All signs point to Mugabe Exit

… and the world is holding its breath, perhaps today will be the much needed turning point Zim has been craving for 28 years…

The rumours in the newspapers and from fellow Africans:

a) Mugabe will go into exile

b) Mugabe is scared of being tried in the world court for the massacre he orchestrated during his first years in government and for the way he has treated his party leading him to flee under cover, never to be seen again.

c) That if you take all Mugabe’s quotes at face value he will rig the election to ensure that he will remain in power till his death

All rumours but perhaps not – politics and me have never gotten along, spin doctoring is an art used by so many…

The latest news in our news taken from www.news24.co.za

All signs point to Mugabe exit
02/04/2008 07:12 – (SA)

 
Susan NjanjiHarare – The final results of Zimbabwe’s parliamentary election were set to be announced on Wednesday amid growing clamour for the outcome of a simultaneous contest which could see Robert Mugabe ousted as president.

A source at the electoral commission, which has so far declared results from 175 of the 210 parliamentary constituencies, said the final seats should be declared on Wednesday as well as the make-up of the largely ceremonial senate.

So far the opposition has a slight lead over Mugabe’s ruling party, with 90 seats to the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front’s tally of 85.

“We are expecting to mop up on the remaining MPs. Then we hope the senatorial results will not take us too much time and then we’ll go into the presidential election,” the source told AFP.

Calls for patience

However he refused to commit himself to any timeline on the more crucial presidential contest despite calls from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai to speed up the process.

“I want to urge the electoral authorities to proceed with haste,” said Tsvangirai at a press conference on Tuesday night.

However Tsvangirai, who is convinced that he has toppled Mugabe from power after 28 years at the helm of the former British colony, also called for patience among his supporters.

“The people of Zimbabwe have waited for this for so long and I think they can wait longer,” he said.

During the briefing, his first public appearance since casting his ballot on Saturday, Tsvangirai deflected suggestions his party and Zanu-PF were already in discussions about an exit strategy for the president.

“We want to know who has won what before we can talk of any negotiations,” he said.

The unprecedented hold-up to the presidential result has prompted fevered speculation the delay is to either fix the outcome on Mugabe’s behalf or come up with a dignified way for the country’s leader since independence to depart.

A senior Zanu-PF member told AFP that Mugabe had already agreed in principle to stand aside in favour of Tsvangirai, a man whom the president last month insisted would never rule in his lifetime.

Army chief blocking him

The ruling party source said it now appeared Tsvangirai had won around 48% of the vote – not enough for an outright majority – but Mugabe did not want to suffer the indignity of a second round run-off later this month.

The only significant stumbling block, the source added, was the reluctance of his army chief of staff Constantine Chiwenga to sanction his exit.

“There is only one person still blocking him, the army chief of staff.”

The official word from the Mugabe camp was that talk of negotiations was mischief-making.

“The parliamentary election results are still being announced and the presidential election results are still pending and we wonder where all the talk on talks is coming from,” deputy information minister Bright Matonga told AFP.

Meanwhile a senior European diplomat in Harare expected Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, would go quietly.

“Everything indicates that Mugabe will leave power smoothly,” said the source.

European governments and the US have been urging the electoral commission to end the hold-up on the presidential vote.

“We’re very concerned about (the hold-up), and believe that further delays in releasing these results are not helpful,” State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.

In a petition to the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union, which both monitored the elections, a coalition of 18 rights organisations urged them to push for speedier results.

“We … have found it necessary to send this urgent petition to your excellencies in order to save our country from potentially sinking into complete anarchy if election results are manipulated,” the petition said.

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