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article imageZimbabwe Voters Have A Choice: 'Vote For Mugabe Or Die!'

By Can Tran     Jun 18, 2008 in World
For the past few weeks in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, his administration, his party, and his supporters, have committed many actions that have warranted much international backlash.
Back in March, it was revealed that opposition candidate and leader for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Morgan Tsvangirai, had won the elections. But, he did not secure the majority needed to avoid a runoff election.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the incumbent and member of the Zanu-PF Party, has been accused for trying to steal the election away. Mugabe has been blamed for the economy of Zimbabwe. However, Mugabe brushed off all criticisms and said that there was a Western plot to remove him from power.
For many weeks, Zimbabwe has been plunged into post-election violence. It had mirrored the fate of Kenya. However, a power-sharing agreement came out of it. But, it seems highly unlikely for Zimbabwe. Recently, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga had urged Mugabe to step down.
Since the elections, there have been violent crackdowns on members and supporters of the MDC. Recently, witnesses have said that a force made of soldiers and Zanu-PF militiamen came to the small town of Rusape and herded the people together.
One soldier said that if they didn’t vote for Mugabe, they would die. There was fear of death in the crowd.
They are saying we will die if we don’t vote for Robert Mugabe, that there will be ware if we don’t vote for Robert Mugabe,” said one woman. Mugabe has already threatened civil war if he does not win the runoff. He had said it many times that he will not cede power to Tsvangirai.
So far, young militiamen have went thorough the streets to hunt, beat, and at times kill anybody associated with the MDC.
“They hunt the opposition. They said they ate human liver and drank urine during the war and so they were prepared for war again,” the woman adds.
So far, many supporters, members, and activists of the MDC have been abducted and eventually murdered. Recently, Farai Gamba, an organizer for MDC was found and shot dead by the Zanu-PF militiamen.
Recently, Tendai Biti, the MDC’s secretary general, was arrested on the charges of treason for speaking out against the government. It is punishable by death.
Tsvangirai himself has been detained a few times.
Mugabe had even cracked down on aid groups. He said that they were helping and supporting the MDC.
MDC activist Tondorai Ndira was abducted. His body was discovered with his eyes gouged out and his tongue cut off.
In a nutshell, this is a violent and systematic attack against the MDC. The violence has been backed by the shadowy security cabinet known as Joint Operations Command (JOC). JOC is run by General Constantine Chiwenga, who heads the country’s military. Chiwenga is too subject to travel sanctions.
Mugabe has called Tsvangirai a puppet for the West.
“This country shall not again come under the rule and control of the white man, direct or indirect. We are masters of our destiny. Equally, anyone who seeks to undermine our land reform programme, itself the bedrock of our politics from time immemorial, seeks and gets war. One these two interrelated matters we are very clear. We are prepared to go to war,” Mugabe said at a weekend rally.
The violence as a means to remain in power is evident. Odinga during his press conference in DC said that a runoff is a sham for Zimbabwe. He said that while his relationship with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki is tense, progress is being made.
So, the voters of Zimbabwe have this ultimatum: Vote Mugabe or die.
More about Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe
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