The following dispatch was written for ABC News by a journalist who has been inside Zimbabwe. Out of concern for the reporter's safety, we are not revealing the reporter's name.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe said Friday that liberation war veterans would take up arms if he loses a June 27 presidential run-off vote.
Mugabe told youth members of his ruling Zanu-PF party in Harare that the veterans had told him they would launch a new bush war if the election was won by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whom he accuses of being a puppet of the West.
"They said if this country goes back into white hands just because we have used a pen [to vote]. 'We will return to the bush to fight,'" Mugabe said, in the latest ratcheting up of pressure to extend his 28-year-presidency.
Tsvangirai, rights groups and Western powers accuse Mugabe of unleashing a brutal campaign, using the police to harass the opposition, in a bid to win the run-off after he lost presidential and parliamentary elections March 29.
Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, fell short of the majority needed to win the presidency outright in that vote. He says 66 of his followers have been murdered since.
Zimbabwe's High Court Friday ordered police to bring MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti to court Saturday and justify why he had been arrested at Harare's airport Thursday. Biti faces a treason charge that could carry a death sentence.
"The order we got is for him to be brought to court and for the police to show cause why they are holding him," defence attorney Lewis Uriri said. He he said Biti was expected to appear in court at 3 p.m. ET Saturday.
In his speeches, Mugabe has insinuated a possible civil war failing his victory in the run-off vote. And his party is doing everything it can to persuade Zimbabwe's people to vote for him.
In Mbare, one of Harare's poorest neighborhoods, torn MDC posters that display the face of the opposition leader Tsvangirai mark the building that is known for the notorious beatings that take place throughout the day and well into the evening.
The "flats" — a large five-story, rundown apartment — is one of Mbare's landmarks since most of people who live in this overcrowded township stay inside three-room concrete shacks with large rusty tin roofs.
"This is the ghetto," says Nyasha, a middle-aged woman who holds her young child. "Everything happens here." What she is referring to is the rampant theft that plagues the neighborhood. "They [Zanu-PF] has given the young people something else destructive to do with their time."
Beginning around 8 a.m., Zanu-PF members, composed mainly of young men who travel in groups of five or 10, demand that street vendors and shopkeepers join in political marches that will encircle Mbare.
If not, they will be beaten.
The Southern African Development Community has deployed observers for the upcoming June 27 run-off to ensure the elections are both free and fair for all.
Marching around Mbare for more than an hour, the people chant "Chipangano," which means "Our Agreement," while clenching their fists in the air and holding posters of President Mugabe who also holds his fist raised proudly in the air.
In a sweeping move throughout the past week, President Mugabe has initiated a ceasefire to all operations by numerous NGOs providing humanitarian aid within the country.
In another ghetto in Harare, Warren Park, the tactics are a little more extreme.