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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 12:26 GMT
Zimbabwe unrest stirs media
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addresses officials and other political party members in Harare
Mr Tsvangirai was arrested with at least 20 other activists

Newspapers and online media in Zimbabwe and South Africa are scathing in their comments on the latest outbreak of violence in Zimbabwe.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai comes under attack from both the government and the independent media in Zimbabwe, while in neighbouring South Africa, leading papers condemn the Pretoria government, for not taking action against President Robert Mugabe.

CAESAR ZVAYI IN ZIMBABWE'S PRO-GOVERNMENT HERALD

The orgies of sponsored violence... at the instigation of MDC [opposition Movement for Democratic Change] faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai are a call for action on the state to stop treating the renegade opposition leader with kid gloves.

Tsvangirai and his MDC are not interested in democratic change but change at all costs; and they do everything for the foreign gallery. Tsvangirai seems to believe he was ordained to rule Zimbabwe and will stop at nothing to realize his dream, however misplaced his ambition may be... The MDC faction leader's stunts have lost their comic value and it is time to clip his infantile terror inclinations.

EDITORIAL IN HERALD

We unreservedly condemn the recent spate of violence unleashed by the MDC on the people of Highfield and surrounding suburbs... The MDC leaders and their allies are not above the law, and their violence was uncalled for as it only served their selfish drive to mitigate their existence to foreign handlers.

Tsvangirai should be ashamed of himself; the nation expects maturity from one who fancies himself presidential material. Tsvangirai and his allies in the so-called Save Zimbabwe Convention must stop misleading the people, and should instead direct their efforts at finding ways to improve livelihoods and campaigning for the people's support like other responsible parties.

DUDUZI MATHUTHU ON INDEPENDENT ONLINE NEW ZIMBABWE

It is about time that Zimbabweans who seek a new Zimbabwe started asking serious questions about the tactics that have been employed by the MDC, as the only real political challenge to Mugabe, particularly given the myriad of opportunities presented by Zanu-PF's poor handling of the economy.

It is Tsvangirai's failure to organize and strategize that has brought us to where we are... The idea that Tsvangirai can walk into State House on the back of street protests is far fetched.

MARY REVESAI IN NEW ZIMBABWE

If Mugabe's plans to cling to power by standing as a candidate in presidential elections next year succeed, Zimbabweans will be expected to endure more deprivation and repression as the octogenarian makes what he knows is a last ditch attempt to impose his idealized legacy on the nation... Mugabe has become an expert at denouncing and attacking perceived enemies, sell-outs, agents of foreign powers or unpatriotic Zimbabweans on behalf of the revolution, his party and government. He has never had to defend his own record and reputation.

COMMENT IN BUSINESS WEEKLY ZIMBABWE INDEPENDENT

The forces of change in this country are failing to employ standard strategic management tools to dislodge the regime led by one King Bob. This message is directed specifically to Morgan Tsvangirai... While the advocates of change have identified the main competitor, that is Zanu-PF, they have not clearly identified the competitive edge that it has over them, or if they have, they have not done much to attach that advantage.

In view of the fact that the resort to stayaways has not yielded anything, they should be considering other options given the brute force that meets those who dare to go into the streets.

EDITORIAL IN SOUTH AFRICA'S CAPE TIMES

What will it take for the South African government to criticize Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government, even faintly?... Police violently disrupted opposition protests, shooting dead one protester and arresting the leaders of both Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions... Yet the South African government again declined to comment, sticking stubbornly to its policy of 'quiet diplomacy' which by now is long past its sell-by date.... Like the rest of the world, South Africa seems merely to be rubber-necking at the unfolding train smash across the river.

Since Pretoria has no effective line of communication to Harare which could be cut by criticizing Mugabe's government, not expressing criticism now looks increasingly like solidarity and tacit approval for what he is doing and a betrayal of the Zimbabwean people who are suffering more with each day that passes.... Our government should now be trying a different tack... mobilizing southern Africa and Africa to isolate him, at least diplomatically, if not economically.

ALEX MATTHEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA'S BUSINESS DAY

Government's stance on Zimbabwe is a disgrace. President Thabo Mbeki's 'quiet diplomacy' is merely a euphemism for his callous indifference... Silence about this criminal autocracy equates to a tacit approval of it. Thus, our president is complicit in the Zimbabwean catastrophe... Had Mbeki and the South African government stepped in several years ago, Zimbabwe wouldn't be imploding into the tragic mess of chaos and unimaginable suffering that it is now. Countless lives would have been saved and the economy would have remained intact. It is only too clear that Mbeki has blood on his hands. He will never be able to wash it off.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO
Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai
11 Mar 07 |  Africa
Q&A: Zimbabwe meltdown
12 Mar 07 |  Africa

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