Day By Day

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hope for Zimbabwe? Perhaps

The International Crisis Group released a report last week suggesting that Mad Bobby Mugabe's long reign of terror in Zimbabwe may at last be coming to an end due to pressure from the US and EU.
The economic meltdown, as well as the bite of European Union (EU) and U.S. targeted sanctions, is pushing ZANU-PF [Mugabe's party] towards change, since business interests of key officials are suffering. The party is split over the succession issue but Mugabe’s long successful divide-and-rule tactics have started to backfire as the two main factions are coming together to try to prevent him from staying beyond the expiration of his present term in March 2008. They showed their strength by blocking his proposed constitutional amendment at the party’s annual conference in December 2006 and will seek to do so again at the central committee in March so they can explore a deal resulting in his retirement to make way for moderate leaders who could negotiate with the MDC and civil society on transitional mechanisms, seek SADC endorsement and reengage with the West and foreign investors.....

The desire to remove Mugabe within the year provides a rare rallying point that cuts across partisan affiliations, and ethnic and regional identities.
Will they get rid of the old monster? We shall see, we shall see.

But, as the report reminds us:

A deal that merely removed Mugabe while in effect maintaining the political status quo by keeping ZANU-PF in power would be no change at all.

Read it here.

ZANU-PF had its origins as an anti-colonial Maoist revolutionary group, but under Mugabe's leadership has degenerated into a gang of thugs. It is very unlikely that they will relinquish any of their power or privileges willingly. At this point the most likely outcome of Mugabe's removal will be a power struggle that could easily turn into civil war.

We shall see, we shall see.

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