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Zimbabwe and the farce that is it's national election

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How long will this clown continue to get away with this?

Millions of Zimbabweans went to the polls on Wednesday in an electionthat opponents of Africa's oldest leader, Robert Mugabe, condemned as "illegal, illegitimate, unfree and unfair".

Voting was peaceful and turnout high across the country but the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), attempting to end Mugabe's 33-year-rule, claimed to have uncovered evidence of massive fraud and rigging.

"Thousands and thousands of people are being disenfranchised by virtue of not finding their names on the voters' roll," said Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary-general and finance minister in the government. He described election officials as arrogant and insensitive to the complaints.

Biti took matters into his own hands, storming into a polling station in the Mount Pleasant area of the capital, Harare, claiming that 2,000 voters, many of whom were underage, had been brought in from rural areas to vote for Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

"They don't even stay in Mount Pleasant," he snapped, turning to one voter and demanding that he name one street in the neighbourhood. The voter stared at Biti impassively and said nothing.

The minister fumed: "They can't even be persuaded to lie, Zanu-PF is so desperate … we can't cheat an election, guys. How can you cheat blatantly like this? It's the mother of all rigging to prevent the mother of all defeats."

One of the buses used to transport the voters had a sign for Honde Valley, more than 185 miles away near the Mozambican border, but the driver declined to say where he picked the passengers up. "It's not a secret – but we're not allowed to say that," he muttered.

An extra polling tent appeared to have been set up for the voters, most of whom were young and had shaved heads; all stared ahead silently and refused to speak. Biti claimed the shaved heads were synonymous with Zanu-PF's youth militias.

Speaking into a mobile phone to demand a court injunction, Biti could be heard saying: "They are ultra rural, from the back of beyond."

Zizhou Fambisai, the local election presiding officer, said he could not tell where the voters were from. A police officer insisted they were police recruits brought by bus from a nearby training base.

Earlier Biti had produced a long list of objections to the conduct of the elections, arguing that the voters' roll contained two million invalid names, that there was renewed intimidation in rural areas, and that extra voting papers had been printed in a plot to swap ballot boxes.

"We've already made clear this election is illegal, illegitimate, unfree and unfair," he said, while still predicting an MDC victory. "We are participating with a heavy heart."

An independent election observer who analysed the roll last month also cited huge irregularities. "There are clearly hundreds of thousands of deceased people on the voters' roll. Either that or Japan does not have the oldest age population in the world. There are thousands of 114-year-olds."

At the last election, in 2008, the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, beat Mugabe in the first round but then withdrew from a run-off, citing violence in which more than 200 people died. Eventually the two men formed a unity government with Tsvangirai as prime minister, bringing a degree of stability as the economy went into meltdown.

This time Mugabe has declined to make confident predictions and has promised to stand down if he loses, although other Zanu-PF ministers insist that victory is certain. Accompanied by his wife, Grace, and their children, he voted at around noon at Mhofu primary school near his former home in Highfield township. He emerged from a concrete classroom and waved his little finger coated in pink dye. Asked if he was nervous about the outcome, he told the Guardian: "No, no, no, I've gone past that. At 89?" The politician long accused of brutal authoritarianism by human rights watchdogs was confident of a credible election. "I haven't got an account yet but I suppose they're still gathering information. I'm sure people will vote freely and fairly. There is no pressure being exerted on anyone. So far, so good." He described the MDC's claims of vote rigging as politicking, adding: "They want to find a way out."

There has been speculation that, should Mugabe prevail, he will step down before his 90th birthday and hand power to one of his allies in Zanu-PF. But asked by journalists if he would serve a full term, the president, bidding for his seventh straight election win, said: "Why not? Don't you want me to serve the whole term? Why should I offer myself as a candidate if it is to cheat the people into resigning after?"

Other voters queued patiently at the school. Mugabe had support from Kelvin Mudzing, 23, an electrician. "Robert Mugabe is the only person who can stand for us. We're the younger generation and we need someone with the sense of where we're coming from. We should keep him as long as he's willing to serve."

But as in much of Harare, the MDC is expected to win here with young voters demanding democratic change.

One first-time voter, 24-year-old James Hanoki, had arrived at 3.30am to make sure he cast his ballot; he was 32nd in the queue. He voted at 7.40am. . "I'm feeling great. I've managed to do what I'm supposed to do as a Zimbabwean to bring the change we need. I believe that democracy can come. I believe that we can be like any other nation that holds democratic elections."

Wearing an Arsenal football shirt, Donald Mavhudzi, 28, a property manager, had queued for five hours before voting. "We really wanted to vote for change. Here in Zimbabwe they call us the born-frees. We didn't experience the liberation struggle and for some of us it's the first time to vote.

"The 2008 election was a bit tense. There was a lot of violence and people were afraid, but this has been peaceful so far and people are excited. If the playing field remains level today, I would say Morgan Tsvangirai will the election by 65+%. But nobody knows what will happen after the election."

Casting his vote at a high school in Harare, Tsvangirai, challenging Mugabe for the third time, appeared less jocular than his opponent. He said he expected to win "quite resoundingly".

There were 6.4 million voters in a nation of 12.9 million people. Mugabe refused to allow western observer missions, including one from the Jimmy Carter Centre, to monitor voting. But western embassies were permitted to deploy a limited number of diplomats to key districts. The African Union and southern African region also had thousands of observers.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, a coalition of non-government organisations, said it had observed the elections in "a calm and peaceful environment" but added: "It is regrettable that the voters' roll remained unavailable, and this can potentially undermine the credibility of the electoral process."

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He's 89 so hopefully not much longer. It's truly amazing what a clown show Zimbabwe is.

Morgan Tsvangirai who by all accounts won the 2008 election was forced to share power with this buffoon. Shortly after his car is run off the road killing his wife. Just another day in the circus that is Zimbabwe.

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Because of their hyperinflation that may buy you a loaf of bread in the morning but by the afternoon maybe worthless. In nov of 2008 the inflation rate was


Nobody even uses those Zimbabwe dollars any more, mostly US currency there now.

I think if you didn't exchange the money for a different currency right away, sometimes this would have to be done several times a day to retain any value of the money earned.

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Overthrow Mugabe - hopefully through election but I suppose the article is showing that may not be the route they can take. Instil confidence in a democratically elected government and ask for aid from the UN and the world bank.

They could declare a foreign currency as their own national currency.

If they didn't want to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar they could enact a new very strict monetary policy. Start with a floating exchange rate to determine the market value and then declare a fixed exchange after that period of time. Then enact a currency limiting board to ensure that the unlimited printing is stopped (Hong Kong has a currency board that limits the production of HKD)

What they ultimately need is to have a national declaration of emancipation for the human spirit. This declaration needs to ensure that the rights of the many can never again be usurped for the power of a privileged few.

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Mugabe was just an ordinary run of the mill 3rd world dictator, lining his pockets like they all do until 2000.

That's when he instituted the Land Reform Program. A fancy name for evicting by force the white land owners/farmers and redistributing the farms mainly to members of his own party (and people affiliated with his party) who had no interest in farming let alone any clue about modern industrial farming. Many of the farms are today only used for subsistence farming.

Several million native Zimbabwean farm workers were excluded from the redistribution. You know the people who actually knew how to farm.

The economic results of this folly have been staggering. Zimbabwe went from being the "bread basket" of Southern Africa and a major exporter of food to a net importer.

The University of Zimbabwe reports that between 2000 and 2007 agricultural production dropped 51%. From 2000 - 2009 Zimbabwe suffered 10 straight years of declining GDP. Hence unemployment is rampant as is inflation. Not to mention the once vibrant tourism sector has been crushed. Hard to bring people in for safaris when you're dumb enough to let 60% of the wild game either die or be poached.

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I see this thread is full of economy experts and freedom lovers who have thoroughly delved into the current economic and political situation in Zimbabwe to make some extremely educated remarks. I especially appreciated the economist in this thread who appropriately suggested what Zimbabwe should do regarding its entire financial and monetary system. I'll be sure this evening to email that dictator Mugabe to let him know there's a shining star in Vancouver Canada who has found the solution to Zimbabwe's economic challenges.

Secondly, for all of us critics of this foreign country's electoral process (a criticism that mysteriously aligns with the US government and all western media outlets who clearly are looking out for the democratic and human rights of Zimbabweans - luckily that's a coincidence) we must ignore what the African Union delegation said: "The conduct of the election ... has been peaceful, orderly, free and fair." Those facts are irritating and not reported by the tabloid press of CBC CNN BBC ABC NBC Guardian etc so they must not be very important.

Thirdly, the media has repeatedly reported on the failure of the economic system in Zimbabwe, so we must repeat what we see on the tv about what we just learned. Clearly the crippling economic sanctions that effect everything from basic medicines to food to energy must not be a big deal. Mugabe must learn not to disobey the IMF, World Bank, and Washington. That dictator!

Lastly, Canadian anti-comedian Jon Lajoie has an interesting video for us critics:

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Zimbabwe's "Blacks-Only" Stock Exchange Takes 'Financial Innovation' And Racism To New Highs

The country which over the past decade is most synonymous with "financial innovation" of the less than desirable kind, such as hyperinflation, complete currency and economic collapse and wholesale property confiscation, has just taken financial central-planning brilliance to the next level and following dictator Robert Mugabe's "reelection" has announced plans to open a new and "racially exclusive" stock exchange, allowing blacks alone to trade. And not trade just anything, but shares of recently nationalized foreign companies, most of which are South African-owned miners. Or rather were, because following the most recent nationalization round, Zimbabwe would take a 51% stake in all major foreign-owned companies valued at over $7 billion. No compensation will be paid.


The plan to grab mining companies, most of which are South African-owned, follows President Robert Mugabe's landslide re-election last week.

Saviour Kasukawere
, the '
' minister, said on Tuesday that the government or black Zimbabweans would take 51 per cent of the shares in all major foreign-owned companies, valued at about £4.8 billion. No compensation will be paid.

The regime wants to control mining companies and in particular Zimplats, a major platinum producer which is largely owned by South Africa's Impala Platinum Holdings.

Zimbabwe was kind enough to give foreign companies a choice: hand over 51%, or lose everything.

And while banana republic nationalizing mines is nothing new and is a big reason for the horrendous performance of the mining complex over the past several years, the fact that Zimbabwe has some of the best-named propaganda actors is worth the price of admission alone.

Psychology Maziwisa
, spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party, confirmed that Mr Kasukawere's remarks were official policy. "All of this is correct. Its what we told voters we will do," he said.

Obviously, people are stunned by the absolute idiocy developing in Zimbabwe:

John Robertson, an independent economist in Harare, said: "There is no logic in that plan. He is in danger of introducing economic apartheid which is absurd."

Mr Robertson added: "I think this is only politicking and there is no substance to this."

Just wait. Because if anyone is hoping that Zimbabwe's preexisting international agreements...

South Africa has a bilateral trade and protection agreement with Zimbabwe. If the regime presses ahead and seizes a controlling stake in South African mining companies, they could use these agreements to secure compensation or the return of assets via international courts.

Whether Mr Mugabe's regime would respect any such rulings is another question.

Mr Mugabe seized almost all of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms, often in defiance of court orders, and without compensation.

... will do much to hinder the actions of an absolutely insane populist lunatic dictator, we urge them to exhale.

Finally, and speaking of populism, the good thing about the US is that there is little risk of it following in Zimbabwe's footsteps, at least in this regard: after all HFT algos are neither black nor white, so attempting to impose racist qualification on a bunch of vacuum tubes will fail miserably if and when Mugabe's plan crosses the Atlantic.


Yeah this is going to end well.

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