2008-04-14 00:00

Elections represent the voice and will of the people. In true democracies results are public property and released speedily. Outgoing governments relinquish office immediately, their successors take over and the life of the nation carries on seamlessly. The examples of Kenya and Zimbabwe present a different scenario. Defeated governments have resorted to trickery to cling to power, fiddling the results or delaying their release. This is because those in power are not public servants, but corrupt individuals determined to cling to ill-gotten gains and escape possible prosecution.

It is more than a threat to good governance with further damage to the tarnished reputation of democracy in Africa; and may be a matter of life and death. Events in Kenya have demonstrated how a power vacuum can be exploited by the unscrupulous with tragic consequences. As MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai continues to remind the world, the potential for violence in Zimbabwe grows daily.

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