Monday, June 23, 2008

Alas, Zimbabwe

It seems things cannot get much worse in Zimbabwe.

A seemingly free and fair election (or possibly an election not rigged enough to guarantee the ruling party’s victory) resulted in a victory for the opposition party, but (allegedly) not enough of a victory—the opposition didn’t score 50% plus 1 vote to secure outright victory, according to the election commission run by the ruling party—to prevent a run off.  The runoff was scheduled (again, by the ruling party) with enough lead time to intimidate, brutalize, and generally bully the population and opposition into quitting.  The ruling party even made clear they would prefer civil war (same old song and verse in Africa, unfortunately) to accepting the results of a free and fair election.

And now, the worst has happened.  The opposition is quitting and the rightfully elected leader of Zimbabwe has sought refuge in the Dutch embassy.

Sad, really.

Enough to make you want to take up arms and fight for the freedom of an oppressed people…  if you really thought any good would come of it, that is.  I guess some hope can be taken from knowing that the opposition leader has opted not to fight, that civil war—even for the right reasons—would be destructive than allowing this brutal dictator to continue for a few more years until the weight of sanctions eventually brings him down.  Although, while choosing to stay and fight may usher in “new management, old policies”, choosing not to fight may sink that nation once known as the “Breadbasket of Africa” into still more despair and the old regime will be replaced with an new old regime while the rightfully elected president sits on the sidelines and weeps with the rest of the civilized world.

I’m still hoping right will prevail over might…  but that hope is dwindling with each passing day.


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