IN OTHER WORDS
Zimbabwe’s voters have waited more than four weeks for the results of the March 29 presidential election. A recount was supposed to begin on Tuesday, but it was again postponed. The only explanation for the delay — and the mounting attacks against the opposition — is that President Ro-bert Mugabe and his henchmen are still trying to figure out a way to fix the vote.
Mugabe has wreaked havoc on his country — inflation is more than 100,000% and life expectancy has dropped to below 40 — and most Zimbabweans are eager, indeed desperate, for a change. An official recount of the parliamentary election showed that the opposition known as the MDC, won a majority of seats. Meanwhile, independent election observers say that the MDC’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, came in first in the presidential vote.
South Africa and other African nations must put aside their hero worship and find ways to persuade or pressure the 84-year-old Mugabe — who helped lead his country to majority rule in 1980 — to allow a peaceful transfer of power to Tsvangirai. We applaud the UN Security Council for taking up the issue.
A UN envoy could help ease the transition. And if Mugabe continues to resist, the Security Council will need to ratchet up the pressure, starting with an arms embargo. This charade must end. — The New York Times