THE decision by Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of this run-off will generate debate and no doubt earn him and his party a great whipping from many who will approach this decision with ridicule and opportunistic criticism.
His decision to back out will be looked at as if it were an act of cowardice and yet in all principle the MDC should not even have participated in an election in which even if it had won had no prospect of forming a government.
Elections by their nature represent societyâ€™s willingness to resolve issues in a human-like manner by giving people the power to choose. Elections are there to replace illegitimate and often unaccountable leadership. Elections are by their very nature meant to be a substitute for barbarism and anarchy. Elections can only become neccessary if the choices that come out of them can be respected by those who participate and subscribe to the process.
Mugabeâ€™s threat that he would not hand over power even if he lost the election, coupled by the militaryâ€™s stance that they would not salute Tsvangirai, compounded by the violence creates conditions in which it would be insane to proceed with an election whose results have no effect on the electorateâ€™s wishes.
It will be irresponsible to follow Mugabeâ€™s warpath. War is not a glamorous affair. People die. Responsible leadership owes its people the duty to preserve their lives.
By pulling out, Tsvangirai has made the boldest, most courageous and honourable decision of his entire leadership in the face of war. Here is a leader who cares about the people he stands for.
Mugabe will walk away with a victory that has no honour. Tsvangirai can now claim the moral high ground with this gesture. There can never be greater statesmenship than that of puting an end to the violence. Morgan has earned my respect.