Did President Mugabe Just Pull a George W. Bush?

In the year 2000 one of the most controversial elections in United States history took place, as Governor George W. Bush faced former vice president Al Gore for the presidency. The race was so close that it forced a recount, which reared contested results. Though Gore won the popular vote, Bush walked away with the presidency and many people maintain that Bush stole the election by manipulating documents and disenfranchising thousands of American citizens. Could the same thing be taking place in Zimbabwe? Here’s a little background..

Robert Mugabe has been running things in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, first as a head of government, later as a prime minister and finally as the President of Zimbabwe. However, Mugabe’s 3 decade reign almost came to an end when rival Morgan Tsvangirai gave him a run for his money in this year’s presidential election on March 29, 2008. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission found that Tsvangirai won 47.9% of the vote and Mugabe won 43.2% of the vote, forcing a runoff election because neither candidate received the necessary 50%. The presidential runoff was held this past Friday on June 27. The runoff results reveal that Mugabe won a landslide victory by an almost 9-to-1 margin, with voter turnout over 40%.

Here’s the controversy: Tsvangirai’s people called the original 47.9% – 43.2% results “a sham” and claimed that Tsvangirai actually won the necessary amount of votes to claim the presidency with 50.3%. Eventually, Tsvangirai begrudgingly agreed to take part of the runoff election. However one week before the runoff on June 22, Tsvangirai announced that he was withdrawing from the race because of intimidation and violence from Mugabe’s regime. He described the runoff as a “violent sham” and claimed that his supporters risked being killed if they voted for him. As a result, the second round continued with Mugabe as the only actively participating candidate and he was sworn in on Sunday, June 29th 2008 as the president of Zimbabwe. The international community is outraged, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anything (deja vou?).
mugabe
President George W. Bush, who has been accused of the same manipulative tactics as Mugabe, issued the following statement regarding the Zimbabwean election:

I am instructing the secretaries of State and Treasury to develop sanctions against this illegitimate government of Zimbabwe and those who support it… We will press for strong action by the United Nations, including an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and travel ban on regime officials.

President Robert Mugabe responded:

Sanctions or no sanctions, we will not be told what to do by anybody. Britain and the U.S. are like bullies and rapists.

What are your thoughts? George Bush got away with it – should we hold Mugabe to the same standards? Are the two situations even comparable?

9 Comments to ‘Did President Mugabe Just Pull a George W. Bush?’:

  1. Anonymous on 30 Jun 2008 at 12:34 am: 1

    i think it’s basically the same-type situation. Bush and Mugabe are opposite ends of a foul spectrum.

  2. Ishmael on 30 Jun 2008 at 7:42 pm: 2

    The popular vote does not determine who becomes the President of the United States. from Wikipedia –
    The Electoral College is the body of representatives which formally elects the President and Vice President of the United States.

    Rather than directly voting for the President and Vice President, U.S. citizens cast votes for electoral college representatives, known as electors. While electors are theoretically free to vote for the candidate of their choice, in practice they pledge to vote for specific candidates.[1] Thus, voters indirectly vote for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors.[2] Because all of the electors from a state will generally vote for the Presidential candidate who receives the most votes in that state, U.S. Presidential campaigns concentrate on winning the popular vote in a combination of states that choose a majority of the electors, rather than campaigning to win the most votes nationally. …..
    Candidates with less than a plurality of the nationwide popular vote can win a Presidential election. This has happened on several occasions in American history.[7] Critics argue the Electoral College is inherently undemocratic and gives certain swing states disproportionate clout in selecting the President and Vice President. Adherents argue that the Electoral College is an important and distinguishing feature of the federal system, and protects the rights of smaller states. Numerous constitutional amendments have been submitted seeking a replacement of the Electoral College with a direct popular vote. However, no submission has ever successfully passed both Houses of Congress.
    Mr Mugabe is just another tinpot dictator similiar to Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro, or Idi Amin Dada. Like them, he has become corrupt, and arrogant. He paid off senior army and police officials with confiscated land and perks. If he was not reelected, they would all be in jail.

  3. Fred on 2 Jul 2008 at 11:55 am: 3

    Very off topic but an interesting news story about racism in America:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-race-codewordsjun30,0,7093296.story

  4. Sundiata Salaam on 3 Jul 2008 at 1:50 pm: 4

    wait a second… pierce, did you notice that wig and not comment about it?

  5. Conxus on 3 Jul 2008 at 6:21 pm: 5

    Here are Dr. Molefi Asante’s views on Zimbabwe. They are radically different than the mainstream reports and the views on this site. The following appeared in newspapers in Zimbabwe and South Africa:

    Zimbabwean Spirit Against The Gathering Storm

    The unfolding anti-Zimbabwean initiative of Britain and the United States
    government is a part of the racist ideology of the West against a free,
    independent Zimbabwe. As an African American who worked and lived in
    Zimbabwe immediately after the Second Chimurenga I am appalled at the lack
    of understanding on the part of those Zimbabweans who support the activities
    of the Movement for Demoncratic Change, a party underwritten financially from
    the United States and Britain.

    Indeed, Samora Machel used to say that “The struggle for liberation is a
    university.” The only problem is that many people never went to war for their
    lilberation. Harriet Tubman said that she could have saved a thousand instead of
    the 300 she led to freedom if she could have convinced them that they were
    enslaved people.

    In fact, what we see in Zimbabwe is the attempt on the part of American
    conservative groups joined with British groups to introduce a Trojan Horse in
    the middle of the Zimbabwean nation. This is to be expected. This is the pattern
    of destabilization and it is a shame that many of our own leaders in the United
    States have not understood the intention of the sanctions against Zimbabwe.

    Morgan Tsvangarai is a creation of the white landed class in Zimbabwe.
    Through their money, as seen with Tsvangarai’s support from the white farmer
    Roy Bennett, who is the treasurer of the MDC, and other whites the MDC has
    been able to buy votes, influence the peasant populations in the rural areas, and
    create chaos.

    I trained journalists in Zimbabwe at ZIMCO in the early l980s and was
    responsible for its first diploma class. I have been angered by the continuing
    propaganda of the Western media against the liberties and freedoms of
    Zimbabweans.

    While we all condemn the actions of the goons who attack innocent people,
    we reserve our greatest condemnation for the political goons who are like Uncle
    Toms begging their former masters for bread. They will sell their mothers and
    fathers’ inheritance for money from the West.

    MDC is an instrument of the Western imperialists in the most concrete
    terms. It receives its money, resources, and support from the most reactionary
    elements in the Western countries and has shown itself to be against the
    general interests of the masses of people.

    Freedom loving people realize the attempt to paint Zimbabwe as a rogue
    government, disconnected from the people, by the Western media. There is no
    reason for the people of Zimbabwe to be despondent because there are many
    friends of freedom and independence who see the hoopla in the British and
    American media as a part of

    On CNN in the United States, Jesse Jackson said on June 24th that Robert
    Mugabe was a hero but not anymore. This is a heresy. What has Mugabe done to
    be demoted as a hero? He gave his youth and adult life fighting in the bush
    against the white occupiers of his foreparents land. Mugabe will always be a
    hero to freedom loving African Americans. No, Mugabe’s land reform action to
    return stolen land to the legitimate owners has caused an orchestrated
    campaign against Mugabe and his government. But the catalogue does not stop
    there. He captured and put in prison a group of military adventurers who were
    planning to overthrown an African nation. Many of them had ties to the white
    community in Britain.

    I see Jesse Jackson’s position as part of the international effort to pressure
    the Zimbabwean people to submit to intervention and international pressure.
    Even Nelson Mandela was in Britain condemning Mugabe for the tragedy of
    leadership. This is the power of the Western political system.

    When Mandela was in jail, Mugabe allowed the use of his own country and
    his own resources to aid the ANC fighters in trying to overthrow the minority
    regime in South Africa. Has Mandela forgot this or did someone fail to tell him?

    I think that the progressive elements in the African American community
    must reassure the Zimbabwean people that they have many friends in the West
    and around the world who truly understand the reason for the suffering in
    Zimbabwe and know that the MDC is being used to reassert racist and
    compradorist elements in the country.

    Zimbabweans are the only people who can solve their problems; however,
    the Zimbabwean people must know that their enemies have been working
    around the clock to undermine the legitimate functioning of the government.

    Since the land reform movement the reactionary white and black elements
    in the United States, Australian, South Africa, and Britain have been seeking an
    internal Zimbabwean lever to pry loose the strong, committed, and determined
    will of the Zimbabwean people.

    If the MDC pulls out of the election then the election must continue
    because Tsvangarai’s name is already on the ballots. The African Union has
    observers in the country already but Mugabe has wisely kept out of the nation
    those individuals who would enter the country to spy, undermine, or to create
    chaos by trying to find enemies of the government.

    The MDC is pulling out of the election because it knows it cannot win. They
    will try to convince the world that the decisions of the people are forced, but
    Zimbabweans must stand with their heroic history and refuse to allow outside
    forces to rob the country of its independence. Long live the heroes of the
    Chimurenga! Long live the comrades who gave their lives in the mountains and
    valleys of beautiful Zimbabwe.

    The European and American dance toward intervention inside Zimbabwe is a
    part of the same hypocrisy that Africa has experienced for many years. If
    Morgan Tsvangarai believes that his attachment to the West and its interests in
    supporting the minority white landholders in Zimbabwe will bring him to power
    he is absolutely wrong.

    The masses of Zimbabweans understand that when 4000 whites held 75
    percent of the arable land in Zimbabwe there was no outrage on the part of the
    Europeans and Americans. These masses may have to tighten their belts, rein in
    their materials needs in order to maintain their freedom as Britain and American
    play out their sanctions.

    Should Zimbabwe acquiesce to the interests of the white minority against
    the masses of its own people it will surely be the worst form of slavery that has
    appeared in southern Africa. The fact that Mugabe at the head of ZANU was a
    military leader means that he knows what the situation was in his country
    before the rise of the MDC-T and its supporters from the American and British
    right wing.

    So long as the people elect the ZANU-PF government it should remain in
    power as the vanguard of the revolution. When the people, without coercion
    from the outside, choose another party then ZANU-PF should leave office.

    There is no wonder that a survey of young Africans a couple of years ago
    gave Robert Mugabe higher marks for leadership against the West than any
    other continental leader in Africa. Long Live Robert Mugabe!

    Molefi Kete Asante
    President, Association of Nubian Kemetic Heritage
    Author, The History of Africa
    http://www.asante.net

  6. Conxus on 3 Jul 2008 at 6:28 pm: 6

    Here are Dr. Molefi Asante’s views on Zimbabwe. They are radically different than the mainstream reports and the views on this site. The following appeared in newspapers in Zimbabwe and South Africa:

    Zimbabwean Spirit Against The Gathering Storm

    The unfolding anti-Zimbabwean initiative of Britain and the United States government is a part of the racist ideology of the West against a free, independent Zimbabwe. As an African American who worked and lived in Zimbabwe immediately after the Second Chimurenga I am appalled at the lack of understanding on the part of those Zimbabweans who support the activities of the Movement for Demoncratic Change, a party underwritten financially from the United States and Britain.

    Indeed, Samora Machel used to say that “The struggle for liberation is a university.” The only problem is that many people never went to war for their lilberation. Harriet Tubman said that she could have saved a thousand instead of the 300 she led to freedom if she could have convinced them that they were enslaved people.

    In fact, what we see in Zimbabwe is the attempt on the part of American conservative groups joined with British groups to introduce a Trojan Horse in the middle of the Zimbabwean nation. This is to be expected. This is the pattern of destabilization and it is a shame that many of our own leaders in the United
    States have not understood the intention of the sanctions against Zimbabwe.

    Morgan Tsvangarai is a creation of the white landed class in Zimbabwe. Through their money, as seen with Tsvangarai’s support from the white farmer Roy Bennett, who is the treasurer of the MDC, and other whites the MDC has been able to buy votes, influence the peasant populations in the rural areas, and create chaos.

    I trained journalists in Zimbabwe at ZIMCO in the early l980s and was responsible for its first diploma class. I have been angered by the continuing propaganda of the Western media against the liberties and freedoms of Zimbabweans.

    While we all condemn the actions of the goons who attack innocent people, we reserve our greatest condemnation for the political goons who are like Uncle Toms begging their former masters for bread. They will sell their mothers and fathers’ inheritance for money from the West.

    MDC is an instrument of the Western imperialists in the most concrete terms. It receives its money, resources, and support from the most reactionary elements in the Western countries and has shown itself to be against the general interests of the masses of people.

    Freedom loving people realize the attempt to paint Zimbabwe as a rogue government, disconnected from the people, by the Western media. There is no reason for the people of Zimbabwe to be despondent because there are many friends of freedom and independence who see the hoopla in the British and American media as a part of

    On CNN in the United States, Jesse Jackson said on June 24th that Robert Mugabe was a hero but not anymore. This is a heresy. What has Mugabe done to be demoted as a hero? He gave his youth and adult life fighting in the bush against the white occupiers of his foreparents land. Mugabe will always be a hero to freedom loving African Americans. No, Mugabe’s land reform action to
    return stolen land to the legitimate owners has caused an orchestrated campaign against Mugabe and his government. But the catalogue does not stop there. He captured and put in prison a group of military adventurers who were planning to overthrown an African nation. Many of them had ties to the white
    community in Britain.

    I see Jesse Jackson’s position as part of theinternational effort to pressure the Zimbabwean people to submit to intervention and international pressure. Even Nelson Mandela was in Britain condemning Mugabe for the tragedy of leadership. This is the power of the Western political system.

    When Mandela was in jail, Mugabe allowed the use of his own country and his own resources to aid the ANC fighters in trying to overthrow the minority regime in South Africa. Has Mandela forgot this or did someone fail to tell him?

    I think that the progressive elements in the African American community must reassure the Zimbabwean people that they have many friends in the West and around the world who truly understand the reason for the suffering in Zimbabwe and know that the MDC is being used to reassert racist and compradorist elements in the country.

    Zimbabweans are the only people who can solve their problems; however, the Zimbabwean people must know that their enemies have been working around the clock to undermine the legitimate functioning of the government.

    Since the land reform movement the reactionary white and black elements in the United States, Australian, South Africa, and Britain have been seeking an
    internal Zimbabwean lever to pry loose the strong, committed, and determined will of the Zimbabwean people.

    If the MDC pulls out of the election then the election must continue because Tsvangarai’s name is already on the ballots. The African Union has observers in the country already but Mugabe has wisely kept out of the nation those individuals who would enter the country to spy, undermine, or to create chaos by trying to find enemies of the government.

    The MDC is pulling out of the election because it knows it cannot win. They will try to convince the world that the decisions of the people are forced, but Zimbabweans must stand with their heroic history and refuse to allow outside forces to rob the country of its independence. Long live the heroes of the Chimurenga! Long live the comrades who gave their lives in the mountains and valleys of beautiful Zimbabwe.

    The European and American dance toward intervention inside Zimbabwe is a part of the same hypocrisy that Africa has experienced for many years. If Morgan Tsvangarai believes that his attachment to the West and its interests in supporting the minority white landholders in Zimbabwe will bring him to power he is absolutely wrong.

    The masses of Zimbabweans understand that when 4000 whites held 75 percent of the arable land in Zimbabwe there was no outrage on the part of the
    Europeans and Americans. These masses may have to tighten their belts, rein in their materials needs in order to maintain their freedom as Britain and American
    play out their sanctions.

    Should Zimbabwe acquiesce to the interests of the white minority against the masses of its own people it will surely be the worst form of slavery that has
    appeared in southern Africa. The fact that Mugabe at the head of ZANU was a military leader means that he knows what the situation was in his country before the rise of the MDC-T and its supporters from the American and British right wing.

    So long as the people elect the ZANU-PF government it should remain in power as the vanguard of the revolution. When the people, without coercion
    from the outside, choose another party then ZANU-PF should leave office.

    There is no wonder that a survey of young Africans a couple of years ago gave Robert Mugabe higher marks for leadership against the West than any other continental leader in Africa. Long Live Robert Mugabe!
    ..
    Molefi Kete Asante
    President, Association of Nubian Kemetic Heritage
    Author, The History of Africa
    http://www.asante.net

  7. Conxus on 3 Jul 2008 at 6:30 pm: 7

    moderator, please delete the first post as it wasn’t formatted correctly.

  8. Ishmael on 3 Jul 2008 at 7:52 pm: 8

    “When the people, without coercion
    from the outside, choose another party then ZANU-PF should leave office.” Molefi Kete Asante wrote this tripe despite the current rigged elections. As Molefi Kete Asante received his degrees in “communications”, his opinions about Africa are no better than anyones here. As an American citizen, Mr “Asante” must know that one of the reasons President George Washington is held in such high regard is that after he served 8 years as President, he stepped down and retired to his farm. This helped insure Democracy in America.
    Nelson Mandela served 5 years as President of SA then stepped down to allow democracy in the transitioning South Africa.
    As to land reform, the current owners stole if from the whites, who stole if from the blacks, who stole it from the Greater Zimbabwe builders about 300 years ago and on and on. The problem is that the land is not being farmed to its full potential, hence massive food shortages. This is very similiar to the Soviet farm policies of the 1920s.
    I repeat the Mr Mugabe is a tinpot dictator, enamored with power and the perks of almost absolute power. He has zero interest in democracy or the will of the people. He has ruined the lifes of millions of citizens of Zimbabwe, forced millions to flee the country, and destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe.

  9. Ishmael on 5 Jul 2008 at 8:01 am: 9

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/arts/03camp.html?em&ex=1215403200&en=3187a7ed23234992&ei=5087

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Published on June 29, 2008 at 11:55 pm. 9 Comments.
Filed under Africa,news/politics.