Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mbeki to meet Mugabe, Zuma doubts free vote

Zuma 2: 0 Mbeki

After scoring at Polokwane, the Zuma gravy express appears unstoppable.

What to make of Zuma? On the one hand we know he says what he thinks goes down well with the masses yet on the other hand, he sings about his machine gun and invites the support of the thugs on the left i.e. Cosatu, ANCYL and the Commies.

I think the man knows he is in the crapper and will say and do anything that keeps himself looking the full of moral beans of the two main SA leaders.

He knows criticising Mad Bob sits well with his supporters (mainly Cosatu) but I recall after the Zim election that he voiced his support for Mad Bob as well.

Keep an eye on LaZooma, he is bad news.

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South Africa's ruling ANC leader Jacob Zuma said he did not expect a free presidential election run-off in Zimbabwe ahead of a meeting on Wednesday between President Thabo Mbeki and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Zuma, who has taken a much tougher line on Zimbabwe than Mbeki, used his bluntest language to date on the election.

"I think we'll be lucky if we have a free election," Zuma told Reuters. When asked if he thought the vote would be fair, Zuma replied "I don't think so."

Mugabe faces opposition challenger Morgan Tsvangirai in the June 27 vote and the veteran president's supporters have been accused by the opposition, Western countries and human rights groups of a campaign of violence. Mugabe blames his opponents.

Mbeki has led regional mediation efforts in Zimbabwe and has drawn criticism for a diplomatic approach that has failed to end the crisis in the once prosperous country, where economic ruin has driven millions of people into neighbouring states.

Mbeki's spokesman said the South African president would meet Mugabe in Zimbabwe's second biggest city Bulawayo on Wednesday. He gave no further details.

South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement the meeting between Mbeki and Mugabe would be a "continuation of his SADC-mandated facilitation process". Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper said they would discuss the election and campaigns.

Zuma, who defeated Mbeki for the African National Congress leadership last December, has been much more outspoken than the president.

Mugabe, 84, has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. His support has waned amid a desperate economic crisis that has brought hyperinflation and food shortages.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai won a first round of voting in March, but without enough votes to secure an outright victory, official results showed.

The MDC leader has been repeatedly detained and released during the election campaign and one of his top lieutenants has been arrested and faces a treason charge.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, writing in Britain's Financial Times, said Zimbabwe needed not only a fair election but reconciliation between its political leaders.

"...there is no doubt that what we are seeing in Zimbabwe is tarnishing the reputation of Africa as a whole in the eyes of both friends and critics," Annan said.

"If the government...cannot ensure a fair vote, Africa must hold it accountable.

"The victor of an unfair vote must be under no illusions: he will neither have the legitimacy to govern, nor receive the support of the inter­national community," Annan said.

The head of the Pan African Parliament observer mission in Zimbabwe, Marwick Khumalo, said on Wednesday the group had heard "horrendous" reports of violence, in contrast to the run-up to the March election.

Britain and the United States urged Mugabe this week to allow a broader international observer mission. The biggest group is from regional bloc SADC. Monitors from countries critical of Mugabe have been banned from observing the election.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Speak with Forked Tongue Zuma