Saturday, March 09, 2002

Zim Watch

It's started and the turnout looks high.

The opposition Daily News lead story is optimistic for their side, saying that there are more urban voters than rural voters. The fact that there are more urban voters shows that Mugabe's tactics at intimidating voters has not been as thorough as the West imagines. Of course the MDC line is that they are so popular that any Mugabe win has to be vote rigging, but it is interesting that they are recognising their weakness in the countryside - almost entirely due to the land issue (the rural thuggery has probably cost Mugabe support everywhere). In the cities the MDC are popular. Any way the opposition are going to challenge a Mugabe win.

The government is warning the MDC off any poll protests - which if conducted during polling hours in Britain would be illegal under the Representation of the People Act.

Polling rules are still in flux, even Mugabe doesn't know where to vote. IDs are still allegedly being confiscated, and urban polling stations seem to be on a go slow.

That wonderful specimen of humanity, Grace Mugabe (Mugabe's young, pretty and spendthrift wife) has called MDC supporters "cats and dogs". No jokes about reigning in Zimbabwe soon. Zim's version of Nye Bevan?

An interesting analysis of the two different parties' positions is here, although it does not really focus on the issues of foreign investment and that war in the Congo. Human Rights Watch conveniently puts out a denunciation of land reform on election eve.

A potentially interesting area is a BBC talk board "Have you voted". Nothing much posted there, but keep going back, it may change. Unfortunately the BBC heavily edit their talk boards, and they are (understandably, considering their treatment) anti-Mugabe. I don't think that this will mean that they will censor posts, just the suspicion that they could. Any other talk boards, etc, that deal with this, please note them in the comments.

This feature has been noted by Rantberg and Natalie Solent. Gee thanks.


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