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Decision time for Zimbabwe

March 18, 2008

Zimbabwe President Robert MugabeZimbabweans queued before dawn to vote in the most crucial election since independence in 1980, many of them desperate to end the misery of economic collapse under veteran President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabweans are suffering from the world’s highest inflation of over 100,000 percent a year and shortages of everything from food to fuel. 

The 84-year-old Mugabe faced a strong challenge from his former finance minister Simba Makoni, who stood as an independent candidate, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change. Do you think the prolonged economic crisis was a critical factor in how Zimbabweans voted, or would Mugabe’s power and influence ensure he hangs on at the helm? Have your say.



Posted by BOB | Report as abusive

The human suffering and devastation at the hands of one who fought to liberate the country from colonialism is the greatest tragedy of all. Mugabe is now the oppressive regime that he and thousands of other true war veterans fought against in the 60′s and 70′s.

But the gauntlet has been thrown. Makoni and other credentialed former Mugabe cabinet ministers (eg Dabengwa Chung) demonstrate how much support he has lost within his own party. But I’m a realist…like Smith, Mugabe is not going to go peacefully or quietly. He will rig the elections using the same dirty tactics of 2000 under the purview of the willfully blind. This is the beginning of the end of Mugabe.

Posted by Minya | Report as abusive

How can the people of Zimbabwe vote the government of their choice when the elections will obviously be rigged ? And the tragedy is that all the monitors from the SADC countries will obviously endorse the election even if the intimidation and vote rigging takes place in their face! Cry the Beloved country !!!!

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

When is Africa gonna stop blaming its colonial past..stand on its own feet and get real? We do not drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror.

Posted by Aidan | Report as abusive

To reduce Zimbabwe to a nation that cannot “stop blaming its colonial past” belies a lack of informed opinion about this country, and the issues surrounding the upcoming elections.

The March 2008 elections are not about colonialism or its effects. It is about LEADERSHIP, and that, my friend, means Zimbabweans are looking straight ahead, and not behind them.

Posted by Minya | Report as abusive

Mugabe consistently blames the mounting ills of Zimbabwe on past colonialism.

He has made claims that Britain is attempting to assert old colonial power in the country.

So in this sense, Mugabe has made colonialism a hallmark of his campaign, stirring fear and contempt in the hearts of voters.

The reality, however, is that Mugabe and his land reforms have wittled the once fertile economy to nothing.

Posted by Calen | Report as abusive

If onlyy Britain can acknowledge their shortcomings, then we will see whom he (Mugabe) is going to blame next, the Zambians?

Posted by pitarosi | Report as abusive

The funny thing about Zim election commentary is that it seems that, people are going on about how the election will most definitely be rigged, but
- If the opposition wins, and Bob (Mugabe) loses, it’s ok – and he must accept the result.
- If Bob wins, and the opposition loses, it is rigged. Brace yourselves for civil unrest, protests, a coup, civil war etc etc. All that stuff that makes for a classic African story.
- If bob loses, and the election is declared null and void as suggested by this article, then that’s also the wrong option.

So why accept a result whereby Bob loses, even if the whole thing was greatly flawed anyway?

Why do we even bother with an election? Why not cancel the whole thing and continue on towards some Shakespearean tragedy without the electioneering.


Will someone just off the nut job. My friend has to smuggle and code letters out of the country as he censors all of the post. Almost like N. Korea. He should be “gotten rid of” too.

Posted by Jonny Goldberg | Report as abusive

Mugabe needs to go, he has caused a lot of suffering, a lot of us have fled this once prosperous country due to Mugabe’s deeds. I do not want to live like a foreigner but am forced to live this way. What will it take for this man to let go?? Please we have had enough. Another Mugabe victory means doom for all of us and we just can’t take it anymore.

Posted by chibuda | Report as abusive

The number of times Mugabe has out-foxed Tsvangirai is disconcerting. I fear the old fox is at it again.

MDC should have published the election results – the results were posted at polling stations anywhere – and thus for once out-fox Mugabe.

Mugabe must be “cooking” the result to win or buying time to destroy records of his evil past and then sneak out with a truck load of cash. Either way Tsvangirai will have a face full of egg. As a Zimbabwean, I should be celebrating we finally got rid of the dictator but already I am worried we voted in a buffoon.


Really worried Zimbabwean.


Quite frankly all that I have ever heard from Mugabe has been about laying the blame on Zimbabwe’s colonial past and the rest of the world. Mugabe is of course going to try to remain in power at any cost and by any means. So if the country really does want to start looking ahead – for the first time – it’s only hope is for Mugabe to step down.

Posted by Julie | Report as abusive

You see I don’t understand what is happening in Zimbabwe! Us Zambians aint as patient as our Zim friends. When we want change it must be given to us no doubt. No one under the soils of Zambia can sit on people’s wishes. Our past leaders tried that and it failed because when we rise to speak we speak with one voice.

Posted by Judy Chiluya | Report as abusive

“There is no worse oppression than that of a people by their own fellow black brothers, especially if the same brothers are the heroes who delivered you from oppression by a colonial regime.”

Robert Mugabe is now a villain in the same league with the likes of Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Mobuto Seseko, Nicolae Ceaucescu, Slobodan Milosevic, etc.

It is worrying that all the wise, educated man and women in ZANU PF have not had the guts to stand up to Mugabe, to tell him that he has become a liability to both ZANU PF and the people of Zimbabwe.

Posted by Kgosi Morena | Report as abusive

Robert Mugabe and is military cronies for the International Court of Justice as soon the runoff is over


Leaders of the major religions need to have authority in these problems. Those leaders can be brought to the fore to show the way to overcome the cause of the conflict in Zimbabwe.

Posted by andy | Report as abusive

Mugabe crossed the Rubicon back in 1980; it was too late to turn back now!

There is a rumour going the rounds that it was Mugabe’s security chiefs, the Police Commissioner, Army General, etc. who told Mugabe he had lost the 29 March 2008 presidential vote with a very big margin. The story goes that Mugabe was prepared to resign but the security chiefs told him in no uncertain terms that he could not do that. When Mugabe met his own Zanu PF ruling body, the politburo (not that the it has ever made any decisions of course) they too realised the game was up.

When Mugabe took over the chain of office following Zanu PF’s 1980 election victory he made conscience decision then that intended to stay in office for keeps. He could have dropped his one-party state ticket, particularly now that the country’s constitution called for a multi-party system. He wanted absolute power and was not going to let anything; the constitution, human rights or even the sanctity of human life itself stand in his way. So from the very first day in office, he started scheming and single minded carry out his evil plan.

He did achieve his objective; 28 years of absolute power. The price was heavy; a totally subjugated nation who has had their dream of peace, freedom and human dignity snuffed. A crippled national economy with the world’s highest inflation, highest unemployment rates, etc. and all the tragic human suffering that has gone with it.
Many, many Zimbabweans have lost their lives unnecessarily during the 28 years of Mugabe tyranny. Where there is poverty her two sisters, disease and death, are there with her. Thousands more lives were lost in politically motivated violence orchestrated by Mugabe and his ruling party, Zanu PF.

When Mugabe decided to be a tyrant, a ruthless dictator, he crossed the Rubicon. All those close to him in the politburo, the Police, the Army knew exactly what he had done and they followed him. They too splashed into the water and crossed with him. They too knew they had made a momentous decision.

Even if some may claim that their geography is not so good, they did not realise the river they crossed back then was the Rubicon. They can claim that they did not remember Rome too because they have matched to the city gates and right in the Senate – fully armed. After 28 years of brutality, no one in Zanu PF can claim they did not KNOW what was going on!

Mugabe has rewarded well all those who have remained faithful to his quest absolute power. He shared out some of it and the spoils with them. Some of the more ambitious like the late Edson Zvobgo wanted to have a shot at the top job and vended their frustration but to no avail. Others found themselves holding position far beyond their ability and were content.

As thinking humans, I am sure, all Mugabe’s cronies must have been uncomfortable with contemptuous way Mugabe treated them. Of course Mugabe treated the public with total contempt, as if they were stupid morons – just as the whites had treated blacks before independence. All those who had signed up to Mugabe’s agenda knew that was going to happen but they did not think Mugabe would treat them too with the same contempt. Parliament, Cabinet, Politburo, etc. these are all empty titles with no real power. All power is invested in one man, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

There must be times, many times – particularly in the last few years when the economy was in free fall and there are so many skeletons – when Mugabe’s followers must have asked themselves why they allowed themselves to be led down this dead end!

The security chiefs have enforced Mugabe’s dictatorial will on the people. Whilst all the other Mugabe cronies are guilty of mismanagement and corruptions, the security chiefs are guilty of all that too but worse still, they have blood on their hands! They had warned that they would not salute a “puppet”, a reference to Tsvangirai. They are absolutely determined that Mugabe stays.

Mugabe and all those who were with him during the fight for independence were heroes and heroines and the nation honoured them as such. Rightly so too! But when they returned to Zimbabwe and turned the gun on the people to impose their dictatorial will they turned themselves from heroes into common criminals, villains. Now they are holding the whole nation to ransom –openly defying the expressed will of the people – like thugs and criminals they are!

Mugabe was always a thug fighting for a just cause did not change his nature, now that the years of darkness of his dictatorships are finally drawing to a close the true nature of the beast, well hidden for all these years, is coming out! “Renemanyanga, hariputirwi” as we say in Shona.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Let us hope the decision time for the Zimbabwe people means finding a way to topple the current egotistical tyrant and his criminal cronies. They have a lot to lose when Mugabe falls and so they too will be making every effort to stay in power – at the expense of the whole nation. Because of their greed and arrogant selfishness Mugabe and cronies will refuse to comprehend the dire situation of Zimbabwe. If the Zimbabwe people are unable to break the ‘strangle hold’ of Mugabe, may the UN and/or global community put on enough pressure to break it. Our prays are with you the people of Zimbabwe.

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive

If MDC had any common sense and a sense of responsibility to the many Zimbabweans whose lives have been traumatised by Mugabe’s inspired wave of violence and murder then they would not have anything to do with the Zimbabwe election charade. But MDC is not one of the cleverest kids on the block, the party does not even have any common sense. It is MDC not Mugabe who is in the driving seat.

For all his rhetoric there is nothing Mugabe can do to get the Zimbabwe economy back of track. The state of the economy is in such a mess he can not ignore it for another day longer. Everyone knows that Mugabe has lost all credibilty no one will help as long as he remains in power. His best chance is to have an MDC affront whilst he remains in control.

The sad reality is by taking part in this Mugabe charade it is the ordinary Zimbabweans, mostly those who had dared support MDC publicly who are paying the price!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

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