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2002-03-06

Voters Head to the Polls in Zimbabwe This Weekend: A Debate On the Explosive Presidentialelections in Zimbabwe

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This weekend, voters in Zimbabwe will head to the polls to vote in what has become an explosive presidentialcampaign. The incumbent President Robert Mugabe has been systematically sanctioned and condemned by both Washingtonand the European Union. They accuse him of leading a violent campaign against his opponent and attempting to fix theelections. Opposition officials say police have used new security laws to ban opposition rallies as "threats to thepublic safety," and on Monday, police broke up a meeting between foreign diplomats and opposition presidentialcandidate Morgan Tsvangirai, saying it was an illegal political gathering.

Mugabe in turn has accused the US and the EU of orchestrating what he calls a campaign of economic terrorism. He hasalso said these western forces are violating the country’s sovereignty with their wide support for Tsvangirai and hisMovement for Democratic Change. Last week, authorities charged Tsvangirai with treason for allegedly plotting to haveMugabe assassinated. He denied the charge.

Today we will have a debate on the elections in Zimbabwe between Patrick Bond, of the Alternative Information andDevelopment Centre in Johannesburg, and Elombe Brath, chair of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition in New York. We beginwith Patrick Bond speaking about the current situation in Zimbabwe.

Guests:

  • Patrick Bond, Alternative Information and Development Centre in Johannesburg. He is also an associateprofessor at the University of the Witwatersrand Graduate School of Public and Development Management.
  • Elombe Brath, the chair of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition and a producer at WBAI in New York.

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