|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Comment from The Vanguard (Nigeria), 23 January
Harare's coming Presidential polls
Lagos - The fiery love of power and the tempting urge to die with it is threatening Zimbabwe's future as another election approaches. As the Presidential polls slated for March 9 to 10 moves closer, the country's President since independence, Robert Mugabe, is creating difficulties in the land. Robert Mugabe, 77, who has ruled for twenty two years is not willing to let go political power. Despite the national and international aversion to his sit-tight ambition, he has been adopting measures that will effectualise his grip on power. We know that human rights violations and fragrant disregard for the judiciary have been the bane of the country in recent past. The President has moved a step further by enacting an Electoral law that will emasculate oppositional efforts in the coming Presidential polls.
The country's parliament where Mugabe's Zanu PF has a comfortable majority attempts some laws recently. The Public Order and Security bill and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill state that it is an offence to criticise the president. Also, election posters and leaflets lacking approval by the authorities are banned; local independent election monitors are barred from the coming presidential polls; while international observers are to be allowed only on strict governmental terms, state-owned media are also closed to oppositions campaign usage. Oppositional majority were also disenfranchised while a curtailment of independent press freedom via government accreditation renewable each year was put in place.
We believe that all these chaos-creating laws are not necessary. Robert Mugabe in over two decades had enough time to create landmark achievement in Zimbabwe. As a radical and socialist, the future of his country had lain in his hand since 1980 when, he assumed office. Twenty-two years after there is the need for change. The former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe needs change. We want the President to ensure a peaceful change of baton in Zimbabwe. He should allow the will of the people to triumph. His present sit-tight posture that is reminiscent of the repulsive culture of African leaders is disturbing. Mugabe started very well but may in the usual African fashion end up tragically. This can be averted if only he quits power now to guarantee a future of pride to Zimbabweans long after his demise. He should allow the Movement For Democratic Change opposition party led by Morgan Tsvangirai to thrive during the coming election. Vanguard calls on Mugabe to heed the wise counselling of national and international statesmen and bodies on the coming election. Such voices have included that of Bishop Desmond Tutu. He owes Zimbabwe the duty to ensure a free and fair election come March.