World

Zimbabwe and the future of Mugabe

Elections in Africa are always precarious affairs. If there is the least sense that, perhaps, the current dictator-for-life will somehow be deprived of power then the citizens will expect change.

If, despite this overwhelming demand for change, the election still goes the way of the incumbent then … well, you get events like Kenya. Previously seemingly stable countries erupt into genocide and horror.

Then we get Zimbabwe. A place that has been unstable and unpleasant almost since independence. Current president-for-life, Robert Mugabe, is responsible for massacres in Matabeleland and causing untold suffering to his people. He has rigged every election since independence. But he is gradually losing control as the economy falls apart (inflation is now 100,000% – everyone is a billionaire).

So, here we stand. The elections took place on the 29th of March. The results were due out this morning. They are not yet out. The opposition parties expect to win. So do the people. If Mugabe still wins, then the chances are that there will be outrage.

However, if Mugabe rigs it outrageously, and his well-paid army takes to the streets … well, things will go on much as they have for the past decade. Unpleasantly.

More news as it happens.

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5 replies »

  1. I’ve been keeping an eye on this for weeks, posting as news comes along for the past few days. Things are taking an ugly turn:

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200803311186.html
    In what can best be described as a shock result, President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party are about to announce victory for Mugabe in the parliamentary and presidential elections, according to unofficial results leaked from the ZANU-PF and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC, command centres.

    But sources within the ZEC centre – newly christened the National Collation Centre – say Mugabe clearly lost the election to his opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai, polling only 20 per cent of the vote. He is also said to trail Simba Makoni who garnered 28 per cent.

  2. Thanks, WH and Sara. (Note to latter: American Pessoptimist is pretty amazing.)