eyes. I was never so sure how Mugabe was so popular - now we all know: torture, rape, murder and controlling elections, and they thought Saddam was evil! Mr Blair do something!
Clive McCarthy, Sutton, Surrey

So once again you show the atrocities that are going on in Zimbabwe, and then only a small part of it. Like me, thousands of other viewers must be wondering what our government is going to do about it? But then again Zimbabwe has no oil!
Murray Wilson, Fife, Scotland

This programme has really made me fuming mad. Because how can countries like Britain and America just sit by and watch what is happening to a beautiful country, with so much going for it, turned into ruins because of a single man who now calls himself Hitler. I mean really does no one care about human rights? It's what every country leader is forever going on about. Won't someone stand up to that racial, abusive murderer who has no right to have power over anyone one let alone a country. I say people should now stand up and fight against this man instead of him winning all the time.
Stacy Pritchard, originally from Zimbabwe now in Gloucestershire

Tony Blair and George Bush must take action against this regime. Mugabe should be arrested and put before the War Crimes Commission to answer for his violations of human rights in his country. I am truly sickened by the revelations in the Panorama programme this evening. Something must be done to stop what is going on there.
Tina Connor, U.K.

Horrific, but I wonder how many non-Zimbabweans watched it? After all, a much easier-to-watch murder mystery was on another channel, as well as two popular movies... Preaching to the converted, perhaps? Congratulations again to the Panorama team on their brave reporting. How long before the rest of the world wakes up to the atrocities in Zimbabwe?
Emily, Zimbabwean in UK

Why is nothing being done about the situation in Zimbabwe? If people in Iraq and Haiti are being freed from oppressors, why can't we help the people of Zimbabwe, who continue to be ruled in terror by a madman and murderer?
Craig (South African ex-pat), Edinburgh, Scotland

And we are even thinking about sending a cricket team there? How dare we even contemplate it? I was sickened. How brave is Hilary Andersson?
Stuart Manger, Sedbergh, Cumbria UK

The programme about Zimbabwe was the most affecting Panorama I have ever seen. It is unbelievable that youths are being treated in this way in today's world. It reminds me very much of Nazi Germany and their youth camps. Surely one of the top priorities of the UN must be to sort out this problem in Zimbabwe. It must be morally wrong to leave Mugabe to do this to all these people. It's not murder as we know it, it is the murder of the morals of an entire generation, turning them into murderers. How is that being allowed to go on?
Gemma Hughes, Derby, UK

I was really touched by what I saw on Panorama today and I think it's now time for the first world countries to act, because if neighbouring countries like South Africa can't show Zimbabwe the right path, who's gonna show them the way then? Britain as a colonist should act in this situation and I think America should be involved as well.
Roy, England

I'm very disturbed by what I have seen tonight. I think Mugabe is becoming more and more dangerous as the years go by. Pressure must be put on governments that are closely associated with Zimbabwe eg South Africa. Mbeki Speak out.
John, London

Secrets of the camps
17 Feb 04 |  Panorama
Zimbabwe's torture training camps
27 Feb 04 |  Africa
James's story
02 Mar 04 |  Panorama
A day in the life of the camp
29 Feb 04 |  Panorama
Zimbabwe camp commander speaks
29 Feb 04 |  Panorama
The Law in Zimbabwe
29 Feb 04 |  Panorama

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