Mugabe's Mandate
...sound familiar?
By Jaime on 4/4/2005, 9:29pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Jaime)

The last three weeks have been saturated with Terri Schiavo / Pope's Death news. While the American Main Stream Media has been focused on these two stories an injustice to democracy is occuring on the other side of the world. Zimbabwe's "President" Robert Mugabe retained and strengthened his grip on power gaining 46 of 120 open parliamentary seats and appointing an additional 30.
His opposition rival, leaver of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai called the election a "disgusting, massive fraud"

Tsvangirai gave examples of discrepancies in a number of constituencies between the number of voters and the final tally announced in the election results. In particular in Manyame a 10,000 vote gap seemed to appear between the number of voters and the final result count.

Mugabe's family all won through in their constituencies his nephew Patrick Zhuwao, brother Leo, and mother Sabina Mugabe.[link]

Despite international scrutiny over the outcome of this "election" Mugabe seemed unfazed by his critics, laying out the political plans his newly gained mandate will allow him to push through.

Flexing his new political powers, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said yesterday he will use his party's new parliamentary majority to change the constitution and raise the number of legislative seats. [link]

In a post 9-11 / Iraqi Freedom world such an event would not stand, could not stand, should not stand with George Dubya Bush. Yet Mr. Democracy himself has been oddly silent in regards to the apparent steady repeal of Democracy in Zimbabwe. Dubya could not be taken away this weekend from his vacation clearing brush and chasing Arma-dillas with Barney to comment...he'd already broken into his free time to attend to the Schiavo matter.

Bush has had time to applaud Victor Yushchenko's victory as he met with the newly minted Ukranian President today. He also poked his nose in Lebanese affairs .

Yet very, very, quiet on Mugabe's election swindling. Mugabe has used many of the same fear mongering tactics and demagoguery as Bush is known for. Their media was also not so independent in its coverage of the election.

Traditional leaders threatened their subjects with eviction and sometimes unspecified action should they fail to vote for the ruling party...

"Opposition parties were not free to campaign in certain parts of the country as some of these areas were no go areas...

It also said that Zanu PF "monopolised access to both the print and electronic media". [link]

Mugabe seems to ape Bush's style. Intimidation, media control, false mandates and vote rigging; a more brutal riff off the American election template. When our foreign policy has been rhetorically pushed to 'freedom when we want it, where we want it, how we want it" a Democratic injustice in an African nation isn't worth the attention of steroids in Major League Baseball. Bush is on vacation while the media is out to lunch. It now seems democracy in Zimbabwe has gone the way of Terri Schiavo, the Pope, and Mark McGwire's legacy, yet one wouldn't notice these days.