Dozens of opposition supporters were arrested in Harare
African papers condemn President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe government over the beating of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, hoping this might signal the beginning of the end for the government. The papers call for this to be brought about by African leaders, the Zimbabwean people or a combination of both.
However, a Zimbabwe daily hits out at the "mayhem" caused by the opposition and those denouncing the arrests.
TAJUDEEN RAHMAN IN UGANDA'S PRO-GOVERNMENT NEW VISION
You do not have to be a sympathiser of the MDC to condemn the callousness of the Zimbabwean police and other security thugs... Is the duty of the security forces to administer punishments to suspects? Supposing they are acquitted by the courts, what penalties would the police thugs pay for their brutalities?
UGANDA'S INDEPENDENT DAILY MONITOR
It should be apparent that Mr Mugabe has outlived his welcome. His obsession with holding onto power at whatever cost must be rejected by all civilized peoples... While this tragedy is played out, many African governments have looked the other way... But the brutal attack on opposition activists... is a step too far. The former liberator and defender of human rights is an unwanted blot on Africa's road map to responsible government. African leaders... and others must tell Mugabe that his country and down-trodden people deserve better.
SOUTH AFRICA'S INDEPENDENT BUSINESS DAY
Dare we allow ourselves to hope for real change in Zimbabwe's political arena... Some observers might be tempted to conclude that such a display of violence... is a clear sign of the beginning of the end for Robert Mugabe's regime. Perhaps... But others will point out that, while this scenario might apply in eastern Europe, parts of Asia and Latin America, civilians don't do much overthrowing in Africa... Whether what remains of civil society is strong enough for this to apply in Zimbabwe remains to be seen.
BOTSWANA'S INDEPENDENT MMEGI
The events of the past few days in neighbouring Zimbabwe could be signs of a diabolical regime that is finally about to drown in the cesspool of lies it has been spewing for so long. Ironically, all governments that make up the scarecrow that is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have been at pains to try to convince their citizens and the outside world that the Robert Mugabe regime is a sane one... Yet for the SADC leaders this is not crisis enough to warrant their attention. We call upon our regional leaders to wake up from their deep slumber and assist the people of Zimbabwe.
SOUTH AFRICA'S INDEPENDENT DAILY NEWS
There is a distinct reluctance to do anything concrete about the aging megalomaniac who has systematically destroyed what was once the breadbasket of Africa... The only person who can make a difference to the miserable lives of Zimbabwe's people, President Thabo Mbeki, remains disturbingly silent on the debacle that is destroying this country's neighbour... A clear message must be sent to Mugabe that he will be held accountable for his actions against the opposition leader and his supporters.
CAESAR ZVAYI IN ZIMBABWE'S GOVERNMENT HERALD
Some Western nations, and the office of the UN secretary-general were regrettably quick to issue statements condemning the arrest of opposition MDC and NCA leaders and activists... completely ignoring the mayhem they caused... Reports by Western agencies... were surprisingly deafeningly silent on the mayhem unleashed by the opposition. The opposition activists have openly declared war on the police in line with their so-called 'defiance campaign'... So ruthless and systematic have been the campaigns of violence that no nation worth its salt would sit by and let such incipient terrorism take root... Those denouncing the arrest of the perpetrators do not mention the violence by opposition activists.
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.