Tag Archives: run-off

Mugabe Rearranges Zimbabwe Law

The nation of Zimbabwe continues to suffer from a president who makes up laws as he goes along his merry way to maintain power are any cost to the people of his country. First, presidential election results were delayed several weeks in order to provide opportunities for his cronies to arrange the vote so that opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai would not obtain the necessary 50% margn for victory. The law states a run-off must come within 21 days after the results are in, but Mugabe has interpreted the 21 days to really mean 90 days and has pushed off the run-off until the end of July. According to a Movement for Democracy spokesperson, “this is a rigging taking place and it’s blatantly unlawful.”

Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has used the past few weeks to unleash a campaign of terror and violence against members of the opposition and Mugabe is providing them an additional few weeks to further this effort to break the will of the oppositioin. Much of the violence is in rural areas which traditionaly supported Mugabe but turned against him in March. The people are being “persuaded” by beatings to remember how to vote in July. The UN has warned the violence is reaching levels that indicate Zimbabwe is reaching a crisis.

Violence Escalates In Zimbabwe

A pro-govrnment rights outfit in Zimbabwe has urged President Robert Mugabe to consider declaring a state of emergency to stem a tide of post election violence. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice(ZLJ) said a state of emrgency would help protect lives and property from violoence that it blamed on opposition activisits. “In view of the current situation, ZLJ appeals to the government and President Mugabe to consider the possibility of declaring a state of emergency to quell the disturbances.” President Mugabe can legally have a state of emergency for up to six months.

The plea by this pro-Mugabe group may well be part of a plan by Mugabe to declare the state of emergency in order to maintain power and hope the intervening six months would enable him to completely quell any effort by opposition forces to organize a political campaign against him. The violence was initiated by members of the ruling Zanu-Pf which sent thugs into villages and towns in order to beat up, torture, and kill those who dared oppose the president. Naturally, some members of the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) fought back which then allowed the Mugabe goons to claim they were being attacked.

At least 30 people have been killed by Mugabe forces, thousands of others beaten up, and thousands more displaced from their homes. Mugabe is attempting to create a feeling of chaos in the country in order to find justifcation for imposing martial law and ending any pretense of a fair election. The UN and African groups have documented the violence on the part of Zanu-PF activists, but Mugabe is still frightened of holding a free election since he knows it would only result in his defeat.

The world should not be surprised if Mugabe goes the route of martial law in order to keep himself in power. He has tried every other tactic.

Electoral Violence Escalates In Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe lost an election for the first time in his life and his efforts to ensure that never again occurs has resulted in an escalation of violence within Zimbabwe as thugs and goons for his Zanu-PF party roam the land beating and even killing those who oppose his election. Agustino Zacarias, speaking for the UN, said new levels of violence are now present in the nation. “These incidents of violence are occurring in communal farming and urban areas and there are indication that the level of violence is escalating in all these areas and could reach crisis levels.” He said the evidence is clear of “an emerging pattern of political violence indicated mainly, but not exclusively, on rural supporters of the MDC(Movement for Democratic Change).”

Government directed attacks are being waged aganst human rights workers, election monitors and others who seek to create a democratic society. Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the MDC, has called for access to the electoral process by outside observers, a desire which will most probably be denied by Mugabe since the last thing on his agenda is allowing the outside world to observe his brutality.

The only hope for a democratic run-off election lies with the Southern African Development Community, but, so far, it has been unable to shift Mugabe into a position which would allow outside observers.

Tsvangirai To Return To Zimbabwe For Election

Since the March election for president of Zimbabwe which was won by Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement for Democratic Change leader has been forced to flee the nation in order to avoid either being arrested or killed. Speaking at a South African press conference, he told Robert Mugabe and the world: “I shall return to Zimbabwe within the next two days…The MDC..will contest the run-off. I am ready, and the people are ready for the final round. We want unfettered access of all international observers.” Most objective observers of the situation in his country fear the run-off will be controlled by President Mugabe in order to make certain this time he gets the majority needed for victory.

Tsvangirai is banking on the strength and determination of his people to resist the thugs and goons who currently are roaming the land beating up oppostion leaders and threatening people with further violence unless they vote for Mugabe. Tsvangirai said “we as a nation are strong enough, we are brave enough and we are angry enough to fight an election once again.”

Unless outside observers can get into the country and actively supervise all aspects of the election, particularly the counting of votes, it is doubtful if the brave words will be able to triumph over the criminals who now run Zimbabwe.