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July 8, 2008

Zimbabweans Seek Refuge

In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s presidential “victory” 220 Zimbabweans have fled to United States embassy. They are their because of the election related violence that marred the past few months. A large portion of those that are looking for protection are supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change. Many of the people crowded around the steps of the embassy are said to have scars from attacks.

Reporters say that the potential refuges looked dejected and tired. After a long drawn out unfair election process, it seems like many Zimbabweans are just plain tired of the situation. Over the past few months I have sense several different reports of how Zimbabwe is the unhappiest place on the planet. As I look at the photos coming out of Harare, I see the misery in the masses.

What will become of these people? They can not go back to their homes and live out their lives without being in danger. Will the United States grant some of these people asylum? Well, seeing as people in this country are already in an uproar about immigration and work visas, I don’t know if that will happen. My philosophy is, let’s not let anyone suffer. Even if it means that I have to share my space with others.

Although many nations have declared Mugabe’s victory as a sham, nothing is being done to help the people that must continue to live under his rule. Saying that someone stole and election and doing something about it are two totally different things. Of course the question of what exactly should be done is one that has no answer. Mugabe is in control and the rumors of opposition politicians being kidnapped, threatened or turning up missing can not really be confirmed or denied. Honestly, here in the West, we don’t really know what is going on in Zimbabwe. Right now it is a dangerous place and anyone that goes in to try to report or stop what is occurring is risking their life.

NAison Nemadziva was reportedly kidnapped by members of Mugabe’s party and has not been seen since. The MDC claims that he was taken from his house at gunpoint and that the police have not been able to find him. Nemadziva beat out a member of Mugabe’s party for a seat in parliament. Unforuntely it looks like he will not be able to fulfill this role. This, of course is very bad news and is one of the reason why Tavangirai is in staying at the Dutch embassy.

Now the violence will likely trickle down to the common folk. This could leave hundreds, maybe even thousands dead before it is over. There are measures that must be taken to stop such actions. But what can we do? There are enough wars raging across the globe. A peaceful resolution would be ideal but at this point, seeing as Mugabe has stolen the presidency, it seems that drastic measures must be taken. A man that refuses to relinquish his office, even after he is beaten can not be treated with logic.

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