Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Zim Elections

These stories were in the papers this morning, and once again show the South African government being largely out of step with occurences in Zimbabwe in the run-up to the elections.

SA 'scraps' Zim poll monitors (News24)
South Africa feels that an official fact-finding mission by a team of legal experts to Zimbabwe for the parliamentary election there is "unnecessary" and should be scrapped. The government was initially holding back its views on whether a fair and just election was possible until after the visit. But, on Tuesday it said the circumstances were in place for a free election.

MDC election chief held in Harare (IOL)
Zimbabwean police arrested the main opposition party's elections director on Wednesday as he conducted a training session for candidates in parliamentary polls next month, the party said."The MDC notes with concern the continued disruption of its campaign programme and the continued harassment of its candidates and leaders," the party said in a statement.The disruption of its meetings was a clear violation of Southern African Development Community (SADC) guidelines on the conduct of free and fair elections, the MDC added.

AU Backs Report on Zim Abuse (IOL)
The African Union has endorsed a report that concludes political violence, arbitrary arrests and police torture occurred in the run up to the 2002 Zimbabwe presidential elections, the union's spokesperson said on Wednesday. The comments come as Zimbabwe's main opposition movement and foreign observers accuse the Zimbabwean government of using similar tactics in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled next month.

That sounds like it's free and fair doesn't it?