'In Zimbabwe We Have Nothing'

We visited a polling station where the official posted results showed 17 votes each for Tsvangirai and Mugabe, ludicrous in a city with tens of thousands of people. The guard at the station told us the vast majority of voters spoiled their ballots by writing an X across both names.

Then he pointed to his shoes and said, "This is all I have. In Zimbabwe we have nothing."

The exchange rate was telling sign of the economy's spiraling decline.

In April, I exchanged one U.S. dollar for 50 million Zimbabwean dollars. This time, one dollar is worth 10 billion Zimbabwean dollars -- an inflation rate of 30,000 percent in just 2½ months.

Mugabe has drawn near-unanimous condemnation from the West. The Bush administration has announced it will pursue new sanctions against the regime, including an arms embargo and travel ban on government officials.

"The sham election there is likely only to bring more misery and perhaps violence," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on a visit to China. "And we believe that it's really now time for the international community to act strongly."

But many believe Zimbabwe's own neighbors carry the most weight. The retired South African Archbishop and Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu is calling on all African nations to speak with one voice.

"If you were to have unanimous voice saying quite clearly to Mr. Mugabe you are unwelcome any longer, you are illegitimate, and we will not recognize your administration in any shape or form, I think that that would be would very powerful signal," Tutu said in an interview with the BBC.

So far, those neighbors have been mostly silent. The next chance is today's African Union summit in Egypt. Mugabe made sure he would arrive there as his country's newly inaugurated president. The question now is whether his African counterparts will accept him.

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