the five Ws

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am

Your primer to an issue in the news


There is further crisis in Zimbabwe with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai announcing he is withdrawing from the presidential run-off election due to take place on Friday.


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was hailed as a hero for his part in the violent struggle to wrest Zimbabwe - then Rhodesia from a white minority government. The west accuses him of trying to starve to death the people that do not support him.


The last elections were held on March 29 this year. The long delay in announcing the results caused tension in the country and brought condemnation from the world. Mr Tsvangirai's party, the MDC, released results which showed he had won the elections. However, after the results had to be 'harmonised', it appeared Mr Mugabe had won by a narrow margin, which spurred Friday's run-off.


Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in southern Africa which borders the regional economic powerhouse South Africa. It has the highest inflation rate in the world, currently at around 1,600 per cent, and the lowest life-expectancy in the world at 37.


Mr Tsvangirai says the current climate of violence and intimidation in the country has made it impossible to campaign for the election. He says at least 84 people have been killed by Mr Mugabe's supporters.


How has the rest of the world reacted? Many nations agree that if the election were to take place, it would not be legitimate. They are likely to impose further sanctions on Zimbabwe and some politicians are calling for armed intervention.