Zimbabwe Bans Western Observers
Zimbabwe Bans Western Observers Website
Zimbabwe has banned observers from Western countries from monitoring the elections scheduled for March 29, 2008. Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said African countries would be allowed to send monitors, as would allies such as China, Iran and Venezuela. President Robert Mugabe says that Western countries were trying to remove him from government. Two credible challengers are running against Mr Mugabe in the 29 March poll - Simba Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai. "Clearly, those who believe that the only free and fair election is where the opposition wins, have been excluded since the ruling party, Zanu-PF, is poised to score yet another triumph," Mr Mumbengegwi told the state-owned Herald newspaper. Mr Makoni is a former Finance Minister and was a key figure in the Zanu-PF. His decision to challenge Mr. Mugabe for the presidency was seen by many as a good sign in the country’s political process. He was expelled from the party when he declared intention to contest the elections early this year. He has since won the support of some other key figures in the Zanu-PF.