MDC's dilemma

2008-06-23 00:00

MORGAN Tsvangirai and the MDC were faced with a horrible choice: either to go through with the charade of an election run-off, hoping that the backlash against the violence and intimidation unleashed by what are supposed to be the forces of law and order and Zanu-PF thugs would ensure victory, or pull out because the attacks on MDC supporters had become too high a price to pay.

Most people will probably judge that in withdrawing Tsvangirai has taken the wiser course because under the present circumstances any election could in no sense whatsoever be deemed to be either free or fair.

But what does this on say about the leadership of the other states of the subcontinent? What has been happening in Zimbabwe has only occurred because President Robert Mugabe, like some ill-disciplined and naughty child, knows that he can get away with behaving as he has been doing. The record of South Africa under President Thabo Mbeki, both an immediate neighbour and the most powerful state in the region, has been especially dismal.

It is ironic that apartheid South Africa was able to pull the plug on the Ian Smith regime and bring it to the negotiating table in quick time. With that example, there is absolutely no doubt that Zimbabwe’s neighbours, collectively if not separately, had the power to exert meaningful pressure on the dictator if they had had the will to do so. But that political will was tragically lacking. Instead of action to topple the tyrant, we have had mealy-mouthed platitudes about “the leadership coming to some agreement about what happens to their country”.

Years of appeasement — this is now the third time the outcome of an election has been falsified — have merely entrenched Mugabe, while even the mildest criticism now produces ever more childish responses. Sadly and ironically, given the feebleness of the way he has been dealt with, there is probably some truth in Mugabe’s claim that only God can remove him.

Related Articles:

MDC quits violent run-off

Zimbabwe cuts its loses

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.