Sunday, 20 July 2008

Mugabe Maintains Stranglehold on Zimbabwe

Written by  The New American

Robert MugabeOn June 22, Zimbabwean opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from his race to unseat dictator Robert Mugabe, who has terrorized Zimbabwe for more than two decades. After winning a narrow first electoral round against Mugabe, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change pressed on toward a runoff election, in the face of fierce intimidation by Mugabe’s army of thugs, who roamed the cities and countryside of Zimbabwe beating and killing MDC supporters.

In early June, the Mugabe regime suspended foreign aid activity, including food shipments for the impoverished, famine-ravaged country. Tsvangirai’s followers were then informed that they would not be given any food rations unless they surrendered their MDC voting cards.

Tsvangirai finally declared the election a farce and withdrew, citing the well-being of his supporters. On June 27, Mugabe was reelected by an overwhelming majority, although, according to some press reports, large numbers of voters deliberately defaced their ballots in anonymous displays of defiance.