Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mugabe 'wins' one-man runoff; re-inaugurated with unprecedented speed

Bob Mugabe will soon be inaugurated for another term as dictator of Zimbabwe... this despite the fact that official election results from Friday's sham poll haven't yet been published.

Re-Liberation leader Morgan Tsvangarai won a clear majority in March's first round before massive theft by the Mugabe regime. Tsvangarai's win was so crushing that even after weeks of the regime rigging his tally down to 48 percent, he still beat Mugabe in the "official" results.

Tsvangarai withdrew from the runoff because a massive pro-Mugabe campaign of violence and murder against opposition supporters and neutrals. Mugabe promised to crush the Re-Liberation struggle by all means necessary... and has tried to keep that promise. Zimbabwean women have even been raped for opposing Mugabe.

In the first round, it took nearly a month of government thieving before results could be published. Yet, Mugabe will be inaugurated a mere day and a half after the end of the second round.

The reason for the haste to enshrine Mugabe's theft into pseudo-legality is not simply to snub the international community but to allow the tyrant to travel to Egypt for tomorrow's opening of the annual African Union summit in Cairo.

This process will certainly please Mugabe's chief apologist, South African president Thabo Mbeki. The UN Security Council condemned the polls in Zimbabwe, saying that it would be "impossible for a free and fair election to take place."

14 of the 15 Security Council members had wanted to properly condemn the election as "illegitimate." But this was blocked by South Africa.

But Mbeki's appeasement of warlord Mugabe has met with sharp criticism, not only internationally but within southern Africa as well.

Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia have harshly condemned the repeated detention of Zimbabwean opposition leaders during the campaign, as well as the violence against opposition supporters.

Even within South Africa itself, there are many voices of opposition to Mbeki and Mugabe. Including from Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Jacob Zuma, president of Mbeki's ANC party, has called for intervention from the United Nations and the regional Southern African Development Community. The influential trade union COSATU, a key pillar of ANC support, has demanded international isolation of Mugabe.

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