Archive for the ‘Robert Mugabe’ tag
While the world, and I, was paying attention to the situation in Harare, I predicted that Mugabe would effectively wait out the world’s short attention span and then keep power in the mess that remains of his country. He’s certainly outlasted the world’s attention span, but I would love to be wrong and see this power-sharing deal work out.
Peter Maas argues that Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang — nope, never heard of him either — is actually worse than the far-more-famous Robert Mugabe. Obiang’s qualifications:
Years of violent apprenticeship in a genocidal regime led by a crazy uncle? Check. Power grab in a coup against the murderous uncle? Check. Execution of now-deposed uncle by firing squad? Check. Proclamation of self as “the liberator” of the nation? Check. Govern for decades in a way that prompts human rights groups to accuse your regime of murder, torture, and corruption? Check, check, and check.
He goes on to speculate that no one criticizes the reign because, like the Saudis, they worry about access to the country’s (rather modest) oil reserves.
Seeking refuge in the Dutch embassy, he’s ended his campaign to defeat Mugabe. For those wondering why, this gallery — absolutely not for the faint of heart — gives some indication of the reasons.
I don’t know what’s more astounding, the number he was given or the number that haven’t been taken away. For those institutions that haven’t rescinded, consider this horror.
It sometimes feels like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is following my program a tad too well.
A convoy carrying the Movement for Democratic Change leader was stopped at a police roadblock at 1000 GMT, party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said.
The MDC leader and his entourage were taken to a police station in the far west of the country, said Mr Chamisa.
“It appears they want to disrupt our campaign programme,” he said.
UPDATE (06/04/2008): He has been freed.
Anne Applebaum is understandably upset that Robert Mugabe is able to safely and easily visit Rome:
It’s hard to think of any other single gesture that would so effectively reveal the ineffectiveness of international institutions in the conduct of both human rights and food-aid policy. Even someone standing atop the dome of St. Peter’s, megaphone in hand, shouting, “The U.N. is useless! The EU is useless!” couldn’t have clarified the matter more plainly.
Count me among those opposed to this.
JOHANNESBURG — After more than a month’s delay, Zimbabwe officially announced the results of the March 29 presidential elections on Friday, saying that the opposition candidate had won but by not enough to avoid a runoff against President Robert Mugabe.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, won 47.9 percent of the vote, compared with Mr. Mugabe’s 43.2 percent, the electoral commission’s chief elections officer, Lovemore Sekeramayi, told reporters.
Ministers in Mr. Mugabe’s government had maintained for weeks that a runoff would be necessary against Mr. Tsvangirai.
R.W. Johnson’s coverage of what’s happened in Zimbabwe over that last weeks is incredibly insightful and covers the all-but-unreported politics that have allowed Mugabe’s intransigence. His conclusion:
When such an elite [as the long-ruling Zanu-PF] feels its power threatened, it tends to fall back on its original self-definition as a national liberation movement. If one posits the problem in those terms then it follows that the defeat of an NLM can only mean the triumph of the forces of colonialism and apartheid which it came into existence to fight. In that view national liberation, once achieved, is the end of history. There can never be a point when it would be desirable for the gains of liberation to be lost, so the theory provides a watertight rationale – and a legitimating self-righteousness – for the ANC, Zanu-PF and the region’s other ruling NLMs to cling to power indefinitely. Seen this way the drama of Zimbabwe may indeed prefigure a more general crisis as these movements age and decay. We have seen enough of movements that believe they will remain to see the state wither away or to usher in a thousand-year Reich to know that bringing them to accept a less intransigent view of themselves is seldom a gentle business.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition and, depending on who you ask, it’s president elect penned a Op-Ed in The Guardian today. The most bruising line:
How can global leaders espouse the values of democracy, yet when they are being challenged fail to open their mouths? Why is it that a supposed “war on terror” ignores the very real terror of broken minds and mangled bodies that lie along the trail left by Mugabe?