Mugabe’s death is Zimbabwe’s best hope

Kelly McParland | 13/08/07 8:51 AM ET   | National Post @KellyMcParland

Other than “Crisis in the Middle East,” is there a more predictable headline than this from the Los Angeles Times?: “Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe re-elected; opponents cry foul.”

Mugabe, who is 89 and has run his country for 33 years, was never going to allow a free and fair election.  He wouldn’t have remained in power this long if it were otherwise. Zimbabwe under Mugabe is one long tale of a promising country tumbling into ruination. The economy is a train wreck, corruption is endemic, poverty is everywhere, unemployment is estimated at more than 90%, and advancement is all but impossible unless you are a supporter — or better yet a leader — of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

John Baird’s official reaction to the election fraud was blandness itself

So why is anyone surprised that the latest election would be a fraud? In the past, Mugabe maintained his position through the generous application of violence. If he had to murder, arrest or torture opponents to prevent them gaining a foothold on power, so be it. In 2008, when it appeared the opposition Movement for Democratic Change might be making progress anyway, Human Rights Watch reported that Zanu-PF set up “torture camps” to ” systematically target, beat, and torture people” suspected of supporting the MDC.  When Mugabe came second to MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai, he set up a phony coalition with himself in charge and went on ruling as he always had. Unwilling to embrace violence, Tsvangirai has never been a match for Mugabe’s unbridled cold-bloodedness.  Mugabe’s solution to an unsightly shantytown that had grown up in the capital, and where support for the opposition was strong, was to bulldoze it.

Nonetheless, the response to last week’s election was the usual outpouring of diplomatic disapproval.

“We are rejecting these results because the election was fraudulent,” declared Tsvangirai.

Australia wants a re-run. William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, said he had “grave concerns” and demanded fraud allegations be investigated.

“The irregularities in the lead up to the elections and on election day itself, reported by the observer missions and in contravention of SADC’s guidelines, call into serious question the credibility of the election,” he said.

John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, said the process was deeply flawed and did not represent the will of citizens.

“In light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people.”

The official reaction of Foreign Minister John Baird was blandness itself.

“Canada has serious concerns about the reported irregularities and lack of transparency in the democratic process, which call into question whether the results can credibly represent the will of the people.

“Canada does congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for participating peacefully in the first elections under their new constitution.

“It is our hope that the irregularities will be investigated and that new transparency mechanisms will be implemented to ensure the credibility of the election process.”

Well, ho and hum. Mr. Baird can get fired up about lots of things,  but the strangulation of individual rights in Zimbabwe evidently isn’t one of them. Perhaps that simply reflects the reality: the West has tried all the usual pressure tactics outside of invasion: sanctions, isolation and embargoes; travel restrictions and financial curbs on Mugabe and his top henchmen; and a regular fusillade of disapproving lectures from more respectable statespeople. Other African leaders have been urged to deliver warnings and  reason with Mugabe, all to no avail. Although a number of African media sites reported Mugabe had denounced Nelson Mandela as a “coward” and “idiot,”  South African president Jacob Zuma shrugged off the fraud allegations and sent his “profound congratulations” to Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's diamond fields provide plenty of loot to allow President Mugabe to shrug off international sanctions

Zimbabwe’s diamond fields provide plenty of loot to allow President Mugabe to shrug off international sanctions
Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi-File

Mugabe isn’t likely to pay much heed to the denunciations.  He dismisses the West as a pack of anti-African colonizers. He supports himself and his followers by siphoning off the proceeds from Zimbabwe’s lucrative diamond trade.  The Sunday Times reported Mugabe used $850 million in diamond takings to rig the elections.  An Israeli report suggests Zimbabwean diamond exports may quintuple over the next five years.

That’s more than enough to fuel Mugabe and his famously lavish-spending wife, Grace, through the end of his latest mandate, if he lives that long. Mugabe will be 90 in February. He is known to have health problems. Even diamonds and violence can’t keep him alive forever.

via Mugabe’s death is Zimbabwe’s best hope | National Post.


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    MikShe 9 years ago

    Mugabe’s death is Zimbabwe’s best hope … and the sooner the better.

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      This wish can only come from a devout Satanist. Thank God Mugabe is on God’s side and all evil doers will perish before the annoitted is taken to heaven. Think of it, President Mugabe is the only man to challenge the mighty Emperor of this world. Today he gets a fresh mandate from the people of Zimbabwe to lead them for the next 5 years defying all evil forces against him. Open your eyes before you are punished by the God in Heaven.

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        MikShe 9 years ago

        I repeat, the sooner the better.

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        Peter Macklyn 9 years ago

        Makotsi: Shut the f*#k up you moronic uneducated fool.We all know mugs will destroy this country more and put us back to empty shops, no money, no food etc just like he did before Morgan came and saved us. Or has your small brain forgotten that. Do you want to go to the black market to find mealy meal again, as well as the rest of the food required to feed your obviously uneducated family. God help us when we have fu*#ing fools like this one amongst us.

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        Missy 9 years ago

        You are the ones feeding of him that’s y u say all this rubbish while the rest suffer u are the one who needs to open their eyes

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    jongwe power 9 years ago

    Don’t forget that there are several lieutenants in the ZANU-PF party who will draw straws to take the presidential seat after Bob passes on. Either that or the military (also owned by ZANU-PF) takes over.

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    Its only a non god fearing man who wishes his opponent to die because you have been defeated. I thought the west were suppose to make a better chance to get Mugabe close to them such that their kids and educationist can do proper research and learn politics from this African ICON. The research will better improve the future of politics in the future. I m on the ground in Zim and my studies so far have shown that isolation znd sanctions to Mugabe increase his support . Whether you deny it that is what is on the ground. The last man to die because of sanctions is Mugabe. The first man to die is a poor John in the village. The blame goes to Tsvangirai an opposition leader who has teamed up with former colonisers for his country man to die because he also want to rule. You people think before you act. As for Australia who are saying let there be a rerun and according to Zim consitution it should be in 60days and if by magic it happens Mugabe wiil sweep all those seats that had gone to opposition. The statement said by UK, America and Australia will nail Mdc to their grave forever. Big brother attitude to Zim wont work. Icho. Come talk to Robert the queen told you but you have pride. So to God be the Glory. Ateya musungo uchasunga vana vake. Usavimba nomunhu munhu anokurasisisa hona Tsvangirai akarasiswa nevakambomuvhotera 2008. Vimba naJehovah mwari wako. Those who want to here better oppinion send questions on my email joseph.reads@

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      Tawanda 9 years ago

      Ah yes the dreaded ‘sanctions’ that are the great evil imposed on the common man in zimbabwe. If not for them all would be well.
      The sanctions mantra has really played well to people’s ignorance of what the actual sanctions were/are. Some people I guess just assume the sanctions are equivalent to what is in place with north korea or iraq and south africa in the past.
      Fortunately many have done their homework and know its just excuses and propaganda by the ZPF regime.

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      Peter Macklyn 9 years ago

      joseph: obviously another fu*#ing uneducated fool brainwashed by zpf and forgotten that they are the ones that let the shops get empty so we nearly starved.

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    reason 9 years ago

    Mugabe was clever to embark on an education for all policy upon his ascendancy to power after the liberation struggle. No matter how much they talk of rule of law, rigging of elections, dictator, the majority of Zimbabweans are highly literate to know the truth and to easily identify a puppet. No puppet will ever win elections in Zimbabwe, sanctions or no Sanctions.

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      Peter Macklyn 9 years ago

      august the Zimbabwean people know the election was stolen but can’t do anything about it because this murderer will kill them as he has done before. There are no puppets here only good people trying to get the country away from these kleptocrats. The puppets are like you who believe mugs didn’t wreck the country and that he can tun it properly. Fuc*#ng uneducated moron.

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    Brother Shabazz 9 years ago

    Uhm…I really wonder what life after the despot and his cronies will be like?

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    bingolution 9 years ago

    I don’t ovastand when someone says Mr Mogarbage is a God fearing person. I’m not here to judge but the fact is please think before posting any comment..

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    we want public court so that we can give our ideas pliz hear us

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    These baboons who are shouting praise for Mugabe will soon be crying when they can’t
    Feed thier families. Mugabe is a dog

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    Sean Gushaz 9 years ago

    I would like to know why most of the people in the diaspora are so outspoken about what should or should not be done in Zimbabwe.
    Many people criticize Morgan Tsvangirai!
    Zimbabwe (acccording to ZanuPF and Rugare Gumbo) is a democratic country.
    Anybody who thinks that Morgan is not or has not done a good job to kick out Mugabe should feel free to go back home and start their own brilliant party and face Mugabe the way Morgan has done.
    Trading insults will keep a lot of you doing care work here in the UK instead of going back home to better opportunities.
    Vana vemaMinisters vakazara muDiaspora (at one time including BONA)
    “I will go home when Zimbabwe is fully liberated” thats all you hear.
    Liberated by whom?

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    Graham mason 9 years ago

    So who thinks its going to get any better when he dies. The army are not going to let Tsvangeri in.

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    EU,UN and AU ,SADC their scared of Mugabe thats why he ruls the world they only talk ,but no action worse that corupt Obasanjo is such a useless person he knows exactly what happened during the 31 july ELECTIONS

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    Dharma Appavoo 9 years ago

    You will die. And I will die.
    But Mugabe will live on Forever !
    President Robert Mogabe is a pukka Super-Man.
    Without constitutional redress and without military backing and without effective support from his neighbours, Mogabe dismantled an institutionn that was as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.
    The White Farmers became ” entitled ” and they kept the natives as troglodytes.
    And now they are Home=Sick and Toothless. And they are forever finding Sour Grapes.

    Where was everybody when Idi Amin ruined lives gratuitously. And General Seko, and Sanni Abaccha, and Verwood, and Pinoche.

    Mogabe has left them embittered, toothless and Home-sick.

    When his enemies are left with nothing but Death Wishes for Mogabe it is tantamount to them throwing in the towel and bouncing against the ropes.

    So, smarten up and get used to the embittered life !