The Zimbabwe elections are in chaos (Reuters).  While the country waits in tension, Robert Mugabe has not been seen in public since casting his vote on March 29, and opposition candidate for President, Morgan Tsvangirai is claiming victory (BBC)…  Suspicions remain that the long delayed results of the elections are being caused by manipulation of the results. 

Zimbabwe’s riot police, who were patrolling the streets of the country’s main cities, no longer seem to be on the scene.  Widespread rumours suggest that Tsvangirai is in negotiations with Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party for a smooth transfer of power to Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).  But in the absence of any confirmation from Mugabe or his spokesman, confusion reigns.   

Morgan Tsvangirai, who claimed victory today (April 02) with 50.3 percent of the votes against Mugabe’s 43.8 percent said: “Our country is on a precipice, on a cliff edge, and we await with great anxiety and apprehension, the confirmation of the people’s will. Today we face a new challenge, that of governance. That of rehabilitating our beloved country.” 

But Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party dismissed the claims as “wishful” with deputy information minister Bright Matonga saying: “President Mugabe is going nowhere. We are not going to be pressurised into anything.”  (ITN)   

Despite the claim by (Mugabe friendly) observers that the elections were ‘free and fair’, the entire election process has been skewed in favour of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party from the beginning, and the mere fact that the results are still in dispute suggest a seismic success for change in Zimbabwe.  The delay in announcing the results is being criticized – even by the observers. 

But this is more complicated than a simple election result: All Zimbabwe’s civil service, especially including the armed forces and the police are Zanu-PF members and will perceive themselves to be at risk if there is a change of government.  Tsvangirai will need all his negotiating skills to persuade these people to accept a change of government. 

The rumours are concentrating on Mugabe being allowed to escape without having to face charges for crimes against his people during his despotic rule, but the senior officers within his government are also likely to face charges for many crimes.  That may be what is holding up the results.  Tsvangirai needs the armed forces and the police on his side when (and if) he assumes power, or there will be no peace in Zimbabwe… 

END 

Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.  http://www.peterdaviesbooks.com 

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email patashnix@btinternet.com.

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