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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid