Mugabe’s days numbered says top US envoy


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A top United States official says President Robert Mugabe’s days are now numbered and the Obama administration must now start engaging with civil society, the press and government officials to prepare for the post Mugabe era.

United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said at George Washington University:  “There will be a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe and we need to start preparing for that eventuality.”

According to Roll Call she went on:“We need to engage more extensively with civil society, with the press and we need to start engaging with some government officials … to press them to bring about changes in their government so that we can be prepared for that period.”

Thomas-Greenfield warned Mugabe to look at what had happened in Burkina Faso where President Blaise Compaore was forced out of power by the people after 27 years in office.

“I think if they look at what is happening in Burkina Faso right now, I think it should give them some pause,” she said.

Mugabe has been in power for 34 years and his current term ends in 2018.

The United States has always eyed business opportunities for its multi-national corporations in Zimbabwe as soon as Mugabe goes.

Way back in 2003, United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Joseph Sullivan, predicted that Mugabe’s rule would be over and suggested that Washington prepare for business opportunities that were going to open up.

He envisaged US companies like General Electric providing locomotives to rejuvenate the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Caterpillar supplying machines to coal miner Wankie Colliery and Boeing selling jets to Air Zimbabwe.

The United States also dedicated a radio station, Studio 7, to take on the surrogate role of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation the same year, broadcasting in all three of the country’s major languages.

Mugabe, however, survived both United States and European Union sanctions and remains in power today.

*For an exclusive report on why Mugabe has lasted this long, please read: God, Mugabe and The West.

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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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