RealNews

New Wave of Repression Seen in Zimbabwe By-Election

Like scores of opposition politicians in Zimbabwe, David Mpala knew violence firsthand. As he campaigned for this region’s seat in Parliament in 2000, 40 government supporters clubbed him so soundly that he was permanently scarred. In 2002, 18 thugs dragged him into the bush, beat him and stabbed him in the back. Mr. Mpala, 48, died in February, and the government held an election last month to fill his seat. This time, government critics say, it was democracy that got mugged. In what many here see as a dry run for Zimbabwe’s national elections next March, President Robert G. Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front, known as ZANU-PF, went to extraordinary lengths three weeks ago to guarantee a win in Lupane. Full Story

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