The term, "outpost of tyranny", was popularized in January 2005 by the then United States Secretary of State Designate Condoleezza Rice, to refer, broadly, to certain countries where reppressive governments show contempt for democracy and human rights. Zimbabwe was one of the countries cited by Rice, along with Cuba, Burma, Noth Korea, Iran and Belarus. Some have taken issue with this characterization of Zimbabwe and, in particular, with its being lumped in the same sack with these totalitaraian regimes. If Zimbabwe is not yet a pure totalitarian regime in its present form, it could fairly be described as a country with significant totalitarian elements grafted onto a formerly functioning (and now severely deterioirated) democratic system. For example, although Zimbabwe's independent press is still able to criticize the regime to an extent unthinkable in the 5 other members of Rice's club, it has increasingly over the past 6 years been depleted, beseiged and attacked by the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ). And while there are still voices of judicial independence, especially at lower court levels, the regime has, likewise, pursued a strategy of stifling independent judicial thinking, especially at the High Court and Supreme Court levels. Clearly, if one uses Natan Sharansky's "Town Square Test" for assessing a country's relative level of freedom, Zimbabwe in 2006 falls more squarely into the "fear society" than into the "free society" category.
This weblog is an attempt to chronicle the abuses of the GOZ and to contribute to re-focussing international attention on the country and to give a "coup de main", as our Francophone colleagues might say, to other activist comrades working for change and for improvement in the situation of all Zimbabweans.