Zimbabwe, where the ballot is being held at the point of a gun-so much for the right to vote.

“We shed a lot of blood for this country. We are not going to give up our country for a mere X on a ballot. How can a ballpoint pen fight with a gun?” – Robert Magabe (from a quote reported  in the Guardian, June 17)

Zimbawe’s 84 year old leader  has been busy showing the world the real way to  ensure a Magabe victory.  After all, what hope have Zimbabwe’s citizens against the force of the gun and the violence administered by the ruling party’s militia.

Today’s report in the Guardian shows how an election is conducted in Zimbabwe:

From Hwange to Harare, the abductions, torture and beatings of opposition activists and supporters have continued. The police raided the opposition Movement for Democratic Change’s headquarters and hauled away scores of men, women and children who had sought shelter there from the terror campaign.

Joseph Kuratidzi, an opposition activist in Mashonaland, agreed: “Mugabe said he will never give up power. It was a mistake to think a vote would change that. When you vote you let him know who to kill. We were all targets,” he said.

Magabe’s thirst for power at all costs and now Morgan Tsvangirai’s withdrawl does not bode well for the population who have been starved and beaten into submission over his years of tyrannical reign.

The quiet diplomacy as advocated by Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa has brought little change in the face of such state mandated intimidation. The UN security council unanimously adopting a statement condemning the government’s “campaign of violence” that had “denied its political opponents the right to campaign freely” is a beginning, but much more must be done.

Until the political leaders in Southern Africa take a principled stand on the human rights violations in Zimbabwe the silent deaths are set to continue.

Yes, too much blood has been shed in this country to prop up the ego of a man who has been blinded by power and who cannot and will not be denied in his megalomania . The Guardian quotes him as saying that only God can remove him from office, no doubt there are many who cannot hold out until their prayers are answered.

Those in countries not so afflicted should value the democracy they live under that puts the pen above the gun in determining who leads their nation.  They should see each election as a privilege and an opportunity to express their choice, such a basic human right that is still denied to so many.

How long will the world just stand by and watch the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe doing nothing.

We are all diminished by what is happening in Zimbabwe.

PHOTO OF THE DAY:

The blue underside of a slab of sea ice protrudes up through the surrounding ice. Shifting annual sea ice, pushing against the permanent Ross Ice Shelf, creates pressure ridges of uplifted ice.

Upturned ice.

Photograph by: Steven Profaizer, National Science Foundation. Date Taken: October 16, 2005.

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Tuesday, 24 June, 2008.

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