LEAKED: NAACP Withheld Crucial Report on Zimbabwe Elections
By Jonathan Springston and Matthew Cardinale, Atlanta Progressive News (April 21, 2006)
(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.
President Robert Mugabe of the ZANU-PF party defeated Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Zimbabwe 's main opposition party, by a 56 percent to 42 percent margin. The ZANU-PF party gained two-thirds control of Parliament in 2005.
The MDC spread accusations of fraud but the results were allowed to stand. Mugabe 's party has won every election since 1980.
Since 2002, the Zimbabwe government has implemented a land reclamation plan that moved control of over 28 million acres (11.5 million hectares) of land from between 2,900 to 4,500 European commercial farmers to 350,000 Zimbabwean families.
Earlier that year, President Mugabe signed a constitutional amendment into law that allowed the government to seize White-owned land without compensation, calling instead on Great Britain to compensate the displaced. Only one percent of Zimbabwe 's population is White.
Continuing the feud, Blair threatened to send the equivalent of $200 million to the MDC to help their 2005 parliamentary election campaign.
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