The decision that Morgan Tsvangirai has made today is probably the very opposite of the one that Robert Mugabe would make if he was wearing Tsvangirai’s shoes. Robert Mugabe is a sadist: he unflinchingly wreaks the worst kind of brutality on his people. In contrast, today has shown us that Morgan Tsvangirai is clearly a man who carries the burden of moral responsibility more heavily, and he has decided that he is not the kind of leader who can ask his people to die in his battle to win a leadership contest.
The sentence which stands out for me in the MDC press statement is this: “We in the MDC cannot ask them to cast their vote on June 27 when that vote will cost them their life”.
HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 27 -- Zimbabwe's tainted presidential election unfolded Friday against a chilling backdrop of police checkpoints and low voter turnout.
Many who cast ballots in the uncontested race said they were being forced to do so. Their claims were validated by the ominous presence of ruling-party officials stationed near each polling place to track who was voting, and for whom.
Voters were told to write down their name, address and the last three digits of the serial number from their ballots, and submit the information to ruling-party command centers so their ballots could be checked. Although longtime President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate still in the race, the name of challenger Morgan Tsvangirai remained on the ballot.
In Chitungwiza, a bedroom community south of the capital, 25-year-old Spencer Mashonga said authorities had threatened to seize his family's house -- built by a local governing council -- if family members did not cast their ballots for Mugabe.
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