Former British Minister for Africa admitted in parliament that Zimbabwe had a history of violence though President Robert Mugabe’s government had gone a notch higher and “specialised in stealing..elections by violence”
Speaking during the debate on Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds, Hain said: “The history of Zimbabwe has been punctuated with violence. Cecil Rhodes’s exercise of colonial power in southern Africa was built on a monopoly of violence. Until it was swept away by the liberation war, which I supported as a British anti-apartheid leader at the time.
“Ian Smith’s racist Rhodesian regime used violence against opponents demanding democracy.
“Robert Mugabe’s ZANU, first elected in a landslide victory in 1980, betrayed the freedom struggle that it once led with distinction, by systematically using violence as a political strategy to maintain power and the privileges of an increasingly corrupt mafia surrounding him.
“Killings, torture and beatings of ZANU-PF opponents and massive human rights abuses accompanied the elections of 2000, 2002 and 2008. Mugabe’s regime specialised in stealing those elections by violence.”