Judy Bachrach, a well-known investigative journalist has claimed that Robert Mugabe has stolen another election in Zimbabwe.
Writing in World Affairs Journal (www.worldaffairsjournal.org), Bachrach said, “Robert Mugabe, who has governed Zimbabwe since 1980 and is responsible for the deaths and wrongful imprisonment of thousands of his countrymen, won a landslide victory just days ago: a whopping 61 percent of the 3.5 million votes cast. But those votes didn’t come his way because he’s really popular. And they didn’t fall into his pocket without plenty of help.
“Among the many ‘irregularities,’ as the newspapers are fond of saying in discussions of Zimbabwe’s famously corrupt voting history: In a country of 13 million, where 51 years is the average life expectancy, there were some 900,000 duplicate entries on the voting registry. Among those entries were 109,000 citizens over the age of 100. You vote for Mugabe, as things turn out, you live longer. A lot longer.
“But this was by no means the only Mugabe miracle. As the UK’s Sunday Times reports, he bought a lot of those votes with around 500 million pounds from diamond mining companies controlled by both Chinese and Zimbabwean military and intelligence leaders.
“This is not a surprise. Almost two weeks ago the Daily Mail, in possession of similar documents, predicted that Mugabe had ‘plans to rig the election’—and that possible unhappy electoral outcomes for the dictator would be easily crushed with the help of a $13 million fee to Nikuv International Projects, an especially accommodating Israeli company that has been, according to the newspaper, ‘helping the dictator for a decade.’’
Bachrach, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a professor of investigative journalism at John Cabot University who writes regularly about how political leaders and personalities shape society and thinking in the US and abroad, went on to say: “In order to improve Mugabe’s chances, the leaked documents also advocated ‘the absolute neutralization of the enemy,’ adding that funding for this kind of activity would be coming from a vast panoply of foreign abettors.
“Among them: British businessmen and two African presidents, Joseph Kabila, the Congolese president, and Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, both of whom gave tens of millions to Mugabe.
A vigil in London
“The response to the thuggery and corruption that produced such a resounding victory in that unhappy nation? A massive outpour of Third World hypocrisy. From South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma: the offer of his ‘profound congratulations’ to the perpetual winner and a neon plea to Mugabe’s opponents and terrified detractors to ‘accept the outcome of the elections as election observers reported it to be an expression of the will of the people.’”
She went on to say that from the African Union: a general smattering of applause because, even though the organization’s observers did acknowledge seeing a lot of Zimbabwe voters getting turned away, the Mugabe election was peaceful “in comparison to the 2008 elections.”
In the 2008 elections, as the Zimbabwean journalist Basildon Peta points out, the activities of Mugabe’s good friends left “hundreds of people dead, including families torched to death in their homes.”
“We Zimbabweans have largely been on our own against a brutal tyrant, some of whose policies are as bad if not worse than those of apartheid South Africa,” the journalist concludes.
Judy Bachrach concluded by saying, “Brave words that would be braver still if Peta still lived in Zimbabwe. But wisely, and like so many Zimbabweans who have spoken their minds, the reporter does not. He lives in South Africa, where he is allowed sanctuary in the nation run by a president, democratically elected, who offers Mugabe his profound congratulations.”