President Mugabe holding guns to innocent bodies
They make John Pope seem Godly
Sacrilegious and blasphemous
-Damian Marley & Nas, Road to Zion
It has been reported that Morgan Tsvangirai is thinking of withdrawing from next week's elections. His reason is logical- there is no hope of a free and fair election when state sponsored violence has stepped up. Not when the government has ordered that the satellite dishes be removed from people's homes. Not when some parts of the country are now no-go areas unless you have a ZANU-PF membership card.
I can see where the man is coming from. No one seriously believes that there will be free and fair elections any more than there will be flying carpets. In some villages, people have been warned that if there is a single MDC vote in the ballot box, then the war vets and their thugs will return to burn the whole village down. Some have been commanded to write down the number of the ballet paper they use, for collation by the party militia.
Not only that, but the number of international observers is so small, that many parts of the country will be subject to the militia. All this we have seen in 2002, and before. So, yes, I can understand the reluctance of the MDC leadership to take part in elections which will serve no purpose except lend substance to the regime's claim that we have regular elections in Zimbabwe and are therefore a democracy and anyone who suggests otherwise is part of a lurid Western plot to subvert that same democracy.
But if anyone in the MDC heirarchy ever reads my blog, they may consider my arguement against taking this decision.
First, most people I have spoken to are determined more than ever to vote. The more they are being beaten, the more they feel they have to make their position clear- that Mr Mugabe and his band of villains (and that crass wife of his) must go. The widespread feeling is that there is nothing we can do about the beatings, the rapings, the burning of homes- and even if we could we would not for that will be sinking to their level- but if they give us the ballot paper we will not give them the answer they think they can terrorise out of us!!!! Mugabe should have learnt from his pogrom in Matebeleland.
Speaking of Matebeleland brings up another point. Most people see similarities between this present campaign and Gukurahundi. I think Matibiri is hoping to achieve what he got out of the slaughter of 20000 of our compatriots, whose only crime was they were from the same region as his political rival, Joshua Nkomo. Mugabe is hoping to bully the opposition in to accepting a government of "national unity", like the one he arm-twisted Nkomo in to, the only alternatibe being that the violence will continue. This is what happened, old Nkomo had little choice and it is starting to look like Tsvangirai feels that he to has to do the unthinkable if only to stop the wholesale rampage.
Mr Tsvangirai, we have not always agreed on methods, and you have not been established as decisive. But you must understand what I have just said- that the people are committed to achieving democracy and want to cast their vote as many times as it will take Matibiri to get the message.
Hang in there, we are all hanging in there. Tendai Biti is hanging in there. The families of Tonderai Ndira, Abigail Chiroto and all the other people of Zimbabwe are hanging in there. We have no other choice.
Freedom is coming tomorrow.