4080 Records is no stranger to the Zimbabwe controversy. We’ve been reporting on the developments there for quite some time now, and it is with a heavy heart that I must announce that Morgan Tsvingrai has pulled out of the Presidential Race.
Ever since he narrowly won the election a few months ago, there has been major speculation about what the “run-off” between Tsvingrai and Robert Mugabe would be like. Pretty much everyone has reported that there is a better chance of Mike Jones winning a grammy than of this election being free and fair.
There has been a steadily growing campaign of violence against supporters of Tsvingrai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mugabe has been blaming this on Tsvingrai, somehow claiming that he’s doing this to make Mugabe look bad. Looking beyond the amusing denials of a senile old man, it is a definite tragedy that this is continuing. 70 MDC supporters have been killed so far, and many more have been detained or beaten. A major opposition figure is even currently charged with treason, which could ultimately result in the death penalty.
Mugabe has pulled out all the stops, even getting the police to ban opposition rallies. Somehow, the Zimbabwe court system overturned this ban and gave the opposition permission to hold their rally and campaign. But the MDC rally was blocked. This is apparently what caused Tsvingrai to finally pull out.
Here’s what he says:
“Conditions as of today do not permit the holding of a credible poll,” Mr. Tsvangirai told a hastily arranged news conference in Harare.
“We can’t ask the people to cast their vote on June 27 when that vote will cost their lives. We will no longer participate in this violent sham of an election.”
It’s true that the people of Zimbabwe (who are suffering insanely under the rule of Mugabe) were brave in voting against him in the first poll. In a society that is as tightly controlled as Zim, it will be dangerous for them to try and vote against him again, unless the world pays closer attention.
It is majorly the fault of the neighbouring nations, especially South Africa. It is with their support that Mugabe is able to continue his reign. In recent weeks, more and more leaders have begun to turn against Mugabe, except for Thabo Mbeki, the president of South Africa. If he doesn’t add his voice to the calls for Mugabe to step down, then Mugabe will likely continue his rule for a few years to come.
By not contesting this run-off, Tsvingrai will have handed a default victory to Mugabe. He’s forfeiting, essentially.
It’s a sad day for Zim, and hopefully the world will take notice.
[Source: Globe and Mail]