Zimbabwe Electoral Commission launches recount

Here we go, then — Mugabe’s cronies helping him snatch this election. The ZEC has ordered and begun a recount in 23 constituencies — all of which went for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Also, South African President Thabo Mbeki is surely complicit in this. A Chinese ship carrying arms to Zimbabwe has left a South African port after workers refused to unload it, but the South African government said it would not interfere with the ship.

It’s time for the world to start pressuring Mr Mbeki. It’s obvious he has lost the confidence of one of the parties he’s supposed to be mediating, as MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has already asked him to step aside. It’s a pretty clear-cut case of favouritism for Robert Mugabe.

Mr Mbeki’s “quiet diplomacy” clearly has not been working as the recent developments — e.g. accusations of treason against Morgan Tsvangirai — have shown. If quiet diplomacy was working, that wouldn’t have happened. Thabo Mbeki is complicit in the Zimbabwe situation and will be complicit if any violence breaks out — which is surely why the arms are being shipped to the government in Harare? If Mugabe is to go, Mbeki has to go first, at least as ‘mediator’ in this conflict.

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