Morgan is right to pull out

The decision by Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of Friday's presidential election run-off will hand the prize to Robert Mugabe by default, says The Citizen, Johannesburg in its main leader on Tuesday.

The stubborn tyrant won’t care less that he clings to office by foul means rather than fair, given his total disregard for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

Even as some African nations have finally woken to the crisis of credibility in their midst, most may never recover in the eyes of the watching world for their inaction and limp wrists.

Tsvangirai said the MDC will no longer participate in this violent illegitimate sham of an election process. He spoke after Zanu-PF loyalists prevented MDC supporters from gathering for the opposition party’s main campaign rally. And after Mugabe vowed to go to war if he lost; while his wife Grace dug in her Christine Louboutin heels, fearing the loss of their extravagent lifestyle.

Voters have been warned they will be killed if they vote for Tsvangirai.

The state-controlled media has banned opposition advertisements. Under these circumstances – and to save lives – the MDC leader had no option but to withdraw.

Even if election day goes relatively smoothly because of opposition intimidation and stayaways, and even if Mugabe is first past the post, few – apart from his supporters – will believe in the legitimacy of his victory.

So the ghastly prospect is more of the same for our once-proud neighbour, brought to its knees by the man who led it to liberation. More refugees, more starving people.

Remember Zimbabwe will be a chilling reminder of the expedient commitment to democracy of the governments of SA and the rest of Africa for years to come.

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