Having obtained the minimum percentage of votes required for the transfer of power, against huge odds, Morgan Tsvangirai has been cheated once again by a combination of Zanu (PF), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the military junta. Between them, they now say they can’t account for 80,000 votes that were cast in favour of Tsvangirai – effectively reducing his tally to just below the 50% required for him to be proclaimed the new President of Zimbabwe.
The stakes are high. The widespread violence against MDC supporters and officials that has swept the country during the past few weeks leaves nobody in any doubt as to Mugabe and the military junta’s determination to reverse the will of the people.Â This reign of terror has already left thousands hurting and homeless, with more than 20 MDC officials having been killed by marauding Zanu (PF) thugs and militias.
If Tsvangirai does agree to participate in the run-off, he will be legitimising a process that is deeply compromised – Mugabe’s theft of the presidency when the people of Zimbabwe have already voted him out of power.
If he does not participate, he leaves the coast clear for Mugabe simply to assume power.
Tough as it may seem, and intolerably unjust, we believe the MDC must participate in the run-off.
Thousands have been displaced by the recent retribution, thousands more will not be able to afford to travel home a second time from where they live and work in South Africa. But every effort, every sacrifice must be made to ensure a massive turnout at the run-off.
Mugabe is wounded, and weaker than ever in his 28-year history of power. The March 29 elections demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that he has no support among the majority of Zimbabweans. The only people supporting him now are those who have everything to lose by his going – those who have benefited from his patronage, those who have been bribed into supporting him.
If there is a huge turnout at the run-off it will be impossible for the regime to rig the vote on such a massive scale.
We urge the people of Zimbabwe to stand firm, to go to the polls just one more time and to use their votes to fight against violence, tyranny and injustice. By using their votes they can get rid of the so-called war vets and green bombers who are making their lives such a misery.
Â (The Zim.issue18)
To run or not to run?
Damned if they do and damned if they don't - that is the difficult position in which the MDC finds itself in regard to the run-off of the presidential elections that has been fraudulently engineered by the Mugabe regime.Â