Politics Magazine

Mugabe Tightens His Grip

Posted on the 01 August 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

Yesterday, the long-suffering nation of Zimbabwe repeated the charade of pretending to hold a free and fair general election; one that marks the end of the uneasy and unequal ‘coalition’ between ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which rightfully won the 2008 election but was prevented from taking office. It appears that the ruthless dictator Robert Mugabe is set to claim a mandate to continue his presidency for another five years, which would mean his dictatorship will have lasted for a total of 38 years.

International election observers have reported large numbers of voters not finding themselves on the electoral register; the movement of bus loads of ZANU-PF militia members to vote in multiple urban districts; and a large number of dead people being on the register, resulting in underage ZANU-PF people voting with their identities. Already, the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has declared the election results to be “null and void” and that although he expected to win “quite resoundingly”, the MDC was participating in the election with a degree of reluctance given the vote rigging. Even the non-partisan election observers have said that the ballot “lacks credibility”

Though at the time of writing the official result is yet to be announced, there is widespread agreement in the Zimbabwean online media (yes, despite the devastation which has taken place, there is still something resembling Internet access in some areas of Zimbabwe) that ZANU-PF has won a landslide majority. This is depressing, if not surprising news for a nation which has endured racism, fascism, isolation and humiliation as the social and economic policies of Mugabe dragged one of the strongest African nations into hyperinflation and civil war, to the point where the ‘breadbasket of Africa’ is now dependent on UN food handouts and had to resort to using petrol coupons as a makeshift currency.

Demonstration against Robert Mugabe's regime n...

Mugabe is still described by some as a ‘socialist’. Though his policy platform in the first few years of government did vaguely resemble that of a third world socialist, it never was for the basic reason that we socialists believe in political and economic democracy, which Mugabe never undertook to establish. Indeed, it is the Movement for Democratic change which is a member of Socialist International, and stands in opposition to the fascist activities of the Mugabe regime- although the MDC’s performance in recent years has been somewhat disappointing: it would be preferable if they did not allow themselves to be squeezed out of power by ZANU-PF. (I only raise the point about socialism as the likes of Fox News are not shy about making the absurd claim that people like Mugabe represent it)

A lot rests on how the international community reacts to the masses of evidence of vote rigging. Unfortunately for the people of Zimbabwe, I doubt that Mugabe feels too afraid of the consequences.

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