How Mugabe beat Blair?


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Way back in 2003, an opinion poll by the Mass Public Opinion Institute showed that just over half the Zimbabweans polled wanted President Robert Mugabe to go.

Mugabe had just served one year of his six-year term and it looked like he might not last another year or two.

The country had no cash and no fuel. Some supermarkets were selling cash to those who wanted to buy things using cash.

The Movement for Democratic Change cashed in on the political turmoil and launched its Final Push campaign to get Mugabe to step down or agree to negotiations.

But it was also that same year in September that The Insider wrote a story that despite the onslaught; Mugabe was going to outlast his arch-enemy British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Insider story was not based on any political analysis but on prophecy which was to dog the editor of The Insider for the next six years as one by one, Mugabe’s arch-enemies left the scene.

First it was Tony Blair who abruptly announced his resignation though he had won a third term which should have seen him in office until 2009 or 2010.

Then came John Howard of Australia who not only lost the Prime Minister’s post but also his parliamentary Seat. And finally, George Bush stepped down after his second term.

The International Crisis Group, considered one of the think tanks and often quoted on its analysis of Zimbabwe, gave Mugabe no more than five months in February 2007.

But Mugabe survived it all. The why and how Mugabe outlasted his main rivals is detailed in our kindle book: Can Obama outlast Mugabe?

There is now a blog dedicated to the book.

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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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