(APN) ATLANTA – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been sitting on an explosive report showing Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections were free and fair, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
“In sum, we are confident in spite of... long lines... the elections afforded the people of Zimbabwe an opportunity to exercise their constitutional right,” the report, which was reviewed by Atlanta Progressive News, stated at the conclusion of its Executive Summary.
“At stake is malnutrition to the point of death,” Rev. Mmoja Ajabu told Atlanta Progressive News. Ajabu is a member of a local branch of the NAACP in Athens, Georgia, which has called for the NAACP to release the report publicly.
An NAACP spokesperson told Atlanta Progressive News that the report was never intended for external use. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond did not respond to requests for comment.
However, the NAACP’s assertion does not appear consistent with a press release on their website dated January 21, 2003.
"NGO designation [by the United Nations, which had just been conferred] gives the NAACP its proper standing and status for participating in international relations and with foreign delegations. Whether monitoring elections in Zimbabwe or promoting human rights and trade as we did during a recent trip to Cuba, the NAACP is poised now to become even more effective as an advocate for international justice and third world development," then-CEO Kweisi Mfume, who is now running for US Senate in Maryland, said.
“The US and Britain are saying the elections were not free and fair. Because of this, they’re blocking the counties’ ability to get international loans from the IMF and the World Bank. We’re talking about saving lives. This is very serious,” Ajabu said.
A source who is familiar with the matter showed a copy of the highly sensitive report to APN’s Editor, who read and took notes, on condition of the source’s anonymity and the return of the documents to the source....
Dr. Simbi Mubako, the Zimbabwe Ambassador to the United States, held a press conference at the National Press Club in April 2005. In his remarks, Mubako pointed to numerous elections reports which were favorable from the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Union of African States, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Rev. Ajabu told APN he spoke to one person removed from President Mugabe who said the Zimbabwean government has not yet received the 2002 report from the NAACP, which could be significant because it is an organization based in the United States.
The report shows a few things:
First, the NAACP sent five observers, according to the report. An NAACP spokesperson told APN that only two observers were sent.
Second, the NAACP did an extremely thorough job researching the election, expending considerable time, energy, and resources. The NAACP’s election research included extensive interviews with citizens, activists, religious leaders, elected officials, and nongovernmental agency officials. NAACP monitors undertook a 2,031 kilometer trip and observed urban and rural polling stations.
Third, the NAACP report says that observers would receive reports of violence at polling stations “from pundits and activists,” but when they would go to check out these rumors, the polling stations would be calm and orderly.
Fourth, they stated that Western governments had a clear anti-Mugabe stance throughout the process.
The NAACP congratulated the people of Zimbabwe for patience and courage and their large voter turnout. They recommended modernization of elections, voter education, and earlier training for poll workers, however.
The NAACP’s “International Election Observers Manual,” which was also included in the report, states the role of nonpartisan observers is “to give citizens confidence that the elections process is carried out in a free, fair, and transparent manner.”
Atlanta Progressive News is advocating that the NAACP should release this report to the world in order to give citizens such confidence.----------
This is a "progressive" news source.
The errors in it are many.
Even if the "report" leaked was true, it ignores several things, the most important one being that people who often know they will be punished for saying the truth will be punished will instead tell you what they think you want to tell them...
In Mashona culture, it is only polite to tell a person what they want to hear, and not contradict them...
Who translated for the "five" people? Did they bring their own translators? Who chose who to interview? The Government?
So why should interviewers expect to hear what many of my friends report: That people knew if they didn't vote for Mugabe that they would receive no food aid to their villages...