Zimbabwe's shame election day


ZIMBABWE'S main opposition leader has urged the world to ignore the country's "sham" election in which President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate.
The poll, marred by violence, was dismissed by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as "an exercise in mass intimidation, with people all over the country being forced to vote".

World leaders also condemned the election, as reports came that voters were marched to the ballot box by marshals carrying books with people's names.

Some voters were given pre-marked ballots and ordered to prove they had not voted for the opposition. Their fingers were marked by indelible ink, contradicting the Mugabe claim it was a free and fair election.


Abel Chikomo, of the independent Zimbabwe Media Monitoring Project in Bulawayo, said: "There are more queues at bars than at polling stations. People know the election is a farce."

Voters in rural areas had reportedly learned their homes would be burnt down if they did not go to the polling stations. Mr Tsvangirai, who had removed himself from the contest, warned supporters not to risk their personal safety by voting for anyone other than 84-year-old Mr Mugabe.

Stalin was more subtle in his rigged elections. Mugabe is thumbing his nose at his own people and the world in the pretense of an election. If Mbecki and South Africa recognize this election they will become a well deserved laughingstock.


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