Reporters for the South African Mail & Guardian newspaper, spoke with members of opposition parties to President Mugabe and were informed they expect vote riging to ensure the president wins once again as he has for over two decades. Patrick Craven of the Congress of South African Trade Unions reflected on the upcoming election: “We remain very sceptical as to whether the elecitons will be free and fair” due to intimidation of opposition party members and threats by the Zimbabwe military to refuse allowing anyone other than Mugabe to become president. Tseliso Thipanyane of the South African Human Rights Commission, warned a flawed election will impact the entire region. “Whether we like it or not, the outcome of Zimbabwe’s elections will affect the entire Southern Africn region, so if the elections turn out not to be free and fair, we must act against the violation of human rights. Even it it means we go to the extent of holding sacntions against Zimbabwe.”
The Zimbabwe elections will not be fair. That is a given. The issue is whether South Africa and the African Union will stand up for the people of Zimbabwe as they did in Kenya. A trgedy is failure on the part of President Thabo Mibeki to make clear to Mugabe that Africa will not allow dictatorships that brutalize people to continue functioning.