Friday, March 28, 2008

Bye Bye Mugabe?


President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

"My message to the people of Zimbabwe is very, very simple. We have come a long way in this democratic struggle. We have another fighting opportunity against this dictatorship for food and jobs - give it a try. If Mugabe steals it the people of Zimbabwe will know that their vote has been stolen and that he would be ruling by decree. But this is a referendum on Robert Mugabe's misrule over the last 10 years. I don't think that any sane Zimbabwean will cast a vote in favour of Zanu PF or in favour of Mugabe."
~ Morgan Tsvangirai , Presidential Candidate and the leader of a faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change in an interview by Violet Gonda of SW Radio Africa on Friday March 7, 2008.

Millions of Zimbabweans will go to the polls tomorrow, but, will the ruthless life President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugaabe allow a free and fair election?

I have chronicled the agonies of those who are suffering and dying in "Bye Bye Mugabe". The victims of the despotic rule of Mugabe will continue to gnash their teeth in agony until Mugabe is no longer in power.

I hope President Robert Mugabe will lose in the presidential election. This would be the answer to the prayer of everyone who wants to see the end of the evils plaguing Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has boasted that more than 90, 000 polling officers have been employed and deployed to the 8, 998 polling stations countrywide.
8, 000 postal ballots have already been sealed on March 24, 2008, in the presence of various political parties. The postal ballot papers will be counted with other ballot papers cast on Saturday, March 29.

2, 400 local and 70 foreign observers have already been accredited.
400 local journalists and 5 international reporters have been accredited.
Read the full report.


The following report by the Cato Institute is a good analysis of what to expect after the elections in Zimbabwe.

24 Mar 2008 15:07 Africa/Lagos


Cato Institute: Despite Having Destroyed Zimbabwe, Mugabe Likely to be 'Reelected'

Zimbabwean member of parliament estimates conditions are worse than in Darfur

WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Robert Mugabe will likely remain in power after this weekend's elections despite being largely responsible for Zimbabwe's implosion, finds a study released today by the Cato Institute.


"Few people believe that [the elections] will be free and fair," writes David Coltart, a Zimbabwean member of parliament for the main opposition party -- the Movement for Democratic Change.


In "A Decade of Suffering in Zimbabwe: Economic Collapse and Political Repression under Robert Mugabe," Coltart points to the atrocities committed by Mugabe's government -- including the massacre of 20,000 Matabeles in the early 1980s -- and concludes that Mugabe cannot give up power peacefully out of fear of prosecution.


Unfortunately that means that Zimbabwe's political and economic decline will likely continue. Already, Zimbabwe suffers from 150,000 percent inflation and an 80 percent unemployment rate. Life expectancy is now among the lowest in the world, having declined, since 1994, to 34 years from 57 years for women, and to 37 years from 54 for men. Moreover, Coltart estimates, more Zimbabweans have died from the combined effects of malnutrition, crumbling healthcare and HIV/AIDS than in Darfur.


According to the author, institutional weaknesses, which characterized colonial rule and were enshrined in Zimbabwe's 1980 constitution, are the root of the current crisis. The constitution provides little balance of power between the branches of government and does little to restrain governmental abuse. That has allowed the government to introduce many policies that have crippled the economy, undermined the rule of law, stifled civil liberties and squashed political opposition.


According to Coltart, Western countries and international financial institutions are complicit in the country's downfall. They have poured billions of dollars into Zimbabwe despite meager results. Other African countries also "ignored very serious deficiencies in governance and in so doing assisted in the perpetuation of the culture of impunity and violence [in Zimbabwe]."


Coltart suggests a number of solutions to rectify the current situation, including restructuring Zimbabwe's political institutions, limiting government's interference in the economy, protecting property rights and redressing past injustices.


This study can be found at: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9274


Source: Cato Institute

CONTACT: Laura Osio, Manager of Media Relations, +1-202-789-5200,
losio@cato.org, or Marian Tupy, Policy Analyst, +1-202-789-5250,
mtupy@cato.org, both of the Cato Institute; or David Coltart, MP,
coltart@mweb.co.zw


Web Site: Cato Institute

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