Tuesday, April 08, 2008

ZIMBABWE - the stolen election

What a fiasco. Presidential elections staged on March 29th. Today, ten days out and no official results have been announced. The ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commitee) are holed up inside the prestigious Rainbow Hotel in Harare, the capital, six of their officials have been detained by the Police for supposedly rigging results, and the High Court has finally decreed that the MDC has a legitimate appeal to force the ZEC to release results immediately.
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Interesting to note that in all prior elections, results were announced within a twenty four hour period of the closing of polls. Of course during that time frame ballot boxes were moved to regional centers and stuffed with pro-party counts. This election period was different. SADC, the UN and OAU insisted Mugabe alter legislation and allow votes to be cast and counted at over 9000 polling stations across Zimbabwe. Thinking he would once again overwhelmingly win, he agreed.
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In the run up to the elections he had Fidelity Printers working around the clock printing copious amounts of worthless dollars to bribe rural folk, warvets and youth militia. In addition to that little exercise he donated 450 vehicles to junior doctors at all major hospitals and clinics in a bid to buy their vote. What craziness is that? Zimbabwe has no fuel! I have been given a vehicle but can't use it...where is the logic?
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Today we see zanu PF actively going back to the 2000 war veteran styled attacks on the remaining white farmers. In the last 24 hours we have seen 60 white farmers forcefully removed from their farms, and the rhetoric resounding across the Zimbabwe airwaves is being vehemently spewed with indignant hatred and instilling fear across the nation once again. Mugabe and his cronies are once again using the "whites will take the land back if you let MDC win" tactic to forcefully remain in power should a run off vote be inevitable.
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Morgan Tsvangirai met with Jacob Zuma Monday in Pretoria, where discussions were held in closed session. Note that prior this election year, getting any kind of meeting between Mbeki and Morgan proved almost fruitless. Jacob Zuma earlier won the leadership of the ANC and although Mbeki still leads the country as President, his term will expire in 2009, and no doubt Jacob Zuma will become the new South African President. I draw your attention to the significance of this development. Zuma leads the ANC, Morgan leads the MDC. Both are in absolute agreement that Mugabe is old news, and needs to vacate State House and retire. MDC have from the onset of their formation proclaimed that Mugabe can retire peacefully in Zimbabwe, in his elaborate mansion without fear of being brought to book on his human rights abuses. Almost sounds too good to be true doesn't it? African politics will indicate that fear ranks extremely high in leadership circles. There is no trust. Therefore it becomes a selfish fight for survival at all costs and rulership is not easily relinquished. Siding with Mugabe is the army top dog, Chiwenga, and the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) mainstay, Chihuri. Both are more than reluctant to allow any kind of change to the presidential status of Zimbabwe. They are of course fearful of reprisal, fearful of being sent off to the Hague for their part in human rights abuse. So, the intention is clear - hold on at all costs. Drum up more hate towards the west, towards the few remaining white farmers, instill fear in the majority and command their vote be cast in a run off to thwart the MDC from presiding over Zimbabwe.
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I could link each statement in this post to a news article, but that would be fruitless. Updates are occurring hourly, and by the time you read one article the facts have significantly changed. In ten days more than 3000 articles have been published online, doing a quick calculation will reveal that 300 articles are posted daily.
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What we do know as fact is this;
The legislation changed, allowing votes to be counted and posted at polling stations.
By Monday morning last week, the results were already "unofficially" known.
MDC won the majority of the senate and parliamentary seats.
Morgan Tsvangirai overwhelmingly beat his opponent, incumbent Mugabe.
The ZEC has not released any results pertaining to the Presidential vote.
Mugabe has demanded a recount of the votes.
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What people fail to see is that it is impossible and legally questionable for zanu PF to demand a recount on results that have not officially been announced. Does this mean Mugabe has been privvy to the outcome? YES! You need to understand that certain officials have been given farms, land, and business enterprises, in exchange for ruling party support. Don't you think it is strange that the results have not been announced ten days after the elections? Don't you think it strange that the High Court is stalling and buying as much time as possible to delay an injunction against the ZEC to release the results? Don't you think it strange that warvets are stomping across the nation again, kicking the last handful of white farmers off the land?
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Everyone has a story or comment about these elections as well as the situation in Zimbabwe. Speaking from first hand accounts and experience, the fact of the matter is clear. Mugabe needs to go, he needs to relinquish his hold on the country that he championed to independence in 1980. Inflation is sitting at 168000%, making Zimbabwe theoretically the poorest nation in the world. Shops are seriously empty. No basic commodities, let alone staple food and medicine are available. Average life expectancy has dropped from 63 years to 37.5 years....these are catastrophic signs of impending doom. The largest thriving business today across Zimbabwe is that of digging graves; people are dying at the rate of 6500 every month. AIDS/hiv and related illness along with malnutrition is claiming lives at an alarming rate. The time for change is now. It is one thing getting the message out there, it is another actually fighting democratically for change to be effected.
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The region of southern Africa cannot afford to have Mugabe in power for another 5 year term. South Africa has over 3 million illegal aliens that have escaped the perilous life in Zimbabwe in search of freedom and the right to survive across the border. Neighboring countries are affected, yet remain silent on the ousting of this madman. Mbeki - you are heading up the committee that is speaking directly with Mugabe. The world urges you to step up to the plate, and encourage this megalomaniac to concede victory to the MDC. After all it is in your economic best interest - FIFA may take your winning bid to host the World Cup soccer to Australia...that will dent your economy in gargantuan proportions. Do what is right for South Africa, and have mercy on the innocent people of Zimbabwe...intervene!
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We watch, we wait, we pray...

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