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Sign of change in Zimbabwe?

March 10, 2009

President Robert Mugabe joined the mourning for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife on Tuesday and called on Zimbabweans to end violence and support his old rival to help rebuild the country.

The death of Susan Tsvangirai in a road crash in which her husband was also injured has, at least on the surface, brought about a show of unity between Zimbabwe’s bitterest foes that might never have looked possible.

“This is a difficult moment for our colleague. He has lost a partner and we must all rally to support him and lessen his burden,” Mugabe told mourners at the service for the woman who supported Tsvangirai through years of political struggle against him.

“To our supporters, we want to say violence should stop. That’s what (Mrs) Tsvangirai would have wanted, for us to co-exist peacefully. We have just started a new life after years of fighting each other and insulting each other. We have said let’s give peace and harmony a chance and work together.”

Many Zimbabweans were suspicious of the cause of Friday’s crash, the month after Mugabe and Tsvangirai had formed a unity government that has been mired in disagreements over appointments, economic policy and the detention of activists and supporters of long time opposition leader Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai himself, however, has ruled out foul play in the car crash – putting it down to an accident on one of Zimbabwe’s dangerously potholed roads.

Tsvangirai’s oldest son Edwin thanked Mugabe for his speech.

“I want to thank His Excellency the president for words that changed my understanding of him,” he told the crowd.

Has the picture in Zimbabwe now changed? Will Mugabe and Tsvangirai be able to work together to pull the country out of crisis?


First of all you talk of many Zimbabweans as being suspicious that this was not an accident. I am not sure you know enough of Zimbabwe. In fact I think this has been the major problem with reporting on Zimbabwe. Most people believed this was an accident. Even the few who didnt believe this was an accident were sharply divided – others suspected Mugabe and others suspected the British government.

This Reuters report as usual fails to present the correct picture on the ground and seeks to endorse the writer\’s views on Africa.

Posted by Don Phiri | Report as abusive

I hope the old man means what he is saying. we have suffered enough. please give peace and development a chance.

Viva Zimbabwe

Posted by manatsa | Report as abusive

I hope

Posted by Novella | Report as abusive

My deepest simpathy to Morgan, his children and other members of his family. I welcome the Mugabes’s speach. It is high time he realise his mistakes. We as Zimbabweans must unite for the sake of our country which is down on its knees as speaking. As Zimbabweans we have been reduced to being beggars, dogs and destitute.Almost everyone in the world knows us. They laugh at us and we are mocked at. Do we want to continue like this? It is high time we get our heads together and think of the future of our kids. Mugabe or anyone else do not leave for ever. Please Zimbabweans lets unite for the sake of our country. God bless Zimbabwe.

Posted by Greter | Report as abusive

I disagree with Don Phiri’s comment previous.
As a Zimbabwean I’m sure “Many Zimbabweans were suspicious of the cause of Friday’s crash”, certainly that was my first thought. However “Many Zimabaweans” are probably realisic enough to know that the facts on hand point toward the crash being merely accidental, albeit unfortunate.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Time my friends, time. Nothing has changed the lion and the pride.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

Mugabe is an old crocodile with sharp teeth.. He will never change and he is never to be trusted. Whoever wrote this is clearly unfamiliar with Zim history. Take an in depth look at Gukurahundi. These evil old Zanu men – Mnangagwa, Chiwenga, Chinamasa etc. would rather burn in hell than admit what animals they are.

No change. These filthy beasts need to be brought to justice before anything will change.

Innocent Zimbabweans deserve better.

Posted by Jane | Report as abusive

First of all, Mr. Don Phiri does not have the slightest clue as to what he is talking about. The CORRECT PICTURE ON THE GROUND is that a once-prosperous nation known as Zimbabwe is being utterly destroyed, its people starving in the millions, its infrastructure collapsing into ruins, its most-needed and educated citizens fleeing for their lives. All of this is directly and SOLELY the fault of the megalomaniac known as Robert Mugabe, a mass murderer and piece of elephant dung who richly deserves to meet a well-deserved end at the end of a rope for his unspeakable crimes against humanity.

The very idea that anyone would actually and/or seriously think “the British” are somehow responsible for an auto accident that claimed the life of the wife of the only Zimbabwean politican who has the guts to stand up against this infernal regime is too laughably bizarre to be taken seriously by anyone.

There has been no actual change in this dire situation because the tyrant most singularly responsible for this situation, Robert Mugabe and his ruthless band of thugs, are still alive and in power.

Until this thug is driven from power, preferably by a much-needed invasion by troops from the international community, nothing is going to change in Zimbabwe.

Tragically, with starvation and disease running rampant in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean people may not live long enough to survive Mugabe’s reign of terror. Should that, in fact, be the case, Robert Mugabe, like North Korean mass murderer and tyrant Kim Jong-Il, will have lavishly presided over the total and final destruction of his own Nation.

In that case, Mugabe will have won the ultimate pyhrric victory – “Hail Mugabe, King of…NOTHING.”

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

Nothing has changed, ofcourse bobs gonna appear to be all sympathetic, he needs to gain as much trust as possible.

His ‘excellency’ is doing what he does best, conning the masses. God help this country.

Posted by babwe | Report as abusive

Firstly, I am so sorry that I am not Zimbabwean, but in this case of the Gukurahundi being talked about in many fora, I do not think the ndebeles have a case here. In any situation, if dissidents kill innocent people and believe they will get away with, then such thinks have no room whatsoever in any democratic country in this world you could think off. Go to America or the United Kingdom, those countries could have acted exactly what Mugabe and his 5th Brigade did. Mugabe’s move to unleash the 5th Brigade soldiers was right and appropriate in the sense that he was saving innocent civilians from the massacres being perpertrated by invaders, the ndebeles. Remember that the ndebeles are not Zimbabweans, but South Africans who escaped the wrath of Shaka The Zulu during the Mfecane Era. The ndebeles should leave Mugabe and Zimbabwe alone and go back to their native country of South Africa. Why are they wasting their time talking about this and that instead of getting out of Zimbabwe and go back to Jacob Zuma. Did they expect the government of Zimbabwe to fold arms while they were killing innocent civilians? Go back to your country-South Africa and leave the shonas alone in their peaceful country. I see the ndebeles as trouble making people. It’s unfortunate that I am a Nigeria, who happened to visit Zimbabwe diuring the CHOGM Summit sometime in the late 1990s. Okoro Chinedu


Mugabe is about as sincere as parasitic worm! All he wants is Tsvangari to go and get him more money from Western Aid Donors for him and his cronies to steal! We have seen his crocodile tears before!

Posted by Limnothrissa | Report as abusive

As to whethert Bob has changed or not, its all judgemental. One should know that nomatter how tyrany a person might be, the power of opposition will have force. For mugabe to have signed that document it shows a lot of remorse. Hence his remarks means a lot to his masses, though to the mdc massses they will only accept by seeing not hearing. As of today, those in Zim knows the change. Can you imagine people went back to those Zanu guys who were terorising people in the last election, they demanded cows and other livestock taken by Zanu supporters. They got them and the police actually did nothing. Mdc for sure is now rulling.
Power comes with time and needs to be harnessed, like what is happening. Mugabe and Zanu are wading off.

Posted by hombarume | Report as abusive

The title of this article epitomised the feebleness of sociopolitical value in Africa at large. Politicians’ domestic rumble is so more dominant in Africa that courtesy and respect for a day leads to believe tomorrow will see an end to the real needs of the people

For the death of Mrs Tsvangirai is no sign of change in Zimbabwe nor is the choice of words used by President Mugabe in expressing his sorrow and condolences to the deceased’s family.
The so expressed change purely stems from the surprise that his change of rhetoric has created. The president’s address here is to certainly be saluted but it is not a gift to the people of Zimbabwe, it remains true that President Mugabe has driven the country, undoubtedly with the meddling of GB, into ruin and CHANGE in Zimbabwe needs more than mere kind words of condolences.

This is as true of Zimbabwe as it is of the whole continent and we ought it to the future of our children to stop vying for what we know, is not good enough, simply because it looks like a progress on the day.


Posted by Francis Ngale | Report as abusive

When Tsvangirai supports statements by Pius Ncube praying for Mugabe’s death you think God is not listening. You cannot go around playing God wishing other people to die.Does Mugabe not have a family like Tsvangirai? God is for us all, look who’s crying now. As long as you wish evil upon another, you deserve what you get.Is this not the same Tsvangirai who asked South Africa to cut electricity and fuel to Zim so that the masses suffer and vote him into power?I find it difficult to feel sorry for him.

Posted by Tendai Hove | Report as abusive

Yous ick Nigerian,,,go back and read your books u know nothing about Zimbabwe and its pointless to argue with a Drug dealer.

Posted by Noma | Report as abusive

For you Nigerian…please download norama/3479353.stm and feast your mind

Posted by Nomda | Report as abusive

when moving forwards sometimes its best to forgive – maybe not forget – but forgiveness from all sides is needed if Zimbabwe is to move forward. The country has sunk so low that the only way is up. With God on our side im sure we will find the strength to rebuild and once again become the best country in Africa.

Posted by A T Musonza | Report as abusive

i can remember when zimbabwe was one of the richest countries in africa.again we have testimony that socialism does not work.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Okoro Chinedu, you are way out of order. I believe that is the most bigoted statement I have ever heard. If you know the history of Zimbabwe and even of Southern Africa you would be ashamed of yourself. As a Zimbabwean, I would be happy never to see your face again or hear from you.


Re : Okoro Chinedu’s comments, Please go back to Nigeria and reserve your comments on situations and facts that you are familiar with. I find his omments very offensive and insulting to Zimbabweans, especially coming from someone who visited the country briefly during the CHOGM conference. That of course makes him truly qualified to lecture to us Zimbabweans. Please Mr Okoro Chinedu, stick to the affairs that you are familiar with and just leave us Zimbabweans to make up our own minds.

Posted by Sonny | Report as abusive

To A T Musonza – Yes, Zimbabwe will be rebuilt, but what Mugabe has destroyed in nine years will take fifty or more years to rebuild. All for the sake of keeping a murderous and genocidal dictator and his meglomaniacal ego in power! Your children will not be alive to see it, and perhaps not even their children. In the meantime those that do survive will live miserable lives of hunger, poverty and disease, and die young.

Meanwhile Mugabe and his cronies that caused this disaster live a life in fantastic luxury, Grace spends enough to feed 100 Zimbabweans for a year in one single shopping trip, and Gideon Gono gets fatter by the minute!

Posted by Limnothrissa | Report as abusive

Mugabe help free his country in the 1970′s but now he is quite simply a dictator. He has held onto power for to long and has set a poor example for other African Nations. The transtition of power in Botswana last year serves as a much better example of how governments should operate in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To learn more check out my blog “Africa Ignored” at:


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