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2002 Presidential & Harare Municipal elections - Index of articles
to March 18 Index
Opinions, Comments and Submissions
for the African Leaders at the Commonwealth meeting
by Learnmore Ndlovu
Why are you not willing to condemn Robert Mugabe's behaviour over
the last two years?
Why are you not willing to condemn the suppression of democracy,
freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement,
and political freedom in Zimbabwe imposed increasingly by Mugabe
over the last two years.?
Is it that the African Leaders support the introduction of laws
by black leaders that are more repressive than those imposed by
Ian Smith under minority white rule which were aimed at the black
If Mugabe was representing a white government you would not be so
silent about these facts. Why is it acceptable then in your eyes
for a black government to act repressively against it's own people?
Is it that the African Leaders do not support the concept of majority
decision? Mugabe held a referendum and promptly ignored the results
and imposed his will on the people. That is minority rule, and is
no more acceptable than was minority rule by Ian Smith. Why do the
African leaders not speak out and condemn this. It is suppression
Mugabe has subverted the Police Force and law and order. The Police
Force protect and escort Mugabe's supporters while they rampage,
loot and impose violence on the people. People who retaliate in
self defence are arrested. Is this the way African Leaders consider
democracies should work?
These are facts that they wish to ignore, presumably so that they
cannot be labelled as being hypocritical in their own countries.
However justifiable land redistribution maybe, there can be no justification
for the motives or the manner in which it has been carried out.
It could have been carried out in a manner which would have enhanced
productivity and food production, rather than reducing or totally
stopping food production.
How can any responsible person, condone the destruction of the resources
for the production of
food? For that is what has happened in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was not
only self sufficient in the
production of food, but was able to export food. There is now a
food shortage, food has to be imported if donors are willing to
supply it. Many people are hungry if not starving, quite unnecessarily.
Whoever wins the election, the election will not have been free
and fair. That is fact. Police have actively interfered and frustrated
to the best of their ability the holding of rallies by the opposition.
Where people are literally forced and coerced into attending Mugabe's
rallies, the people have to make a determined effort to attend an
opposition rally under the threat of violence from Mugabe's supporters
and interference by the police who set up road blocks to reduce
attendance. Why is this not condemned by the African Leaders.? One
must presume they consider it an acceptable way to win elections.
It is unlikely that there is a creditable group of observers to
monitor the election and report accurately and without bias the
events. The South African observers are probably the best of the
observers in Zimbabwe, but they are yet to prove that they will
report factually and accurately. When one finds them staying in
Hotels being entertained by Mugabe's supporters and not observing
the violent activities going on around them, they cannot be effective.
The President of Namibia, and the President of Tanzania both deliberately
ignore the facts and miss the point. No one in Zimbabwe considers
that the election will be free and fair because Morgan Tsvangirai
wins and Mugabe loses, or visa versa. The election is not free and
fair because of the violence and intimidation encouraged by Mugabe.
Mugabe is doing his best to prevent people who may vote against
him from voting, so the election cannot be free and fair. Polling
stations in areas perceived to be opposition strongholds have been
reduced, while the converse applies equally.
One has to ask the question why these two Presidents chose not to
be aware of the facts, and prefer to drag in red herrings saying
the result is being pre-judged. No Mr Presidents we are not pre-judging
the outcome, we are dealing with the facts that the election will
not be free and fair.
When the Police arrest 12 clergymen for holding a political march
which was in fact a religious
procession, while at the same time blessing, protecting and escorting
a group of young thugs
creating mayhem in support of Mugabe, one cannot consider the election
to free and fair, or that order and order exists. Maybe in Namibia
and Tanzania this is the acceptable face of democracy and law and
My last question to the African Leaders who do not want to condemn
Mugabe or take any action against him, is will you be prepared donate
food and feed the people of Zimbabwe as a result of your support
for Mugabe's destructive land resettlement program.? I am sure that
the answer is no, you do not have the ability to do ths, let alone
the resources. The best that can be said is that you are not hypocritical.
If you do not condemn Mugabe's action, you must of necessity support
and approve of it.
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