The Islamic Post Blog

Mugabe Seizes Power After One-Man Race Declared ‘Unfair’ by Khalida
July 21, 2008, 3:03 am
Filed under: International, July Volume I- 2008, World | Tags:

By Durdana Jamaal Qadria, Islamic Post Staff Writer

There was no doubt Robert Mugabe would win the election considering the fact that many in opposition were jailed, missing or believed dead.
With Morgan Tsvangirai losing the popular vote to Mugabe in March, Mugabe was standing in a one-man race. His race was riddled with fear, threats and possible death to those who would stand in opposition even after Tsvangirai lost. Of the opposition, 90 had been killed, 2,000 were jailed, 10,000 assaulted and injured and 200,000 were displaced in the run-up to the vote.
Unlike his counterpart, Mr. Tsvangirai considered the lives of the people over whom he wanted to preside by pulling out of the presidential race last month, saying he could not ask his supporters to vote “when that vote would cost them their lives.”
Although the obvious threat of retribution at the hands of Mugabe’s agents was present, Tsvangirai remained on the ballot and tens of thousands of Zimbabweans voted in his favor.
Few were surprised by the declaration that the elections were not free and fair. The Pan-African parliament wants a new vote when the environment is “conducive” for a valid poll.
A Pan-African parliament monitor said that he had spoken to voters from a squatter camp who told him that they were voting for Mugabe because their home would have been destroyed if they refused to comply.
Going against the rest of the world, Robert Mugabe continued to go ahead with the voting process; however he looked a bit subdued at his inauguration in Harare on Sunday. If all continues according to his plan, he will preside over the country for a sixth term.
This sixth term will come at a major price for him and his country.  He will now face growing scrutiny, stricter sanctions and even warrant armed peacekeepers to enter his country as a result of his stolen presidency. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “I think that a very good argument can be made for having an international force to restore peace.” The U.S. said that it will call for UN action against Zimbabwe such as an arms embargo. US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice made it a point to say, “It makes sense to deny the government of Zimbabwe the means to conduct violence against its own people.”
His arrogant behavior knows no bounds as he stated that “only God” could remove him from power; but, after such a statement, he now realizes that he may be forced to share his authority to some degree. Forced to eat his words, just before his trip was due to depart for the African Union Summit, he promised to hold “serious talks” with those in opposition to his election.
Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Movement for Democratic Change, said, “But when all is said and done, there has to be dialogue about a transitional period that would lead to a free and fair election.
He continued, “The politicians of this country need to set aside their egos and think of the future of this country. We need to put a full stop on our people’s suffering.”


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