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Friday, April 18, 2008

Three Weeks and Counting: Zimbabwe on the Brink

It has been three weeks since the elections in Zimbabwe and still the results are not in.

Zimbabwe’s election crisis continues, three weeks after a vote that seemingly brought an end to the rule of President Robert Mugabe. But official results of that election have still not been released, and election officials have announced plans for a recount of both the presidential and parliamentary votes in 23 districts. In a separate development, the Mugabe government has accused opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of treason, saying that he plotted with former colonial power Britain to force regime change in Zimbabwe.

There is a great line in the movie Blood Diamonds "this is Africa". What is currently happening in Zimbabwe represents that statement to a T. Much of this has to do with nothing more than political gamesmanship. Only in the United States, political gamesmanship involves legislative stunts and posturing. In Africa, it involves intimidation, mass arrests, and even murder.

Obviously, I can't get into anyone's head however here is what I surmise is going on. It appears that there will be a run off election between Mughabe and his opponent, Tsvangirari. A run off happens three weeks after election results are announced for an initial election. It appears that Mughabe is stalling and in the meantime he is strong arming and intimidating anyone he can so that the runoff go his way.

We have already heard about a mass raid of a hotel that held reporters in the immediate aftermath of the election. Furthermore, troops are storming the country trying to intimidate the citizenry.

Zimbabwean soldiers went house to house in a poor suburb of the capital Harare on Friday, beating up men and youths shortly before embattled President Robert Mugabe was due to give his first address to the nation since last month's elections.

What is happening is nothing short of a dictator imposing his will so that he sways the elections while the world watches. Like I said...this is Africa.

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