Zimbabwe goes to the
polls on March 31, amid claims that the elections will not be free and fair.
The campaign has been less violent than that of 2002, but opposition
candidates say they still face harassment.
President Robert Mugabe has accused his opponents of being western stooges,
and says this will be an "anti-Blair election."
If his Zanu-PF party wins a two-thirds majority, it will be able to change
Can the election be free and fair? Will Zanu-PF get a two-thirds majority?
If you're in Zimbabwe, send us your impressions of the campaign and the voting.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so
How can anyone consider
the elections fair when the very people within the country who do not support
Mugabe and his policies are apathetic with even registering or showing up at the
polls. Obviously the bravest opposition supporters will end up showing up, and
the overwhelming majority will be Zanu die-hards who have as narrow a vision of
the future as Mugabe does, and additionally they are the only ones who feel safe
in openly revealing their affiliation. This is another farce of an
Mike Moyo, Zimbabwean in MN, USA
Why is it always that, the so-called "West" is always waiting to see Africa
fail. Will Zimbabwe's elections be fair? Is it always so 'fair' in your
Mugabe is a scar on the face of Zimbabwe. He is opposed to democratic means
and will do anything to get his own way. He is not fit to lead a country if he
doesn't give a damn about its people. The sooner this man is removed from power
the better. Why can't Bush issue a warning like he did with troops in Beirut -
oh, maybe there is no financial gains for him here.
Fair elections in an autocratic government? You have to be kidding to ask.
The old man has failed the country with his incompetence and corruption, and he
is too proud to admit it. Rhodesia used to be bad, but this regime is even
worse. It is time for change. Its neighbours and the rest of the world should
demand change for the good of Zimbabwe's people.
Ian Yee, Austin, Texas
The events in Zimbabwe show how far we in Southern Africa are from
stabilising a region still recovering from decades of oppression and its
consequential apathy. The fact that the international community (including South
Africa) can stand on the fence whilst turning their back on such gross human
rights violations and political dysfunction truly displays how much further
Africa has to trudge, and how imperative it is for the global community to walk
besides her. Having personally seen how far my country has travelled in the past
decade, only now to witness such injustice taking place on our border, leaves me
Gavin Silber, Cape Town, South Africa
this a serious question? And where are Blair and Bush bringing freedom from
thuggery, intimidation, killing, deliberate starvation. As long as Mugabe
doesn't start building WMD with western supplied materials, he's
Michael, London, UK
Mr Mugabe has been running elections (and influencing their outcomes) for a
quarter of a century. I see no signs that he has become a reformed character, so
the answer must be a resounding no, Zimbabwe's elections will not be
When will Africa be free from this shame of sit-tight rulers. Someone
misruling his people for 25 years and still contesting in a charade called
election is beyond description. I am not a Zimbabwean but you need no prophet to
tell you that Mugabe will win again so that he would die in office like his
compatriots like Mobutu, Enyadema and maybe, Ghadaffi. It is quite appalling
that this is happening in the 21st century. Lack of credible opposition due to
lack of political education is the albatross of my people. I am
Akinbode, Onitsha, Nigeria
"Free and fair" politics is an empty phrase when one of the major issues in
Africa continues to be a growing racism that seeks to pit black against white
instead of seeking cooperative progress. They apparently fail to realize that
they threaten to seriously harm social, technical and economic progress in
John Holmes, Canada
It is difficult to answer the question of whether Zimbabwe's election will be
'free and fair' or not. This is because, anything short of victory for the
opposition MDC is unacceptable to Britain and its Western Allies. Even if the
best satellite in the world showed a massive victory for Zanu-PF, the MDC and
the West will say it was rigged. So at the end of the day, free and fair has a
new definition - 'what the West wants', and Africa is paying heavily for this
western hypocrisy, because in defiance, most Africans will prefer to vote a bad
nationalist ruler than a western puppet. I certainly see Zanu-PF having a
landslide victory, for just one reason, lack of a true Zimbabwean opposition
Chidi Nwamadi, Toulouse, France
I think President Robert Mugabe is a courageous man for fighting for the
common man if only other African statesman did the same. Its about time the
indigenous people were given the establishments used during colonial rule, long
live President Robert Mugabe !
Kime Dashol, Gaborone, Botswana
Elections can never be considered free if those outside the country are
denied the vote. However, despite the massive machinery that Zanu-PF has,
including abuse of state resources, TV, radio and the print media the majority
of Zimbabwe will surely vote to prevent Zanu-PF gaining the 2/3 majority it
needs to temper with the constitution. The reason is simple, Zimbabweans are an
educated lot and you cannot continue to lie to them. They know the source of
their problems. Zanu-PF leaders still assume that there are addressing the same
audience of the 1970s yet this is the 21st century!