President Mugabe Wins, Sort Of…

The brutal campaign undertaken by President Mugabe of Zimbabwe to destroy all opposition to his rule has made impossible even the pretense of a run-off election for president on June 27. It is now clear his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC), has absolutely no way to ensure people who vote for him will not be beaten up or tortured by the police. Under these circumstances, the MDC has apparently agreed to accept the reality of 2008 and do its best to protect the people of Zimbabwe. Secret negotiations are underway in South Africa under the auspices of the South African Development Community(SADC) because Tsvangirai has lost all confidence in President Mibeki of South Africa whose close friendship with Mugabe has hindered compromise.

Under proposals put forth by former Zimbabwe Cabinet minister, Simba Makoni, the run-off would be cancelled and a coalition government organized on model adopted last year by Kenya. A few days ago, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia asked his friend, Mugabe, to move toward such a compromise solution. Morgan Tsvangirai would become prime minister in the new coalition government and there would have to be some agreement that provides him with power over certain aspects of government.

In the compromise scenario, the “bad buy” Robert Mugabe continues in power but there is some possibility, in the long run, that democracy may one day flourish in Zimbabwe. Sometimes in life we do the best we can.