Why Mugabe has survived this long


Robert Mugabe is probably the world’s most hated leader.

He was recently appointed the World Health Organisation’s goodwill ambassador but this was revoked four days later after an outcry by mostly Western countries and non-governmental organisations.

Mugabe, now the world’s oldest leader and the third longest serving non-monarch in the world, just before his 90th birthday even wondered how he had survived this long when his siblings that he had looked after had all died.

Mugabe will be turning 94 in four months.

He has survived 15 years of United States sanctions, an election defeat in 2008, an economy that was down on its knees in 2008.

Even now the economy is tottering, there is so much infighting within his party one would be tempted to think he would be stepping down to rest after 40 years at the helm of the party and 37 in power.

But he is contesting next year’s elections at the ZANU-PF presidential candidate.

One is bound to ask: how has Mugabe survived all this, the western onslaught, the sanctions, the economic collapse?

I first wrote in 2003 that Mugabe would outlive his enemies, then Tony Blair of Britain, George Bush of the United States and Howard of Australia.

He did.

When Obama won the United States elections in 2008 to become the first black President of the United States, I wrote an article asking whether Obama could outlast Mugabe.

He did not.

Some of the stories I have written have led some call me a Mugabe apologist.

But the truth is, I knew that he would win or stay in power no matter whether I liked it or not.

Sometimes, like Tendai Biti, I think Grace Mugabe and ZANU-PF are abusing Mugabe.

They should allow him to rest.

Who in his right mind would expect a 94-year-old to go o work every day?

But having known what I have known for the past 14 years, I always have to reflect and hold back.

I put down my thoughts on how Mugabe has survived this long soon after the 2013 elections in an ebook entitled: God, Mugabe and the West.

I still believe the reasons hold.

Find out why. You might not agree with me, but this could be the start of an exciting debate.



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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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