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Zim poll: Free and fair? A political mirage

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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:20 AM
Original message
Zim poll: Free and fair? A political mirage
In Mauritius in August the Southern African Development Community (SADC) adopted the protocol on Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. Most analysts hailed it as a major step towards promoting a culture of participatory democracy and good governance in the region. Zimbabwes election would be the litmus test. Harare claims it is compliant with the protocol having initiated reforms that include the enactment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Bill. But human-rights lawyer Daniel Molokeles reality check has found that the Zanu PF government has set out to hoodwink SADC leaders with reforms he likens to democratic window dressing. He argues that a closer look will show that the concept of a credible election in March is a political mirage.
<snip>
http://www.zwnews.com/issuefull.cfm?ArticleID=11106

Condi mentioned Zimbabwe. If we are going in to SAVE that country, we should know a little about what needs saving.

Zimbabwe is the former Southern Rhodesia, a landlocked country in southern Africa once described as the Breadbasket of Africa because it produced enough food to export to many other countries in the region. Today, because of a corrupt dictatorship that calls itself a democracy, the people are facing starvation if they don't die from AIDS first.

The President, Robert Mugabe, has been in power since 1980 and he controls everything. Like the Republicans in this country, he would like for his political party to be the only party in the country. There is another election in March. In the last presidential election, many voters were disenfranchised. Mugabe set polling stations in areas where he was popular so that the lines were short and people could get in and vote quickly. In areas where he was not popular, some people waited in lines for TWO DAYS without getting to vote. There was such an uproar, that voting was extended to a third day. Many who would have voted against him could not stand in line for the third day or did not know that voting had been extended until it was too late.

There are links from that webpage to news of other issues in that country.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:18 AM
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1. Is Mugabe another case of the US making it's own enemies
From what I recall when Mugabe took over in Zimbabwe he looked for aid and was ready to take assistance from whoever would offer it. The US took a hardline and told him that if he took anything from the Soviets then he would get nothing from the US.
I'm not saying that Mugabe wouldn't have become a dictator anyway but our refusal to give him aid without a lot of strings attached pushed him away.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. Since land reform began, I understand that a lot of Zim corporate tobacco
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:32 AM by AP
farmers have relocated to Viriginia to start and run tobacco farms there.

Know any of them, Viriginian?
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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. No, I don't live in that part of the state.
When I did, all the tobacco farmers I knew had owned their lands for generations.
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