What do Trump and Mugabe have in common?


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They are both dictators. At least that is the argument that was raised in the British Parliament yesterday as legislators debated United States President Donald Trump’s proposed state visit to the United Kingdom.

British citizens are against the intended visit because of Trump’s controversial travel restrictions now commonly referred to as the “Muslim Ban” as it affects people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was at pains yesterday to defend the planned visit and as if to confirm that Trump is a dictator, said: “To the best of my knowledge, both Nicolae Ceausescu and Robert Mugabe have been entertained by Her Majesty the Queen, and I think most Members would concede that it is our duty and the right thing to do to make preparations now for receiving our friend, our partner, the leader of a long-established great democracy and our most important ally.”

The Speaker commented: “What a great relief it was for those of us who did not have to meet either of those two people.”

Mugabe has been in power for the past 37 years but Zimbabwe has held elections on schedule since independence in 1980 and Mugabe was won all the elections except the presidential elections in March 2008 when he was beaten by Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, however, said Tsvangirai had not polled enough votes (50 percent plus one) for an outright victory necessitating a run-off. Tsvangirai pulled out because of the violence that erupted in the run-up to the June run-off elections.

Tsvangirai also insists that he was won all the elections he had contested but Mugabe stole the elections.

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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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