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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about elections and Chinese weapons in Zimbabwe.

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Best to wait for Zimbabwe's votes to be validated

In response to your April 16 editorial, "Endgames for Zimbabwe's Mugabe": The recent elections in Zimbabwe have been declared free and fair by external observers. But everybody knows there is no such thing as a perfect, flawless election.

What gives an election some legitimacy is the provision to effectively investigate and correct any flaws or complaints raised. It is simply illogical for the electoral body to announce elections results before complaints have been addressed. Indeed it is in the interests of all voters that complaints be addressed before results are announced. It's only the dishonest cheats who will press for the premature release of results. Any person outside Zimbabwe has no honest reason to demand the release of the results when the Zimbabwean voters themselves are prepared to wait.

The least I expect from the international community is understanding and support for Zimbabwe's electoral process, not the demonization of President Mugabe based on subjective foreign media reports.

There is nothing more unjust than penalizing or demonizing a leader for equitably redistributing his country's God-given resources, as Mugabe has.

Regarding the recent articles and editorial dealing with the election and current situation in Zimbabwe: I visited Zimbabwe last December as part of a tour of four southern African countries. Several people I met in Zimbabwe, some with tears in their eyes, described their problems obtaining food, medicines, and other goods, and their concerns for their families.

One day I was driven past a large, once-productive farm that now lies fallow, apparently because the new owners are not interested in farming it or are unable to do so. On another day I walked across the Victoria Falls Bridge and passed men carrying 100-pound sacks of grain on their backs from Zambia to Zimbabwe because of the food shortage in Zimbabwe.

I have thought of these scenes frequently since returning to the United States.


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