Mugabe hangs on

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, November 20th, 2017 - 16 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, colonialism, corruption, International, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Robert Mugabe has refused to stand down during a recent televised speech despite conjecture suggesting that he would.

From Radio New Zealand:

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe defied expectations he would resign, pledging to preside over a Zanu-PF congress next month even though the ruling party had removed him as its leader hours earlier.

Zanu-PF sacked Mr Mugabe as leader and appointed vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago, in his place.

The party gave Mr Mugabe until noon on Monday local time to resign as president, or face impeachment.

In a televised address from his official State House office, Mr Mugabe referred to a “range of concerns” expressed by citizens.

He said his meetings with military commanders had underscored the need to collectively start a process that returned the nation to normalcy.

Mr Mugabe said the pillars of state had remained functional.

Despite expectations he would step down, Mr Mugabe simply ended the speech with “I thank you, and goodnight”.

Mugabe’s history as leader shows the worst of the effects of colonialism on Africa’s history.  An indifferent and racist minority regime is overthrown by an indigenous war of liberation but then the leaders installed showed a level of violence, lack of respect for human rights and greed that is legendary.  And the level of nepotism is high with Mugabe attempting to line up his wife Grace Mugabe as the next leader.  Grace’s only capability appears to be an ability to spend prodigious amounts when shopping.

South Africa under Nelson Maldela’s leadership was different although it too seems to have gone backwards with current President Jacob Zuma having something of a colourful background.

Things can improve for Zimbabwe.  But it will require better leadership than that which Mugabe has provided.


16 comments on “Mugabe hangs on”

  1. greywarshark 1

    Latest new toy in Zimbabwe. A jack-in-a-box that pops out Mugabe dressed as the image in a yellow hat and outfit, yelling ‘Surprise’!

  2. garibaldi 2

    This scenario is a bit like Bill English?!

  3. Cinny 3

    This is not a military take over… says an army officer dressed in full uniform on their national tv last week. Ummm ok then… we will see…

    The evil Mugabe has dictated and destroyed Zimbabwe for decades. People still seem terrified to stand up to an old old greedy selfish man. For some life under Mugabe is all they know, can’t even imagine what they have been through.

    He is too stubborn, proud and senile to step down, his ego prevents him from doing so, somethings going to give and it won’t be pretty.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Always scary that one despot can be replaced with another maybe worse. And yes garibaldi a bit like English.

  4. Ad 4

    For those skeptical that Mugabe needed to be replaced, here’s the Wikipedia on Zimbabwean human rights:

    Here’s the Wikipedia page on their armed forces:

    This is the Human Rights Watch 2016 view of Mugabe’s human rights record from 2016:

    According to Amnesty International, this is what they do to journalists and social media practitioners and respond to dissent:

    This reporting is consistent with the U.S. State Depatment’s own findings, which goes through different evaluative measures, including:

    – Arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life
    – Disappearance
    – Torture
    – Prison and detention centre conditions
    – Denial of fair public trial
    – Civil liberties including freedom of speech and of the press

  5. mary_a 5

    As despotic and vile as murderous dictator Mugabe has been and still is by all accounts, his wife, big spending Grace, comes across to me as someone far more evil, greedy and self entitled than the old man himself! She’s really scary! If it’s bad enough now, Zimbabwe would be completely condemned should she ever get the reigns of absolute power!

    Somehow I can’t see either of the Mugabes’ giving up their opulent lifestyle easily, not without a fight!

  6. Sparky 6

    Have friends from both SA and Zim and yes to say they have gone backwards is being generous. Crime is endemic as is corruption. Really these places are still suffering a hang over from the colonial period that has not really gone away. Indeed much of Africa is still being screwed over by the West, a lot of famines for example are due to food being shipped off shore leaving the locals with bugger all.

    • tracey 6.1

      By the time the majority ruled in SA and ZIM the country had been raped of its resources by the ruling whites and the rest tried to flee. None of that helps the rebuilding of a country.

      • mickysavage 6.1.1

        Yep agreed.

        • SW

          Tracey and Micky, with respect, no.

          To say that ZIM had been “raped” of its resources by 1980 implies no other fate for ZIM has been possible over the past 37 years. To be frank, that is utter nonsense.

          Not all the “ruling” whites “tried to flee”. Around 2/3 of farmers stayed post independence until the land reform of the 2000s. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the economy went full basket case, contracting as much as 40% between 2000 and 2007 – this is 20 years after Mugabe took power.

          Today’s ZIM (with widespread poverty, unemployment over 90%, cash shortages, widespread corruption) has everything to do with decades of pillaging and mismanagement by Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies, and very little do with the white majority rule of the pre-1980s.

          I’ve been fortunate enough to go on several trips to ZIM over the past few years. It remains a place of breathless beauty, abundant natural resources and some of the potentially best farming land in southern Africa. In my experience the people are especially good natured, well educated and humorous – as a white person I have never felt unsafe in ZIM (as opposed to SA). There is so much potential if the Country can get the right leadership.

          Mugabe ruthlessly crushed all opposition to his rule and has been determined to stay in power whatever the cost. As Desmond Tuto once noted, Mugabe turned the bread basket of Africa into a basket case. Be it the massacre of over 10,000 black Ndebele civilians in the Gukarakundi early in his reign, the land reforms, the rigged elections, or the truly sickening amount of public money stolen by him, his family and his cronies at the expense of his own people, he is a tyrant of the worst kind and should be despised and condemned at every turn.

          Because of Mugabe’s regime, corruption has spread to every corner of ZIM’s society. By way of anecdote, during a drive between Harare and Lake Kariba (about 3 hours) we were “fined” on 3 separate occasions by local police. This in a country where money was in such short supply, you literally could not withdraw any cash from local Banks or ATMs as a foreigner. The roads and basic infrastructure have on the whole been left to ruin. In stark contrast, Mugabe resides in his opulent blue mansion next to the gated and predominately white Borrowdale Brooke. You will also find Government Ministers shamelessly renovating their lavish mansions in the Brooke. I will always remember driving past the wife of one such Minister in the Brooke, a young but former Miss Zimbabwe who walked her dog with a convoy of around 20 soldiers.

          I hope you can see that the spirit of my post is one of hope. None of ZIM’s recent history has been predetermined or necessary – and neither is its future. ZIM still has the resources and people to prosper, and I am hopeful that in time it will. To do so though it is imperative ZIM’s future leaders stop “raping” public resources and blaming it all on the West or colonial rule that ended nearly 40 years ago.

  7. tracey 7

    Mandela could not stop the ANC turning tot he same behaviour (corruption) as the white predecessors. Again Mandela shows his class and uniqueness (I point to Myanmar on this too)

    • McFlock 7.1


      Mandela’s existence reassures my faith in humanity. The fact people like him are so rare destroys my faith in humanity.

      ’tis a conundrum.

  8. mary_a 8

    Grace Mugabe, the most evil woman in Africa.

    Exile is far too good for Grace Mugabe! Strip her of her illegally gained wealth, including her homes. Give everything back to the people via the state and toss her out into the streets with those she stole from, caused insufferable pain to, defrauded and had tortured.

    Grace Mugabe deserves no mercy whatsoever!

  9. DS 9

    I remember reading somewhere that Mugabe’s Zimbabwe was actually OK for the early years of his rule – the hell in a handbasket thing came later, once the power went to his head.

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