This story is depressing as hell. Mugabe has his men cut off the feet and hands of the leader of the oppositions wife, then burn her alive in her hut.
But then, we are talking about the same man who tried to solve Zimbabwe’s problems by supporting a woman who claimed she could get refined diesel by tapping a rock with her stick.
The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.
An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.
The killing last Friday – one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime since independence in 1980 – was carried out on a wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark was to chop off hands and feet.
Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.
And now, about Zimbabwe’s energy policies: