Even with a runoff election, it seems that neither Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is bent on doing whatever it takes to have himself and his Zanu-PF Party to remain in power. Again, Mugabe has implied that he would never cede power to Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The runoff election is set for June 27.
Tsvangirai has been confirmed to have won the elections back in March. However, he did not win the majority needed to avoid a runoff election. Mugabe’s administration has been accused of withholding the poll results.
Jendayi Frazer, top US diplomat to Africa, accuses Mugabe of trying to steal the election. Frazer adds that Tsvangirai is the one who had won the election.
Still, Mugabe has made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to remain in power. Recently, Western diplomats have told journalists that Mugabe had recently ceded power to the organization known as Joint Operations Command (JOC). JOC is considered to be a shadowy group allegedly to have played a hand in the violence against members and supporters of the MDC.
JOC is run by General Constantine Chiwenga, who heads the country’s armed forces. Chiwenga is too subjected to travel sanctions by the United States and Europe.
Today, the government’s media mouthpiece known as the Herald quoted Mugabe.
“We shed a lot of blood for this country. We are not going to give up our country for a mere X on the ballot. How can a ball point pen fight with a gun?” Mugabe was quoted. Only a few days ago, Mugabe threatened civil war if he did not win the elections.
Mugabe still insists that Tsvangirai is a puppet of the Western nations.
United States President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown both said that international monitors are needed. Both have warned if not, then Mugabe’s “criminal regime” will end up stealing the run off election.
“(Mugabe’s) criminal cabal … threatens to make a mockery of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe,” Brown had said in that regard.
Zimbabwe was plunged into chaos after the elections. The United Nations and many human rights groups blame Mugabe and the Zanu-PF for the violence. But, it remains that Mugabe has no intentions of ceding power to Tsvangirai.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has been criticized for his role as the mediator.