Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Zimbabwe Prepares for Run-off Presidential Vote Amid Continuing Western Attacks

Zimbabwe Prepares for Run-off Presidential Vote Amid Continuing Western Attacks

Mugabe defies ban and travels to FAO summit while ZANU-PF government faces accusations of diplomatic abuse

by Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor
Pan-African News Wire

As a result of the outcome of the March poll in Zimbabwe, a run-off election is scheduled for June 27 between the incumbent President Robert Mugabe and the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) Morgan Tsvangirai. According to the official results of the first round of voting, the main opposition party won approximately 47.9% of the vote with the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) won over 41%.

The Zimbabwe constitution mandates that if any candidate cannot gather more than 51% of the presidential vote, then a run-off election is required. Yet when listening to the western news reports on Zimbabwe, if one did not know better, they would believe that there is no constitution or law and order prevailing inside the country.

It is remarkable that the ruling party has maintained control and stability during this recent period in the history of the nation. Very few other countries throughout the world have in recent history been subjected to such a psychological warfare campaign.

In reference to Iraq, where the United States administration under George W. Bush manufactured complete falsehoods to justify an invasion and occupation, it is quite clear to any objective observer of the Zimbabwe situation that the former colonial power of Britain and their allies in the United States and western Europe, hold as their ultimate aim the violent regime change from the revolutionary ZANU-PF Government to one based on neo-colonialism.

With an economy severely affected by sanctions imposed by the UK, the US and the European Union, in conjunction with the well-financed and coordinated media campaign directed against the existing government in Zimbabwe, the overall image of this independent country remains negative in the minds of millions within the western world.

Yet despite these media attacks and attempts aimed at the total diplomatic isolation of the ZANU-PF Government and its President Robert Mugabe, the country has been able to maintain its national security and to continue with the political processes as required by the constitution.

Mugabe defies racist attacks at the FAO Conference in Rome

As a sovereign nation which belongs to two leading international bodies, the United Nations and the African Union, the Government of Zimbabwe has the perfect right to attend an international conference sponsored by a UN agency to discuss an issue that is so critical to the national development of the country.

In fact the current crisis in food production, which in part is caused by the rapid increase in the price of oil, has sparked considerable unrest throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and as of late, western Europe. The world economic downturn, which some have already labelled as a recession, grows out of the crisis in overproduction and the superexploitation of labour and resources of the peoples of the so-called developing countries. Even if Zimbabwe had not taken such a serious and consistent position against imperialist interference in its internal affairs, the country would still be facing an economic crisis along with other nations throughout the continent and within the Third World countries of Latin America and Asia.

Even the neighbouring economic powerhouse, the Republic of South Africa, has experienced a growing energy crisis and a rapid rise in food and fuel prices. The problems of structural long term unemployment and underemployment has been cited as a major contributing factor in the recent outbreaks of violent attacks against Africans from other parts of the continent who have settled in the Republic.

However, in the case of Zimbabwe, the western media and diplomatic representatives from these countries, unfairly blame the current Government in Harare for every economic problem inside the country. This biased perspective on the contemporary economic problems in Zimbabwe is totally based on the subjective views towards this country, which defied western interests by engaging in a massive land redistribution programme unprecedented in the region. As the power brokers in the west see the situation, if an African nation takes control of what is rightfully their's, then they should forever suffer the scorn of the imperialist states and its collaborators.

A diplomatic representative of the settler-colonial regime in Australia was quoted in the western media as saying that the presence of an African head-of-state at the FAO conference in Rome was "obscene." It is almost absurd that a country with the background of Australia, where the indigenous black people of that nation were systematically driven off their land and killed in large numbers, would have the political audacity to attack a leader of one of the most widely known liberation movements and political parties to wage a successful struggle for national independence.

When these types of attacks are made against African leaders, it becomes quite obvious that the real underlying objective of the criticisms levelled against Zimbabwe derive from the desire to reverse the historical process of political and economic independence and to place a government in power in Harare that will carry out the foreign policy objectives of the western states.

The role of non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe

Another major issue to surface in Zimbabwe is the requirement that all non-govermental relief agencies operating in the country re-register with the state. What country anywhere in the world allows foreign-based organisations to act with impunity on their soil? The significance of this question is highlighted by the role of some of these organisations who deliberately interfere in the national politics of the country.

Here again, the western press agencies, through their slanted reporting, makes it appear that the Zimbabwean Government has no right to protect the national interests of its country. In this attempt to question the legitimate right of the authorities in Zimbabwe to control who enters and conducts business within its boundaries, it is yet another attempt to undermine the right to self-determination for the nation.

False claims of diplomatic abuse

To further build its case against Zimbabwe, reports have surfaced of the failure of the Government to honour the diplomatic status of the Ambassador from the United States, Mr. McGee. It has been revealed through memoirs of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives such as John Stockwell (In Search of Enemies), the former CIA chief of operations in Africa during previous decades, that diplomatic missions were often used as a base for covert operations aimed at regime change.

The Government of Zimbabwe should be concerned about the activities of diplomats operating within their country whose administrations have imposed sanctions and taken an extremely hostile posture towards their leadership figures. Diplomats are required to refrain from involvement in elections as well as other political activities taking place among nationals of a particular state.

Conclusion: The West must respect the internal processes taking place in Zimbabwe

Those seeking to uphold the right of oppressed and formally oppressed nations to self-determination, independent nationhood and sovereignty, must respect the inherent desire on the part of the Zimbabwe people to conduct their elections under the guidance of the laws of the state.

When the United States disqualifies hundreds of thousands of African-Americans from voting in a national election, such as what happened in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio during the presidential election in 2004, no diplomatic interference was allowed by other nations, even those considered allies.

In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when hundreds of thousands people were forcefully evacuated from the Gulf region of the United States, many of whom were African-Americans, the Bush administration denied offers from a number of countries, such as Cuba and Venezuela, to provide direct relief and assistance to the people of this region.

In the case of Zimbabwe, where the propaganda against the ruling party is so intense in western circles, those who seek to uphold in principle the right to self-determination can only support the ability of the ruling party to defend the sovereignty and independence of that nation.
Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire. His articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, journals and web sites throughout the international community.

1 comment:

isimey said...

Dear Sir,
I am a PhD research student at Birmingham City University, UK. My research looks into the idea of a Pan-African news service, as such I would be greatful if you could provide me with an email address through which I can elaborate further on my research area with the hope that you would accept a request to be interviewed.

Thank you for your time.

Miss Yemisi Ogunleye