News / Africa

    African Neighbors to Help Fund Zimbabwe Vote

    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (L) stands next to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni while marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Union (OAU) in Addis Ababa, May 25, 2013.
    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (L) stands next to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni while marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Union (OAU) in Addis Ababa, May 25, 2013.
    Reuters
    Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said regional leaders will hold a summit to discuss how to fund an election later this year in which he is seeking to extend his three-decade rule, state media reported on Tuesday.
     
    Impoverished Zimbabwe needs $132 million for the election but conditions attached to the cash have divided the already fractious unity government, whose main players will be rivals for power in the vote.
     
    Mugabe's ZANU-PF has been pushing for funding with as few strings as possible and withdrew a request to have the United Nations fund the poll, saying the global body was trying to interfere in domestic issues.
     
    The MDC of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is keen to attach the money to the deployment of election observers. It fears ZANU-PF, whose members are under international sanctions for suspected rigging of previous votes, will use the security forces to intimidate voters.
     
    Any repeat of violence that accompanied the last vote in 2008 could end Zimbabwe's fragile economic recovery and unleash another refugee crisis similar to the one five years ago when hundreds of thousands fled to neighboring South Africa.
     
    Zimbabwe's government-owned Herald newspaper said South African President Jacob Zuma proposed to Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders at a meeting on the sidelines of the just-ended African Union summit that they should help fund Zimbabwe's elections.
     
    “We said we now want to go for elections and we need help and they [SADC leaders] said they will hold a special summit to examine how they will help with election funding,'' Mugabe was quoted as telling ZANU-PF members after the AU summit.
     
    Officials from South Africa and the SADC regional bloc of 15 states were not immediately available for comment.
     
    But SADC observers could be a compromise amenable to Mugabe, who regularly rails against the West for imposing sanctions he blames for ruining an economy that analysts say was wrecked by policy blunders by Mugabe and his ZANU-PF.
     
    Mugabe, 89, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980 will face long-time rival Tsvangirai in the vote.
     
    They displayed rare unity this year in pushing through a new constitution at a referendum, a critical step for the election but which depleted state coffers for the next vote.
     
    The new constitution clips the powers of the president and imposes a two-term limit. However, it does not apply retroactively so Mugabe technically could rule until he is 99.
     
    Zimbabwe's parliament will be dissolved on June 29 and the country has up to four months to hold the election.
     
    The Supreme Court last Friday heard a case in which a Harare man wants to force Mugabe to announce an election date before June 29. A ruling on the case was expected to come soon.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora