If this weekend’s elections confirm the opinion polls, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai will replace the despotic murderer Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe.
Both Gallup and the Institute of Public Opinion place Tsvangirai in the lead, although President Mugabe is doing all he can to win. After 22 years of autocratic rule in which tens of thousands of political opponents have been killed, 33 of them this year, Mugabe has orchestrated a campaign of terror. There have been allegations of 159 cases of torture and 62 kidnappings since January 1st.
International observers have been told horrendous stories of killings, beatings, torture and dispossession of land, while Mugabe retorts that the violence is perpetrated by the opposition “terrorists”…against their own people.
Trvangirai’s base is in the southern Matabeleland, while Mugabe’s is in the northern Mashonaland, his ethnic group. Mugabe has held on to power, while he stashed millions of dollars away in foreign banks, by distributing favours among those who support him. These receive lucrative state contracts, which has led the country to a hotbed of corruption, incompetence and nepotism, while inflation and unemployment spiral out of control.
Draconian election laws prohibiting opposition party rallies and the practice of stealing identity cards from opposition supporters, meaning they cannot vote, are clear attempts to rig the elections before the date.
Certainly, attempts will be made this weekend to do the same. Should Mugabe go, he will not be missed by many, if he goes.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru