Robert Mugabe, president of the ZANU-PF party and long-serving President of Zimbabwe, a country he has transformed from one of the richest states in Africa to a shadow of its former self, through racist and xenophobic policies which defy logic, is about to be toppled, along with his repressive regime.
Opposition activists are beaten, jailed, tortured and killed by Mugabe’s henchmen and new laws introduced to hinder the opposition’s supposedly free election campaign classify as “terrorists” those who write against the government in foreign newspapers and introduce the death penalty for “attempts to undermine the authority of the president”.
One million Zimbabweans living abroad (those disenchanted with the regime) have been deprived of the vote and villagers will need the approval of their “headman” to vote, as will farm workers, whose white bosses have been forced off the farms. This means in practice that those in contact with whites, the mainstay of the country’s economy in the past few decades, people who realise that the future of Zimbabwe is a racial mix, and who see that the only possible future for the country is a continuation of the well-organised farms by white professionals in agriculture, are deprived of the vote.
This repressive policy is typical of Robert Mugabe, a man who claims to be intelligent. This pseudo-intellectual, who can frequently be seen reading in the corridors of international conferences or at the United Nations building in New York, is in line with the worst of Africa’s dictators.
A mass murderer and political failure, Robert Mugabe has systematically driven white landowners off their farms, becoming more and more obsessed with this policy as he grows older.
A recent opinion poll, conducted by Gallup, shows that Mugabe has lost contact with the country he has so ably ruined. Only 53% of ZANU-PF members want him to continue as president. 44% of his party’s members blame whites for the country’s problems, whereas 92% of opposition party supporters consider it foolish to blame whites.
Only 28% of voters believe that the country’s large farms should be occupied and their white owners driven out, while 56% want the white farmers to stay and for those driven out of the country to return. The white landowners guarantee jobs and prosperity for their Negro workers.
Most voters disagree that land ownership is the country’s main priority, believing that questions such as AIDS should be higher on the agenda. Six of Zimbabwe’s ministers are HIV positive and the country has one of the worst incidences of AIDS in the world.
Most of the people questioned in the opinion poll asked to remain anonymous due to fear of retribution. This is a country where political killings are rife and one in which the rule of law is the whim of the bloodthirsty president.
For this reason, there are movements within the British Commonwealth and European Union about future diplomatic relations with this country while Mugabe continues to misgovern his people. For this reason also, the leader of the opposition party MDC (Movement for Democratic Change), Morgan Tsvangirai, is ahead in the opinion polls by 52% to 44%.
This may not be enough however. A human rights activist, who was too afraid to give his name, said “Any MDC voter not only has to be disenfranchised but is a terrorist who should be in jail, or worse”. MDC chief executive Isaac Maposa declared that “If the presidential election were to be free or fair, Morgan Tsvangirai would win by a landslide”.
The fact is that the reaction by Mugabe and his henchmen to this sort of poll is to beat up, torture, imprison or kill opposition party members.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru