Pretoria sabotaged Zim democracy – Tsvangirai
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