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Zimbabweans: Southern Africa Left Out of U.S Presidential Debate

Zimbabweans who watched the third and final U.S presidential debate say though the two candidates gave almost similar views on the country’s foreign policy, they never mentioned trouble spots like Zimbabwe and other Southern African nations.

The Zimbabweans told VOA Studio 7 it is not surprising that President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney showed no interest in Southern African affairs as Americans are concerned about the current state of the economy and world terrorism.

Most national U.S presidential debate polls indicate that Mr. Obama won as he hammered his opponent for shifting his views on various issues like the auto bailout, Russia and defence spending saying he was trying to airbrush history.

Romney hit back saying the United States needed a stronger economy in order to be strong abroad.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted right after Monday night's faceoff at Lynn University in south Florida, 48 percent of registered voters who watched the debate said Obama won the showdown, with 40% saying Romney did a better job in a debate dedicated to foreign policy.

The president's eight-point advantage over the former Massachusetts governor came among a debate audience that was slightly more Republican than the country as a whole and is just within the survey's sampling error.

Nearly six in ten watchers say that Obama did a better job in the debate than they had expected, 15 points higher than the 44% who said that the GOP challenger had a better than expected debate performance.

Mike Musonza, a Zimbabwean studying economics at Howard University, USA, said political leaders back home should square off in such debates as part of the nation’s democratization process.
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Thomas Sithole of Plumtree Development Trust, currently on a United States fellowship program, said debates play a key role in curbing political violence.

“We believe that such debates will ensure that there is peace in Zimbabwe,” said Sithole.
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The U.S presidential election is scheduled for November 6 though some voters have started casting their ballots in various states.