African business, politics and lifestyle
Zimbabwe election rage
Mugabe’s victory in Friday’s one-candidate poll was condemned in the West and by all three African monitoring groups who said the vote was deeply flawed.
“Now we wait for the Old Man (Mugabe) to swear himself in to a power that he does not have. We wait for him to claim a throne that he stole one-dark-night-that-is-our-country. We wait for real international pressure and solidarity to force a transition,” Zimbabwean protest poet Samm Farai Monro, better known as Comrade Fatso, wrote.
Official results of the June 27 election, from which opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew a few days before the poll, showed Mugabe, 84, received 85.51 percent of the vote.
Many bloggers said the figure was rigged.
“They are cooked results and unfortunately or fortunately rather, they are not valid to the world and around us,” wrote one blogger who called himself Nice-Shona-Guy on www.newzimbabwe.com
Zimbabwe’s crisis has ruined a once prosperous country, saddling it with the world’s worst hyper-inflation and straining neighbouring nations, especially South Africa, with a flood of millions of economic refugees.
Inflation is officially 165,000 percent but analysts it is is closer to nine million percent.
One blogger linked the election results to inflation.
“Somehow, despite mass intimidation, gross violence, increasing poverty, murders, and hyper-inflation, Robert Mugabe’s popularity accelerated faster than our inflation figures — which is quite something”.
The majority of bloggers were against Mugabe although some of those posting comments questioned what right other African states had to criticise him.
“How can the African Union punish Mugabe they are guilty of worse things in their countries,” said Jon.
Human rights groups, monitors and witnesses have accused pro-Mugabe militias of forcing people to vote in some areas with beatings and intimidation.
The MDC said a state-backed campaign of violence had killed at least 90 of its supporters and injured thousands.
Bloggers also had tough words for South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose mediation attempts in Zimbabwe have so far failed.
“Zimbabweans let’s react by sending money to Zimbabwe for our relatives to move over to South Africa then Mbeki should realise his stupidity. Congratulations to (the) Mbeki and Mugabe marriage,” said Negondo on www.newzimbabwe.com
More than 60 people, including Zimbabweans, died last month in wave of brutal xenophobic attacks on African immigrants which shocked South Africa.
Some three million Zimbabweans have already fled to neighbouring South Africa to escape the economic collapse of their once-prosperous country.
Tsvangirai also came under fire for pulling out of the run-off.
“You (Tsvangirai) are slowly letting the people of Zimbabwe down. It seems you are desperate to be the one in office and the one to rule the people. You should not be the one under pressure, that is for Mugabe. But you are falling into his trap and playing his game,” a blogger who called himself Chinja commented.
Despite a crisis that has reduced many Zimbabweans to poverty, their sense of humour continued to show on blogs.
Bev Clark wrote that in the context of frequent water and electricity cuts and spiralling hyper-inflation which has led to a worthless currency, there are some things not to say to a Zimbabwean woman.
They are: “Can I run you a nice hot bath?”, “You look like a million dollars” and “Would you like a candlelit dinner tonight?”
A loaf of bread now costs 6 billion Zimbabwe dollars.