Simba Makoni, who defected from the ruling Zimbabwean Zanu-PF party and ran for president in the March election, urged the run-off that will occur on June 27th be cancelled. “We don’t believe that a run-off can be held on June 27 and be a free and fair election,” he said. “The country is in the grip of violence.” Makoni insists the ruling clique which surrounds President Mugabe will allow opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to assume the office of president regardless of any vote in an election. Human Rights Watch said on Monday a free and fair election was impossible because of the systematic campaign of murder and brutality being carried out by the Zanu-PF against supporters of Tsvangirai.
Jacob Zuma, who will become the next president of South Africa, expressed his dismay at the brutality of Mugabe and is angry that South African President Mbeki has refused to take a strong stand against violence in Zimbabwe because of his close friendship with Mugabe.
There are unconfirmed reports that Mbeki has finally gotten the message if he is to be given the role of mediator in Zimbabwe by other African nations he must begin to do something besides remain silent. Reports are circulating Mbeki is trying to create a Kenya style resolution of the conflict in which Mugabe remains for one more term as president and Tsvangirai becomes the newly created position of prime minister with assurances the next presidential election will be conducted in a fair manner.