Pre­to­ria sab­o­taged Zim democ­racy – Ts­van­gi­rai

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

HARARE: Zim­bab­wean op­po­si­tion leader Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai is “deeply ap­palled” by a damn­ing re­port on Zim­babwe’s 2002 elec­tions that has only just been re­leased in South Africa.

In his first pub­lic re­sponse yes­ter­day to the Kham­pepe Re­port – re­leased only after a long court bat­tle – Zim­babwe’s Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change leader ac­cused Pre­to­ria of “wit­tingly or un­wit­tingly aid­ing the sub­ver­sion of demo­cratic pro­cesses in Zim­babwe”.

The South African judges who ob­served the run-up to Zim­babwe’s 2002 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions de­clared in their re­port that the vote “could not be de­scribed as free and fair”, but Pre­to­ria went on to en­dorse the vic­tory of long­time leader Robert Mu­gabe.

Ts­van­gi­rai has never ac­cepted his de­feat in that poll, or in sub­se­quent elec­tions.

His MDC party says all elec- tions from 2000 have been stolen by Mu­gabe and the rul­ing Zanu-PF.

A ver­dict on a court chal­lenge to the 2002 poll re­sult had still to be de­liv­ered, the op­po­si­tion leader said.

In a state­ment to the me­dia yes­ter­day, Ts­van­gi­rai said: “We are deeply ap­palled by the re­port and we un­re­servedly de­plore what was done by the South African gov­ern­ment to try to sweep this re­port un­der the car­pet.”

The Mail & Guardian waged a long bat­tle to get the Kham­pepe Re­port pub­lished after spir­ited re­sis­tance from the South African gov­ern­ment.

Ts­van­gi­rai, who lost pres­i­den­tial elec­tions last year to Mu­gabe yet again and whose pop­u­lar­ity is now on the wane, said: “Zim­babwe’s prob­lems could have been solved in 2002 if this re­port had not been swept un­der the car­pet.” – Sapa

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