There’s a lot going on in the world. So many people struggling with so little. So many without shelter, food or basic security. Must we choose who to give our support to?

Every day we see scenes of clashes between “the people” and their governments in our (free) media. What’s really going on? How can we discern? Must we be so wise as to always know which side to back?

There are other ‘basics’ to consider: human rights.

It may seem that the “right” to take part in free and fair elections is a bit of luxury. It’s relative.

In countries like Zimbabwe where the national image presented to the world is one of democracy and fairness, where “all is well”, the truth is often quite different.

The last time they had an election, in 2008, there was chaos. Great suffering with the inevitability of no change in leadership regardless of how much it was hoped for.

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us all that we should be allowed to choose our leaders.

Supposing we voted in the UK for a new government. Supposing we knew a change had been made at the ballot box and the media supported us in this view. Supposing next morning we are told that there was no change. What would we do? How would we feel?

This year Zimbabwe is holding elections again. There’s no point in asking the Government of Zimbabwe to “play nicely”. Instead Amnesty International are encouraging change by seeking the influence of other African nations. By having a dialogue with such nations as Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa, it is hoped that Zimbabwe will, at the very least, take the whole thing seriously.

We can hope.

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