International pressure on the President reaches unprecedented levels
After years of neglect, misunderstand and inaction, we in Zimbabwe are beginning to realise that our President and his government are the focus of enormous international pressure. We know from experience that Mugabe is well-practiced in ignoring what is said about him. But the scale of the pressure now makes even the most pessimistic observer feel that soon something has to give.
It is worth listing some of the statements and actions that have taken place across the globe during the past 24 hours.
In the United States, President Bush has declared that any result of the farcical one-man presidential re-run election on Friday will be a sham. The US government has declared that it will not recognise the winner of any such poll.
In London the Queen agreed formally to strip Mugabe of his honorary knighthood. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath back in 1994.
Also in England the cricket authorities suspended all links with their opposite numbers in Zimbabwe.
Members of the Southern Africa Development Community held an emergency summit, and called for the presidential election re-run to be postponed.
And in South Africa, Jacob Zuma, leader of the country's ruling ANC, made an unprecedented call for the United Nations to intervene in Zimbabwe.
But perhaps the most moving message of the day came from the beleaguered leader of the opposition MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai - the man commonly believed to have won the first presidential election fair and square.
Tsvangirai emerged from sanctuary in the Dutch embassy in Harare, to hold a brief press conference at his home. He called for an end to voter intimidation and violence, for humanitarian groups to be readmitted, for all elected parliamentarians to be sworn in, and for all political prisoners to be freed.
Then he had this message for the people of Zimbabwe:
"It seems darkest at the moment but we must not give up. In the future the people of Africa and the entire world will point to your achievements. Your children will look back and be proud of the sacrifices you and your brothers and sisters made."
Then, after further rumours of threats to his life, he returned to the embassy.