The results of the Zimbabwe election over the weekend seem a little like spring weather: if you don't like it, wait five minutes. Not just eager voters awaiting results, even news outlets are conflicted over how to report the tallies that are being released in a trickle, batch-by-batch.
In just the past few moments, the Washington Post reports, "Initial Tallies Show Mugabe Vulnerable, and All Africa says, "Mugabe Set to Claim Victory." Not to be outdone, the International Herald Tribune says, "Zimbabwe's Ruling Party and Opposition Tied in Early Poll Results."
The longer the results take, the more voters worry that untoward action on the vote totals is happening behind the scenes. And they have reason to worry — to see why, read more. One journalist went on a journey to see for himself if he could vote using the ID of an 86-year-old who'd been dead for 10 years. He could. Poll workers even directed the young and clearly not dead writer to the correct voting location.
Adding to this story is a great compilation of on-the-scene dispatches from the BBC. One young voter text-messaged, "they denied many youth to vote because they knew they were the ones to vote them away with various reasons. " Voter apathy also reigned with an email saying the attitude of many was, "what's the point? The outcome is predetermined."
Robert Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe claimed independence from Great Britain in 1980.