IN TODAY’S EPISODE:
Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections, scheduled to take place on July 31st, will go a long way to determining the future of the country. On the one hand, the entrenched power of President Mugabe and ZANU-PF enters the elections with a track record that both elicits praise and inspires criticism. On the other hand, there is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which enters the election once again with the high-minded rhetoric of “democracy” and “transparency”, but also with a mixed record that has many questioning their ability to lead.
With less than two weeks to go before Zimbabweans go to the polls many questions remain unanswered: Will the MDC-T boycott the elections due to what they perceive to be a lack of reforms? Will Zimbabwe be able to carry out peaceful elections, unlike in 2008? Are the people of Zimbabwe satisfied with the progress of land redistribution and other reforms implemented by Mugabe and ZANU-PF? These are only some of the most pressing questions weighing on the minds of urban and rural Zimbabweans alike.
The killing of more than 50 people at a demonstration in support of ousted Egyptian President Morsi in Cairo on Monday has justifiably horrified many in Egypt and internationally. The pro-Morsi elements have placed the blame on the military forces, while the military claims it was attacked with live ammunition. While accusations are hurled back and forth, a new aspect to this story is emerging – the presence of a third force, namely snipers stationed on rooftops firing at both sides of the conflict. This revelation raises serious questions about the true nature of the conflict in Egypt and the disturbing similarities between this incident and similar ones in Syria, Thailand, and elsewhere.