Wade accepts defeat: Lessons for Robert Mugabe

Senegalese President Wade has accepted defeat in the recent Presidential run-off election this last Sunday. Wade is said to have phoned Mack Sally [the winner of the run-off] to congratulate him. Despite the arrogance that Wade had shown before of forcing himself into another presidential election, Africa should celebrate his acceptance of electoral defeat and respecting people's wishes. Speaking after the victory Mack Sally said the victory marked a new era in the country and he will be the President for all Senegalese people. He stressed that the win is not much for him but for the people of Senegal.

Zimbabwe's octogenarian president, Robert Mugabe, has a lot to learn from Wade. The first lesson that Robert Mugabe and his cronies should have is Zimbabwe belongs to all its citizens who thus have the collective obligation and responsibility towards securing its socio-economic and political wellbeing. Since the 2000 election, Zanu PF used violence on citizens perceived to be supporters of opposition parties. Opposition supporters mainly MDC were rendered second citizens. The torture, intimidation, deaths, rape and violence suffered by Zimbabweans, election after election is a clear indication that Robert Mugabe and his party have lost the plot in protecting Zimbabweans.

The battle for Presidency should never give a blind eye to human rights issues and also the will of the people. Zanu PF has literally declared that they are the only ones fit to rule Zimbabwe. Outbursts by senior officials within Zanu pf and Army commanders that they will not salute any person as a president if the person does not have war credentials and also from Zanu pf is not just absurd but a very wrong precedence to set for the country.

Zanu PF lost the March 2008 election to Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC. the elections took weeks before results were announced and instead of accepting defeat Mugabe unleashed terror on Zimbabweans in the shameful presidential run-off. This tendency of African leaders of wanting to rule until their death should be condemned. It is not too late for Mugabe and others to realise their mistakes and allow the people's will to take course. Mandela championed it in South Africa and Chiluba and Banda accepted it Zambia. The same can happen in Zimbabwe if Sadc and the world guarantee reforms before election, election monitoring six months before and after, removing the army and security sector in the political field and having a free and fair election.

By the Crisis in Zimbabwe Media department.

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