Zimbabwe Election Results Court Ruling Delayed - Blogs, Media, Govs cry foul
"Exhausted and betrayed."
That pretty much sums up the feelings of most Zimbabweans as they count a week of delays in reporting the results of the presidential election.
People there are waiting on the outcome of a legal bid to force the declaration of poll results. Many take this as a sign that ruling president Mugabe has indeed lost the election.
Meanwhile, the international community, including bloggers and leaders in foreign nations, urged for the peaceful, democratic resolution to the election crisis.
“…We stand exhausted and betrayed at this critical moment in Zimbabwe’s crisis…” Cathy Buckle wrote from Zimbabwe on Sunday. The fact that the results of the presidential elections – due a week ago – have still not been announced makes it a dead cert that Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party lost them.
Zanu-PF is demanding a “recount”, but commentators say the party is “disintegrating very fast” and that “Mugabe has no chance of winning a runoff election…” (The Standard, Zimbabwe). But Mugabe and Zanu-PF don’t want to accept defeat and are threatening to turn a – so far – relatively peaceful election process into a bloody battle involving the so called “war veterans” (most of whom are not old enough to have taken part in the 1970s “war”). Mugabe’s deputy information minister, Bright Matonga, who seems to be making all the public announcements for Mugabe and Zanu-PF at the moment, was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying, “We only applied 25% of our energy in the first round. That [the runoff] is when we are going to unleash the other 75%.”
Zimbabwe anxiously awaited Monday the outcome of a legal bid by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to force the declaration of poll results that could spell the end for President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, 56, has claimed outright victory in last week's presidential election but the ruling ZANU-PF says there is no clear winner and has backed 84-year-old Mugabe to win a sixth term in a second round run-off.
A New York Times reporter detained in Zimbabwe has badly injured his back in a fall and needs medical treatment, his lawyer said on Monday.
New York Times correspondent Barry Bearak and a British reporter were granted bail on Monday after being charged with covering Zimbabwe's March 29 election without official accreditation.
Rights & Democracy and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) strongly condemn the crackdown on foreign media and opponents of President Robert Mugabe by Zimbabwe's security forces.
Reports coming from Harare indicate that riot police have surrounded a hotel housing mainly foreign media and that some journalists have been detained. Rights & Democracy and ZEF also have information that the offices of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, have been ransacked by the members of the Central Intelligence Organization as well as the police. Further reports confirm that riot police are flooded the streets and manned roadblocks over the weekend and continue to do so amid the delays in announcing the presidential vote.
Does that make me a bad person? I know that one does not say these things in polite company. Even in less-than-polite company, I suppose. But I do wish he would die of old age and not wake up in the morning. I think it would be better for him and for Zimbabwe.
I know that these things should not be said; they should not be thought of, even. But I can’t deny that I have thought these unthinkable thoughts. Do they make me a bad person?
Still here, a contributor to the This is Zimbabwe blog, captured the mood on the ground a day after the polls.
"The world may be frustrated at the vacuum in the news, but Zimbabweans are simmering - the lid on the pressure cooker about to blow. There is an eerie quiet in the streets, the eye before the storm.
"The world is desperate for Zimbabweans to hit the streets in protest, but I believe this would be just the thing the little maggot [Mugabe] wants, for then he could declare martial law and it would be game over for democracy. The most important thing now is to reach deep down and find patience."
Comrade Fatso’s blog: Rumour rhymes with ‘ruma’, Shona for bite. Harare has literally been bitten by rumours. Our city is famed for many things but one thing specifically. The ability to turn no news into headlines. The skill of spinning no knowledge into street wisdom. The hustle of selling unconfirmed stories on a hungry parallel market. Our only non-state daily newspaper was bombed so the people’s paper is the people’s stories, nyayas that circulate like a whisper at a bottle store. Mugabe has fled to Malaysia. Morgan has 68% of the presidential vote...A people starved of truth begin to manufacture their own. So truths roam Harare like street kids, tapping your window at every robot. Like an undelivered text message notification ringing on your phone. Constantly.
One blogger has a completely different perspective on the election process and the bias of the western media.
There is a very interesting process which I have been so privileged to observe from a front row seat. As I write, election results are being announced from difference races across the country, they are appearing slowly, but surely. I think it is important to give a context to how this election has been set up:
There are 4 different elections happening simultaneously: local council elections, lower house parliamentary seats [House of Assembly], the Upper House of parliament [The Senate] and the Presidency. There are 1 958 local council seats up for election in 1 958 wards around the country, there are 210 House of Assembly seats up for grabs, there are sixty senate seats and one presidential seat. Now each one of these positions has at least two candidates contesting, with some having as many as seven candidates (and in other cases more). So there are a lot of people involved in contesting for all the elected offices in zimbabwe.