Tuesday, April 08, 2008


For some reason I found myself watching C-Span transmissions on the BBC Parliament channel on Sunday. There was a series of phone in programmes - one of which was on the subject of the Zimbabwean elections. The first surprising thing was that all the callers, comprising mostly of Zimbabweans abroad, were very much against the opposition parties, accusing them of being the party of the rich white landowners. Their concern seemed to be that the west, and the media of the west, was doing all it could to discredit Mugabe, and causing internal problems, therby making Mugabe unpopular. It's clear, and has been to me for some time, that we are not getting a fair representation of the facts in the British media.

I've noticed that the press reports of the election were pretty vague, consisting mostly of rumour and innuendo in order to imply that Mugabe was fiddling the election. There was the repeated story of the empty field with hundreds of registered voters. The details of this example changed every report - the number of registered voters and the reason given for why there were any registered voters in a field. It seemed to me that these were phoney reports, like the babies in incubators that Iraqi invaders were supposed to have slaughtered in 1991.

The western media only became interested in Mugabe he started seizing land from white farmers so that Zimbabwe's land reform policy could go ahead. Suddenly representatives from the opposition appeared on the BBC saying Mugabe had gone mad. Even his former allies came on. Now, I've read with interest everything that Mugabe has been quoted on in this country since then and I can find nothing that indicates he has gone mad.

I may be alone in this, but I hope Mugabe can stay in power in order to complete his land reform exercise.

This article is extremely illuminating:


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