Zimbabwe to vote: Bulky military presence and arrival of observers

30 Lug

July 31 in Zimbabwe will vote for the presidential election and once again, the President Robert Mugabe (33 years in power) is the favorite, despite being accused of being a bloodthirsty dictator and ruthless.

His opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, in 2008, it was leading in the first round of the presidential election, but was forced to retreat to the violence against his supporters. Mugabe’s approach to discredit Tsvangirai is to focus on the racial matrix, arguing that it would be a mistake to vote for a person who is in favor of whites and who thinks that there can be no development without them.

Immagine
(photo: Morgan Tsvangirai launches his election campaign)

The elections of 31th July are turning more and more in a battle between the people of Zimbabwe, who want to change, and the army deployed in defense of the status quo.

Active involvement of military

The military were involved in the election campaign in favor of Mugabe and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Do not forget that it is the military that contributed to his last victory in 2008.

Their bulky presence has created tensions inside the party, especially the Vice President Joice Mujuru has expressed his discomfort with the active role that the army commanders are playing in business ZANU-PF. Military leaders have come now to impose their candidates in the constituencies during the recent primary election.

With the elections to doors, some senior military commanders are becoming more explicit approach in favor of Mugabe. The chief of army staff, Martin Chedondo, said that the soldiers should rally around Mugabe and drive out the “few whites remained” In 2000 Mugabe began land reform and in a few months 4,000 white farmers, owners of 70% of the arable land, were violently expropriated of their farms. Since then, four-fifths of white farmers have left the country). Chedondo accused the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T) to be a supporter of the West and said that the future of Zimbabwe lies firmly in the hands of the army.

Military commanders have said that even if Tsvangirai wins the election, would be ready to lock and have promised to keep Mugabe and his party in power, even at the cost of deploying the military against the people.

Election Observers

In these days of regional and international election observers are deployed throughout the country to monitor the elections on July 31. There are at least 440 observers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The observers will be deployed in all 210 constituencies in the country to ensure that there is adequate coverage throughout the area.

Observers from SADC countries will interact with the mission of African Union (AU), led by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. The elections will be observed also by local civil society organizations and diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe.

The hope is that Zimbabweans can freely express their vote and there are no interferences such as conditional to the outcome of the election results, as clearly has already happened in 2008.

Original article by Italian language

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  1. Loreen 6 maggio 2014 a 18:36 #

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