The original URL of this article is:
Sloppy Criticisms of Zimbabwe Elections
April 03, 2005
Updated: April 05, 2005
We must first keep in mind that the ongoing U.S./European attempt to demonize President Robert Mugabe is not just about Zimbabwe or President Robert Mugabe, but it is also a campaign that attempts to ensure all efforts to correct colonial wrongs in the interest of blacks will not succeed. They fear that if the campaign to return lands to indigenous Africans in Zimbabwe is allowed to succeed, then other African nations will follow suit. They are waging the same type of demonizing campaign on President Aristide of Haiti, President Chavez of Venezuela and other African countries. Intense 'white' media and political campaigns always tie back to the command or acquisition of the resources of non-white people.
Most of the U.S./European critics of President Robert Mugabe are not able to see what is taking place on the ground, and they are of the racist view that African nations cannot monitor other African nations. In their view, African nations need the U.S. and/or European powers to validate their political process, although the U.S. and Europe's election processes have proven to be corrupt.
They are using the structural deficiencies that most politicians usually exploit in all so-called democratic countries, as an excuse to demonize President Robert Mugabe. The same 'democratic deficient structure' exists in the U.S. The state media is usually dominated by the party in power, while they all seek the interest of their investors. Members from their party are appointed to the best government jobs. Bush and Blair are leaders in these type of party politics. The ruling party and opposition use scare tactics compounded by inflammatory statements.
However, recent news reports about elections in the U.S. and Britain show extreme levels of fraud that rule them out as role models for anyone. The leaders of these countries do not criticize each other over their election fraud, which leads one to conclude that the extreme criticisms they level at President Mugabe are laced with racism.
British Councillors guilty of postal votes fraud
April 05, 2005 - independent.co.uk
"Richard Mawrey QC, sitting as an electoral commissioner in Birmingham, found "overwhelming" evidence of fraud in last year's city council elections that would "disgrace a banana republic". The judge's comments yesterday, a day before the expected announcement by Tony Blair of a 5 May general election..."
Analysis Points to [U.S.] Election 'Corruption'
U.S. Presidents have used 'popular wars' sold to an unwitting public to increase their electability. The United States of America holds the record when it comes to political scare tactics to further their agendas. There have never been free and fair elections in the United States of America, with its controlled and manipulative media, together with the high cost of campaigning that makes it unfairly difficult for the best and brightest to ever be elected to leadership.
April 1, 2005 by the Akron Beacon Journal
There's a one-in-959,000 chance that exit polls could have been so wrong in predicting the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, according to a statistical analysis released Thursday. Instead, the data support the idea that "corruption of the vote count occurred more freely in districts that were overwhelmingly Bush strongholds."
(See: A trip down memory lane, U.S. Vote Fraud 2000 and U.S. Vote Fraud 2004)
The U.S. and U.K. are the world's leaders in manipulating 'democracies', so it is extremely hypocritical for them to criticise President Robert Mugabe for working the system in his favour. The western dominant idea of democracy, often being emulated or forced on nations, does not serve the best interest of the majority of people. What takes place in Zimbabwe cannot be viewed as either unique or exclusive to Zimbabwe.
In an Interview on Democracy Now, Margaret Lee made some good points, but her criticism of the politics in Zimbabwe, under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe, can apply to any number of countries and leaders who have embraced the capitalistic idea of Democracy. They are ALL shams. Margaret Lee gave the impression that these problems are exclusive to Zimbabwe, by her not clearly stating these same flaws exist in most, if not all, 'democratic' countries.
I will use one paragraph taken from an interview on Democracy Now to show this:
"MARGARET LEE: First of all, thank you, Amy, for inviting me to participate in this very important discussion. I was recently in Zimbabwe. I have to admit that I was not able to observe the elections. I was recently in Zimbabwe at the end of January and I have followed the Zimbabwe situation for two decades now. While I think that we do have some semblance of democracy in Zimbabwe, I think that one has to give perhaps a more objective overview of the situation. I mean, we know that since independence in 1980, that the Zanu PF has made it very clear that it has no intentions of giving up power to any form of opposition. So if you look at the history of Zimbabwe, the opposition movements that have come into existence have always been marginalized by Zanu PF."
She says: "While I think that we do have some semblance of democracy in Zimbabwe..." This statement should be applied to a whole host of countries, including all European countries and the United States of America.
Margaret Lee's next statement reveals the lack of depth in her analysis. She said: "I mean, we know that since independence in 1980, that the Zanu PF has made it very clear that it has no intentions of giving up power to any form of opposition." Which political party in the world gets into power with the intention of giving up power to the opposition? It just does not happen. That statement should be a general one that applies to the adversarial nature of politics under the sham of democracy the world over. It does not apply exclusively to Zimbabwe, the Zanu PF and/or President Robert Mugabe.
She says: "So if you look at the history of Zimbabwe, the opposition movements that have come into existence have always been marginalized by Zanu PF." Well she should give us an example of a democracy where the party in power does not marginalize the opposition, except when forming coalition governments as the result of political parties involved not winning a sufficient majority to govern.
Margaret Lee's criticism of politics under Mugabe should apply to the very nature of these 'democratic' political systems in general, and not try to make them appear as some flaws that are exclusive to Zimbabwe, the Zanu PF and/or President Robert Mugabe. She does not give a criticism of the Zanu PF and/or Robert Mugabe as flaws in the system exclusive to what is taking place in Zimbabwe. Like most people, she faults President Robert Mugabe and levels criticisms at the opposition to give an appearance of balance, but in reality her fault should be with the very nature of what passes for democracy the world over.
There should be change in the political system in Zimbabwe, just like the political systems in the United States of America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Caribbbean. They all have the same inherent flaws, generated by poor ideas of 'democracy'.
Let us examine some regular criticisms
"The land redistribution talk and food distribution in the rural areas is more about maintaining his hold on power than supporting the good of the people in his country."
Many critics of Mugabe claimed that he did not initiate the move to invade White occupied farms. They say that he jumped on the bandwagon to politically save himself.
Here is a quote from Masimba Musodza who claims to be from Zimbabwe, and is also a fierce critic of President Mugabe.
"You are also under the impression that the Land Seizures were initiated by Mugabe. If you did your reseacrh, you wil find that it was the Svosve peasants who got tired of the previous system, and moved on to a white man's farm. Mugabe's government sent the police after them. It was only a couple years later- as discontent over the mismanagement of the country intensified that he then repainted himself as the champion of Land reform." (sic)
In saying this they are unwittingly saying that President Robert Mugabe was not responsible for initiating violence to reclaim the lands. Indigenous Zimbabweans were invading the farms, and President Robert Mugabe had a choice. He could have continued to used the army and police to control the situation, and maybe shoot and/or arrest many indigenous Africans, or he could have agreed with them in principle, and take the process under government control. It would have been political suicide for him to have caused the killing and/or mass arrest of indigenous Zimbabweans over this issue. By supporting the indigenous Africans and bringing the process of reclaiming lands under a legal framework, many lives were saved while he also gained popular support. In the west these moves are praised as being politically astute. But in the atmosphere surrounding President Mugabe, from his many white controlled critics, using the better of the choices available to him, is being portrayed as a genocidal act.
While politically expedient, it was/is also in the interest of the poor people for 'President Robert Mugabe' to distribute food in rural areas. The MDC was already calling on the U.S. and European countries to apply sanctions to Zimbabwe. Sanctions result in more shortages, but since the MDC is financed by wealthy White farm occupiers and other European interests they would not have been immediately affected by these food shortages. Now why would they be first in line for handouts when food became scarce? However, "Mdladlana says the South African Observer Mission could not verify the truthfulness of allegations regarding ZANU-PF's usage of food as a political tool although they had received the complaints." - post.co.zm
Another criticism is:
"The land issues should have been adressed twenty five years ago, instead of now when it is more of a ploy for political capital."
When people make this statement they are partially correct. However, they usually disregard several factors. I will quote Gregory Elich for a clearer perspective.
"When it was clear that the apartheid Rhodesian government could not long remain in power, the Lancaster House Conference was convened in 1979. Land was the core issue for the liberation struggle, and British and American negotiators ensured that independence would not be granted without the imposition of certain conditions. One provision stipulated that for a period of 10 years, land ownership in Zimbabwe could only be transferred on a "willing seller, willing buyer" basis, which effectively limited the extent of land reform. Whites were also allotted a parliamentary quota of 20 seats, far exceeding their actual percentage of the population."
Attention should be paid to the conditions set down by the British and American negotiators at the Lancaster House Conference.
"Passage of the Land Acquisition Act in 1992 finally permitted a more flexible approach to land reform, but progress continued to be constrained by outside pressure. Despite real progress, by the time the latest round of land reform was launched, 70 percent of the richest and most productive land still remained in the hands of a mere 4,500 white commercial farm owners."
Remember, Zimbabwe was also quite actively supporting the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. It would have been difficult to be dealing with South African Apartheid, while at the same time taking on a fight with England and the U.S. over the pace of Land Reform.
South Africa during the Apartheid System:
"The Republic of South Africa has carried on a war of destabilization against pretty much each of its neighbors since the 1970's. Sometimes this has taken the form of bona fide invasions: air strikes have been launched against Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe - basically, every neighboring country - in each case without provocation. Most often, South Africa's wars are carried out through terrorist attacks intended to impair the ability of elected governments to maintain order."
Read the entire article, Zimbabwe Under Siege, for information regarding what transpired with the IMF. I am also quoting from an earlier article I wrote on this issue.
"Zimbabwe's government felt it could no longer continue haggling over land reform, and nearing the end of the 1990's, they started moving away from the Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), which was not adequately addressing the issues of land reform. In October 2001 Mugabe abandoned the ESAP.
The claim that Mugabe did nothing for 20 years is usually made without reference to the Independence agreement that placed restraints on what Mugabe and his government could have done for the first 10 years. It also neglects the years of trying to get the European powers to honor their agreement.
'This time, Bob, it's personal'
Another common criticism is:
February 22, 2002
In the name of 'defending democracy', members of the international community have interfered extensively in Zimbabwe's affairs in recent years.
-- Since November 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has implemented undeclared sanctions by warning off potential investors, freezing loans and refusing negotiations on debt.
-- In September 1999, the IMF suspended its support for economic adjustment and reform in Zimbabwe.
-- In October 1999, the International Development Association (IDA, a multilateral development bank) suspended all structural adjustment loans, credits, and guarantees to Zimbabwe's government.
-- In May 2000, the IDA suspended all other new lending to the government.
-- In September 2000, the IDA suspended disbursement of funds for ongoing projects under previously approved loans, credits, and guarantees.
-- In April 2000, the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust was established by mainly white Zimbabwean commercial figures, British ex-foreign ministers and former US assistant secretary of state for Africa, Chester Crocker. The trust's stated objectives are 'to help the democratic will of the people flourish' (1) - but several of its patrons have substantial commercial interests in Zimbabwe. Crocker is a director of Ashanti Goldfields which owns Zimbabwe's largest gold mine, and Sir John Collins, the driving force behind the trust, is the Zimbabwean chairman of National Power, a British company with a US$1.5 billion contract to develop a power station in the country.
"Zimbabweans who are getting the confiscated agricultural lands do not know about commercial farming. These African farmers do not have seeds and fertilizers. The Zimbabwean government is giving farms to their own cronies."
Again, if we acknowledge President Mugabe came on board the recent seizure of lands occupied by white farmers, after indigenous Africans were invading farms, it becomes clear there was little time to prepare for this course of action. In addition, the US and England were already applying economic pressure on Zimbabwe after the government started moving away from the neo-liberal program, which, according to Gregory Elich, "only benefited a privileged minority at the expense of the underprivileged majority". More on this can be found in the article,
Zimbabwe Under Siege
Here we have a situation where indigenous Blacks favored seizing the lands from white occupiers, and the white occupiers aligning with the opposition party, the MDC. In this situation the only people who could have been trusted were the supporters of the movement to reclaim the land. While it is understandable that the white farmers had indigenous Africans who were either former employees or sympathizers, it certainly is not practical that the people who opposed the reclamation of the lands be the first to acquire it.
(Check the Zimbabwe Land Issue Fact sheet for more details.)
They claim the shortage of food in Zimbabwe is due to the farm seizures, however this is not the entire story. Many regions in Africa, including Zimbabwe, were experiencing a drought, and that was also responsible for low food production. Most of the White farmers in Zimbabwe grew tobacco while peasant farmers grow about 70% of the maize used in Zimbabwe.
"Much of Zimbabwe's most fertile land is used to grow not necessities for the hungry, but luxuries for the sated: mange tout, radicchio, french beans and tobacco."
(Also read: Famine in southern Africa - guardian.co.uk,
and Zimbabwe presses land distribution - un.org)
Examining Other News Reports
Observers back Mugabe party's win
news.bbc.co.uk - April 04, 2005
"Critics accuse him of wanting to pack the chamber with his own supporters to extend his influence after he retires."
Do they expect him to pack the chamber with opposition members? In which 'democracy' in the world does the winning party promote the opposition?
Rice Says Zimbabwe Vote Unfair, Not Free
www.guardian.co.uk - April 02, 2005
"Parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe were neither free nor fair, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday. She called on the government to abandon policies designed to "repress, crush and otherwise stifle expressions of differences."
Condoleezza Rice should be an expert in these matters. She is part of a government that has been accused of rigging elections twice, and using extreme measures to deny Blacks from voting. Of course she is so elated to be close to her husb--, sorry, I mean President Bush, that she will say anything.
With party win, Mugabe's grip on Zimbabwe tightens
www.csmonitor.com - April 04, 2005
"Last week's elections - endorsed by regional leaders but which critics say was manipulated - emasculated the strongest opposition party in Southern Africa and gave Mr. Mugabe unchecked control over this nation of 12 million."
The critics are mostly the U.S. and European nations in cahoots with pro-apartheid groups. The statement about President Mugabe having "unchecked control over this nation of 12 million", is deliberately inflammatory. 'Unchecked control' can be said for any number of countries, especially the United States of America, but less so for Zimbabwe given the intensity of the U.S. and European anti-Mugabe campaign, and economic hardship which they are complicit in placing on Zimbabwe. In an interview on Democracy Now, Omawale Clay said:
Chester Crocker, the [U.S.] Assistant Secretary of State of African Affairs when they were passing the Zimbabwe Democracy Act, one of the points he made to the Senators in testimony, and you can go to the testimony, so it is not something that's in my head, you can go to the testimony, he said, "To separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu PF we are going to have to make their economy scream, and I hope you Senators have the stomach for what you have to do."
Zimbabwe opposition demands fresh elections
www.ctv.ca - April 03, 2005
"The opposition Movement for Democratic Change maintained it had won 94 seats, rather than the 41 announced by the electoral commission. MDC officials did not specify how their figure was reached."
The MDC is obviously lying, and playing for the attention of the U.S. and European opposition to Mugabe. There is no way they could have won anywhere close to 94 seats given the widespread distrust Zimbabweans have for them. In the interview with Democracy Now, Margaret Lee said:
"The reason that I started by raising questions about the legitimacy of the MDC is to lay the foundation for the possibility that at this time many individuals, given the fact that the MDC has compromised itself so much, do not necessarily see the MDC as an alternative to Zanu PF"
Call for Tsvangirai to resign after poll
"Now one of the problems right now, I think, in the country with respect to the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change is that just like many other opposition movements, it has compromised itself. So one of the things that was very clear when I was in Zimbabwe in January was that there was not the same level of fear about the MDC that existed at the end of 1999 going into the elections of 2000. When I say compromised itself, specifically it aligned itself with the white farmers, many of the white farmers who had a vested interest in making sure that the land was not returned to the indigenous African population. It aligned itself with many individuals in South Africa that were not deemed to be pro-post-apartheid South Africa. It even aligned itself with RENAMO in Mozambique and that was the so-called liberation movement that was involved in incredible atrocities against the indigenous population in Mozambique. So there exist a lot of problems within the MDC. So I cannot honestly say to you that the election was compromised at this point."
news.independent.co.uk - April 05, 2005
"Zimbabwe's main opposition party is in crisis as the fallout from a heavy, if disputed, election defeat at the hands of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF turned to criticism of its campaign and tactics. Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is expected to face calls to stand down in favour of its spokesman, Welshman Ncube.
As with all nations, the local citizens would be more in tune with the day-to-day reality of Zimbabwe's problems as well as President Robert Mugabe's leadership; however from an international standpoint, the U.S. and Europe are actively pursuing a clear agenda. They want to ensure that the resources that were stolen by whites remain in the hands of whites, and any idea of a successful Black Revolution is stamped out.
Instead of harnessing popular support by presenting alternative policies, the MDC campaigned on an anti-Zanu-PF ticket. Consequently the opposition was perceived as a party of protest rather than a credible alternative. Its open-door approach to international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, did not play well with an electorate that has painful memories of the "structural adjustment" of the 1990s."
Back to Zimbabwe Watch