It appears Zimbabwe President (re: tyrannical dictator) Robert Mugabe is still holding onto power, like a lion clasping its jaws on a water buffalo’s neck. It was rumored Mugabe was going to resign on Sunday, but his speech didn’t include the phrase, “I resign.”
— Maurice Mugisha (@MauriceMugisha) November 19, 2017
Mugabe could be forced out at some point Monday because the ruling ZANU-PF gave him 24 hours to resign or be impeached. He could still step down, but that’s not on the table, right now. Whether it will be in the future, is questionable.
One thing which is interesting, if The Daily Mail is to be believed, is Mugabe may be losing his mind.
It came after MailOnline exclusively revealed that the elderly dictator was in a state of psychological collapse, crying for his dead son and late first wife, refusing to speak or wash and staging a desperate hunger strike.
Emmerson ‘Crocodile’ Mnangagwa, the former Vice President who was appointed the new leader of the Zanu-PF this morning, now looks destined to become Zimbabwe’s new president as early as tomorrow.
Ahead of his announcement, Mugabe broke down in tears and asked for his dead wife and son before meeting army chiefs on Sunday after being ousted as leader of Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF party, one of his aides has told MailOnline.
The frail 93-year-old has until noon local time on Monday to resign as president or impeachment proceedings will start, Zanu-PF said.
Mugabe was replaced by Mnangagwa after all ten Zimbabwean provinces passed no-confidence motions against the dictator two days earlier.
Ahead of his meeting with army officials to discuss his exit, Mugabe was ‘wailing profusely’ and saying that he wished he could speak to his dead wife, Sally Mugabe, and his late son, Michael Nhamodzenyika, who died from cerebral malaria in 1966 at the age of three.
The potential (and expected) fall of Mugabe should be celebrated, since he’s a racist Marxist, who seized farms owned by whites and took a sledgehammer to the economy and country. The Atlantic chronicled Zimbabwe’s destruction at the hands of Mugabe in 2003 after he seized power from Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and interim leader Bishop Zabel Muzorewa in 1979. Mugabe ruled with an iron fist, shutting out dissension and exerting strong economic control on the country in a way which would make Vladimir Lenin proud.
He fixed the price of a loaf of bread at half the bakers’ break-even price, and levied astronomical fines on any baker who charged more. Bakers stopped making bread until somebody noticed that sesame bread, a “luxury item,” wasn’t price-controlled; by sprinkling a few sesame seeds on their standard loaves, bakers were able to get back in business. A pair of mortuary workers were arrested recently for running a profitable “rent-a-cadaver” business: because Mugabe had decreed that drivers in funeral processions would get privileged access to the trickle of fuel coming into the country, these entrepreneurs had begun leasing bodies to Zimbabwean drivers.
Mugabe also cracked down on the press, restricted immigration, and preached excluding whites from the economy.
The Mbare market, in Harare, is Zimbabwe’s largest bazaar. It contains more than a hundred stalls, selling African carvings, tapestries, and sculptures. In normal times at least four tourist buses and dozens of taxis visited the market every day. Yet when I arrived one Sunday, the vendors looked at me as though they were seeing the ghost of Cecil Rhodes. After a moment’s pause they rushed behind their stalls and hurriedly began polishing and propping up their wares. One of them told me I was his first customer of the month; it was July 27…When Mugabe called for the “indigenization of the economy,” he asserted pointedly that some Zimbabweans were “more indigenous than others.” It wasn’t only farmers who were threatened by the chimurenga. In 2000 “war veterans” invaded white-owned urban businesses—everything from hotels and department stores to the offices of foreign corporations. The remaining investors are running scared.
Funny how when you inhibit, then destroy free markets, free press, and freedom of association, you end up destroying a country. It should be pointed out, this isn’t a defense of British-ruled Rhodesia. After all, Smith seceded from Great Britain and cracked down on blacks in the country, opposition parties, and the press. Pretty much the exact same thing Mugabe did when he got power.
The only problem with Mugabe’s possible resignation is his replacement may just be another dictator. The New York Times studied Mnangagwa’s past which shows he (may have) helped Mugabe keep power, by any means necessary.
Mr. Mnangagwa was accused of orchestrating a crackdown in the 1980s in which thousands of members of the Ndebele ethnic group were killed. He was an avid supporter of Mr. Mugabe’s most controversial economic policy — the expropriation and redistribution of land that had been controlled by white farmers since the era of colonialism. He was also accused of being behind deadly violence in 2008 a bid to rig polls in favor of Mr. Mugabe, a claim he denies.
“There is a healthy dose of trepidation because they know that the man who might take over is not Mr. Democracy,” said Wilf Mbanga, editor of The Zimbabwean, an online newspaper. “His track record is not impressive. He’s got a messy past. Is he going to clean his act? We don’t know.”
NYT did point out Mnangagwa has engaged in some economic liberalism, but is still considered a corrupt politician. This strikes me as more of a Nicolas Maduro replacing Hugo Chavez, than say, George Washington replacing King George III, and it will be interesting to see what happens to Zimbabwe in the future. There is certainly a real opportunity for the country to establish ties to the world through free trade and free markets. The only question is whether the people will be given this opportunity or if the stories from Zimbabwe will be as bad as the stories from Venezuela.
Of course, Mugabe could “surprise” us all by figuring out a way to retain his presidency. That might not be a surprise, at all.