Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, announced his group rejects results of a presidential election that took place five weeks ago but took until now for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commissiion to finally get around to offering final poll results.Tsdvangirai insists his poll studies reveal he won 50,3% of the vote which was counted on the day of the election, but the Electoral Commission is claiming he won 47.9% to 43.2% for President Mugabe. The constitution says a candidate must obtain at least 50% to avoid a run off election. Tsvangirai has been out of Zimbabwe for weeks because he fears Mugabe’s thugs will kill him if he returns.
For some reason it took five weeks to count votes, and, in most probability the world will not learn what were the actual totals on the day of the election. President Mugabe has spent the past several weeks engaged in a campaign of intimidation of voters, beatings, jailings, and threats to anyone who supported Tsvangirai. It is impossible under these conditions for Tsvangirai to now participate in a “free election” in which his supporters have been told vote the “right way” or suffer punishment.
The greatest failure in this situation has been on the part of leaders of the African Union which immediately should have made their opposition to vote fraud. Instead, they have issued pious statements(some like President Mibeki have insisted Mugabe was a fair man) while the thugs of April were let loose on the Zimbabwe population.