Themba Hadebe/AP
African National Congress (ANC)
President Jacob Zuma

Former Ally Condemns Mugabe’s Violence Against Opposition

June 26, 2008 12:18 PM
by Anne Szustek
Support for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe continued to wane this week as African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma sharply criticized the Zanu-PF party.

30-Second Summary

“We cannot agree with Zanu-PF. We cannot agree with them on values,” Zuma said at a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. “We fought for the right of people to vote, we fought for democracy.”

The comments will likely have a strong negative effect on Zanu-PF, Mugabe’s political party, as it has always relied heavily on other African liberation movements for support. On Monday, South Africa took part in a unanimous United Nations Security Council vote that condemned violence by Zimbabwe’s government.

The government has been accused of many violent acts, including killing more than 100 opposition supporters, since the country’s general election in March, when Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe, but not with enough votes to avoid a second round. The country had been preparing for a runoff vote this week.

Now the run-off, sceduled for Friday, is up in the air. Mugabe announced last week that he would not cede power to Western-backed opponents even if he lost the second vote and Tsvangirai withdrew from the election Monday, citing fears of continued violence and corruption.

Dutch diplomatic officials confirmed Monday that Tsvangirai had found a safe haven at its country’s embassy in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

Headline Link: 'Longtime Ally Rebukes Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe'

Background: The 2008 Zimbabwe election

Historical Context: Robert Mugabe’s rule

Key Players: Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai

Robert Mugabe (1924–)
Morgan Tsvangirai (1952–)

Reference: Zimbabwe


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