World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Mugabe Presses Friday 27 Vote As Violence Spreads

By Peta Thornycroft
24 June 2008

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Presses Friday Vote as Violence Spreads

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says he has not ruled out negotiations with the opposition MDC but elections must go ahead on Friday to meet a legal obligation. Meanwhile, reports are coming in from several parts of Zimbabwe that violence is continuing against opposition supporters.

President Mugabe, 84, made it clear at a rally Tuesday that he won't refuse to negotiate with the opposition party, The Movement for Democratic Change, but he determined to hold the poll on Friday because, in his words, there is "only one thing for us to accomplish... it's the legal process on the 27th of June."

The MDC on Tuesday handed a letter to the electoral commission formally withdrawing from the presidential runoff. Tsvangirai said the election was rigged and his supporters face too much violence for him to keep running. He won the first round of voting on March 29, but lacked an outright majority against Mr. Mugabe.

Observers are worried that the violence will continue to spiral out of control. One ominous sign is the withdrawal of independent monitors who would be able to observe and protect voters at the polls.

As of Tuesday, 38 organizations say they have withdrawn after the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, or ZESN, said only 500 observers were able to get accreditation. There were more than 9,000 observers allowed to monitor the election on March 29.

ZESN said it received a letter from Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Friday saying that it would only be allowed 500 observers. As of Tuesday, the invitation for these 500 had not yet been received and ZESN said it could not fulfill its mandate to effectively observe the election.

Because the ZANU-PF said it is determined to hold a one-candidate election on Friday, many fear that ZANU-PF supporters will force people to vote by gunpoint.

The U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said ample evidence shows Mugabe's government is waging a "widespread campaign of retaliation and threat" and spreading "fear, hostility and attacks" against its opponents.

Mugabe's government is no longer capable of holding a legitimate election, Pascoe told the council, and Mugabe's plan to push ahead with the runoff "would only increase divisions and produce discredited results."

Already, tens of thousands of Zimbabweans have been uprooted from their homes and 85 people have died in election violence, human rights groups say. Tsvangirai has repeatedly been detained by police and contended with warnings of a state-sponsored assassination plot. His top deputy was arrested on treason charges that carry the death penalty.


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC