Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) in Zimbabwe, drew a crowd estimated to be at least 30,000 compared to the 3,000 attending a rally for President Mugabe. Tsvangirai told the crowd that President Mugabe will “enage in every tirck in the book” to rig the polls. Western observers are barred from suprervising the election although there are some observers from ‘friendly nations.” MDC leaders revealed that nine million ballots had been ordered for an election in which 5.9 million are registered to vote. They estimate about 600,000 ballots are ready for the few thousand soldiers which comprise the armed forces. The opposition is expected to suffer from the reality that nearly four million Zimbbweans have left the nation in search of jobs elsewhere in Africa. The Mugabe government refuses to allow them to vote by mail.
President Mugabe told his audience “Tsvangirai will never, never rule this country” and “those who want to vote for him can do so but those votes will be wasted votes.” There is no question Mugabe, aided by leaders of the armed forces, intend to make certain the supreme leader continues to lead the nation. Mugabe has done nothing to reduce poverty in a nation in which an estimated 20% of adults are infected with the virus tht causes AIDS and at least 80% of the people live on less than $ 1 day.
An important question is where are the leaders of Africa when millions of Africans are being abused and denied basic human rights?