Saturday, April 02, 2005

Zimbabwe's Election

First I would like to note that the Zimbabwe election has two major components: 1. International communities consisting of USA and Britain or coalition of the willing and the MDC party in Zimbabwe. 2. ZANU-PF and majority of the population.The first component believed that MDC was going to win the election unless it was rigged by ZANU-PF. They claimed that there was intimidation although Mugabe relaxed the tight grip weeks before the election.The second component also believed that ZANU-PF was going to win the election. And as has been shown by the latest count, they did win. They blamed the poor showing of the MDC due to inappropriate or wrong strategy. The MDC should have been courting the Zimbabweans instead of courting the international USA and Britain.
Personally, I believe that Mugabe has stayed in power too long and should retire now. But the war that is going on in Zimbabwe seem to be totally different from one of mere democracy and presidential tenure. Britain and USA seem to be reflecting a feeling against the removal of land from former white farmers. So unless they stay away, no meaningful democratic movement may win the election in Zimbabwe. It is also important to note that President Bush won a second term on the back of Christian fundamentalists and Mugabe came back on the back of the landless Zimbabweans.

3 comments:

zimpundit said...

Your views on the Zim elections are overly simplistic. While it is admissable to an extent that the MDC spent more time than ZANU-PF did spreading it's platform in the western world (there's 3 million Zimbos that's why), it is myopic to claim that this automatically means that the US and UK back the MDC.

On the subject of western nations, the only difference between ZANU-PF and MDC is that the latter is not subject to the sanctions imposed on the leaders of the former. Consequently, only the MDC is able to promote its manifesto abroad. No one has supplied tangible evidence of the allegations that US and UK back MDC, not even ZANU-PF itself (if you have some, please pass it on.) On the same token, let me admonish you about your insinuation that the MDC and it's supporters are in the minority in Zimbabwe. There is no evidence to substantiate this idea, not even these most recent election results. In fact there's evidence to the contrary; in all of the constituencies contested, the total number of voters never represented 50% of eligible voters. By deduction, it is therefore clear that ZANU-PF appears popular by partial pebliscite only, there's not telling what the outcome would have been had more people been able to vote. Further, of the minority, that did vote, 25% of would-be voters were turned away. Again there's not telling how these people would have voted.

My final objection to your short piece has to do with the comparison you draw between Mugabe's victory and Bush's reelection late last year. The differences in climate alone between these two settings are too many to list in this short space e.g. Zimbabweans have no freedom of access to information, Bush had been in power for only 4 years/Mugabe has been in power for a whopping 25 years now etc. Suffice to say it is dangerous to fool people with such a loaded statement.

kaladima said...

There is this report in the issue 241 of the Socialist Review of 2000 in which
the writer said that the British government team backing the white farmers was lead by
Peter Hain and several former Tory ministers who, together with Morgan
Tsvangirai, signed an anti Mugabe letter printed in the British Times of April
13, 2000.

“As the British government (with former anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain in
the lead) backed the white farmers, the MDC also picked up dubious international
allies. An anti-Mugabe letter to the British Times newspaper on 13 April was
signed by MDC leader Tsvangirai, former Tory ministers Lord Carrington, Geoffrey
Howe, Lady Chalker, Douglas Hurd and Malcolm Rifkind. Also signing were Chester
Crocker, the former US assistant secretary of state for Africa and South African
politician Tony Leon--who used a bitterly racist anti-crime message in an effort
to win votes at the most recent South African election.” And you will see that
they certainly are backing the MDC

The fact that only 50% of the registered people voted does not mean that the 50%
who did not vote were all MDC so that had they voted, the MDC would have won. It
could have gone either way and now there is no way of knowing that. It is the
people who did not vote that have lost their opportunity to make a change
through the ballot. If they had voted who knows what the outcome could have
been?

In Kenya the opposition party tried several times before they could dislodge
President Arap Moi from power. We do not know what it is going to be like in
Uganda.
Although the settings in USA and Zimbabwe are not the same the end result are identical. The MDC also have claimed that they have the numbers to win election which means they have at least a means of reaching their constituency. It is not the same as the that available to Mugabe in power. But I think the MDC biggest problem is stability and concrete platform. Mugabe's inefficiency is not enough to sway voters who couldn't care less.

Ingrid said...

Hello Menya, Interesting blog, thank you. Today, I have featured three of your posts over at Uganda Watch.

With kind regards from England, UK.

http://ugandawatch.blogspot.com
http://sudanwatch.blogspot.com
http://congowatch.blogspot.com