A Wounded Buffalo.



Zanu PF is behaving just like a wounded buffalo.

The African buffalo is one

of the most dangerous adversaries in the world of wildlife. It has an

enormous capacity to take punishment, is extremely difficult to kill

outright and when wounded – even fatally, it has the ability to do great

damage. It is also a highly intelligent adversary.

I have never hunted buffalo but have friends who have and had a senior in my

department when I was a young man actually ambushed by a wounded buffalo in

the Zambezi Valley. He was very lucky to survive and was never quite the

same again. A frequent target of the trophy hunter are the lone bulls who

move about in small groups or on their own and have a magnificent set of

horns with that huge mass of bone across the head.

If the hunter gets a clean heart shot, the buffalo has the capacity to run

for some considerable distance before collapsing. If the shot is not clean,

then the buffalo is known to run and then circle back and lie in ambush for

his hunter. That is what happened to my senior in the valley. Although a

large animal, the buffalo knows exactly how to stand in the shade and to

blend in with his background. Often the only thing that might alert you to

his presence is a flick of the ears or a tail.  Fail to spot him and you

could be on the receiving end of a short and furious rush and fall victim to

the horns or just his mass.

Zanu PF lost this election massively – if you take the combined vote of

Makoni and Tsvangirai, 73 per cent of the people who voted (2,4 million)

voted against him – he only got 27 per cent of the vote. The poll was 41 per

cent if you use the voter’s roll but by my calculation (2,8 to 3 million

actual voters) it was nearer 80 per cent. Even when the National Command

Centre had spent a day massaging the results they only got them down to 50

per cent for Tsvangirai and nearly 10 per cent for Makoni – still a huge

defeat for a sitting President.

In addition they have lost control, even with the rigging, of the House of

Assembly. In the Senate it looks as if we will have a stand off – but this

does not make that much of a difference. But any measure, Zanu PF has taken

a shot that has fatally wounded the old bull. However, like the buffalo I

described above, he is still dangerous.

As things stand right now, the Zanu PF Politburo has decided that a full

audit of the Presidential results can go ahead. We demanded this when we saw

the results for Mashonaland Central four days ago. When this is completed

(perhaps today) then we will hear if the final tally gives Morgan 49 or 50

per cent of the final count. If its 49, they want a rerun, if he gets 50 per

cent plus one vote, he will be sworn in as President and we will get a new

government.

I will not bore you with all the gory details of what has gone on this week,

but just to say that Zanu PF and Robert Gabriel Mugabe have had a tough time

accepting the reality of the loss of power and privilege. I understand that

Grace Mugabe has left the country and has taken a very considerable sum of

money (real money) with her. There is also a strong rumor that the man who

led 5th Brigade during the genocide in the 80’s has committed suicide. But

that may or may not be true. Nevertheless it shows how much of a total shock

this has been for the Zanu machine.

If there is a run off, I can only anticipate an electoral massacre. Ex

President Mugabe will not even get the numbers he currently has in the poll.

It will be, in effect, a coup de grace.

So we are thinking through what a re-run might mean for us – how we might

handle it. It is already clear that despite the fact that so far the people

have committed no acts of violence in any way, that Zanu PF is going to use

violence to try and get its way in the re-run. Already yesterday we have

seen new violence in several areas, Masvingo especially. Morgan Tsvangirai

said in his press conference yesterday that Mugabe is preparing to go to war

against the people. It will not help him.

I just pray that there will not be a re-run. The country simply cannot take

any more of this. Work is impossible – our factories are shut down as the

staff cannot work, suppliers cannot fix prices and buyers are frozen in

their tracks. The economy is virtually at a stand still and inflation is

racing ahead. There is no food in the country and hunger is becoming a real

problem, the Reserve Bank has been looted and I understand that enough

foreign exchange has been taken out to supply the countries needs for all

basic foods for 12 months. It is an absolute disgrace and to think they

still want to hang onto power!

What has become clear over the past week is that Zanu PF can no longer

command what happens in the administration, power is slipping away and they

are already yesterdays men. It is also clear that the army and the police

are both divided in their loyalties and now support change. This was the

last pillar of support for the Zanu PF regime and with this gone it is just

a matter of time.

The region is playing a key role and is trying to persuade Mr. Mugabe to

step down and allow a peaceful transition. Mugabe is not co-operating and it

is time regional leaders stepped up the pressure. As for the UN, this august

body has yet to comment and do anything effective – must we slide into

complete chaos and anarchy before they become engaged? Thabo Mbeki is in the

UK for a summit of leaders – I am sure he is getting it with both barrels.

Last night Aziz Pahad was jousting with Kate Hoey – wish I could have seen

that contest.

But for the rest, thank you to all who stood with us – through the criticism

of our stand and strategy, through the long nights of despair and finally

doing the hard work that will make democracy the tool we used to bring down

a corrupt and cruel tyrant. We showed it could be done – not with guns and

bullets, not with fire and machete’s, just with the quiet strength of

ordinary men and women going out and voting when they got the opportunity.

Eddie Cross

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