Dec 8, 2009, 1:53 PM
Voters in Zimbabwe woke up this morning waiting anxiously for the results of Wednesday’s presidential election, which pitted veteran President Robert Mugabe against his long time rival Morgan Tsvangirai for the third time, and three other candidates.
While we do not yet know who the winner will be, what is known at the moment is that all candidates are expecting to emerge victorious, even though there can only be one winner.
With no reliable opinion polls and amid allegations of vote-rigging, it is hard to say whether Tsvangirai will succeed in his third attempt to oust 89-year-old Mugabe, who has run the southern African nation since independence from Britain in 1980, reports have said.
In a country with a history of election violence, the big question is whether the loser will accept the result of a poll dogged by logistical problems and reports of intimidation and irregularities.
Despite all that, we hope and pray that the wisest and most conscientious administrator carries the day for the ultimate benefit of the Zimbabwean people.
As the results of the polls are being counted, we urge all the candidates, especially incumbent President Robert Mugabe, whose bid for another term after 33 years in power is widely criticized, to stick by decorum and fair play.
Zimbabwe has no doubt been known very well for its relative peace and stability, and it should be the duty and responsibility of each and every Zimbabwean to ensure that the peace that the country has been known for is maintained.
Despite the tension in the build-up to the polls, which of course portrayed a negative image of the country, there is no doubt that there is more peace in Zimbabwe than in most of its neighbours.
As we always emphasize in these pages, having different ideologies should never make our politicians and the citizens, in particular, enemies.
In a real democracy, an opposition political party is just the flip side of the governing party.
Each has a manifesto, spelling out its beliefs and intentions for a country, and each should have a good chance to sell its manifesto to the electorate.
Thus the importance of providing a level playing field, since it is on the basis of such manifesto that the electorate decide which party to entrust with the management of the affairs of state.
With this, we once again appeal for calm in Zimbabwe, and urge all the stakeholders to put the interest of the Zimbabwean people above all self interest
“One gives nothing so generously as advice.”