|Morgan Tsvangiri - Zimbabwe on a Razor's Edge|
As a core policy in our pro-democracy mission, Planetary monitors situations involving the denial of democracy. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is one of the world’s most despotic tyrants. In 2002, Mugabe rigged the presidential election and prosecuted Tsvangirai on false charges of treason that carried the death penalty. International outrage helped to protect Tsvangirai from the hangman’s noose, and he was awarded the coveted Democracy Medal by the International Association of Political Consultants.
The presidential election held in Zimbabwe only one week ago resulted in Tsvangirai trouncing Mugabe again, but the tyrant is now organizing a new ‘election’ that will be rigged in order to retain his deeply unpopular grasp on power. In the midst of this political maelstrom, Morgan Tsvangirai has issued the statement below. Planetary has supported the MDC and its president from its inception. Planetary urges the IMF to heed Tsvangirai’s plea to withhold the $1 billion from Mugabe in its deliberations this week. Finally, Planetary urges the United Nations and the governments of South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, New Zealand, Australia, India, China and Japan to demand that Robert Mugabe stand accountable to the people of Zimbabwe and to relinquish his presidential office at once.
Once again, Robert Mugabe and his cronies are attempting to maintain their grip on power in Zimbabwe. While disheartening, this act of political thuggery does not diminish the victory of democracy over dictatorship in a country ravaged by misrule and ignorance. Ultimately, this is a victory for the strong hearts and sturdy backs that have carried us here: a victory for all Zimbabweans.
The parliamentary majority the MDC has already attained has clearly been replicated in the presidential results. The MDC has tracked every polling station and recorded the results as they are released, and we can guarantee that Zanu-PF and Mugabe have met their demise in the face of Zimbabwean democracy. As official results will confirm when at last released, a mooted presidential run-off (initiated if no individual reaches a 50% threshold) is a sham. Our country is on a razor’s edge.
November 15, 2011
6:15 pm, Zucotti Park, New York City
As I approached Zuccotti Park in the drizzle I could see that others were as tense as I was. I had no idea if I would even be able to get there after the 1:00 am police evictions of the previous night. The thought of my first arrest at the age of 66 did enter my mind if the police prevented me from walking to the site.