Archive for the ‘Zimbabwe’ 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 For those institutions that haven’t rescinded, consider this horror.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.
Because I’m on a segue kick, Marian Tupy recently offered a comparison of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Though the comparison’s slightly insane — anything looks well-run when compared to a basketcase — it’s an interesting perspective on a country I rarely hear about. Some history of Botswana:
Botswana, previously the Protectorate of Bechuanaland, gained independence from Great Britain in 1966. Her new president, Seretse Khama, a descendant of the local Bamangwato chiefs, received his education at South Africa’s Fort Hare University and Oxford’s Balliol College. In 1948, he married a white woman, Ruth Williams, who clerked at Lloyds in London. Their marriage was political dynamite that was, at first, opposed by both the traditional chiefs in the Bechuanaland and by the government in South Africa, Botswana’s immensely more powerful southern neighbor whose white population had just elected a regime that wanted to increase racial segregation between whites and blacks. Fearing South Africa’s negative reaction, the British government banned the Khamas from the Protectorate for almost a decade.
The racial prejudice that the pair encountered from both sides of the racial spectrum proved to be formative. While most regimes in post-independence Africa sent their white populations packing, Khama and his successors strove for racial harmony. As a result, Botswana benefited greatly from the human and financial capital of her large white community, which totals 7 percent of the overall population. It is surely a sign of Botswana’s relative comfort with racial diversity that on April 1, 2008, Ian Khama, the first-born son of the country’s founder, took over the reigns of power in Botswana, thus becoming the first half-white leader of an African democracy.
Speaking of Mr. Keating, he also points out an interesting story from China Digital Times. Confusion about whether or not Zimbabwe’s government received the shipment that South African dockworkers refused to unload remains. On one hand:
THE ZIMBABWEAN government said yesterday that weapons carried by China’s so-called “ship of shame”, the An Yue Jiang, had arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, despite an international campaign to prevent the 77 tonnes of arms reaching President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
On the other:
But China’s Foreign Ministry said the An Yue Jiang was on its way back to China, and denied reports the weapons had arrived in Zimbabwe.
“These reports are baseless and purely fictitious,” spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement on the ministry’s website (www.fmprc.gov.cn).
“The Chinese side has already said many times that the weapons sold to Zimbabwe will return on the An Yue Jiang. The ship is currently on its way back to China,” Qin said.
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.