Zimbabwe: The Runoff Election Farce

It is useless saying that the presidential runoff in Zimbabwe must be or should be free and fair because the truth of the matter is that it simply won’t be. If free encapsulates the human right of choosing freely, without blatant or latent threats of retaliation, and if fair comprises of all things equal and honest, then running a credible election in Zimbabwe is as credible as China’s denial of harming Tibetans (or baby girls for that matter).

Information from the beautiful country of Zimbabwe is scarce and getting scarcer by the day. Only isolated reports manage to find their way to those of us who live in the rest of the world – and then only in drips and drabs. Video footage has all but disappeared as those found recording anything that could be even remotely incriminating are cast into jails on one or another trumped up charge. This is a best case scenario. Some are poorly treated; others are tortured, while others still are killed.
Such is the transparency of the tyrant.

If commentators, spectators and journalists are too scared to venture into the hell hole of current day on-the-spot Zimbabwe politics, how can we expect the average Zimbabwean to play Zimbabwean Roulette with the Mugabe gun? The average Zimbabwean has parents, a husband or wife, children, grandchildren and friends. And, the average Zimbabwean knows that there is an un-penned law of oppression that states that your sins against Mugabe will visit you and those who are near and dear to you. In fact, it may even visit those who simply live near to you regardless of their political persuasions.

Such is the wrath of the tyrant.

Looking forward to runoff day, there will be relative peace. But looking towards the run-up towards runoff day, there won’t: Villagers will be tortured into submission using the techniques learnt from Mugabe’s Chinese handlers. In the sky smoke will rise from the homes and business burnt as a grim warning to those who dare to vote differently. The blood from wounds caused by Chinese supplied arms is set to flow across the Zimbabwean soil. And then, when all have been cowed, maimed, incarcerated and killed, runoff day will dawn quietly. Not with the quiet associated with contentment, but with the eerie quiet associated with death.
Such is the rule of the tyrant.

Is there hope?

Unless UN peacekeeping forces are deployed now and unless UN observers are present on the day and unless these UN observers guard the ballot until the results are released…the answer is…

!NO!

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Zimbabwe: Ruling on Releasing Election Results Postponed Until Monday

Sigh…

It is a little disappointing that the courts don’t see (or don’t want to see, are not allowed to see, whatever) the urgency of this matter. Another four or more days for Mugabe to ‘cook the books’, another four days for him to intimidate the ordinary folk of Zimbabwe with his megalomaniacal quasi-military campaigns, and another four days for death by ‘natural causes’ of electoral officials and opposition party members…

So, it is more of the waiting game, fellow Africans.

Zapiro’s cartoon is a picture that speaks a thousand words …

Avaaz Petition: Mugabe, Release the Results!

 I received this Avaaz petition in my Inbox a short while ago. They aim to collect 10,000 signatures to present to Mugabe. Please read, and if you would like to support the cause, click on the avaaz link. Perhaps the Zimbabwean people need to know that they are not alone in this…

Dear friends,

Zimbabwe is on a knife’s edge between democracy and chaos. Results still have not been released from the 29 March elections–and fears are rising that Mugabe will resort to violence and fraud to hold on to power. South African president Thabo Mbeki said today that “it’s time to wait”–but time has run out.

Observers, NGOs, and the opposition have appealed for international support. To respond, we’re launching a new campaign to all Avaaz members throughout Africa. Click below to add your name to a petition calling for the results to be released, verified, and peacefully honored. We will send the petition to Mugabe’s government, and to leaders and media organizations throughout Southern Africa and the world:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/democracy_for_zimbabwe/1.php?cl=72012816

Every day brings new developments, and the more time passes, the greater the danger grows that the will of Zimbabwe’s people will be ignored. The faster we can grow this petition, the more powerfully we can show that the people of Africa and the world are looking to Mugabe to honour the choice of Zimbabweans.

In a crisis like this, a petition is just a small step–but it’s something all of us can do, to raise our voices and call for what’s right. And as history shows, international solidarity can be a powerful thing.

With hope,

Ben, Graziela, Ricken, Galit, Paul, Iain, Pascal, Milena, and Esra’a–the Avaaz.org team

 

 

 

PS: A year ago, in one of the first Avaaz campaigns, we called together for Mugabe and his government to end their brutal attacks on opposition leaders. More than 45,000 people around the world took part. Now, there’s a hope for much more substantial change–a new hope for the 12 million Zimbabweans struggling with hyperinflation, starvation, and HIV/AIDS. Please do sign the petition, and forward this email to friends and family–they can sign at http://www.avaaz.org/en/democracy_for_zimbabwe/1.php?cl=72012816. 

ABOUT AVAAZ

Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.