WITH the results of Zimbabwe’s presidential elections still up in the air, the world can only hope that its people will remain calm while the situation works itself out.
Zimbabwe, a nation of 12 million people, held presidential and parliamentary elections against a background of economic disintegration. This situation came about as a result of 28 years of dictatorial rule by ZANU-PF leader, Robert Mugabe, the country’s 84-year-old president. The tottering Mr. Mugabe was running for yet another term of office.
What had been a flourishing African economy, with mineral wealth, profitable commercial agriculture, and light industry, has descended under Mr. Mugabe’s cold, dead hand into inflation that has made its currency valueless, unemployment inestimably high, and millions of people requiring outside food aid simply to survive.
The risk is that oppressed Zimbabweans might be drawn into violent retaliation if Mr Mugabe rigs the Presidential election to try and steal the vote.