Election rigging was exposed by internet – Gordon Brown

HARARE – Robert Mugabe’s theft of the 2008 presidential vote was quickly exposed because of the internet, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said.

Interviewed Friday on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight programme, Brown warned that with further growth of internet access for people under oppressive regimes, dictators like Mugabe would soon face the full wrath of their own people, as is happening in North Africa.

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“It’s because of the internet that we knew about the flawed elections in Zimbabwe,” Brown said, adding: “What will happen over the years is that social organisations will emerge from the floor.”

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Brown said ‘elite leaders’, meaning dictators, could no longer rest comfortably while suppressing the wishes of their people as local online protest actions now quickly turned into “worldwide campaigns”.

“It will change the way we see the world,” Brown said. Brown was at the helm in Britain in 2008 when Zimbabwe’s post-election crisis exploded, triggered by Mugabe and the army’s alleged tinkering with results of the first round of voting in which then opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai was the clear winner.

Britain, which has thousands of its nationals and private companies in Zimbabwe was quickly drawn into the conflict as it mobilized other Western nations to act against Mugabe.

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Pro-democracy activists used the internet successfully to publish horrific pictures of murdered and mutilated MDC-T supporters. The images shocked the world when they were flashed around the world by international news networks.