Editorials 5.8.2013 04:30 am

Despicable for JZ to congratulate Bob Mugabe

Too many South Africans misdirect blame for Zimbabwe’s electoral woes. For example, Zimbabweans themselves are blamed for not taking to the streets in large numbers, as happened in Egypt.

Alternatively Morgan Tsvangirai is blamed for several reasons, including being a womaniser, as if that’s an impediment to electoral success in this part of the world. The claim is made that Tsvangirai has been outmanoeuvered by Robert Mugabe, who has just “won” another term as president. In fact democracy in Zimbabwe has been consistently undermined by the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In these organisations no one has been more complicit in Zimbabwe’s enduring misery than South African presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma.

Mbeki connived in Mugabe’s 2002 stolen election by, among other things, suppressing a report detailing irregularities. After Tsvangirai won the 2008 presidential election, Mbeki concocted a scheme which kept Mugabe in power. He did so by strong-arming Tsvangirai into signing a so-called Global Political Agreement.

Zuma knew last week’s elections were severely compromised by a laughable voters’ roll, an uneven media playing field, and much more. It is simply not possible for Zimbabwe to have more than 100 000 people aged more than 100. How could a million dead people be eligible to vote? Almost a million were able to vote more than once, and so on.

These details are well known. In such circumstances it was despicable for Zuma yesterday to extend “his profound congratulations to HE (his excellency) President Robert G Mugabe on his re-election as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the successful harmonised elections”.

Whatever the weaknesses of Tsvangirai and downtrodden Zimbabweans, Mugabe would not be able to steal elections without Zuma’s support.

 

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