Mugabe Aides Use Violence in Bid for Amnesty

Associates fear retribution from newly powerful opposition
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Apr 10, 2009 7:40 AM CDT
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called for national reconciliation and forgiveness after years of political conflict in the country.    (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – Aides to Robert Mugabe, fearing that the end is near and they will be prosecuted for their misdeeds, are trying to gain leverage through familiar means—abduction and torture, the New York Times reports. The strategy seems to boil down to this: Jail as many opposition figures as possible on trumped up charges of treason, then extract confessions through harsh interrogations. The charges can then be used as leverage in talks about granting political amnesty.

Four Mugabe loyalists described the strategy, though others think it's not so much about amnesty as forcing opposition members to quit the government altogether. When questioned about the use of abduction, one Mugabe official who spoke on the record answered, "There could have been something like that, but how am I to know?"