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June 27, 2008

Negotiating Zimbabwe


The current U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe has called the government of Robert Mugabe an "illegitimate regime that's conducting an illegitimate election." Edward "Gib" Lanpher served as ambassador and deputy ambassador there in the 80s and 90s, when the situation in Zimbabwe was quite different.

Dick Gordon talks with Gib about what he remembers of the 1980 Lancaster House negotiations that led to the independence of Zimbabwe, and the early years of Mugabe's presidency. Gib is proud of the work he did back then, and it crushes him to see how the country has deteriorated.


Zimbabweans are going to the polls today, amid widespread reports of abuse, intimidation and violence by the Robert Mugabe regime. Stella Maravanyika began doing human rights work in her native Zimbabwe after it achieved independence. But things grew tense by 2000. While working as an election monitor, Stella was threatened, beaten and accused of supporting the opposition. After that, she decided to leave Zimbabwe. She's watching today's discredited election as a refugee in London.

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