Monday, March 31, 2008

Zimbabwean Election

The results of Saturday's election are still not in although Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission is giving the opposition Movement for Democratic Change a six seat lead over Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwean National Union-Patriotic Front. If no presidential candidate receives 50% of the vote there will be a runoff on April 19th. I've a feeling the opposition will win but that Mugabe will find a way to cling to power. If that happens, the violence in Zimbabwe will make Kenya look like a Sunday picnic. If Mugabe digs in his heels, one can only hope that South African President Thabo Mbeki will have the good sense to invite him to live out his golden years in South Africa as they did with Mugabe's predecessor Ian Smith who died last November. Of course, if the opposition does win and Mugabe does accept the results the euphoria will not last long. The country is seeped in hyperinflation, AIDS and food shortages. These problems will not be resolved in the next decade, let alone my lifetime. It is worth remembering that there was a euphoria when Mugabe came to power in 1980 as white minority rule came to end. There was much left to be desired for blacks under Ian Smith but Mugabe found a way to make life worse for everyone - black or white.

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