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Zimbabwe US Congress - 2002-03-19

The Commonwealth has suspended Zimbabwe for a year, beginning immediately. A Commonwealth task force made the announcement today, in the wake of this month's presidential election, which was marred by violence. Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced the decision after meeting in London with the other two members of the task force, Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. International observers and western countries, including the United States, say President Mugabe rigged this month's election. But Mr. Mugabe insists this is a ploy by Britain to discredit his government. Congressman Ed Royce heads the US House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Africa. He told Josephine Kamara that the elections were conducted amid massive fraud and intimidation of the opposition by President Mugabe's followers.