Monday, February 06, 2006

Who will help? Take Two

As we enter our seventh year of political turmoil, most Zimbabweans are desperate, despondent, and disempowered. In the face of a total onslaught by their own government, they feel helpless, and many have been made homeless. The economy is stuttering to a halt as social breakdown escalates. Government actions are erratic and oppressive and incapable of solving the chaos they have created. It is hardly surprising that the popular mood has shifted during the past ten months from a guarded expectation of change to a numbing hopelessness.

Six years ago, when the ZANU PF government was rejected by the people in a constitutional referendum and began its war on Zimbabweans, people believed that a democratic electoral process and a respected independent-minded judiciary would eventually rid them of an oppressive, increasingly irrational government. A popular opposition party was in the ascendancy and waiting in the wings.

But after six years of election campaigning and legal challenges, it is clear that the institutions of democracy are so completely subverted that they cannot support the will of the people or resurrect the rule of law. ...


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