It’s Monday morning in Southern Africa... nine days after Zimbabwe’s national elections. And the Mugabe government still hasn’t announced the final results for the presidency.
Which means, obviously, that President Robert Mugabe came in second to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai... and that Mugabe doesn’t want to give up power so he’s sitting on the results.
Here’s the deal: If Tsvangirai won with less than 50 percent of the popular vote, there will have to be a run-off election. (Many observers expect this to be the case.)
If Tsvangirai received more than 50 percent... then he is now, by law, the president-elect of Zimbabwe.
But what’s “law” got to do with it?
I was just listening to South Africa’s Talk Radio 702, where Zimbabwean newspaper editor Bill Saidi (pictured) spoke by phone from Harare.
According to Saidi, “It’s a game of cat and mouse between the two parties” (meaning Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change).
If there’s a run-off, Saidi said, Mugabe might unleash “war veterans” to use violence and intimidation against his political enemies.
“That’s the kind of impunity with which Zanu-PF has run the country,” he said.
Bill Saidi hopes that “a few good men and women within Zanu-PF” can talk Robert Mugabe into stepping down... or at least allowing a run-off election to proceed legally.