The end of the road
Why Morgan has said "no" to the run-off
Violence, intimidation and murder have won the day in Zimbabwe. Yesterday Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, bowed to the inevitable and withdrew from next Friday's presidential run-off.
At a press conference at his home in Strathven, in Harare's central suburbs, a subdued Tsvangirai said what we all knew to be true - that the electoral process was a shame, and that any prospect of a free and fair vote had disappeared.
He said that state-sponsored violence, which has spread throughout the country in the past few weeks, had been a ploy to keep Mugabe in power, and in the light of the continued intimidation and murder of MDC people he had no option but to withdraw.
On the same day, and symbolic of what has been happening since the first election for president back in March, a planned MDC rally was wrecked by both Zanu-PF thugs and the police, in an orgy of attacks, beatings, and stoning of cars.
Official estimates of the number killed by Zanu-PF action since March stands at 75, but many observers believe that to be a ludicrously low estimate. It is also known that some 200,000 people have been forcibly displaced. MDC activists have been targeted by death squads. Their wives and families have been beaten, sometimes to death. Houses have been burned to the ground, lives wrecked, hopes for the future destroyed.
The only hope for freedom now is that outsiders - specifically, governments belonging to the Southern Africa Development Corporation, the African Union, and the United Nations - will finally bring genuine pressure on Mugabe, and force him to stand down, or to facilitate a free and fair presidential election.
But they are not likely to do the first, and he is definitely not going to do the second.
So, in the light of these feeble hopes, and as a fateful week in our country begins, your own correspondent Moses Moyo would like to draw on history for a final comment.
In 1956 the people of Hungary rose against their Soviet oppressors. The Red Army responded with tanks, guns and brutality. The elected Prime Minister of a free Hungary, Imre Nagy, appealed to the West for help.
He didn't get it. And neither will we.