Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-03-14-Speech-4-186"

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"The generation of independence fighters have belied their own nature. The elections in Zimbabwe were an incredible farce, even by African standards. Mr Mugabe made every effort to stay in power, using extremely brutal means. Nothing was too extreme for the purpose of eliminating his opponents: violence, intimidation, murder, large-scale arrests and accusations of high treason. Election laws were changed at the last minute. There were selectively too few ballot stations, identity cards were seized, the media was not allowed to do its job and the observation of the elections was a joke. Politically blind South African observers made absolute fools of themselves by declaring that the elections had been conducted fairly and freely. Mugabe wants – by hook or by crook – to pursue his ill-fated policy which has led Zimbabwe to the brink of starvation, where 80% of the population live beneath the poverty line and 60% are unemployed. Tougher sanctions must be used in order even further to isolate Mugabe internationally. We should not punish the population for the wrong-doings of its leader. What is the scope for tougher sanctions, according to the Commissioner? What will the Commission propose to the European Council in Barcelona? Unfortunately, democracy in Africa often leaves a great deal to be desired. African solidarity with the dictator Mugabe is sadly a very bad omen. This is why we must focus our political efforts not only on Zimbabwe, but also on the other countries in that region. South Africa receives a great deal of aid from Europe but is unconcerned about the justified criticism levelled at its neighbour. I pity Africa, I pity the population that has to suffer so much at the hands of incompetent, power-crazed and corrupt leaders. When will we finally have a generation of democratic leaders in Africa?"@en1

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