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June 29, 2008

Bad Wins Over Good In Zimbabwe Election

Morgan Tsvangirai has dropped out of the presidential election in Zimbabwe. He sight that fact that asking Zimbabweans to vote in a run off election would be asking them to risk their lives. Many followers and members of Tsvangirai’s party have been arrested and some even killed in the past few months. It seems that things were going to continue in such a manner and a run off election would not likely produce accurate results. When an entire country is afraid of what will happen if they vote the current president out of office, it is highly unlikely that people will come out and vote for the candidate of their choice.

Robert Mugabe will continue his monopoly of the president office in Zimbabwe. Government officials say that Tsvangirai dropped out because he did not want to be handed a humiliating defeat. Well, the only problem with that scenario is that Mugabe had cut off humanitarian aide and pressure was being applied to anyone that opposed him. A win through submission is not really a win.

Tsvangirai did the right thing, I believe by dropping out of the race. As much as I would have liked to have seen a sane and seemingly fair president take office, watching Zimbabwe tear itself apart would not be worth it. He is right to not play Mugabe’s game of murder and mayhem. It is unfortunate that a fresh new leader that may have been able to help get Zimbabwe out of the mess it is in will not even get a chance at a fair and democratic vote.

What will become of Zimbabwe now? The world is disgusted with Mugbae and the way that he has tormented people during their election fiasco. He has hurt Zimbabweans in order to make sure that he stayed in office. It seems likely that Mugabe will rule until the day he dies. What an unfortunate fate for Zimbabwe.

Even if a leader is great, I don’t think that you want them to rule for several decades. Time changes everything and the needs of countries go through different phases. Even a very smart and pious leader needs to give up the throne when his time has passed. It is important to know when it is time to let youth and new ideas take over and pick up where the old leaves off. Mugabe is too selfish to recognize these aspects of leadership so he will forge on and continue to run Zimbabwe into the ground.

An intervention by the United Nations is what Tsvangirai has asked for to restore peace and order in the country. It seems unlikely that the United Nations will make any sudden moves because of the hostility that has brewed in Zimbabwe over the past few months. It seems like it would be wise to let the dust settle a bit. Give the country a little bit of time to settle back into the unfortunate, but relatively clam state that it was before the election fiasco. I just hope that the country does not erupt into violence over this sad departure of a the possibility of change.

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