Don’t let Mugabe cheat again


The British magazine, The Economist, says Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai would wallop Robert Mugabe and his “thuggish, incompetent and corrupt ZANU-PF” if the 31 July elections were “tolerably free and fair”.

In an editorial, the magazine says despite sporadic violence by ZANU-PF and the efforts of the army, the police, the state-owned media, the courts, the electoral commission and the registrar of the voters’ roll, which are all in cahoots with Mugabe and his party, the Zimbabwean people have a chance, however slim, of booting out their ageing despot.

It brushes off opinion polls that suggest ZANU-PF still has chunks of support among the rural poor, arguing that fear of speaking out against the government probably understates the opposition to Mugabe.

“Most people seem keen to get rid of him. He has made a mockery of the unity government, flouting every key clause in the agreement that was supposed to underpin it. He has refused to reform the army or the security service, the courts and the media, or to remove repressive laws.

“Prominent MDC people are frequently beaten up, put behind bars and even murdered. Yet Mr Mugabe has retained his vicious security chiefs as well as the useless central bank governor who presided over a world-beating inflation rate in 2008. Some of the MDC’s people proved to be neither angels nor geniuses in government, but an impressive MDC finance minister is credited with steadying a dollarised economy,” the magazine says.

It concludes: “Sadly, the old man and his thugs will probably try to bludgeon their way to a bogus victory. If they do, America and the EU should renew the targeted sanctions against prominent people in the regime that they largely lifted earlier this year as a reward for Mr Mugabe’s belated agreement to pave the way to the election by amending the constitution. And the rest of Africa should join the condemnation. Africa’s standards of governance have generally been improving. It is high time its leaders, especially Mr Zuma, felt honour-bound to help erase this blot on their continent.”


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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