Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mugabe Plot to Steal Zimbabwe Election

What follows below is a very interesting article about a plot by current Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to steal the rig the elections. The article claims that ZANU-PF were shocked to find MDC overwhelmingly being supported by the Zimbabwe populace. Instead of backing out and beginning a government transition, they either opted to enforce military rule or assert martial law. It was then decided to trickle down votes to show MDC in lead, but as time wore on have ZANU-PF and Mugabe suddenly win the election.

This is an issue that is not peculiar to Zimbabwe, but as we seen earlier, to Kenya and Congo and other African nations. It comes from a lack of an institutionalized state and civil society. In industrialized states such as America and UK, win officials lose Presidential elections, there is not civil wars. The losing candidate continues to be Senator, Congressmen, etc or will run again following term. In Africa, it is not the case. Due to patronism or clientism, positions are granted due to loyalty to factions. This is very dangerous when certain factions instrumentalize violence or have a monopoly of it. Things can get quickly out of hand as we seen in Kenya and Congo. A more indepth analysis of African nation-states will be posted this weekend.


A crisis meeting of Robert Mugabe's security cabinet decided to block the opposition
from taking power after what appears to have been a comprehensive victory in Zimbabwe's elections but was divided between using a military takeover to annul the vote and falsifying the results.

Diplomatic and Zimbabwean sources who heard first-hand accounts of the Joint Operations Command meeting of senior military and intelligence officers and top party officials on Sunday night said Mugabe favoured immediately declaring himself president again but was persuaded to use the country's electoral commission to keep the opposition from power.

The commission began releasing a trickle of results yesterday, more than 36 hours after the polls closed, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change said it believed the count was being manipulated.

Nonetheless, the first results, for 52 seats in the lower house of parliament, cost Mugabe one of his closest allies with the defeat of the justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, whom the MDC has accused of abusing the law to persecute the ruling Zanu-PF party's opponents. Other cabinet ministers are also believed to have lost their seats.

However, the few parliamentary results offered no guide to the outcome of the presidential race. Independent monitors collating the count from polling booth returns say the MDC presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won about 55% of the vote and Mugabe 38%. The MDC also gained control of both houses of parliament, according to the monitors.

The MDC said the slow pace of releasing vote tallies - likely to take days at the present rate - was further reason to suspect they were being tampered with.

Sources with knowledge of the JOC meeting said the Zanu-PF leadership was "in shock" after it was informed of the scale of the victory of the MDC's presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.

A senior diplomatic source who received accounts from two people privy to the JOC meeting said it discussed shutting down the count and Mugabe declaring himself re-elected or the army stepping in to declare martial law on the pretext of defending the country from instability caused by the opposition claiming victory.

"In the JOC meeting there were two options for Mugabe: to declare victory on Sunday or declare martial law," said the diplomat. "They did not consider conceding. We understand Mugabe nearly decided to declare victory. Cooler heads prevailed. It was decided to use the [election commission] process of drip, drip where you release results over a long period, giving the opposition gains at first but as time wears on Zanu-PF pulls ahead."

Another source said that some JOC members favoured a less hardline approach by reaching out to the opposition but were overruled.

If the government does attempt to fix the result it will not go unchallenged. The election commission will have to substantially alter a large number of polling booth returns in order to overturn Tsvangirai's significant lead. But the MDC has photographed results declarations pinned to the doors of more than 8,000 polling stations. If the numbers announced by the election commission are different, the party says it will have indisputable evidence of fraud.

"Unlike previous elections no one can privatise the result as it is posted outside the stations," said the MDC's secretary general, Tendai Biti. "This country stands on a precipice. We still express our great misgivings about [the election commission's] failure to announce the results. It raises tension among the people that is fertilising an atmosphere of suspicion."

The opposition is attempting to reach out to the military. A senior MDC source said Tsvangirai has approached the former army chief, Solomon Mujuru, to reassure the military that it has nothing to fear from a transition of power and to ask what its concerns are so they can be addressed.

Mujuru is widely respected in the military but is treated with suspicion by Mugabe and other Zanu-PF hardliners after being tied to the presidential campaign of Simba Makoni, the Zanu-PF dissident who has done poorly in the election. Mujuru has yet to respond to Tsvangirai.

International pressure on Mugabe to respect the result is growing. Britain has little influence over Zimbabwe but the foreign secretary, David Miliband, said he and Gordon Brown will be speaking to other African leaders about the situation. They can be expected to urge South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, in particular to pressure Mugabe to recognise defeat.



Renegade Eye said...

Something like this happened also in Pakistan. Where my comrades ran for office, they stopped the count, and declared the opposition the winners.

blackstone said...

O really?I think this is more usual than BBC or Reuters may like to portray. Hell, remember the US 2000 elections? Straight stolen. I'm still t'd over that

muslimahlocs said...

unfortunately, i am less than optimistic about either outcome.

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