The headline reads: Mugabe’s media accuses Obama of ‘sinister plan’ to affect Zimbabwe elections. At the bottom is a black and white picture of Robert Mugabe. Top left of the picture reads: Dictator Yearbook. Click on the picture and a caption pops up. It reads: Guess who. This politician pictured in 1976 would come to rule Rhodesia, renamed Zimbabwe, in 1980.
There are 31 slides, including another picture of Mugabe in 2011 and other leaders like Saddam Hussein, Mobuktu Sese Seko, Muammar Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Laurent Kabila, Hosni Mubarak, Fidel Castro and so on.
Mugabe, who has been at the helm of the country since 1980, has used Western interference as an excuse to hang on to power. This is what he told the New Era last week when he was asked if he would retire if he won the next elections:
New Era: Your Excellency, there is speculation that if you win the election, you are not going to serve your full term, but you will hand over power to a chosen successor in your party. How do you respond to this?
RGM: How do I respond to that? Well, I will retire someday but I can’t say I’m going to an election in order to retire. People will say, ah, we can’t vote for your retirement, we are voting for you to rule. That will be decided as and when the situation demands.
But you see, my brother, we had to demonstrate to the West that it’s not you who should instruct us to stand down, ha, regime change does not work. Who are you to want our regime to change?
So, it was mainly because of that, to demonstrate that and also to hold on, so my party could be together because sometimes when you get voices from Europe like that there are some people in the party, who begin to worry, to shiver and so on and so forth.
But we said no, we fought them yesterday you see, we can fight them again. We won’t collapse and we didn’t collapse, we will remain and remain with the leadership they don’t want. That’s it, we were defiant! It was a defiance campaign in a way.
But we will settle down and naturally we should allow power to transfer. But we must be assured that when we transfer that we are well united and we have in-built strength within the party.
Editor’s note: Note the use of WE