African business, politics and lifestyle
Has Tsvangirai made a fatal mistake?
The decision has been met by a storm of international condemnation of the violence, with increasingly powerful voices speaking out from Africa. On Tuesday President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and ANC leader Jacob Zuma joined the condemnation and called for the vote to be postponed.
But there is no sign that Mugabe and his supporters, including the powerful security chiefs, will budge. They are vowing to press ahead with the election despite suggestions Mugabe will have no legitimacy if he wins this vote.
Perhaps Tsvangirai had little choice. President Wade said he fled to the Dutch embassy on Sunday — where he is still seeking refuge — minutes before soldiers came to his home. Western powers have defended his decision.
But at the end of the day, will international pressure make any difference?. Mugabe has a long history of defying outside pressure, even though now his support within Africa is diminishing. Can he continue to ignore the pressure and battle on in Zimbabwe as the economy spirals even further into total chaos?
Did Tsvangirai misjudge his move? Has he let down all those who have suffered to support the MDC, some at the price of their lives? Or has he made a calculation that by pulling out of the vote he will show that Friday’s election is a sham and he will win in the end? What do you think?