Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 09:40 UK

Blogs bemoan Tsvangirai pull-out

Movement for Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai says he fears for his life - and those of his supporters

Bloggers inside and outside Zimbabwe give their reactions to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to withdraw from Friday's presidential run-off against Robert Mugabe.

The BBC was unable to locate any pro-Mugabe bloggers or internet forums.

Did Tsvangirai do the right thing?

There is a note of resignation in Zimbabwe Today which expressed no surprise at Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out:

"Violence, intimidation and murder have won the day in Zimbabwe," writes Moses Moyo.

Kubatana blog screen grab
While participating in any civic struggle for justice is a personal choice, its abandonment, days before the final hurdle, represents a betrayal
Kubatana blog

"Morgan Tsvangirai bowed to the inevitable and withdrew from Friday's presidential run-off," he writes. is bitterly disappointed by the withdrawal of the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change:

"No doubt Mugabe and his cronies are out celebrating right now," it says.

"All the violence and intimidation has paid off, Morgan and his boys have decided to hand victory on a plate."

"Morgan you had to press on regardless. There was a reason why people were voting for you - they want change, but for you to pull out so close to the finish line is absurd. You are letting people down," it says.

Similar sentiments are expressed in the Kubatana blog :

"While participating in any civic struggle for justice is a personal choice, its abandonment, days before the final hurdle, represents a betrayal of those who have suffered at the hands of the regime," it says.

"We have seen people lying in extreme pain on their hospital beds vowing that they will still vote for the MDC regardless of what has happened to them," it adds.

"Who will provide them with closure, now that their suffering has been rendered meaningless?" it asks.

No choice

The withdrawal of the country's opposition leader, leaves Zimbabweans with only one presidential candidate to choose - Robert Mugabe.

"Henry Ford once said, referring to the model-T car in the 1920s, that you can have any colour as long as it's black," writes True Grit in This is Zimbabwe run by the Sokwanele Civic Action Support Group.

"Is Mugabe really mad enough to run an election on the basis that you can have any president as long as it's me?" he wonders.

Zimbabwean police ride in the back of a pick up truck during a raid on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party headquarters in Harare, Monday June 23, 2008.
MDC headquarters have been raided by police

This is Zimbabwe urges that Morgan Tsvangirai should be recognised as the legal winner of the long presidential electoral process.

"Two independent legal opinions commissioned by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) support a conclusion that in the event of a lawful run-off not being held, the candidate who obtained the greatest number of votes in the election of 29 March 2008 has been duly elected as President and must be declared as such," it says.

A contributor to believes Robert Mugabe has betrayed his people:

"In his quest to get more than 20 votes in the coming elections Robert has told the nation that he will step down once he knows the country is safe from hungry foreigners trying to destroy it" he says.

"News flash Bob - you have already done that yourself!"

Bad neighbourliness

Writing in the online newspaper Zimbabwemetro Laila Macharia is distinctly under whelmed by the response of other African countries to Zimbabwe's plight.

Africa seems eerily silent
Laila Macharia

"One would think that for Africans, many having suffered repressive regimes, the Zimbabwe tragedy would be easy to rally around," she muses.

"But Africa seems eerily silent," she says.

"South Africa, which bears the brunt of refugees, hems and haws. The African Union shrugs. Even Kenya, no stranger to post-election violence, appears willing to let Zimbabwe languish."

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