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 On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid