03.04.2008 Politics

Mr. Mugabe, time out...!

03.04.2008 LISTEN
By Accra Mail

Africa is still in the process of recovering from a flawed electoral process in Kenya which led to the death of over 1000 people. Property running into millions of dollars was destroyed and a major refugee problem created.

This came about when the president Mr. Mwai Kibaki, sensing that he was losing the elections decided to play a sleigh of hand by quickly declaring himself winner and swearing himself in for a second term.

All hell broke loose by that action and Kenya, one of the more stable countries in Africa erupted into a paroxysm of violence never seen before in the country's post-independence history. By the time calmness was restored a few months later, the country was teetering on the precipice.

What is happening in Zimbabwe is similar to the Kenyan tragedy. The only difference here is that Mr. Mugabe is not rushing to announce himself winner and swear himself in, but taking his time, from all indications, to rig and either declare himself winner after an inordinately long collating period or announce that there was no outright winner!

Just as in the Kenyan situation the Zimbabwe opposition, even by the official count, has earned more parliamentary seats. Mr. Mugabe has lost the majority in parliament. This MUST tell him something. This is no time for threats, sycophancy and intransigence which will only lead to violence. After 28 years, the writing is clear: Mr. Mugabe, time out!

Zimbabwe is already in a parlous state; to make matters worse by allowing post-election violence to erupt would be the greatest crime Mr. Mugabe would have visited on his people. It would wipe out all his achievements as a revolutionary and founding leader of his country. It is time to go. There is no shame in knowing just when to bow out.

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