Friday, March 28, 2008

I’d love to be proved wrong…

…but failing that, I’d like to be the first to congratulate Robert Mugabe for having won tomorrow’s election.

6 comments:

jams o donnell said...

I'm sure his celebration dinner will feature stuffed ballot boxes....

Andre said...

Given the fact that he said the opposition will never rule, you probably were right - although it seems that the opposition managed to gain some areas with a whopping 88%

m said...

I’m a bit sad to see the results for Makoni, it appeared he would be a good compromise/transitional leader?

I’m a bit confused by where Mugabe would go? He can’t go to London/EU or America, he doesn’t seem to be that well liked in Africa (I could be incredibly off-base there), and I’m not sure (doubt) anyone is seriously thinking of immunity (save, Makoni…possibly?). Even if he was allowed immunity, that doesn’t mean it would be everlasting.

I could guess where he could go, but I’m more interested in what would be the realistic option. While trying to find the answer myself, the most I can see is speculation about Nigeria; which wasn’t on my mental list, proving how much I know…

Andre said...

m, I think Zimbabweans couldn't give a damn what happens of Mugabe. Personally, I don't think they'd mind if he stays in Zimbabwe. Ian Smith did.

I think what Zimbabweans want is their verdict to be respected, their elected leaders to take office, and to start seeing some form of progress in their country.

When the life expectancy is just above 34 years of age, unemployment at 80% and you're dying of hunger, revenge is the last thing on your mind. I'd be happy to see him retire - but let the people be.

And most importantly, he should let the elected leaders govern.

m said...

It would appear he is quite selfish these days, so in order to “help themselves” it may be good to focus on what happens to Mugabe.

Apparently he does fear backlash, even if it isn’t immediate. There have been many cases post-Smith that prove you can’t rely on immunity. I was really confused by the talks of Nigeria, considering what’s happened there. I thought it’d be more likely he’d seek security in the East, it seems more secure.

Also, wasn’t Smith more persuadable at the end?

Would it be better to bring Mugabe to trial but make a deal assuring him a pardon?

Maybe he will just step down and face whatever the results may be? Failing that, I don’t see how anything can change, as the West probably won’t play hardball with South Africa and even if they did now, it’d be a bit late.

Tom Freeman said...

I think Mugabe has political friends in Namibia – a retirement there might be an option if it came to leaving the country. Or I guess SA could take him. Or one of the smaller Arab states? I don't much care what happens to him.

It stuns me that anyone not bought off would even consider voting for the man. But it seems he does have a significant, real constituency (although not enough toi win fairly). I guess demagoguery and propaganda can still work even in the face of spectacular incompetence and corruption.

But whatever happens, I doubt it’ll be pretty. I know pretty much nothing about Makoni, whereas Tsvangirai doesn’t impress me much – he’s no Mandela, to be sure. This week, I think Zimbabwe will be lucky to avoid riots, whatever the election ‘result’. Longer-term, the sheer size of the country’s problems will make government even with the best of intentions incredibly difficult.