Ruling African politicians must be aghast at the US Primaries – Super Tuesday and all that leading up to USA Presidential Elections in November…  Much too open; for goodness sake, anyone could win!  Africa has its own way of “democracy” that is much less liable to surprises.  African Rulers know that their people cannot be trusted to decide on such important matters as who is to rule them, and who is to prosper.  (As Stalin once said, “It’s not the people who vote that count.  It’s the people who count the votes.”)  Okay, occasionally the people get restless and blood is spilt, but it’s easy to restore order and things get back to normal…
Take Kenya’s latest elections when someone from the wrong tribe, who is popular with the people, expected to win the presidency and stirred up the masses when he didn’t.  Over six hundred people were killed, and some hundreds of thousand made homeless but the state police soon imposed order.  The Sunday Times reported “Kenyan police defiant over city bloodbath” after the police killed a large number of protesters last week.  Of course, the protesters were from the Luo tribe.  And the only police casualty was the single Luo policeman there at the time – he was shot dead by his police comrades…  (Incidentally, according to The Huffington Post, US Democratic Candidate Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother is a Luo still living in Kenya… and she expects great things from him when he becomes president of the USA.)
Meanwhile Zimbabweans will be having their own Mass Elections in March this year.  Not merely to re-elect Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe as President and Dictator, but also to elect Mugabe-approved members of the Senate, Parliament and various Councils throughout the country.  All levels of government in one go – how’s that for productivity?  The actual date has not been set – some say it’ll be 9th March, but who knows?  President Mugabe hasn’t yet signed off the new election rules or dissolved parliament, and he’s still on holiday somewhere in East Asia.  But the authorities are clear about one thing – they won’t be delaying the elections once Mugabe gives the go ahead; and that’s going to be in March 2008…  Opposition campaigning is muted.
But Mugabe and his cronies never stop campaigning – African style.  In December 2007, The Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network (also backed by the Ford and the Rockefeller Foundations), published “We Have Degrees in Violence” – A Report on Torture and Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe.  The report states that “since early 2007, the Zimbabwean government has brutally sought to suppress political opposition with state-sponsored torture and political violence.”  This comes as no surprise to me or any other follower of Zimbabwe’s ‘fortunes’, or to the unfortunate Zimbabweans themselves, but it is a powerful and well researched condemnation by a respectable organisation.
The BBC reports that the latest Mugabe/ZANU-PF gimmick to emerge was when villagers were promised free (taxpayer funded) farming equipment – but only if they have fully paid up ZANU-PF party cards, and can demonstrate loyalty by chanting at least three of the party’s slogans.  Furthermore, the equipment will only be delivered after Mugabe and ZANU-PF have won the election.  And a local Mugabe supporting (ZANU-PF) councillor warned that opposition voters would be ‘bitten by dogs’.  Well – at least they can’t claim they weren’t warned…


Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email

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