March 17, 2002 |
President Robert Mugabe's reelection in Zimbabwe last weekend was as crooked as they come. Mugabe's party threatened the opposition, jailed poll watchers, and excluded thousands of voters by dramatically reducing the polling places in opposition strongholds. The fraud was obvious to hundreds of foreign observers and millions of Zimbabweans. But most African nations sent warm congratulatory messages to Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, after Mugabe was declared the victor. "It is clear that the people of Zimbabwe have spoken with an unambiguous voice on their choice of leader," the Namibian Foreign Ministry said.
March 13, 2002 |
Two years ago, my family received the first e-mails from my African relatives describing the campaign of terror ordered by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. After 20 years of uncontested power, Mugabe was given a parliamentary defeat from Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition party in February 2000. Mugabe has been running scared since. As the Zimbabwean elections draw forward (Mugabe was reported ahead in early returns), the media have focused on his Zanu-PF party and its often violent efforts to ensure a victory for the increasingly unpopular government.
March 10, 2002 |
Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, once a respected African liberation hero, has gambled everything - including his country's economy and his place in history - on presidential elections this weekend. The 78-year-old Mugabe, leader of what was for the two decades following its independence one of Africa's most advanced countries, has resorted to increasingly despotic tactics to remain in power. State-sanctioned thugs have killed and beaten political opponents. The government has shackled the news media, turned away most election observers, and ignored court orders to curb its behavior.
March 6, 2002 |
A dramatic election will take place in Zimbabwe this weekend that will provide a barometer of democracy's future in Africa. Robert Mugabe, a once-revered leader who has deteriorated over a 22-year rule into a power-hungry tyrant, faces trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai and an opposition that wants to revive Zimbabwe's lost prosperity and battered democracy. But Mugabe's thugs are ratcheting up political violence as the election approaches, beating and killing opposition supporters and attacking the independent media.
August 17, 2000 |
Zimbabwe's parliament, long regarded as a sleepy outpost during years of virtual one-party rule, has suddenly become a lively center of debate since an opposition party entered the chamber this month. The staid, subservient parliament was transformed by June elections in which opponents of President Robert Mugabe won 58 of the 150 seats in the House of Assembly. When the new members took their seats this month, they immediately took the impertinent step of proposing laws. They urged a rewriting of the constitution, and one member even called on Mugabe to resign.
August 7, 2000 |
Paul Stidolph thought his farm would be peaceful by now, more than a month after Zimbabwe's tumultuous parliamentary elections. But on Wednesday, after Stidolph shut his tobacco and livestock farm to heed a one-day national strike to protest continuing farm violence, the 56-year-old farmer found himself face-to-face with a mob of angry supporters of President Robert Mugabe. Armed with clubs, crossbows and sharpened bicycle spokes, the 50 militants led by veterans of Zimbabwe's black liberation war demanded Stidolph get back to work or turn over the half of the farm they did not already occupy.
June 29, 2000
Some of sub-Saharan Africa's most hopeful news in a long while occurred this week. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Zimbabwe came close to winning a parliamentary majority despite a campaign of murder and intimidation by the ruling ZANU-PF party, led by President Robert Mugabe. Public frustration with the wreckage of a once-prosperous economy, and Mr. Mugabe's dispatch of a costly force of 11,000 soldiers to fight in Congo's civil war, led ordinary people to defy ZANU-PF thugs.
June 28, 2000 |
Peace reigned yesterday in Zimbabwe after a bruising parliamentary election that inflicted the first serious setback to President Robert Mugabe's absolute authority since he took power two decades ago. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change won more than a third of the seats in parliament despite a widespread intimidation campaign condoned by Mugabe. It was the first real electoral contest in the nation since independence in 1980 and an important test case for Africa, where multiparty democracy is fragile.
June 27, 2000 |
Ecstatic challengers to President Robert Mugabe celebrated yesterday, sensing a dramatic political shift in the making as Zimbabwe's opposition made major gains in parliamentary balloting. With results in 100 of 120 parliamentary districts announced, the Movement for Democratic Change had won 48 seats and Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front had won 51, officials said. A small independent party had won one seat. The results mean that the opposition, despite widespread violence and intimidation, will have a significant presence in Zimbabwe's 150-seat parliament.
June 26, 2000 |
Zimbabwe settled back yesterday to wait anxiously for the outcome and the aftermath of two days of voting in the nation's most momentous elections in 20 years of independence. Election observers reported an impressive turnout of the nation's 5.1 million voters, who cast their ballots despite months of intimidation, violence and race-baiting, mostly by supporters of President Robert Mugabe. The first returns are expected late today. Yesterday, several hostile groups of militants from the ruling party patrolled farm areas north of the capital, Harare, shaking their fists at opposition supporters and international observers.