Today, the sad news has broken: there will not be democracy, or freedom from despotism in Zimbabwe.
The call by Zimbabwe’s political opposition for people nationwide to stay away from work began to take effect on Tuesday, but it did not succeed in shutting down the capital, Harare.
Election officials, citing voting irregularities, have refused to release the outcome of the contest, between Zimbabwe’s autocratic president, Robert G. Mugabe, who has ruled for 28 years, and the MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The High Court Monday rejected an opposition demand that it force Zimbabwe’s electoral commission to publish the results, prompting the opposition to go ahead with the strike.
The opposition, which analysts say does not have a strong track record of organizing large public protests, decided against calling on its followers to take to the streets.
Police have banned all public rallies. And in recent days, opposition leaders have said in interviews they believe Mr. Mugabe’s government is looking for reasons to crack down and declare a state of emergency that would allow him to rule by decree. They hoped a stay-away would enable them to avoid violent confrontations with the police and the army.