30 June, 2008 - Published 16:31 GMT

BBC Focus on Africa Magazine

Forum: Can Zimbabwe have free elections?

In light of the recently disputed election results in Kenya, will Zimbabwe's March elections be free and fair?

Will there be a strong and credible opposition to Mugabe?

Is re-election guaranteed for President Mugabe?

Join the Focus Forum

To take part in the debate simply fill in the form on the right. A selection of your comments will appear below.

David Mason, Liverpool, UK:

Robert Mugabe has said today that he has no argument with the British people or the Royal Family. I would like him to know that 99% of the British people certainly have an argument with him and his megalomania

Patrick Siyumbelo, Livingstone, Zambia:

Mugabe has turned Zimbabwe from a democratic state to a dictatorial type of state. Democracy allows people to talk. The situation in Zimbabwe is barbaric. If he knew what was good for him, he would step down as the people who voted him into office are now suffering

Fadiru Bashiru Koroma, Freetown, Sierra Leone:

It is extremely disappointing that the whole world is proving incapable of curtailing the excesses of Mugabe. How can that single man be allowed to perpetrate the suffering of his own people? Everything must be done to pour sense into that senile head of Mugabe and his thugs, that nothing lasts for ever and they will certainly be brought to book for their reckless handing of their own compatriots

Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon:

Forget for a minute the West's overbearing interest in the interests of Zimbabwe and let's examine the possibility of a possible mediation of the leadership impasse by African leaders. But just looking around, I can hardly see any credible face apart from usual suspects like Mandela, Tutu, Chisano and Kofi Anan. Of the current crop of African leaders, I can say without fear or favour that Mugabe would hardly hearken to any of them because their linen is soiled by sanctioned elections marred by irregularities, graft at the highest echelons of administration, cronyism, tribalism and all the evil traits akin to the breed of African leaders we have today. It's for reasons like this that Mugabe would never listen to their type because they hold no moral high ground above him. In fact, they are birds of the same flock. If any African initiative is ever going to succeed in Zimbabwe, then we would have to solicit once more the services of our usual suspects who can serve as role models to Mugabe. I just wonder what would happen when this cream of sages no longer walk on the face of this earth

Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon

Forget for a minute the West's overbearing interest in the interests of Zimbabwe and let's examine the possibility of a possible mediation of the leadership impasse by African leaders. But just looking around, I can hardly see any credible face apart from usual suspects like Mandela, Tutu, Chisano and Kofi Anan. Of the current crop of African leaders, I can say without fear or favour that Mugabe would hardly hearken to any of them because their linen is soiled by sanctioned elections marred by irregularities, graft at the highest echelons of administration, cronyism, tribalism and all the evil traits akin to the breed of African leaders we have today. It's for reasons like this that Mugabe would never listen to their type because they hold no moral high ground above him. In fact, they are birds of the same flock. If any African initiative is ever going to succeed in Zimbabwe, then we would have to solicit once more the services of our usual suspects who can serve as role models to Mugabe. I just wonder what would happen when this cream of sages no longer walk on the face of this earth

Cosmas Adaki, Blantyre, Malawi:

Zimbabwe cannot have a free and fair election, because Mugabe is a dictator

Vincent Sibanda, Bez Valley, South Africa:

The Western media has the innocent blood of the Zimbabwean people on its hands. It has caused the demise of weaker governments all over the world. They lead the biggest propaganda in the world. If the weaker governments don't contol their media their people will be polluted with Western propaganda. Governments should control their media for the sake of their people, no matter how words like 'government controlled' and 'government mouthpiece' are used. Zimbabwe was destroyed by Western media, not Mugabe. He is just a scapegoat. He killed Matabele people because he was forced to do so by the British. At that time he was their darling, despite the fact that he was killing. Why now do you say he is bad because he has killed a few whites. From 1983 to 1987 he killed more 20 000 people, according to statistics, but no one said a word about that. Why now? Where were you when people were being killed? No need to blame him because now he is doing the right thing, empowering his own people. Just lift sanctions, you will see how great Zimbabwe is under Mugabe

Chrisopher Dube, Johannesburg, South Africa:

Mugabe has be there for only 27 years. The Queen of England has been there for over 56 years. Mugabe has not overstayed his welcome. People want him there

Munduni Angelo Dema, Ngara, Tanzania:

If you are un-African and you heavily support Mugabe, then you are a sadist! Let us be practical; go to Zimbabwe and see what Mugabe is doing. Some of the Africans who are supporting Mugabe either have colonial phobia or are looters. If you a kind person who has a heart for the poor, surely Mugabe cannot be you hero

Charles Muchimba, Chililabombwe, Zambia:

It is sad that Mugabe thinks he can still rebuild the ecomony of his country which is now in the woods. What more could he do, even if he was given the mandate to rule for another 200 years? Robert has been a disaster for the state of Zimbabwe. It is now time for him to leave office and hand over power to people with the capacity to rebuild the country's economy, which is in ruins

Haruna Mohammed, Gombe, Gombe State, Nigeria:

Free and fair elections in Zimbabwe under President Mugabe are unthinkable. This is one stubborn reality of African leaders. From Nigeria to Kenya and from Egypt to Mogadishu there is always the same story of ballot stuffing, ballot snatching and bias by the electoral commission in favour of the ruling party. Zimbabwe's election can not be any different. African leaders are shameless

Korpo Robert, Monrovia, Liberia:

Mugage is too much for himself that he will not allow anyone take over the land in Zimbabwe. Let the opposition rest their heart in peace as Mugabe will remain the president of Zimbabwe until death meets him there. Mugabe is a hero not a zero in Africa. May God bless the opposition as they plan for the future

Godfrey Effoe Jr, Baltimore, United States:

The problem is not only Robert Mugabe. The system he has maintained for 28 years will also be detrimental to the next leader. Mugabe has stayed so long his removal alone will not change the country. I hope he leaves, but also I hope Morgan Tsvangirai doesn't take the people of Zimbabwe for granted. Most often Africans get to vote in a new leader not because they are the best choice; they are just so weary of the old leader that they pick anyone. Morgan T. will have a lot of work to do if Mugabe leaves

Godwin Linus, Maiduguri, Nigeria:

Robert Mugabe is a disgrace to Africa. His policies do not and will never help Zimbabweans. Let him allow fresh intellectuals to succeed where he has failed

Allen Harriet Anyago, Soroti, Uganda:

Under Mugabe at the moment, there can not be free and free elections in Zimbabwe. But if bodies like the Electoral Commission were left to function independently without interference from the executive, there could be free and fair elections. This is because right now what we are seeing is someone fearing for his life; that is why the ZEC chairman can not stand up and announce the results that Tsvangirai won. Mugabe, what happened to the democracy you fought for? When you are long gone, what do you want to be remembered for? Please do not lose sight of all that you have sacrificed for. Re-election for Mugabe is not guaranteed, but he may try what he can to stay in power through intimidation of the population. He will do this forgetting that he is 84 years old, and that those he harrasses will live long after he has gone. Let Mugabe and other leaders know that the treatment they are according their citizens now will also determine the future of their children

Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, Freetown, Sierra Leone:

I think the question is not about free and fair elections, but whether the British and the United States will succeed in overthrowing Mugabe and the ZANU-PF. Let us say things the way they are: these elections are just one of the many strategies the imperialists have employed to get rid of Mugabe and the ZANU-PF government. Another issue is whether Africans in Zimbabwe will allow a neocolonialist MDC leadership in Zimbabwe. These are the central questions that need to be looked at

Abubakar Ibrahim, Accra, Ghana:

I really find it quite berserk the way the Western media have painted Mugabe's Zimbabwe and everything associated with it. The road is not so rocky and rugged as the Western media is trying hard to make believe. Why can't Zimbabwe have a fair election? Elections are never 100% fair and Mr Bush as well as his friends will agree with this, so why are they bothering Mugabe? We would care less about the fairness of what happened in Zimbabwe if we clearly remember what happened in Florida and other states in the 2000 elections in America

Mustapha Seidu, Tarkwa, Ghana:

Mugabe should give up on his political ambitions at this stage of his life. Other people must also be given the chance to lead the people of Zimbabwe. He has been the president for some time now: what were his achievements? He should not be deceived in thinking that he can do any good for Zimbabweans

Khumbo Chunda, Lilongwe, Malawi:

I srongly believe that one day there will be free elections in Zimbabwe because Mugabe cannot continue working against the will of the people

Abraham Mayuom Chol Gaak, Yei, South Sudan:

I would like President Mugabe to accept the results of the election otherwise let him give the younger generation a chance. So far the election is following in the footsteps of the Kenya election process. My question is whether Mugabe wants to die in power. This discussion is for the people of Zimbabwe

Mohammed Konneh, Monrovia, Liberia:

The question of whether Zimbabwe can have a free election is no longer questionable because dictators like President Robert Mugabe who has monopolized the government will continue ruling Zimbabwe until he is no longer alive. The election is a charade for the Zanu-PF so let these opposition leaders go to bed

William Kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia:

I believe it is now time that Mugabe emanates his colleague Fidel Castro by handing over power easily as he is too old for the Zimbabwean presidency. Let Mugabe understand that Zimbabwe is not his personal property but a land for the people of Zimbabwe. Re-electing comrade Mugabe is an unthinkable situation that will have the innocent people of Zimbabwe serving under a dictator regime and suffering from continued economic disease that is killing them slowly. Comrade Mugabe, please allow the world to call you the living and former revolutionary, but not the late revolutionary

Garang Deng, Charlotte, NC, USA:

I am not praying for what will happen not to happen because it's clear that it is going to take place regardless of what we/I wish to take place to the poor people in Zimbabwe. My prayers will go to the suffering Zimbabweans who have been placed in this unwanted situation for so long. This is not about the old-man any more, it's about the future of Zimbabwe. Of curse there will be no fair election if Mugabe's on a ticket. The bottom line is his days are numbered and he has got to go. Zimbabweans are open people. Nothing will happen in terms of violence. Let's keep our fingers crossed

Mallfy Darboe, Banjul, The Gambia:

Please Mugabe, enough is enough, give a chance to others. It is very unfair to spend the rest of your life being a tyrant over an innocent people. Always remember to step down whenever people say no to you. Let our dear African brothers in Zimbabwe have a little bit of peace of mind. Be like Mandela and others. Greediness contributed a lot towards the backwardness of Africa. Shame on you

Percyslage Chigora, Gweru, Zimbabawe:

Free and fair elections are measured by degrees, because there are no free and fair elections the world over

Ibrahim Moallim Abdirahman Ibrahim, Baidoa, Somalia:

There will not be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe because Mugabe will take power. It is normal that long time presidents need to remain in power, like other dictators. Please allow the young generation to contest elections. We are suffering and displaced while the world is developing and educating their children. We know that elections in Kenya caused human destruction. People in Zimbabwe must prepare for peace and prevent nepotism and other bad behaviour. Let us build peace. I request fellow Zimbabweans to do that because fighting after the election brings no peace, just human casualties

Douglas Hendry, Wallingford, United Kingdom:

Twenty-eight years ago I was in the army and directly involved in the first "free and fair" elections in the then Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Mugabe's freedom fighters, armed with AK47's and bayonets, were inspecting ballot papers before the papers went into the ballot boxes, and who, I ask you, is going to put a cross in the wrong place, when you know you will be killed if you do so? The fact that British police and troops stood by and the world then had the gall to say that the elections were "free and fair" was an insult to the intelligence, not only of the voters, but of anyone who thinks democracy was worth fighting for. I have no doubt whatsoever that Mugabe and his thugs, sorry, lawful government troops and policemen, will win yet another "free and fair" election, and the world will do as they have done for the past 28 years, absolutely nothing! Perhaps the world would have acted differently if they had found oil under the Matopos? Yours in despair for another beloved country

Rufaro, Harare, Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe cannot have free elections because Mugabe has monopolised every government item; police,military and l believe some of the independent election observers from other SADC countries have already been bribed. Also, consider the fact that he does not want ETV, BBC and other TV stations covering the event. He knows they will expose his rubbish. I smell rigging but the major question is what is going to be done about it? Free and fair he won't win because the opposition is too strong. That guy is deadly. l can't even write my name here because his slaves are everywhere. l am willing to fight him out because its better for me to die fighting him and the next generation to be happy

George T. Tarkpor, Ganta, Liberia:

Zimbabwe March 2008 will never ever be free nor fair, except and until the death and/or overthrow of Dictator Robert Mugabe. For him is this proverb: "Whatever goes up must come down". Mugabe must go one day. He is leaving a path of isolation for this generation and the one yet unborn. So, let the opposition be patient. There will be a few more years for Mugabe, who is presently awaiting death, before he leaves this world.

Melody Medzo, Northampton, Canada:

Can Zimbabwe have free elections? NO

John Okwemba, Eldoret, Kenya:

This is to inform the reader from Cameroon that Kenyans are not stupid! You have to be in Kenya and be Kenyan to understand the reality of what Kenyans were reacting to. Your opinion lacks basic intelligence and for your information, Cameroon lags behind Kenya in all economic indicators except football. For any meaningful change to happen in Africa, the people must react, otherwise they shall become failed states like Cameroon, which has no strong opposition and poor institutional infrastructure. The situation in Zimbabwe can never be free and fair, but Zimbabwe is not Kenya and Kenya is not Zimbabwe

Jordan Allenik, Ewing, USA:

I think you have to be very dim to entertain the notion that Mugabe will tolerate any fair and free elections. In case you haven't read it in the newspapers, the police chief said the country will not be run by "puppets" and the police are already threatening and beating voters. They even have dead people registered to vote. Ring a bell? That is what happened in Uganda and Kenya. Africans are essentially blind dogs. You give them money and you can rule them forever. If Africans really wanted to improve their lives, they would not have the likes of Bongo and Mugabe. Africans haven't registered in their brains the fact that they have the power. They are too afraid to fight for what is rightfully theirs. In western countries people are ready to die, but in Africa, you fire bullets in the air and they all disappear or even worse, you throw some money on the ground and they will worship you forever. There is no country in Africa right now that I can say is worthy of praise. So to answer the question, if Zimbabweans do not wake up and do something, they should get ready for another period of death, suffering and hunger

Atwaya Nchimbi, Namtumbo-Songea, Tanzania:

Of all the human races on this planet earth, the black race to which President Mugabe belongs is the only one that continues to be humiliated by other races, including blacks themselves. Intrinsicly, to live on our earth, one needs land. No land, no food, no house, no life... Mugabe is securing stolen land from the white races for his fellow blacks who were physically dying a natural death. So, let Mugabe's ideals stay. The economy will be built slowly but surely by the blacks themselves. Rome, like many European and USA cities, despite the use of forced black slaves, was not built in one day! Let Mugabe or a personality like his win the next elections to perpetuate the noble struggle

Sylvester Massaquoi, Bo, Sierra Leone:

Zimbabwe's election outcome is as predictable as the end of man. The real issue is, what does the future hold for the country with the old man still calling the shots

Bernard Manga, Yei, Sudan:

Mugabe will not win because he is not ready to change. So if he is not ready to change, change will change him

Aubralo Jonzalo, Montreal, Canada:

With all those degrees, the man is behaving like an animal. Africans, it does not take a degree to rule a country. We need a leader who can listen to people. Look at all the African countries that became independent. Name one that is doing well (none). To be honest, whites know how to run the economy. Rhodesia under sanctions had a vibrant economy. Let us swallow our pride and learn from the white people

Frank Obonyo, Kampala, Uganda:

I don't think Mugabe will accept a free and fair election because he has built a dynasty and has fears of what the future holds for him. With the many conflicts and bloodshed which have occured in Africa, our leaders should have learnt, but they don't do so. They learn nothing from their past experiences

Sunday Abotsi, Legon, Accra, Ghana:

I do not think so. I do not think a true African leader like Mugabe will entertain free and fair elections, so his re-election is guaranteed. All the same, there cannot be violence after the elections like what we are seeing in Kenya, because Mugabe has his own way of suppressing the opposition

Military Democrat, Mvurwi, Zimbabwe:

This country belongs to blacks, we don't come to Europe and coerce you to adopt our ways and values, so leave us alone. I am quite willing to see Zimbabwe burned down before we can accept anymore Western dictats. Stay out of our affairs

Abdu-Rahman Bayoh, Philadelphia, USA:

I believe that we shouldn't even think about having free and fair elections in Zimbabwe because, as long as Mugabe's in power, he's going to rig the election. Zimbabweans need to stand like a man and free their country from a dictator

Lewis Sibanda, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania:

Simba Makoni has always been someone that Mugabe was scared of. Remember when he released him from being Minister of Finance, he said they had different opinions. The only way to get Mugabe out is for Tsvangirai and Gibson Sibanda to support Simba Makoni. We are tired of this old man who loves power

Baingana Yusuf, Mbarara, Uganda:

Elections in Zimbabwe cannot be fair because Mugabe is a dictator. I think he has previously rigged elections in Zimbabwe. He should expect change now. There shouldn't be mercy on the current government.

Kuol Mayiir, Melbourne, Australia:

It's obvious to my fellow Africans that the election in Zimbabwe is going to be rigged. It's really what happened in Kenya, which I anticipated. Mugabe is using Zimbabwe's economy as his piggy bank. Shame on you Mugabe, you have created the reality of what the last white president of Zimbabwe, Ian Smith said, that Africans cannot rule themselves. Shame on you Mugabe, it is time to leave the political space to a new generation, rather than strolling around in your empty office

Alfred Okorie, Aba, Nigeria:

I predict a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. Let's not be carried away by the European influences of hypocrisy. As soon as we realise our origin as Africans, we can easily understand the imposition of democracy with its weapon of capitalism and the terrorizing propaganda. Any anti-European African leader is a bad one. Yet, Africa has the best leaders in the world such as Gadaffi and Mandela. I believe Mugabe is of the same stature

Dora Brown, New York, USA:

Should the question not be "will the so-called 'civilized world'", a euphemism for Aryan power, neo-colonialists and imperialists, "stop interfering in a sovereign state's internal affairs?" Look at the Kenyan elections. Were the US elections in 2000 fair? There never has, or ever will be a fair and democratic election. Is the current US general election viewed as democratic and fair, when money determines who runs? Spare us this crap. There never was, or ever will be a democratic government especially now that the multinational corporations are running the world. Zimbabwe, just as Gaza, has populations that are being collectively punished for having leaders that are not approved of by the so called 'civilized world'

Femi Oginni, Salvador, Brazil:

Zimbabwe cannot have a free and fair election because the power of the incumbent has a big role to play in an African setting

Lawal Salihu, Kaduna, Nigeria:

The question is not of whether the elections will be free. What matters is if President Mugabe is looking after his people. We in Africa are used to not having free elections. My country is suffering from the same illness. May God save Africa.

Alhaji Baba Ba'aba, Potiskmm, Nigeria:

I have been monitoring every bit of the African news and I think that the opposition is building strength with the help of the governments of the UK, USA and the AU, as well as other pressure groups. There is therefore the possibility for free and fair elections to take place

Barikisu Mahama Awal, Accra, Ghana:

If you ask me I will say no, Zimbabwe can never have a free election as long as Mugabe is still around. Can't the opposition see that he wants to die on the seat as president? I wish the opposition well but in terms of a free election, no way! They should forget it, it will never happen

Abraham Bangs, California, USA:

I believe it is high time that the President groomed a younger person to succeed him in the coming elections. There are many young men and women in his government and I trust that some are dedicated to the development of the country as the President. He has to trust someone so continue his leadership. The African Union can effectively supervise the elections.Too many good people gave up their lives to liberate the country and their souls will not rest if the people are not getting the benefit of their victory over colonial rule

Simon Abafari, Oslo, Norway:

I won't comment on your forum, Focus. Why are all your forums (or at least most of them in the last few years), about Zimbabwe alone? Are you propagandists for the British as Mugabe has accused you? One would think that hot issues raging on in Africa - like the Kenyan situation - would get your attention, but no you are stuck with Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe!

Claudius Mammah, Dakar, Senegal:

I believe if Mugabe allows a free and fair election the opposition will surely win. But if he decides to stay in power for life, nothing would stop him from rigging the elections

Akin Afolabi, Ikare, Nigeria:

Elections cannot be free in Zimbabwe since there will be no level playing ground for any of the political parties. President Mugabe is a do or die politician who will not allow free and fair elections

Jamas Palla, Mutare, Zimbabwe:

The Zimbabwean elections are already not fair because of the terror instilled into opposition parties and their supporters by the powers that be. The casting of the ballots may be fair but the job of thwarting the opposition has already been done in non-democratic ways. Even if you had a million international election monitors, who the hell would Zimbabweans vote for when the opposition was destroyed a long time ago?

Lionel Stephen, York, UK:

The coming elections in Zimbabwe will obviously be rigged. The question is what will stop Mugabe rigging them when he has done so for years. As for the opposition, Zanu-PF is none pertubed

Emmanuel Nhamo, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe:

I definitely do think that Zimbabwe will have free and fair elections especially with Mugabe at the helm. I am not confident that the opposition can get Mugabe out of power. What is needed to get Mugabe out of power is a strong and formidable opposition which is visibly absent in Zimbabwe. If the opposition is in tatters as currently witnessed and offer no proper solutions other than riding on public anger, things won't work for them. So Mugabe cannot steal elections that he has already won. Remember the million man march in December 2007. That alone shows he still has the support. One other thing is all the land beneficiaries are currenltly getting assistance in the form of mechanisation processes and can't afford to lose them now. If we go by the number of resettled people things favour Mugabe. But if the electorate was based on urban opinion, then things could be different. What will happen is Mugabe will win but Simba Makoni will shake up Zanu-PF and come second

Lancelot Kajokoto, Randburg, South Africa:

I think President Mugabe is overrated. Re-election is not guaranteed unless people vote by physically standing behind their preferred candidate. The biggest problem about us Zimbabweans is our lack of self-esteem. We do not really believe in ourselves. The ruling party is no longer a people's party but a beneficiaries' party. I also honestly don't think that President Mugabe is going into this election of his own will. I believe he was forced by those around him who want to perpetuate the gross suffering of the nation for their own selfish gains. Notice how they refer to him each time they make statements - it means they do not want to be held accountable for their own statements

Harris Daquar, Norton, Botswana:

If the past elections were never free and fair, what makes this one different, given the fact that we are still fighting the Mugabe regime which wants to rule forever. Once again the opposition is disadvantaged in a number of ways; the playing field is uneven, there is no press freedom, there is political violence against opposition supporters etc. Mugabe knows that he has lost support of the general populace and will do anything possible to remain in power. In a nutshell, the forthcoming elections will never be free and fair as Mugabe will rig the elections like he has done before. Nothing, except death will remove Mugabe from power. That is the sad truth we have to accept. Whether we like it or not, Mugabe is here to stay

Kudzanayi Mapfumo, Harare, Zimbabwe:

Views about the issue are grossly biased, since people are exposed to CNN and the BBC. Of course, the news in their countries and even in Africa are extracts from these CIA and M16 machinations of propaganda. You have to be Zimbabwean to have an understanding and an appreciation of the situation

Cliff Duff, Nairobi, Kenya:

I actually do not see the elections being free and fair because we know Mugabe does not accept challenges. I would suggest they invite international observers so that they can monitor every other step of the elections

Lokang Khalifa, Adelaide, Australia:

I think that the next election in Zimbabwe will not be free and fair. Zimbabwean's should not be stupid like the Kenyans. Mugabe is well prepared to win the election. Look at the millitary set up he's got. If anyone tampers with his success he's ready to blow them off. My advice is, whatever his leadership, just be loyal to him. After all, he is ageing and who knows whether he will even run for a full term, or more. Keep yourself safe for the next five or ten years, it is not a long time

Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon:

The oppostion seems to be too fragmented and divided amongst itself to form a formidable challenge to the Mugabe hegemony. All this dis-unity and the egoistic tendencies play very nicely into the hands of President Mugabe who will hang onto power for eternity

Paul Mark Lusceni, Cape Town, South Africa:

I have the strong feeling that Zimbabwe's March elections will be free and fair. The re-election of Mugabe is guaranteed on two grounds - if the old electorial team is still in charge and secondly, if the constitutions of the country and candidacy for the elections remain the same. I believe that Mugabe is not the problem, but the people of Zimbabwe. The power of Mugabe is perpetuated because the people are still looking for a liberator. I think another story of Mugabe's over-staying in power is that "he is being compensated for being a freedom fighter " and that he is from majority tribe.

Felix Nyaaba, Bolgatanga, Ghana:

I think Mugabe is good for trying to defend Africa but the force he uses is what causes the world to be against him

Joseph P. Abu, Freetown, Sierra Leone:

I definitely do not think that Zimbabwe will have free and fair elections especially with Mugabe at the helm. I am not confident that the opposition can get Mugabe out of power. What is needed to get Mugabe out of power is a strong and formidable opposition which is visibly absent in Zimbabwe

Chernor Jalloh, Madrid, Spain:

Looking at the past elections and the manner in which they were conducted in Zimbabwe, there is little hope that this one will be free and fair.The opposition party leaders are as divided as ever and President Mugabe, with his foot in the grave, is still power hungry. He still controls everything, especially the security forces, which are well fed and will pounce on anyone who dares to dispute the results and call for a mass protest in the streets. My greatest fear is that the few Zimbabweans who support the opposition will be confronted by their rivals when it comes to casting their vote. It is also too little too late for Simba Makoni, pretending to be the candidate who can rescue the people of Zimbabwe from the economic recession in the country

Anor Tetteh Boerh-Doe, Sege-Ada, Ghana:

Commrade Mugabe has bitten off more than he can chew. My little understanding of history tells me that the late Sekou Toure thought that he was indispensable but on the day that his death was announced from an American hospital, instead of Guinea going into a state of mourning, the whole nation celebrated. I believe that the supreme messenger is on the way and Zimbabwe will come back to its real self

Yayah Maddie, Pennsylvania, USA:

The international community should not allow Mugabe to contest another election. This guy should not be given any more chances to wreck his nation. I am a Sierra Leonean by nationality and I know how these fake so-called African leaders wants to stay in power for life. He needs to be tried in a court of law

Allan Mpairwe, Kampala, Uganda:

The opposition in Zimbabwe has been silenced over time and is no longer credible. The party members of the ZANU-PF will have no option but to rally behind Mugabe because, right from the primaries no one came out to challenge him due to intimidation. The break-out faction of the ZANU-PF should have done so earlier, especially when Mugabe was seeking re-election as a party chairman. By doing this, they would have won the support of the majority in both the opposition and the ZANU-PF

Jonah Soe Kotee, Monrovia, Liberia:

There will be no strong and credible opposition to Mugabe. The opposition is divided and Simba Makoni who will be challenging Mugabe for the ZANU-PF does not have guaranteed support within the opposition and Mugabe's Party. Re-election is not guaranteed for Mugabe and it will only increase the hardship of all citizens and continue the deplorable economic meltdown

Augustine Kullie, Monrovia, Liberia:

In my opinion, it is perfectly impossible for Zimbabwe to have any free elections as long as President Mugabe remains the incumbent president. Even a strong and credible opposition to him is not possible. As a result, re-election is certainly guaranteed for President Mugabe

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