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Zimbabwe: Death of a nation by underground

Death of a nation

Zimbabwe’s political crisis continues to become ever more dire, with heinous political violence, skyrocketing inflation and a seemingly impotent international community. Having South African friends and having known people who had fled Zimbabwe, I have followed the situation closely. When Morgan Tsvangirai clearly beat Robert Mugabe in the Presidential election on March 29, and with MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) faring well in the parliamentary vote, I optimistically, and naively, felt the country may turn for the better, as did many others. Now over 3 months on, that hope is almost entirely extinguished as  Mugabe has claimed a landslide victory in an uncontested presidential run off vote and diplomacy is making little headway. Farcical as the charade was, Mugabe appears to feel he has been legitimised and continues to slate the world that conspires against him.

Zimbabwe’s political strife has certainly generated a lot of news, fuelled thousands of opinion pieces and captured the world’s attention. As the world, in particularly the African nations, ponder what to do about Zimbabwe, Mugabe continues to brutalise his people. 3 million people have fled the country, with around 1.5 million refugees having crossed the border into neighbouring South Africa. The MDC says 113 supporters have been killed, around 5,000 are missing and more than 200,000 have been forced from their homes since the first round of voting in March. Political dissidents have been detained and physical and sexual assaults are being used to keep the public in line. Unemployment is at 80 per cent and inflation is at 2,200,000 per cent. Zimbabwe needs more than just Mugabe’s removal before it will be rid of its problems, but his departure would be a start. According an article last month in Time Magazine, the country does not need the restructuring effort required in other African countries such as Somalia or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With his removal, investment in the country can begin and Zimbabwe can hopefully once again be a beacon for the African continent to follow.

But how will Zimbabwe see the end of the 28-year reign of Robert Mugabe?

With the failure of the first vote to find an outright winner and the farce of the runoff, it appears as though democracy as a means of regime change has failed. Can sanctions work? Can an internal uprising effectively topple the dictator? Will international pressure be sufficient? Can Africa’s leaders talk him round? Or is it time to send in the troops?

I’ve split this into several separate posts, with some background on Zimbabwe (Prosperity to Pain: How did it get this bad?), a look at the elections and the challenges to democracy (Democracy: Is there promise in the polls?), the chances of diplomacy (Diplomacy: Can’t we just talk about it?), the option of sanctions (Sanctions: Can we starve this disease?), and the last resort (Invasion: Time to send in the troops?). Last of all I have a look at Tsvangirai, hailed as the alternative, but who is he really (Alternative: Who is Morgan Tsvangirai?).

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Leave Zimbabwe alone! Black empowerment in Africa will continue to revolve. Free Namibia and South Africa.

Comment by todd kidd

Perhaps Mugabe should be the one who leaves Zimbabwe alone, as he no longer has the support of his people and the mandate to govern.
And who are Namibia and South Africa to be freed from?

Comment by underground

I encourage bloggers and readers interested in Zimbabwe to check out this blog here:
http://zimreview.wordpress.com/
Zimreview’s Chido Makunike is wonderfully cynical and thoughtful in his posts. A staunch critic of Mugabe, Makunike is not afraid to also criticise Tsvangirai for his flaws, or question the motives of those in the international community. Well worth a read.

Comment by underground




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