Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is reportedly going to
meet a United Nations envoy today ahead of the presidential election run-off
later this month. The focus of the meeting is expected to be on finding ways to
end escalating violence and ensure a fair vote on June 27. The meeting comes
after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently met with Mugabe on ending the
election-related violence. Glen Mpani is the regional coordinator for the
transitional justice program of the Center for the Study of Violence and
Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. He tells VOA English to Africa
reporter Peter Clottey that the consultations are in response to urgent calls
by Zimbabweans for international intervention in the run-off.
calls for international intervention have been loud and clear, and these calls
have been getting louder and louder as we draw closer to the elections.
Unfortunately, the international community has tried as much as possible to
discuss the Zimbabwean problem at the Security Council with very limited
success because of the support that Mugabe has been gaining from the South
African government. And there have also been calls that there should be
international observers or peace observers within Zimbabwe to normalize the
situation, but very little has been done to address that problem," Mpani
said it would be difficult for the ongoing violence to end abruptly ahead of
the presidential election run-off.
don't think now at this juncture anything is gong to happen. I think the SADC
(Southern African Development Community) region as much as they've tried to
come up with intervention to solve the problem have been left with no options
other than watching the drama unfold in the country," he said.
said the meeting between the UN envoy and President Mugabe would have little
effect in ending ongoing violence in the country.
we look at the issue of violence in Zimbabwe, I think the damage has already
been done, I think people have already been battered and people have been
intimidated. Fear has been instilled within Zimbabweans and the coming in of
the envoy at such an eleventh hour would only seek to create some legitimacy
for Mugabe to be able to claim that he was very open and that he accepted
international intervention within the country," Mpani noted.
said the ruling ZANU-PF party would use the presence of the UN envoy as a party
line ahead of the run-off.
of the things that he (Mugabe) is going to do is that, they (ZANU-PF party) are
going to try as much as possible to create a package of propaganda, labeling
the MDC as being the sole organization responsible for the violence within the
country, while it is state engineered and they are being marshaled by the
ruling ZANU-PF," he said.
said Zimbabweans would not be surprised if the leader of the main opposition,
Morgan Tsvangirai, is arrested for allegedly orchestrating the violence.
fully well that he (Mugabe) has been managing the violence in Zimbabwe, he is
now trying to face-save by claiming that the MDC is responsible… he can arrest
Morgan Tsvangirai and the people of Zimbabwe would not be surprised because
what he simply wants to do is ensure that he disables the MDC ahead of the
elections. So, we expect that he might arrest him (Tsvangirai), but that would
not change the situation on the ground when everyone knows that they (ruling
party) are the ones who are engineering the violence," Mpani pointed out.
MDC accuses Mr. Mugabe's administration of using violence to intimidate party
partisans to ensure a ruling party victory in the run-off. The opposition is
also calling for immediate international intervention to end the violence and
ensure a free and fair vote. But President Mugabe Monday threatened to arrest
MDC leader Tsvangirai for provoking violence ahead of the June 27 run-off.