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.
"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.
"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.
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.