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Vol 46 No 6

Published 18th March 2005


Matebeleland moves on

In this month's parliamentary elections, the big upset could come in the south-west as anti-Mugabe sentiment grows

President Robert Mugabe's current term lasts until 2008 and the parliamentary elections due on 31 March are critical to his next moves. He may get his biggest shock in the south-west if Matebeleland rejects the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) en masse, as its voters are being urged by oppositionists and ruling party dissidents. ZANU-PF hopes for a two-thirds majority, enough to change the constitution, but pre-election abuses and irregularities will give the poll little credibility, especially as few if any international monitors will be allowed and the all-important local monitors are constantly harassed and obstructed. The most obvious flaw in the polls now - an outdated and gerrymandered voters' list - has escaped serious attention so far. Fixing it would mean delaying the elections which the government has ruled out.

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