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Zimbabwe in turmoil


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14 replies to this topic

#1
Guyverman1990

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I just heard some news of this on the radio tonight while being driven home from swimming and I wanted to ask what you ladies and gentlemen make of this news. Does this mean that Robert Mugabe's days are numbered?

 

To back up my claim, here's this for you : http://www.cnn.com/2...rest/index.html



#2
PhoenixRu

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I just heard some news of this on the radio tonight while being driven home...

 

Yes, a military coup. This happened two days ago. The events were triggered when 93-year-old "His Excellency" fired his vice president and future successor and replaced him with his wife (40 years younger than he himself). Add here purges in the military, among the very people who brought him to power. And here is the logical result...

 

Does this mean that Robert Mugabe's days are numbered?

 

Most likely. Though yesterday, when he realised that nobody's going to kill him, he became brave again and refused to retire.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#3
Guyverman1990

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Does this mean that Robert Mugabe's days are numbered?

 

Most likely. Though yesterday, when he realised that nobody's going to kill him, he became brave again and refused to retire.

 

How could his days be numbered if there's no one to kill him and refuses to step down?



#4
PhoenixRu

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How could his days be numbered if there's no one to kill him and refuses to step down?

 

He's the old man, very old. Perhaps he just can't grasp the whole picture. And the picture is such: he have lost any real power and now sitting in golden cage, under house arrest. Generals and those who are behind them just want to legitimize their coup, so they want from him to step down peacefully and "voluntarily". But if he'll continue to be stubborn...

 

Such is my IMHO and i'm not a big expert in Zimbabwean domestic politics.


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.


#5
caltrek

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Please don't take this as a complaint, but the story also appeared in the Africa News and Discussion thread. I say don't take it as a complaint because I am more than open to placing special focus on the Mugabe situation.  Here is a link that also appeared in that thread.

  

 

http://: https://www.nytimes....wenga.html?_r=0

 

A key statement in the New York Times story:

 

 

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” said the main speaker, who was identified as Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff.

 

This gives cover for the military's action, while at the same time preserving Mugabe as a figurehead.  Mugabe can merely be portrayed as a victim of those around him who have criminal intent. Thus blunting the opposition to the military that might otherwise arise.   The military can merely present itself as the guardian of law and order, and not as a usurper of Mugabe's authority.  As PhoenixRu has indicated, a lot will now depend on how "stubborn" Mugabe becomes.  He can quietly play the role of a victim rescued by the military, or he can actively protest the military's action, and thereby further threaten his own precarious position.  

 

At least that is my reading from the New York Times story (and a parallel story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times).  This reading could change as more information comes in.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6
Alislaws

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Will the new military rule (possibly with Mugabe as a figurehead) be better for the country than Mugabe/His wife ruling which seems to be the alternative that was going to happen?

 

I would like to state that i also don't know anything about Zimbabwe.  :biggrin: 



#7
caltrek

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I would like to state that i also don't know anything about Zimbabwe

 

Actually, this roughly approximates my own knowledge of the area.  Which is why I am trying not to jump to conclusions.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#8
caltrek

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As stated earlier, I am trying not to jump to conclusions on this issue.  It one of those where I am learning as we go.  Toward that effort, here is an opinion piece from the LA Times pertinent to Alislaws question.

 

Mugabe could have been a hero, like Mandela. Instead his legacy is violence and greed

 

http://www.latimes.c...1117-story.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Los Angeles Times) It may be hard to imagine now, but in the late 1970s Robert Mugabe was a revolutionary leader, considered a hero by his people.

 

As a South African, I couldn’t help but notice the clear similarities between Zimbabwe’s leader and Nelson Mandela. Like Mandela, Mugabe was educated among the black African elite, at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. Like Mandela, he was arrested for sedition and served long years in prison for his political beliefs. And like Mandela, he had a child die while he was in prison and was denied permission to attend the funeral.

 

Mugabe was elected prime minister of Zimbabwe in 1980; Mandela was elected president of South Africa 14 years later, in 1994. In the run-up to their elections, and in some ways as a precondition, both men made comparable promises. They would institute true democracy in their countries. There would be free elections. White rule would come to an end without retribution against the white minority, and without the wholesale redistribution of white-owned land to a landless black majority.

 

There ends what the two men had in common.

 

…Mugabe... held on to power against all odds, and at the age of 93 he was, until Wednesday, the oldest and longest-lasting leader in Africa. He has presided over the economic collapse of his country. He crushed growing opposition to his rule with violence and election fraud. Opponents have been killed or have fled the country. He encouraged the wholesale redistribution of white-owned land, which led to white flight from the country and resulted in massive food shortages. And until the military seized power this week, he appeared ready to install his wife as his successor.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#9
caltrek

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...and here is some reporting from Al Jazeera on this issue.

 

Mass Harare rally planned as pressure mounts on Mugabe

 

http://www.aljazeera...7184229983.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Al Jazeera) Harare, Zimbabwe - Pressure is mounting on Robert Mugabe to step down as Zimbabwe's president, as efforts to force the veteran leader to resign after nearly four decades in office gain traction.

 

Zimbabwe has been in political turmoil since the early hours of Wednesday, when the country's armed forces seized power and placed Mugabe under house arrest.

 

The embattled 93-year-old leader so far appears resistant to demands to step down. However, he is increasingly running out of options as even some of his closest allies, including top officials within his ruling ZANU-PF party, look determined to remove him from power.

 

Issuing a "stark warning", Zimbabwe's influential war veterans on Friday said Mugabe, the patron of their 35,000-strong association, should not be allowed to stay any longer in power.

 

"If he doesn't leave, we are going to settle the score," Chris Mutsvangwa, the war veterans' leader, told a press conference in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#10
caltrek

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Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, under impeachment, resigns after 37 years in power

 

http://www.latimes.c...1121-story.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Los Angeles Times) Zimbabweans celebrated in the streets after President Robert Mugabe resigned Tuesday, a stunning end to nearly 40 years of leadership announced in parliament during impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.

 

Parliament’s speaker stopped proceedings to say lawmakers had received a letter from the president indicating his resignation was effective immediately

The resignation came with Mugabe facing a possible swift removal by parliament through impeachment and after only a handful of Cabinet ministers appeared at a meeting he called Tuesday.

 

The resignation follows immense pressure on Mugabe to quit after nearly four decades in power, during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

 

Word of the resignation was met with parliament erupting into cheers. Television footage showed many people singing and dancing in the streets.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#11
Alislaws

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And now everyone holds their breath to see what replaces him!

 

obviously it could definitely be worse, but there's a huge amount of scope for it to be better so I'm going to hope that everyone suddenly decides to be extremely nice to each other.

 

I'm not sure everyone being extremely nice to each other is a workable system of government, but I'm pretty sure, if adopted en masse, things would get done in a sort of cheerful benevolent anarchy. 



#12
caltrek

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^^^^Well, the opinion editorial writers at Al Jazeera do not seem to be particularly optimistic. At least they do not see a major change to the status quo.

 

Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe will be someone else's fiefdom

 

http://www.aljazeera...1155603841.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Al Jazeera) The influence that the army has exerted over the past decades has shaped Zimbabwe's regime into a neopatrimonial, personalistic, military oligarchy, with a primary role of keeping Mugabe and ZANU-PF in power. After Mugabe's resignation, the generals seem intent on introducing another member of the oligarchy into the presidency - most likely former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

 

But whoever takes over the reins of power in Zimbabwe is unlikely to change the status quo. The regime and its many clients (including the military) will stay intact.

 

A long history of military politics.

 

The war of liberation in the 1970s charted the political future of Zimbabwe in many ways. The two military groups which led the war - Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) affiliated with Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), and the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) affiliated with the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) - laid the foundations of the Zimbabwean army.

 

The two political movements, ZAPU and ZANU, dominated the political scene after independence in 1980 and eventually merged into one party called (ZANU-PF) in 1987. The war of liberation remained the main source of political legitimacy, as the majority of the political elite had a role to play in the armed struggle.

 


 

 

 

(Alislaws) I'm not sure everyone being extremely nice to each other is a workable system of government, but I'm pretty sure, if adopted en masse, things would get done in a sort of cheerful benevolent anarchy

 

 

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."   - James Madison.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#13
caltrek

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Zimbabwe’s Incoming Leader Mnangagwa Jets from South Africa

 

https://www.courthousenews.com/zimbabwes-incoming-leader-mnangagwa-jets-from-south-africa/

 

Introduction:

 

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa met in South Africa with President Jacob Zuma Wednesday before taking a private jet to return to Zimbabwe.

 

Mnangagwa, 75, is to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new leader Friday, following Robert Mugabe’s stunning resignation amid impeachment proceedings against him.

 

After meeting with Zuma in Pretoria, Mnangagwa went to Johannesburg’s Lanseria airport where he boarded a jet that took off for Harare. Mnangagwa is expected to arrive at Manyame Air Base in the capital, Harare, where crowds have already gathered.

 

He is to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s new president Friday, said the speaker of parliament after the ruling ZANU-PF party notified him of its nomination of Mnangagwa to replace Mugabe until the end of the term next year.

 

Singing and cheering, several hundred people have gathered outside the air force base in anticipation of Mnangagwa’s arrival.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#14
Sciencerocks

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Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe to get $10m payoff and immunity for his family
Source: The Guardian

 

Robert Mugabe and his wife will receive a “golden handshake” worth many millions of dollars as part of a deal negotiated before the resignation of the ageing autocrat last week. The exact sums to be paid to the former president and his wife Grace are still unclear, though one senior ruling party official with direct knowledge of the agreement said the total would not be less than $10m.

The official said that Mugabe, who has been granted immunity from prosecution and a guarantee that no action will be taken against his family’s extensive business interests, would receive a “cash payment of $5m” immediately, with more paid in coming months.

The 93-year-old’s $150,000 salary will also be paid until his death. The 52-year-old first lady, reviled for her extravagance and greed, will then receive half that amount for the rest of her life.

Mugabe’s 37-year rule left Zimbabwe with a worthless currency, massive debts, an impoverished population and an estimated unemployment rate of more than 80%. Roads are rutted, many rural communities have no electricity, education is basic and healthcare almost non-existent. A life expectancy of 60 is one of the lowest in the world.

 

Read more: https://www.theguard...imbabwe-zanu-pf


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#15
caltrek

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Zimbabwe Court Acquits Activist Charged With Subversion

 

https://www.courthou...ith-subversion/

 

Introduction:

 

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean pastor on Wednesday was acquitted of subversion after leading large anti-government protests last year, and he appealed to the country’s new leadership to drop other prosecutions of people who demonstrated against former President Robert Mugabe.

 

Evan Mawarire, who launched the #ThisFlag protest campaign on social media, was found not guilty by High Court judge Priscilla Chigumba after state prosecutors failed to prove their case. The ruling came as Zimbabweans wait to see whether new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former deputy of Mugabe, follows through on pledges of democracy after years of violations of basic freedoms.

 

There are still some Zimbabweans “in prison for political reasons, in terms of having stood up against the regime” of Mugabe, Mawarire said at the courthouse in downtown Harare, the capital. “Many are still appearing in court over the next few weeks and I want to urge this new government and administration to drop those charges and let those people go because they did not commit any crime at all.”

 

Mawarire, who stood in the dock with a Zimbabwean flag, said he was “absolutely elated” at his acquittal, but called it too soon to tell whether it reflected a trend toward more independence in the judiciary, which was often subject to political pressure during the Mugabe era.

 

“It could be evidence of a freer Zimbabwe, but I think also this case had no legs from the beginning,” Mawarire said. “I think that a lot more needs to be seen for us to determine whether this is a free judiciary going forward.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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