April 2, 2005


Comedy of errors: Zimbabwe is destroying itself, other African leaders stand accused of complicity, and the West moralises over aid and debt. Time, says Fred Bridgland in Johannesburg, for some painful decisions (Fred Bridgland, 4/03/05, Sunday Herald)

Africa passed through a threshold this weekend, replete with huge dangers for the continent after Robert Mugabe rigged massively, with devilish cunning and ruthlessness, a Zimbabwean parliamentary election that has given him a huge majority and carte blanche to continue the destruction of his country that he began more than five years ago.

Mugabe won a two-thirds majority, which permits him to change the constitution however he wants, in spite of having engineered an economy that is the fastest collapsing in the world with the world’s top inflation rate – in excess of 600%. He won despite having given his people 80% unemployment, famine, and a collapsed health service which has seen life expectancy fall to 33 from 63 at independence, and which is unable to help a population so widely infected with HIV that 500 Zimbabweans die each day from Aids.

The fraudulent poll spells disaster for ordinary Zimbabweans and enhances the riches of the avaricious military men, corrupt civil servants and bent judges he has gathered into his inner coterie.

If the poison unleashed by Mugabe were only to destroy his own beautiful country, it could perhaps be dismissed with an unfortunate, helpless shrug. But the poison has flowed beyond Zimbabwe. It has infected such men as South African President Thabo Mbeki and Tanzanian President Ben Mkapa, who both validated the Zimbabwe poll as free and fair before it had taken place. It is Mkapa’s view that Mugabe is a “champion of democracy”.

Their deafening silence in this instance makes it even harder to believe in the possibility of a Decent Left.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 2, 2005 11:28 PM

I'm probably revealing a lot of ignorance, but isn't this area just reverting to its past state? If your only political legacy was imposed from outside, then why should more ever be expected?

Even Genghis Kahn introduced tea to Europe.

Posted by: Randall Voth at April 3, 2005 1:55 AM

maybe i am reading too much into this, but the behavior of the south african government with regards to mugabe/zimbabwe reflects their true intentions; i.e. the anc is still a leninist organization and democracy there is a sham.

Posted by: cjm at April 3, 2005 3:31 AM

maybe im reading too much into this but the left has always had a heart of death. blood of hatred. sinew of despotism. bone of contempt for humanity.

Posted by: bjk at April 3, 2005 11:26 AM

I've been saying for years that the ANC was nothing more than a terrorist Marxist coterie of thugs and gangsters. It is no surprise that they support Mugabe, after all they are pushing the idea that HIV does not cause AIDS.

The political reality on the ground in Southern Africa is that many of the rank and file in other countries see Mugabe as a hero because he confiscated White-owned land. It seems the place is still in a time-warp. While other parts of Africa have moved beyond 'blame Whitey' claptrap, Southern Africa is still full of rhetoric reminiscent of the worst of Coleman Young or Elijah Muhammad.

The smart money left in the early 90s.

Posted by: bart at April 3, 2005 1:53 PM

bart: i never bought into all the mandela claptrap, but when the anc didn't nationalize everything in sight (or grab all the white property) it seemed like they might actually evolve into something better than their origins. now of course their true colors are starting to be unfurled.

Posted by: cjm at April 3, 2005 4:37 PM

Where was it that I read the ANC is simply waiting for Mandella to die before pursuing Mugabe like policies?

Posted by: AML at April 4, 2005 3:07 PM