Robert Mugabe has driven Zimbabwe from a net-exporting agricultural and manufacturing nation to one of Africa’s poorest countries. Mugabe’s most notable accomplishment of late is to push the inflation rate over 100,000% with his statist policies. Simba Makoni wants to unseat him in Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections, and even members of Mugabe’s party have begun endorsing the challenger:
Two more political heavyweights rallied behind former finance minister‘s presidential bid on Sunday, as he seeks to unseat longtime leader in elections later this month.
Wilson Kumbula, president of the opposition– Ndonga (ZANU-Ndonga), endorsed Makoni’s candidature, while Edgar Tekere, a former minister in Mugabe’s first cabinet, vowed to work with him.
“I am appointing myself principal campaigner for Mugabe’s downfall,” Tekere said at Makoni’s campaign rally in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
The statement of Tekere, an ex-commander during the liberation struggle, came a day after former home affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa and former speaker of parliament Cyril Ndebele endorsed Makoni.
Mugabe may face the challenge of his life in these elections — assuming they’re conducted fairly. His reputation as Zimbabwe’s liberator has almost completely unraveled over the course of his dictatorship. The collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy and its decline to pauper status has come so quickly that even the most efficient propaganda machine can’t maske Mugabe’s incompetence.
If Mugabe throws these elections, he may find himself very isolated. His former allies have already started to bail on his party, sensing the mood of Zimbabwe’s citizens. A rigged election may set a revolution in motion, and Zanu-PF figures have started ensuring that they won’t follow Mugabe up against the wall.