Tuesday, July 01, 2008

ZANU-PF Battles Regime Change: Mugabe Wins Zimbabwe Elections by Landslide and Attends African Union Summit in Egypt

ZANU-PF Battles Regime Change: Mugabe Wins Zimbabwe Election by Landslide and Attends African Union Summit in Egypt

African leaders refuse to allow western nations to set its agenda

by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor
Pan-African News Wire

News Analysis--President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was inaugurated for a sixth term on June 29 after winning a landslide victory on behalf of the ruling Zimbabwe African Nation Union-Patroitic Front(ZANU-PF) against the opposition western-backed Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangira (MDC-T).

ZANU-PF, which led the nation to independence along with the now-merged Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU-PF), has been the focus of a well-orchestrated destabilization program carried out by the United Kingdom and the United States. This western campaign has included economic sanctions as well as an intense international media blitz which seeks to create public opinion against the ruling party in Zimbabwe.

Just six days prior to the June 27 run-off elections, the leader of MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai, announced that he was pulling out of the poll. The run-off was required because no candidate received 51% of the popular vote for president. In the legislative elections, the MDC-T won a slight majority in the lower house of the parliament while ZANU-PF won a majority in the Senate.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) a candidate cannot withdraw from a race if there is less than twenty-one days remaining until the poll. Consequently, Tsvangirai's name still appeared on ballots printed and distributed to polling places throughout the country. The MDC-T leader also told his supporters not to vote in the elections, guaranteeing ZANU-PF a landslide victory.

Mugabe travels to the African Union Summit in Egypt

After President Mugabe was inaugurated on June 29, he immediately flew to Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt to particpate in the African Union Summit for 2008. According to western press agencies such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the political situation in Zimbabwe was going to overshadow all other issues at the AU Summit. BBC reports were designed to portray Zimbabwe in a negative light and to prompt African leaders to denounce President Mugabe.

At the same time, US Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice, met with Chinese leaders in an effort to pressure them into supporting sanctions against the ZANU-PF and other efforts aimed at regime change in this Southern African nation. Chinese diplomats rejected these efforts and stressed the need for inter-party dialogue in Zimbabwe.

In addition to attempts to influence Chinese foreign policy towards Zimbabwe, the US also undertook to draft additional resolutions for consideration at the United Nations Security Council that would further the economic assaults being carried out by the Imperialist states against the country.

Despite these efforts, Zimbabwe was never placed on the agenda at the AU Summit. President Mugabe was welcomed warmly by the other heads-of-state. He was photographed with all the leaders as a full participant in the organization which was formed several years ago after the dissolution of its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Some of the agenda items which were discussed at the AU Summit included: Status of Implementation of the Regional and Continental Agenda for Integration; Appointment of the Members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC); Appointment of the Judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (AFCHPR), etc.

A series of reports were also delivered on the following projects: Outcome of the May 2006 Abuja Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, TB and Other Related Infectious Diseases; Status Report on Malaria in Africa; Promotion of Maternal and Child Health in Africa; and the Food Crisis in Africa.

On July 1 there was the launching of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Steering Group which addressed the fact that: "At the mid-point in the global effort to achieve the MDGs by 2015, progress in many African countries is not on track.... The aim of the MDG Africa Steering Group's recommendations is to translate exisitng commitments into tangible progress in every African country."

In a press briefing issued by the AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham Mahmoud A. Ibrahim, he stated that: "Most sub-Saharan African countries face a major challenge in trying to realize their development and social obligations because of inadequate access to electricity with about 30% of the region's population, and less than 8% of rural areas having access to electricity. This situation needs to change if sub-Saharan Africa is to be economically competitive with other developing regions of the world and realize its sustainable development goals."

The Zimbabwe Herald reported on the AU Summit in their July 1 edition observing that the efforts to deflect attention away from the work of the continental organization by the western imperialist nations did not work. Although Zimbabwe was mentioned in some of the opening statements at the Summit, it was not from a hostile perspective as anticipated by the West.

AU Commission Chair, Mr. Jean Ping, said that the continent must assist Zimbabwe's political parties to work together to advance the well-being of their country. "I would like, here, to commend the efforts of the leaders of the region (Sadc) and their commitment to assist the Zimbabwean parties in the search for a lasting solution to the problems in that country," Mr. Ping said.

According to the Zimbabwe Herald: "At his swearing-in ceremony in Harare on Sunday just before he flew here (Egypt), Cde Mugabe said Government was prepared for dialogue with the opposition MDC-T, but only if it came into the talks with its own agenda and not a Western-foisted stance."

Lessons From Zimbabwe

What is important to recognize in the campaign against Zimbabwe by the United States, Britain and EU countries is that one key component of the efforts aimed at regime change is the spreading of false information in the press to both overemphasize the importance and significance of the opposition forces and to undercut the authority and legitimacy of the ZANU-PF Governement.

During the lead up to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq during 2001 and 2002-2003, a similar program was instituted which demonized the Taliban, al-Qeada and the ruling Arab Baath Socialist Party of Iraq. The next steps were designed to convince people in the US and around the world that it was in their best interests to support an invasion and occupation of these foreign states.

The US, UK and EU are working towards these ends in Zimbabwe and their aims have implications for the entire region of Southern Africa and throughout the continent as a whole. The geo-political areas where the US and other imperialist states have intervened, the overall conditions for the masses have worsened. In Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, the US military involvement in these nations have created far more difficulties than what existed before.
Abayomi Azikiwe articles have appeared in publications and on websites throughout the African continent and the world.

No comments: