Scathing Report on Zimbabwe Election Debacle Puts Mbeki on the Defensive

via Scathing Report on Zimbabwe Election Debacle Puts Mbeki on the Defensive | Inter Press Service Dec 4 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 4 2014 (IPS) – (GIN) – A formerly classified report regarding allegations of voter fraud in Zimbabwe has raised uncomfortable questions for former President Thabo Mbeki about what he knew of problems with the last election of President Robert Mugabe, and when did he know it?.

An editorial in the widely-read local Mail & Guardian was blunt. “(Thabo) Mbeki chose to ignore the opinion of Judge Sisi Khampepe and Judge Dikgang Moseneke” whose report was released after a six year fight and multimillion-rand court battle under three presidents.

The judges found out what many suspected, the paper said. “The 2002 Zimbabwe election was not free and fair.”

In their 27-page report, the judges said the three-day voting process, excluding delays in two urban areas, met legislative requirements and was free of violence and/or apparent ballot tampering.

But they weighed this against pre-election intimidation and the deaths of 107 mainly opposition members and lengthy legal battles to change laws in favor of Zanu-PF, largely around citizenship. Polling stations were reduced in urban areas, they noted, where the opposition Movement for Democratic Change had its largest support base.

“The Khampepe report underscores Mbeki’s betrayal of our Constitution’s values,” the paper claimed in its lead editorial. “By trying to play God, he undermined the democratic will of Zimbabweans and helped to entrench a pattern of electoral violence and intimidation in subsequent polls.”

Mbeki responded with a strong denial of the charges.

“The self-righteous, misguided and insulting opinion of the Mail & Guardian is based on the disturbing failure by the newspaper to convey the truth about the basis of the decisions of the then South African government elections,” he wrote.

He confirmed that “various negative developments relating to the elections,” were observed by the South African Parliamentary Observer Mission (SAPOM) but they remained “a credible expression of the will of the people”.

The judges’ report – an advisory for the president – was classified “not to conceal from the public the content of such advice (but) to ensure that the quality of this advice is not compromised by fear or incentive that it might get into the public domain,” Mbeki said.

“We owe and will make no apology to anybody whatsoever both about resisting the publication of the Khampepe report. The vacuous pontifications of the M&G in this regard are nothing more than that.”

The editorial writers maintained their stance. “Our view is that the report raises questions about Mbeki’s credibility as a peace broker. He continues to be regarded as one of Africa’s elder statesmen and is currently the African Union mediator in Sudan.”

Reached for comment, opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai noted that South Africa’s endorsement of the polls carried extra weight – it was the decisive vote.

Mbeki was concerned not with democracy in Zimbabwe but only with stability, he said. “And if stability meant [President Robert] Mugabe remains in power, even by illegitimate means, then so be it.”


  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 7 years ago

    Before the 2002 elections I decided that, if they were rigged, I would leave my beloved homeland because I saw the beginning of the end and knew that I could not survive there. They were, and I did. Nothing can ever compensate me for being forced to emigrate but I relish every penny that the British Government now pays to support me. (Sadly it is really the British tax-payers who support me but I do not feel one iota of guilt. It is their misguided politicians who allowed our country to go to the baboons and crocodiles).

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    Much as I detest what Zanu has done to the our beloved Zim, talk of baboons and such is a reminder of what the previous incumbents thought of of the average Zimbo, nothing but a baboon.
    Calling people baboons is is synonymous to calling them kaff…rs and nig …nogs.
    All very detestable expressions and having no place in anyone’s vocabulary.

    • comment-avatar
      William Doctor 7 years ago

      @ Ngoto

      Angela’s comments equating Mugabe to a baboon has caused widespread offence among baboon troops. As a representative of baboons worldwide, we demand that Angela withdraw her comment, and apologise to the baboon community.

      William Doctor

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    Johann 7 years ago

    It is agreable one shouldn’t equate the leadership of Zimbabwe to Baboons and Crocodiles as perhaps this would be an insult to those animals?
    Perhaps we need to consider the report in respect to the fact that what the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa wanted was “one man one vote” otherwise known as “democracy” Mr Mbeki, himself a so called intellectual and one of those who was in the forefront of the negotiations which lead to the end of Apartheid used this argument that the peoples voice must be recognised. That he is unable to practise what he preaches suggests to me that he is no better than the worst of dictators because he has shown that apartheid is alive and well and not only about skin colour but political affiliation. The unfortunate thing for the black Africans is that they are now trapped by a leadership that claims to have liberated the people but this could not be further from the truth as evidenced by Mbekis failure to uphold the democratic vote.

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    The Black Aristocrat 7 years ago

    Mbiki is no more an intellectual than Disgrace Mugabe.

    He is a narcissistic little man with a hugely overinflated opinion of his own ability and self-importance.

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    Angela Wigmore 7 years ago

    @Ngoto Zimbwa: You’re being defensive about nothing. Baboons are well-known for stealing and I understand Munangagwa’s nickname is ‘Crocodile’. You have no idea how I treated my fellow black Zimbabweans – probably better than you – so do not presume to interpret my words!

    • comment-avatar

      @ Angela Wigmore “You have no idea how I treated my fellow black Zimbabweans”.

      Need I say more?
      Statement speaks volumes.
      You in the Medical Profession or something?

      ZANU is nasty, period .
      Bigoted Rhodies are just as nasty.

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    ntaba 7 years ago

    Zanu very cunningly targeted white persons and farmers whom had a great respect for human rights, the rule of law and their staff – as a Zanu priority – because Zanu wanted to cause issues in these areas. Roy Bennett, Iain Kay and the likes were all early Zanu targets in the evil Zanu process.
    Indeed Zanu actually said that “the people must vote for a baboon if Zanu puts forward a baboon as the Zanu candidate.” This appears to be Zanu policy? Zanu (Mugabe) detained their own kith and kin in Mozambique like Wilfred Mhanda. After the Matableleland genocide – I wonder how much more evidence is required?

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    mangwiro 7 years ago

    Mbeki himself is a dictator. He likes hearing himself an aids denialist who allowed thousands of his own people to die under his watch. How do you expect such a person to feel for Zimboz. He thinks he’s the most important important gift to mankind. That’s why he wanted to be the God father of the ANC. Unfortunately the likes of him are plenty amongst us. Nothing wrong with cigars bt….

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    If being called a baboon to one’s face is nothing, then so be it, Ms Wigmore.

    Anyway, Mbeki is a jack ass and he was never going to be anything else but defensive on the Zim issue.

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    Malcolm 7 years ago

    Jeez, so many in this thread need to grow up. What’s in a colloquialism? If baboons and crocodiles were fauna of UK we’d have incorporated them into a common saying – instead we just have to make do with the expression that the country has ‘gone to the dogs.’ Quid pro quo, people!

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    There is colloquialism and then there is colloquialism, Malcom.

    In the UK, “monkey-chanting” has become the pastime of the neanderthal football spectator.

  • comment-avatar
    Malcolm 7 years ago

    @ Ngoto Zimbwa – pleased to see you stepping forward as one who needs to grow up. When you do, you might find better things in life to get your knickers in a twist about and not make feeble attempts to display your chip on your shoulder via your outmoded global debates on racialism. I am amused by your intentional derogatory use of the word ‘Neanderthal'(ie European ancestral forebear, cf Neander valley, Germany). Considering that your type are wont to gleefully adhere to the genealogical notion that Africa is the birthplace of all humanity, it argues that racism has similar inherent divisive roots; you prove the point.

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    @ Malcom – “Considering that your type are wont to gleefully adhere to the genealogical notion that Africa is the birthplace of all humanity, it argues that racism has similar inherent divisive roots; you prove the point.”

    The oldest remains of mankind have been found in Ethiopia dating back 4.4 million years.

    Maybe, you need to consult Prof Roberts on your thesis, Malcom.
    You are coming a bit short here.

    As for the chip on my shoulder, someone put it there but heck, they won’t own up!

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    Malcolm 7 years ago

    @ Ngoto – then you agree that the Recent African Origin (RAO) model persists.

    Small points of distinctive correction
    1. There are no HUMANLIKE fossils older than 4.4 million years
    2. Lucy,an early HOMINID ancestor was found in 1974 near Hadar, Ethiopia. and lived about 3.18 million years ago.
    3. 160,000-year-old fossilized skulls uncovered in Ethiopia are oldest anatomically MODERN humans
    4. If you refer to Prof Alice Roberts, with all due respects she is not considered in the forefront of human evolution research.
    5. The chip on your shoulder is not someone elses’ fault- it’s yours for keeping it there and not brushing it off.