Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Should Zimbabwe’s election go ahead?

June 6, 2008

zimbabwe-posters.jpgOpposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai detained twice in a week, U.S. and British diplomats forced from their cars by police, rallies banned, aid workers stopped from working, reports of violence from across the countryside. The campaign for Zimbabwe’s presidential election run-off on June 27 is being hard fought, literally.mugabe.jpg

The opposition accuses President Robert Mugabe of responsibility for violence and says 65 people have been killed. The ruling party blames Tsvangirai’s followers and says Mugabe’s Western foes and some aid agencies have been campaigning for the opposition.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s economy plumbs ever greater depths. A U.S. dollar could buy more than a billion local dollars on Thursday. But that was then.

Simba Makoni, the ruling party defector who came third in the first round vote on March 29, called this week for the presidential election run-off to be scrapped. He was certainly not the first to suggest that it might be better to abandon the election and have the rivals try to agree some sort of national unity government.

Should the election go ahead? Could it be fair? Who would win?

Have your say.


The talk of GNU is from ZANU. They are afraid of going into the run-off because they will lose despite all their horrendous tactics. GNU is their attempt to reclaim legitimacy from the defacto coup that occurred after Mugabe lost. The army is ruling now, with Mugabe retained as a civilian frontman. Let the elections go ahead, and Mugabe will lose. Most of the opposition activists on a hit-list are now dead,but while that has sown fear among the people, their anger and disgust have given them an inner determination not to be subdued.

Posted by Blaz | Report as abusive

The Zimbabwe presidential run-off should never have kicked off when Mugabe had put innocent Zimbabweans human lives at risk.

A few days after the 29 March Zimbabwe election, Mugabe deployed war veterans and other Zanu PF thugs in what MDC rightly called as “Mugabe declaring war on the people!” By the end of April when the presidential election result were announced it was clear Mugabe was truly on a murderous footing. The dye was cast; nothing, absolutely nothing would stop him ensuring he “wins” the run-off. Not suffering of the people, not even the loss of human lives!

Millions of Zimbabweans are today hungry and/or are without the medical help because all local and international NGOs they have depended on have been forced to stop all aid work by the Mugabe regime. Hundreds of thousands have had been beaten, others had their properties destroyed and to date 65 innocent lives have been lost in politically related violence.

What makes all this suffering and deaths even more shocking and unacceptable is that the majority of the victims are those least able to defend themselves. They are mostly the rural poor and/or those too old to run away to urban centres or out of Zimbabwe. There something sinister and callous in anyone calling on others to have the iron resolve to stay the course and, come 27 June, vote for Tsvangirai from a safe distance.

It is interesting that Tsvangirai himself had stayed out of the country for five weeks when he feared for his own life but was not concerned by the certainty of many innocent lives being lost if he decided to contest the run-off. Tsvangirai is showing the same callous disregard for the suffering and deaths of others as Mugabe himself as shown in the past and is showing today!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Mugabe is a disgusting and obscene monster.

He is responsible for destroying democracy, mass violence and murder, and is nothing more than a psychotic criminal.

In the cause of self-defence and to prevent more carnage, bloodshed and intimidation – let alone starvation – we need to remove him.

I am always aginst outside interference, unless it prevents death and destruction carried out by mad, bad and dangerous people.

That Mugabe and his excremental henchmen and assorted monsters are such a real and present threat to life and limb, it must be conceded that we go in and remove him, and allow democracy to free-up the long-suffering people.

Self-defence is admissable in this instance.

We must take action to enable the People to exercise their right of self-defence.

Mugabe is NOT a leader: he is in the mode of Hitler, Stalin and other assorted monsters.

If we do nothing, then the world is a poorer place.

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive

shame to the monster who has no heart for ohter people and I condemn all the activities of bruterity. Wether the elections are going to be held or not the consenqence is still the same I would say. If the elections are not done the more they boss around and kill more. If they go on and Mugabe win, people will be tomented. If Tsvangirai win, the evil army commnders who do not want to face their fate for the killings they have done, will not let him rule. God almighty is the only answer to the situation but people have given up. We don’t have to give up praying to God guys his answer comes at the end. Every beginning has an end and I want to believe the devil does not just go but he would fight to his best. Allow me to use this platform to comment on Thabo Mbeki’s unhelp comments ‘everything is alright in Zimbabwe’. The President wants his country to be the strongest in Southen Africa at the expence of Zimbabwe. He called most of the farmers and gave them land to farm, and fear they will go back if Zimbabwe gets better.

Posted by Mamu | Report as abusive

It is clear that Mugabe has no intention of accepting the result if it goes against him.

Why hold an election?

Whatever the result he will stay in power. The people will suffer. They will have even less food. The ruling elite will get richer.

Posted by Zim | Report as abusive

Human Rights Watch now says a fair poll is impossible.  /idUSL0968005620080609

Posted by Matthew Tostevin | Report as abusive

Is there any hope for that country beside waiting for him to die??I am talking of Rob the dicator,evil monster….lets go ahead vote,stop the talking,,,,,,,,

Posted by Noe | Report as abusive

There is no need to stop the election at this moment.Nothing will come from the idea of a GNU.Remember its Mugabe,the trickster we are dealing with here.To stop the election under the pretext of a negotiated settlement would be the greatest betrayal of all time.The effect will be to give Mugabe another mandate to run, for he definately would push for and win to lead the so called GNU. This is what we dont want. Mugabe must just go like that, we dont need anything more to do with him.Its time for change, and this change has to come on the 27th June.People are being killed, yes,and thats bad, but how many more will be killed,either by hunger, desease etc because of a continued Mugabe rule.

We would want to see the election go ahead!We are a peace loving nation and our power lies in our vote. We cant get guns to take Mugabe out of power, but we can vote him out. If he doesnt respect our vote by stealing and or outright rejection,still we will have told him we dont need him anymore.Mugabe has to know through our vote that we nolonger need him.If the run off is cancelled he wont know that we are saying his time is up.People of Zimbabwe, rise up,this is your only chance to shine and free yourself from bondage.Whether the Junta is not going to accept a people’s wish to choose their leaders,let it be, but we will have told them in the eyes of the world.Voting should go ahead!!!

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

People like Joe should answer the question: Should the election go ahead even when it is clear they will not be free and fair and worse still when innocent lives are at stake? Ignoring the question will not make the question go away!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Why not. Unfortunately, though, it looks like the reason for Mugabe not releasing the results is because his henchmen were looking for a way to keep the big man in power. The perfect solution was to agree with the West that TsV won the election – but the master stroke was to say that he did not get the 50% necessary to win outright. That ensures that either way, Mugabe gets back in. If the MDC refuse to contest, they forfeit and Mugabe gets back in. If they agree to the election – Mugabe will win by 99.9% and get in anyway.

It’s a very sad state of affairs.


again,western media have convinced the africans generation that their own leaders are bad and can’t have anyathing right!it may be true mr. mugabe “simba wa vita” have failed to get the country in a right track,thanks to the efforts by U.S.A & it’s western allies for imposing sanctions,but it’s only a mad African who can believe in a puppet leaders like Morgan my opinion there is no need for re-election for there is no way Morgans should become Zimbabwe president,we already had and still have people of his type like Mobutu of former Zaire,Mwai Kibaki of Kenya,ex-president of Tanzania Mr. Benjamin Mkapa and many more,and we,afriacans are now suffering the consequences of their regimes.
i am appealing to all zimbabweans,you should come to your sense and not support the puppert regime of Tsvangirai because its suffering will be worse than Ian Smith’s was.
God bess africa and it’s people.

Posted by ally | Report as abusive

Noe,may i enquire the level of your understanding the world?is mugabe a dictator in Western school of thought or you just watch CNN or BBC and they say Rob is Dictator and you as parrot take it as it is?i pray that you will consider my advise.

Posted by ally | Report as abusive

Makoni repeated his call on Tuesday for the election to be called off 10732688.html while African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma said he was alarmed by the violence N036002.html . South Africa’s Business Day reported that the MDC and ZANU-PF are in “hush unity talks”. pstories.aspx?ID=BD4A782154
“One option being discussed is a “Kenya-style” government of national unity, with President Robert Mugabe remaining head of state and opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai becoming prime minister,” it said.
What do you think?

Posted by Matthew Tostevin | Report as abusive

Ally, i don’t know why we should continue blaming the west for our failures, Zimbabwean took back their land but they are still starving, who is responsible the WEST, the Zim dollar is down and grounded, who is rensponsible …the WEST, millions of ZIms have fled ZIm to the WEST who was responsilbe for the killings in Matebeleland…the WEST….who is responsible for the on going violence, the BBC & CNN. if a black man kills another black its ok…or there is a third party involved….which is the WEST, when will we take responsibility and stand on our own feet.

Posted by Noe | Report as abusive

Matthew, Mugabe has always had his way out, either way he want to lead.He just instructed his war vetz to kill so that the world could opt for a govenment of unity…so his tricks works,,,why don’t they talk about bringing more observers and ways of strengthening the rule of law. He did that to ZANU’s Nkomo it worked, so he will make it work on Tsv……lets all die to stop him than suffer

Posted by Noe | Report as abusive

oh,what a narrow thinking of yours,Noe?those are the sweetest words they use to white-wash their hands,anyway,am not blaming the West,i only want you to have critical thinking of the situation in,they got their land back,had they cultivated and got good harvests,where would they sell their products with on going sanctions?again,take an example of Kenya,they thought Moi’s regime was the worst of all and needed changes,now take a look at the monster they put on power who was ready to kill hundreds of his own citizens just to cling on power!

Posted by ally | Report as abusive

There are two possible reasons why a GNU would be the best option. 1) The election fails to produce a clear winner 2) to make the best of the available talent from the opposing parties.

I do not think there is anyone out there who can honestly say the Zimbabwe Election has failed to produce a clear winner – if the 29 March had been truly free and fair Mugabe would have lost decisively!

After nearly three decades in power what can Mugabe or his Zanu PF cronies have left to offer the people? Absolutely nothing!

Simba Makoni is arguing for a GNU for no other reason other than that is his only chance to get back into power. He has been an integral part of Mugabe’s dictatorship and enjoyed the spoils. During all those years he saw, heard, and said nothing about the dictatorship. A few months ago, to save himself from the Mugabe sinking ship and salvage his own political career; he broke away rank with Zanu PF. Well the people of Zimbabwe were not fooled; on 29 March they sent him to the political bust bin where he and all his former colleagues from Zanu PF rightly belong.

Those who are calling for GNU on the grounds that the run-off can not be free and fair are putting the cart before the horse. They should be demanding that everything be done to ensure that elections are indeed free and fair. We can all see what is going on, Mugabe is stopping at nothing, not ever the sanctity of life, to “win” the run-off.

The 1980 elections were above all else, a vote to end the civil war. The people were afraid that if Mugabe lost, the civil war would continue. Of course history has proven that their fear was completely justified. The nation has paid dearly for that moment of weakness; everything- the economic mismanagement, the corruption, the political murders, the economic meltdown, everything – can be traced back to the 1980 vote-of-appeasement.

Today Zimbabwe finds itself in total economic and political chaos. The way out is NOT by seeking to appease Mugabe and all those holding the nation to ransom further. The way out is by stopping appeasing Mugabe or anyone ever again.

My greatest fear is Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC will do just that; seek to appease Mugabe and his Zanu PF criminals and thugs and form a GNU. Whereas Mugabe has been described as political ruthlessly canning and savvied, Tsvangirai on the other hand lacks common sense to pick good advice from bad. Forming a GNU would be the sort of banana peal Tsvangirai would cross the street to step on, slip and fall flat on his face!

Mugabe had power and influence in the past, yes. Over the years he has lost it. In the past he rigged elections, for example, and could count on his party officials, election officials and the civil servants to cover up. Today he is universally disliked and therefore can not trust anyone except the few who, like him, have innocent Zimbabwean blood on their hands or, at the very least, have a share in the looted national wealth.

The round hole Mugabe is trying to square is the national economy. No amount of lies and propaganda and rhetoric can change the fact that Zimbabwe’s national economy is in total melt down and he has given up the charade of doing something about it. Mugabe is like a school boy bully who has soiled his pants but would not admit it. He thought he could clean-up whilst everyone else was away only to find one of his victims had turned off the water!

When Mugabe deployed war veterans to intimidate and murder the Zimbabwe electorate to force them to vote for him on 27 June it only showed he is desperate. It nothing more than the school bully wrapping himself in a blanket to hide his soiled pants in the welting Zimbabwe heat. To offer Mugabe the option of GNU would be like allowing the school bully to wash in the well from which we all must drink!

What Zimbabwe needs to climb out of the economic and political hell Mugabe has landed us is a bold rejection of all Mugabe stood for. In a GNU Mugabe and Zanu PF would no doubt fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Yes the election should occur,just to get it over with. Nothing will change. Mug abe and his people will stay in power no matter what and people like Ally will be jubilant.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

this time he has to go….no horse dies without kiiling,,believe me these are the last kicks of a dying horse. I wish for a peaceful old age than this Mugabe, shame on him. Black or white if you don’t serve the people ,you must leave

Posted by Noe | Report as abusive

I honestly don’t understand this fuss about Mugabe. I have never seen such a stuborn old man. Zimbabweans we are praying for you. The Almighty God is watching and very much in control of the situation. God will judge those that are killing other severely THE BIBLE SAY THOU SHALL NOT KILL! Those monisters have sinned against our creator and they shal pay for every drop of blood they have shed. REMEMBER BLOOD CRIES OUT VERY LOUD.

Posted by Jylo | Report as abusive

Zimbabwe’s presidential vote is unlikely to end the country’s accelerating political and economic crisis, with neither side willing to enter a unity government to end the bloodshed, writes Cris Chinaka from Harare. 11669244.html

Posted by Matthew Tostevin | Report as abusive

It cannot have escaped the notice of all around the world, that Mugabe sports an appendage copied from somebody who was the same kind of dictator as he is.
I refer of course to Mugabe’s soulmate Adolph Hitler.
The behaviour of both equally repugnant to civilized people around the world. When will the “civilized” world forget that Zimbabwe does not have oil or gas, and do the morally right thing. Need I say more?

Posted by Lancelot Morris | Report as abusive

Mugabe has killed over 60 innocent Zimbabweans in the last two months and will cause even more bloodshed if he should fail to rig the 27 June run off. He and his cronies are doing all this to stay in power for three reasons:
1)So they can continue looting. The economic melt down has caused all told hardship to everyone else but them. They still do their regular shopping outside the country for food and luxury when the country can not pay for the most basic needs such as fuel and medicines. The prospect of having to join the endless queues like the rest of us for a few litres of fuel, weeks without water and electricity- the real Zimbabwe – is frightening the living day light out of them.

2) To keep their loot. Mugabe and his cronies own and control a lot of wealth and resources such as houses, businesses and of course former white farms. They know they will not be able to hang on to all this wealth if the Mugabe patronage system was to go. It is absurd of course that an individual should keep a farm and produce a few tonnes of produce when it could produce a hundred fold in more competent hands, for example.

3) To hide the truth of their loot and murderous past and present. Mugabe’s credibility will go down the tube if the 4 000 white farm are not owned by 300 000 landless blacks as he claims but by his cronies. A simple land audit will reveal all!

It is not the British nor their puppet Tsvangirai, as Mugabe never tire of tell us, who are behind regime change in Zimbabwe. It is the ordinary Zimbabweans who themselves are driven by the country’s economic melt down who are demanding regime change. In his desperate effort to retain power Mugabe has adopted political measures that have sent the national economic into free fall and harden the people’s resolve to get Mugabe out!

Mugabe’s day in office are numbered- war or no war- and go he will!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Leave.No country need acknowlege this ignorant Tryant in Zimbabwe called Mugabe,,,,,,walk away from him and don’t acknowlege this impoverished soul.


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see