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Zimbabwe's one man run-off


Zimbabwe went to the polls yesterday for the second time in three months in a presidential run-off where there was just one candidate with Morgan Tsvangirai having pulled out earlier in the week.

Citing increasing violence and intimidation directed at his supporters Tsvangirai decided to pull out of the election altogether which I think was a very wise move.

With the nature of the economy alone, Tsvangirai didn't need to campaign but when he tried to campaign it became increasingly clear that it was being made difficult for him and thus talk of a free and fair election went out through the window.

So the run-off became a one-man election but there are still some interesting things to consider.

I am keen to see how long it will take to announce the results of this election. It took nearly a month last time to announce the results when it was clear that Robert Mugabe had lost and with him supposedly winning this time lets see how long it will take to announce the result.

Another thing to look out for is how long it will take to swear him in as president. The elected MPs from the March 29 election have not yet being sworn in and yet I understand that they are supposed to be sworn in within one week of announcing the results.

I think the reason why the MPs have not been sworn in is because that would effectively make Zanu PF the opposition because MDC have a majority in parliament. I don't think Zanu PF is prepared to be called the opposition just yet and hence the delay.

And then there is the SADC element. These elections were below the Sadc standard whatever it is and therefore I am also keen to see how Sadc will react.

I think Sadc did well to say that the election should be delayed until there were conditions conducive for a free and fair election but now that the election has gone ahead I would like to see their reaction.

Sadc has proved to be a toothless bulldog in this Zimbabwe situation and they have let it go well out of hand and many will point out that South Africa president's softly approach is to blame but I think Sadc as a whole should shoulder the blame because they are the ones who appointed Mbeki in the first place.

I think its going to be some interesting few weeks for Zimbabwe but sadly the economic conditions have gone from bad to worse in the interim making life even more difficult for the ordinary Zimbabweans.

The ordinary Zimbabweans should be Sadc's concern but for now as usual their concern is for the leaders whilst ordinary people go without basic necessities that are taken for granted elsewhere in the region.

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